THE WORLD OF TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES; INDIAN AND GLOBAL ACTIVITIES FOR URBAN MOBILITY – METRO-NEWSLETTERS – Gathered by Dr. F. A. Wingler, September 2019

The author was invited to contribute material for a book project on METRO RAIL FOR URBAN MOBILITY IN INDIA.

To gain an overview on the World of Transport Technologies and as well on international and Indian Activities, Initiatives, Developments and Trends for URBAN MOBILITY AS A SERVICE (MaaS), in December 2019, the author launched a collection of current publications, summarized in individual METRO NEWS LETTERS. The individual METRO NEWSLETTERS have been gathered in PDF portfolios, which are free for download.

Urban, suburban and interurban public transport in megapolis area has many technical facets.

The portfolios feature global and Indian activities and initiatives as well as recent developments and technological trends for URBAN MOBILITY AS A SERVICE, including Metro Rail, Metro Monorail on Concrete Straddle Beam (ALWEG), light Monorail on Steel-Beam Guideways (INTAMIN), Commuter Rail, Regional Rapid Transit, Light Rail Vehicle and Transit, Light Metro Rail, combined Tram-Train, connection of Metro Rail with Railway, Metro Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, Metro Ropeway/Train, Suspended People Movers (SAFEGE), Rubber Tired People Movers on Guide/Roll Ways, linear Induction Motor propelled Light Metro, last Mile autonomous People Mover, automated on-Demand PodCar People Mover, low speed Maglev and Rope pulled Hovercraft People Mover, Water Metro and environment friendly Propulsion Technologies with Overhead Electricity Feeding,  Batteries, Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HydRail) and Natural Gas.

The portfolios cover publications on Connectivity – the Integration of different public transport modes into seamless urban, suburban and interurban public Transport Concepts -, on multimodal Hubs, autonomous and guided Technology, on the use of Digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and of Artificial Intelligence (AI), on modern Information Systems as well on seamless Ticket and Payment start-to-end Concepts and Technologies.

Urban Mobility spurs economic development and expansion. Urban Mobility as a Service, MaaS, is leading to a rapid change in the economy and quality of life in modern megapolis environment and is shaping Mobility in smart cities, in India and around the globe.

Samples for successful INTEGRATED MULTIMODAL URBAN MOBILITY SOLUTIONS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT, IT, are the integrated and multimodal public urban, suburban and interurban transport solutions in Istanbul (Turkey), Helsinki (Finland), Berlin (Germany), Stockholm (Sweden), Mexico (Mexico), Madrid (Spain), Toronto (Canada) and Portland (USA).

METRO RAIL IN INDIA, meeting the demand for Urban Mobility, is a success story for its fast paced legislation, planning, financing, construction and operation; and in the last 14 years has significantly improved URBAN MOBILITY and changed the public transportin several Indian cities.

The Kolkata Metro was for 18 years the only Underground Metro Rail in India, opening for commercial services from 1984.

nly after 18 years, Delhi was the second city to get Metro Rail. The construction started in 1998, and the first elevated section (Shahdara – Tis Hazari) on the Red Line opened on 24th December 2002, while the first underground section (Vishwa Vidyalaya – Kashmere Gate) of Yellow Line opened on 20th December 2004. Within only 15 years the network expanded to 343 km serving 250 stations. The system has a mix of underground, at-grade, and elevated stations using both broad-gauge and standard-gauge. Delhi Metro operates with 8 lines over 2,700 trips daily, starting at around 05:00 and ending at 23:30 hrs.

Delhi Metro is a Pioneer in METRO RAIL EXPANSION and a Symbol of the Progress, that India has made in the last decade.

Metro Rail and Metro Monorail run currently in 11 Indian megacities, and are proposed, approved, under planning or under construction in 22 more cities. As of March 2019, India has 639 km of operational metro lines and 496 stations. A further 500 km of lines are under construction.

