Mon, 25 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): The Rail Coach Factory in Punjab's Kapurthala has manufactured new rolling stock for the 120-year-old Kalka-Shimla Railway (KSR), which uses a 762mm gauge track.

This project posed significant challenges as enumerated, such as there was no digital data, in Indian Railways, for modelling of narrow-gauge tracks for development and verification of the design.

It is pertinent to note that KSR used coach designs that have been developed around 1908 and were initially manufactured by Moghalpura Workshop, which is now a part of Pakistan Railway. Therefore, there is no availability of design assumptions, limitations and procedures for verification and validation of the design.

Notwithstanding these limitations, the RCF Design team worked out an alternative strategy to recreate the required design inputs using the experience garnered over years of developing rolling stock designs for the IR Broad Gauge system. This resulted in the development of a totally new design platform for the NG rolling stock. A humongous activity was planned and executed to create 3D models using the old blueprints and sketches available at the Kalka workshop.

These models were then used as the baseline for the development of the new designs for modification of the bogies and the development of all new shell superstructure and furnishing designs.

Railway Board granted the final approval of the proposed design in Feb 2022 with the allotment of traffic codes as ZFCZAC (First Class Airconditioned Chair Car), ZCZAC (Airconditioned Chair Car), ZGS(Non-AC Chair Car) and the ZLRM (Power, Luggage and Guard Car).

The green signal by Board allowed RCF to move the project into the product realization phase which resulted in the manufacturing of 2 prototype shells in Sep 2022, which were rigorously tested by RDSO in Oct 2022 for static stress analysis. This analysis determines the levels of stress and deflection in the coach shells under normal conditions and overload conditions.

In December 2022, 2 semi-furnished shells (ZCZACZLRM) were transported by road to KLK and lowered on bogies manufactured by KLKW. These 2 new coaches were coupled with the existing 2 coaches of the older design and tested multiple times on the section between KLK and SML in trial runs. During these runs, the coaches were tested at speeds higher than the present sectional speed to determine the stability and ride quality.

After successfully testing the shells under static and dynamic conditions, RCF has now developed the interiors to suit the new design. The prototypes of the fully furnished coaches are being unveiled today. These coaches shall be transported to Kalka for extensive oscillation trials and based on the outcome, shall be planned to be put into commercial service.

In this project, Innovative Design Features introduced by RCF, i.e., Car BodySystems, 415V AC/110V DC EOG system with both engine and batteries located in Luggage Car.

Also, common shell designs for all classes of passenger coaches except for luggage Car.

The air brake system of the existing design but with brake cylinders on each bogie.

Panoramic windows in all classes with Board approved exterior colour scheme.

The coach is designed with Noise and vibration proofing, Anti UV coated window glasses, Bio/Vac Toilets, power windows in upper classes, Darkening Vista glass in Upper classes, Slide window in 2nd class, Powered doors, Heating/cooling package AC, Linear concealed fans, Linear LED lights.

Also, Modular seating rail-mounted seats with flip backs, restaurant seating with luxury seats for the Executive, Onboard Mini pantry and Luggage Bins, Intercar gangway (Vestibule), and Aircraft type seat mounting rails allow easy reconfiguration of the interiors from Executive to Standard AC chair car and vice-versa included in newly designed coaches. (ANI)

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