For the construction of underground sections latest state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines are used, which significantly accelerates the construction.

Mumbai operates 19 km of elevated Straddle Beam Mono Rail. Kochi has a Water Metro, and for Shimla, Darjeeling, Dharamsalam, Tsomgo Lake in Tsomgo, East Sikkim and Varanasi Gondola Aerial Ropeway Metro is envisaged. In 12 tourist places shorter scenic Ropeways are already in operation. Further Ropeway locations for local public transport under evaluation include Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra; Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu; Langolceiraoching-Marjing Ching, and Sendra to Thanga, Chaoba Ching, Loktak in Manipur; Bermpark-Bhawani Island in Andhra Pradesh; Vasco da Gama to Dona Paula in Goa; and in Kochi. For Urban Mobility in Chandigarh, an area with less town-dweller than in the Indian mega cities, a light Monorail of Swiss INTAMIN Technology, running on a right-of-way Steel Beam Guide-Way, is in discussion. For smaller Cities in India with less ridership-demand “METROLIGHT” or “METROLITE” as a cheaper solution than Metro Rail is in discussion. Amritsar is thinking to install an autonomous on-Demand PodCar People Mover between Railway Station and the Golden Temple.

Bus Rapid Transits (BRT) have gained popularity worldwide as a cost-effective alternative to far more expensive urban rail investments. High-quality bus-based systems also better serve the low-density settlement patterns of many suburban markets and small-to-medium size cities due to the inherent flexibility advantages of rubber-tyre systems – the same vehicle that provides speedy line-haul services on a dedicated bus-lane or reserved bus-way can morph into a feeder vehicle, collecting and distributing customers on local streets. Electric Hybrid Buses with mixed electric catenary feeding and Hydrogen Fuel Cells electricity generation combined with short time super-capacitor storage technology will become the Next Generation Urban Transport People Movers.

LIGHT RAIL TRANSITS (LRT) with LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES (LRV) are worldwide on the agenda technologies for urban and suburban public transport. LRT is a relatively affordable way to bring rail transit to many cities around the globe – also in India – filling the niche between Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit

The Future of URBAN MOBILITY as a SERVICE (MaaS)  has already started in India with integrated and multimodal Transport (IT) Technologies linked through multimodal Hubs and shaped by Digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (IT), Big Data and  Building Information Modelling (BIM).

As for INTEGRATED TRANSPORT (IT), CONNECTIVITY and  INTEGRATED MULTIMODAL URBAN MOBILITY SOLUTIONS FOR PUBLIC URBAN, SUBURBAN and INTERURBAN TRANSPORT IN INDIA, OF TODAY AND TOMORROW, further smart and intelligent developments are on the way to come.

To learn more, download the series of PDF files.

MATARA-BELIATTA RAILWAY-EXTENSION; PART III
 – A HIGH QUALITY MODERN RAILWAY-LINE AT EXORBITANT OVERALL CAPITAL EXPENDITURES WITH NO RETURN OF INVESTMENT COSTS By Dr. F.A. Wingler, February 2019

With the 26 km Matara-Beliatta Railway Extension, Sri Lanka got the first time a modern world-class standard and high quality rail-track and a high capacity railway-station infrastructure.

In January 2019 the work on the Infrastructure had been still going on. However, the rail-track had been ready for one public maiden and test-run with the China build S 12 DEMU.

The technical and design features of the Matara-Beliatta Line should be used as shining teaching sample for reengineering, modernizing and refurbishing the other ailing, unsound and unhealthy rail-tracks and as well the other poor quality railway-station infrastructures within the Railway Enhancement and Colombo Suburban Railway Projects as a service to the socio-economical development of the country.

For the approx. one billion US Dollar investments in the less populated south area with less public transport demand, there is no chance of a return for the massive capital investment.

SEMI-HIGH SPEED (SHS) ON CURRENT INDIAN RAIL-TRACKS WITH CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE – WILL IT BE SAFE?

TRACK QUALITY AND MAINTENANCE DEMANDS FOR INTRODUCING 160 KMPH SEMI-HIGH SPEED (SHS) PASSENGER TRAINS ON INDIAN RAILWAYS – SAFETY ISSUES

By Dr. F.A. Wingler, February 2019

The Challenge in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for Passenger Trains on IR is to meet the Demands for Initial and Inherent Quality of Track, to develop advanced Policy and Strategy in Infrastructure Management and modern best Practices of Permanent Work Procedures and mechanised Track-Maintenances. Policy and Strategy should be governed by Overall Life Cycle Costs Considerations. 160 kmph tracks have to be kept sound and healthy with high Track Quality Index (TGI) Values. Indian Railways should take lessons from recent Semi-High Speed (SHS) and High-Speed (HS) Train Crashes occurred in other Countries.

Prerequisites for 160 kmph are:

  • Well bearing and drained formation.
  • Long rolled rails of high steel-alloy quality.
  • High performance turnouts with condition monitoring sensors.
  • High standard robotic rail flash-but welding or digital controlled AT welding under supervision of well trained and skilled gangs.
  • Under sleeper pads for concrete sleepers and a fit-and-forget replacement rail-fastening system for the current Mark III ERC fastening.
  • Well planned, condition based and predictive modern mechanised maintenance practises and procedures executed with appropriated tools and heavy duty & high performance on-track machinery.
  • Regular preventive and target rail-grinding.
  • Deployment of automatic train protection/control.

The following Paper had been submitted to the  to the International Technical Seminar of I.P.W.E. (India), held on 22nd and 23rd Feb. 2019 at Hyderabad, with the topic: “Challenges in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for Passenger Trains on IR”.

INTEGRATED MULTI-MODAL PUBLIC METROPOLITAN TRANSPORT IN ISTANBUL

Public transport in Istanbul is an example of a successful integrated multi-modal urban and suburban public transport scheme in metropolitan area consisting of tram, metro-bus, underground metro, commuter railway, funicular, air-lift gondola and maritime-seaway (ferry-service and sea-bus) services for the more than 13 million inhabitants of the city spread over an area of 5712 km². The paper is composed of Wikipedia internet publications.

To learn more, download:ISTANBUL PUBLIC TRANSPORT SCHEME

METRO -Evolution of public Transport in urban and suburban metropolitan Area; a short History of World Metro Systems – in Pictures

“METRO” is the synonym for urban and suburban public integral transport. The evolution started 1863 in London with an underground steam railway as a metropolitan transport system. Metro public transport systems we find nowadays in about 180 cities around the globe. METRO has nowadays many faces, from rail guided underground and overground transits, over mono-rail, suspended sky-train, maglev, to waterway and ropeway transport.

 To learn more, download:

TRACK QUALITY AND MAINTENANCE DEMANDS FOR INTRODUCING 160 KMPH SEMI HIGH-SPEED (SHS) PASSENGER TRAINS ON INDIAN RAILWAYS – SAFETY ISSUES

The Challenge in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for passenger trains on IR is to meet the Demands for Initial and Inherent Quality of Track, modern Infrastructure Management, modern best Practices of Permanent Work Procedures and  of mechanised Track-Maintenance.

Prerequisites for 160 kmph are:

  • Well bearing and drained formation.
  • Long rolled rails of high steel-alloy quality.
  • High performance turnouts with condition monitoring sensors.
  • High standard robotic rail flash-but welding or digital controlled AT welding under supervision of well trained and skilled gangs.
  • Under sleeper pads for concrete sleepers and a fit-and-forget replacement rail-fastening system for the current Mark III ERC fastening.
  • Well planned, condition based and predictive modern mechanised maintenance practices and procedures executed with appropriated tools and heavy duty & high performance on-track machinery.
  • Regular preventive and target rail-grinding.
  • Deployment of automatic train protection/control.

To learn more download:TRACK AND MAINTENANCE DEMANDS FOR INTRODUCING 160 kmph PASSENGER TRAINS ON IR

MATHERAN – AN ECOLOGICAL SENSITIVE HILLSTATION IN INDIA WITH POOR ROAD-INFRASTRUCTURE AND MASSIVE POLLUTION; TRANSPORT-SCHEMES; Part III By Dr. F.A. Wingler, February 2019

Matheran is ailing under poor road-access, poor road and trail conditions, air-pollution by stirred-up latertite-dust mixed with horse-dung and under waste-littering.

Programmes have commenced to bring betterments and to improve the road and cleanness situation. “Clean-Up Marshalls” advise now tourists not to litter the eco-sensitive zone and the beauty of the nature of Matheran.

After abolition of the brake porters on the 2 feet Narrow-Gauge Toy-Train, the introduction of the dual pipe, graduate release and indirect working compressed air-brake system in combination with the old 1903 bumpy tramway coupling system has resulted in hazardous train-set jerk and jolt movements, especially on down-gradient runs, that increase the derailment proneness. Therefore, the train-speed had to be reduced, which hampers a frequent train-service between Neral and Matheran. The Train-Drivers have to run trains, especially on down-gradient and on the poor aligned tight curves, in a snail`s pace with upmost vigilance, to avoid the risks of a derailment caused by train-set jerks. On 21th October 2018, a parcel-van of the shuttle service derailed on a turnout at Amman Lodge with a lucky narrow escape for the passengers in the adjacent coaches. Luckily the derailed parcel-van did not pull the passenger coaches from the track. Within the next 10 weeks 4 more coach derailments happened. Under modern Safety and Risk Management aspects, those unwanted bad events have to be investigated and treated as “NEAR MISSED BAD EVENTS” and therefore as “ACCIDENTS”. Lessons have to be learned.

The author suggests installing jerk- and jolt-movements free force locking railway couplers, as in use on the other Indian narrow gauge railways and on other narrow gauge heritage railways around the globe.

LUXURY is not needed; but SAFETY FOR THE PASSENGERS. This means: Luxury air-conditioned VISTA-DOM cars are not needed, but sound, healthy and well aligned rail-tracks and – in conjunction with the dual pipe compressed air brake system – force-locking state-of-the-art railway couplers.

COLOMBO SUBURBAN RAILWAY PROJECT (CSRP) – an ambitious Project; applicable and feasible technical Solutions

The ambitious Colombo Suburban Railway Project (CSRP) and the Colombo Suburban Efficiency Improvement Project aim to increase the share of rail transport from the current 5% to 10% by creating more demand for commuter rail transport through the provision of modern high capacity and rapid urban and suburban rail transport facilities. The success of the project will depend on whether it will be possible to bring the dilapidated railway-tracks up to sound and healthy high quality standards. The substructure of several rail-tracks is still at the level of the turn from the 19th century to the 20th century.

The re-engineering and strengthening of the railway-tracks by formation broadening and  strengthening will become  the most difficult task within the programme.

The Colombo Suburban Railway Project, CSRP, which is funded by Asian Development Bank, is also aiming at electrification of the section from Veyangoda to Panadura (64 km) in the Colombo Suburban Area of Sri Lanka.

Obstacle for a higher commuter ridership by rail  are the low rail-route capacity, the long station to station journey time (transit-time), the over-packed commuter trains in peak hours with low customer satisfaction.

A high capacity and rapid suburban commuter rail service with customer satisfaction needs sound and healthy rail tracks of high inherent quality with low deterioration rates under given traffic load. Decisive factors are

  • well bearing, well drained and broad track substructure components (subsoil, subgrade, formation, formation protective layer and ballast),
  • high performance track layouts with state-of-the-art turnout and crossing technology and design,
  • modern signaling with train protection,
  • fast accelerating and decelerating high capacity and well maintained rolling stocks with reliable break system.

The question is not: Diesel or electric traction. What matters and hampers the current rail-service for a higher commuter ridership, bringing travelers from road to rail, are

  • the long station to station journey (transit) times and over-packed trains during peak hour,
  • the low route capacity with long headways,
  • the existing poor quality rail-tracks on narrow, badly drained and yielding formation of insufficient bearing capacity,
  • the unfavorable track design-layouts with turnouts and crossing of outdated technical design hampering higher route capacity,
  • the complex color light signaling system (with about 60 valid aspects in use) without any train protection and not allowing short headways.
  • the poor and improper service, repair and maintenance of the rolling stocks,
  • the limited capacity of maintenance depots and sheds,
  • the neglected and improper service, repair, maintenance, tests, examinations and certification of the train-brake systems before dispatching trains to run.

Before electric traction can come on Srilankan tracks, the current main problems, shortcomings, deficiencies and bottlenecks of Sri Lanka Railway have to be addressed first of all.

However, electric traction needs a reliable power supply with sufficient redundancy. This is not given in Sri Lanka. The scope of capital investment is exorbitant high and must be in a relation to the savings gathered by the electric running trains. In the section Panadura-Veyangoda, electric traction will favor only the short-distance running local trains and not the other long distance trains. The savings gathered through electric traction of only a part of the trains do not justify the high capital-investment expenses.

In case of the Kelani-Valley Line, since long the author suggests renovating the KV railway with Meter-Gauge and Y-shaped ThyssenKrupp Steel-Sleepers, as well to render the commuter train service with modern Light Weight Diesel Rail-Cars of Type Stadler-Bussnang, Switzerland, with middle module Diesel-electric power-pack traction instead with the heavy power-sets Class S8, S9, S19, S11 or S12. In tight curves, Light Weight Rail-Cars on winding Y-steel-sleeper tracks can run with higher speed than conventional heavy power-sets on concretes-sleeper tracks.

Modern Light Weight Rail-Car Technology (see INNOTRANS 2018, 18-21. 09, Berlin, Germany) and Y-shaped Steel-Sleepers make it possible to operate a modern high capacity and rapid commuter rail-services on winding trace with Meter-Gauge and as well on 760 mm (2 ½ feet) Narrow-Gauge as demonstrated by advanced railways in  North Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

On the route to Kandy, the low route capacity and slow train speed on the Balana-Incline between Rambukkanna and Kadugannawa is a severe bottleneck. This section has to be renovated by slope- and rock-stabilization, rock-fall protection, widening of bearing formation and revamping the side and catch drains. The rails should be laid as Long Welded Rails (LWR) on a well ballasted track-bed with Y-ThyssenKrupp steel-sleepers, that will give the track excellent geometry stability on the narrow and winding trace.

Modern sound and healthy state-of-the-art rail-tracks of high quality with modern signaling cum train protection will increase the route-capacity, cut station-to-station journey time, shorten headways, and last not least will bring more traffic from road onto rail and will increase the demand for rail-transport. For this target, costly electrification is not needed.

The technical railway paper contributes applicable and feasible technical solutions and reveals, what can be learned from advanced railways in Europe.

To learn more, download: CSRP – FEASIBLE SOLUTIONS 3

COLOMBO SUBURBAN RAILWAY PROJECT, PART IV; Meter-Gauge on KV-Trace – feasible?

Part I, II and III of the series on Colombo Suburban Railway Project (CSRP) and the Colombo Suburban Efficiency Improvement Project, published on http://www.drwingler.com, deal with the features of the Kelani-Valley (KV) Railway trace in the Colombo suburban area.

Since long the author suggests renovating this railway with Meter-Gauge and Y-shaped ThyssenKrupp Steel-Sleepers, as well to render the commuter train service with modern Light Weight Diesel Rail-Cars of Type Stadler-Bussnang, Switzerland, with middle module Diesel-electric power-pack traction instead with the heavy power-sets Class S8, S9, S19, S11 or S12.

Modern Light Weight Rail-Car Technology (see INNOTRANS 2018, 18-21. 09, Berlin, Germany) and Y-shaped Steel Sleepers make it possible to operate high capacity commuter rail-services on Meter-Gauge and as well on 760 mm (2 ½ feet) Narrow-Gauge as demonstrated by advanced railways in  North Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Before Electrification can come on Srilankan tracks, the main problems, shortcomings, deficiencies and bottlenecks of Sri Lanka Railway have to be addressed, as there are:

  • Ailing poor ballasted rail-tracks on narrow, badly drained and yielding formation of low bearing capacity.
  • Unfavorable track layout-designs, especially in the Colombo area, with outdated designs of turnouts and crossings on tottered planks.
  • Complicated Multi-Aspect (about 60 valid aspects in use) colour light signalling without any train protection.
  • Improper and neglected repair, service and maintenance of rolling stocks.
  • Neglected and missing repair, service, maintenance, examination and certification of train-brakes systems before dispatching for a run with passengers.

To read more about applicable guidelines and solutions, download: CSRP, PART IV, PDF

COLOMBO SUBURBAN RAILWAY PROJECT (CSRP), PART III – Focus on KV-Line and Balana-Incline, Concept with Meter-Gauge and Y Steel- Sleepers

The author advocates Meter-Gauge for the upgraded rail-track on the trace of the Kelani-Valley Railway and long welded rails (LWR) on Y-shaped Steel-Sleepers with Pandrol Fast-Clips Rail-Fastening, providing several advantages over a Broad-Gauge track with concrete sleepers and Short Welded Rails (SWR). Less space is needed. Y steel-sleepers tolerate shallow ballast cushion and allow a tighter top-of-formation width. They make the track-grid resistant to the so-called “curve breathing” in curves without the need to heap up ballast shoulders as needed for concrete sleepers, and they retain the curve geometry parameters in an excellent way.

Y steel-sleepers are nowadays widely used especially on mountain railways and by railways with tight curvatures and narrow traces in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain and Germany. The live-span is longer than of concrete sleepers with less maintenance expenditures as demonstrated on a 160 kmph standard-gauge test-track between Cologne and Düsseldorf in Germany.

On elevated structure, as envisaged for the KV-line, Meter-Gauge and Y steel-sleepers  demand less space, and with less ballast-cushion there is less weight.

As Rolling Stocks the author advocates Light Weight Rail Cars of Swiss Stadler design with middle traction modules, nowadays used by many advanced railways around the globe.

Modern Light Weight Rail-Cars have higher acceleration and deceleration rates than conventional Power-Sets like the Srilankan Class S8, S9, S11 and S12 with heavy Diesel-engines in power cars, and they can faster negotiate tight curves.

Micro Cars Limited in Sri Lanka has made efforts to develop Rail Mass Transport Systems in Sri Lanka using Light Weight Rail-Car Concepts in order to design and manufacture in Sri Lanka Diesel engine powered Rail Cars under the “LANKA ECONO RAIL” Project. The author designed a Rail Car based on the technology of the Swizz Rail-Car Manufacturer Stadler with conventional “Diesel Power Packs” in middle Traction Unit. For Crash Worthiness, the author suggested for the Driver`s Cabins the Stadler Concepts fulfilling European Crash Norms.

For the rehabilitation of the ailing Balana-Incline Broad-Gauge rail-track with Y steel-sleepers and long welded rails, one can learn from the complete re-engineering of the Montserrat Railway in Spain, which underwent in 1991 renovation under trace broadening using concrete retaining walls.

The author suggests for a KV Mass Rapid Transit System the deployment of Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) or European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1.

To learn more, free download:CSRP, PART III, PDF