March ahead with infrastructural upgradation and augmentation

Western Railway has once again proved its excellence to set new records by achieving best ever performances in various fields during the concluded financial year 2020-21. Despite the toughest challenges amidst the Coronavirus induced lockdown, Western Railway continued to break all barriers in achieving impressive performance in many fields including Infrastructural development and Electrification.

According to a press release issued by Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, the financial year 2020-21 had been an eventful year on various fronts. WR is continuously marching ahead on the path of progress and bright future with better infrastructure and worth mentioning electrification, despite so many difficult challenges of COVID-19.

Evolving for a brighter future

During the financial year 2020-21, 41.7 km of New lines has been commissioned which is an 100 % increase as compared to last financial year whereas 93.79 km of Doubling work has also been completed which is 59% more as compared to the last financial year. Also, 91.92 km of Gauge Conversion work has been completed. Another noteworthy achievement is the commissioning of the Pratapnagar – Dabhoi – Kevadiya electrified rail section. The project was completed within a record time of 28 months inspite of various challenges. This section will provide seamless rail connectivity to the Statue of Unity.

There are two super-critical projects in WR which is under progress viz Viramgam – Samakhiyali Doubling and Vatva – Ahmedabad 3rd Line. In Viramgam – Samakhiyali Doubling, 71.58 Kms has been commissioned. Out of 4 Critical Projects, two were targeted for part commissioning in 2020-21. In Ahmedabad – Mahesana GC Project, 18.18 km has been commissioned and in Palanpur -Samakhiyali Doubling, 44.73 km has been commissioned (RVNL). In the Ratlam – Mhow – Khandwa GC Project which is being monitored on Pragati Platform, 34.00 km has been commissioned in 2020-21.

The sectional Speed increased to 130 Kmph on Mumbai Central – Godhra – Nagda section and Vadodara – Ahmedabad section. All these projects were commissioned in spite of major constraints of COVID-19 pandemic, restriction on movement of man & material and prolonged heavy rainfall in monsoon. The works undertaken by the Construction Department of Western Railway under the able leadership of Shri Sudhanshu Sharma – Chief Administrative Officer [Construction] has been appreciable & applaudable. In the financial year 2020 – 21, major projects totalling 227.41 kms have been completed.

Similarly, there has been an accelerated development in the field of electrification too in the past financial year. This is evident from the fact that in the year 2020-21, electrification work of 579 RKM has been commissioned by Western Rly, which is the second highest over Indian Railways. With this, WR now has 3128 RKM of electrified BG route, which is 62.70% of total BG route of 4989 RKM. This is in keeping pace with nation’s mission of 100% electrification over Indian Railways.

During the year 2020 – 21, WR spent Rs. 63.73 crores under the Plan Head – Other Electrical Works including TRD, which is the highest ever booking made by WR. On 10th June, 2020, Western Rly created world record by running first Electric Double Stack Container Goods train (KIIP/PPSP) from Palanpur to Botad under High Rise OHE having contact wire height of 7.57m, which is highest in the world. With this development, electric traction was introduced on Rajkot and Bhavnagar divisions of WR, which were non-electrified divisions.

Similarly, electrification work of Ratlam – Chittaurgarh – Chanderiya section [200 RKM] was also commissioned. It was completed in just 18 months including the lockdown period of six months from April, 2020 to Sep, 2020. The commissioning of 25 kVac OHE of Dabhoi – Badoli (37 RKM) and Anand – Khambat (52 RKM) section was completed. The work for electrification was sanctioned in May 2019 & CRS inspection was done on 27th March 2021.

Sturding our Bridges and other Passenger Amenities

The Engineering Department of Western Railway under the aegis of Ajay Goyal – Principal Chief Engineer has undertaken phenomenal infra work during the Coronavirus Lockdown. Re-girdering/Rebuilding of distressed bridges has been carried out and several new Road Under Bridge (RUB) and Road Over Bridge (ROB) have been constructed for the safety of passengers. Taking advantage of Lockdown and comparatively less traffic, W. Rly has rehabilitated/ re-built 92 Nos. of bridges in the financial year 2020 – 21, notable among them had been re-girdering of Bridge No. 20 (7 spans of 9.15 m) in suburban section of Mumbai which was completed in single traffic and power block.

During the year 2020-21, W. Rly made major progress in implementation of Safety audit recommendations for ROBs, FOBs & bridges. 16 Nos. of FOBs were dismantled & 13 Nos. of FOBs were rebuilt against the safety audit report. Apart from the FOBs identified under audit report WR has dismantled 5 Nos. of FOBs based on internal inspection condition. During the last financial year, 28 Nos. of FOBs, 23 Nos. of new ROBs & 81 Nos. of new RUBs have been constructed. Also, 125 manned Level Crossings were eliminated which is the highest in the last 6 years. 26 Level Crossing gates have been interlocked during the year while sliding booms have been provided at 60 locations.

State-of-the-art Electronic Interlocking has been provided at 35 stations. Further, during the year 2020 -21, total 19 Nos. of PSR have been removed/relaxed leading to total time saving of 15 to 28 minutes which will result in capacity augmentation & enhanced speed, the most noteworthy of which is the removal of permanent speed restrictions on the Bandra – Khar section of Mumbai suburban section.

W.Rly also undertook yard remodelling as well as improvements to 113 no. of layouts in 48 yards, including Vadodara & Sabarmati yards which is highest among the all the Zonal Railways. This will facilitate direct movement of trains and reduce detention time of trains. During the last financial year, soft upgradation of Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Nandurbar & Ratlam station building was completed, which has uplifted & enhanced the ambience of these stations.

Major Innovations

W. Rly has developed various innovative technologies to expedite the engineering works and also to bring down the cost. Few of the innovations by W. Rly have been developing geo-cell arrangement for strengthening of bridge approaches, developing PSC concrete boundary wall instead of RCC concrete wall and development of Telescopic posts for erecting Engineering indicators.

Boost to Digital Initiatives

In a major impetus to digital initiatives, W. Rly has switched to implementation of works on e – platforms such a e- DAS, Works Contract Management System (WCMS) & E – office. W. Rly has accomplished the achievement of being the best amongst all Railways in implementation of these digital inititives.

Commissioning of major Workshops

Centralized Track Machine Overhauling Workshop (CPOH) was commissioned at Ahmedabad. This Workshop will drastically reduce the transit time of Track Machines coming for POH of not only WR but also of CR, NWR and WCR. It will help in increasing the availability of Track Machines for working and thus, boost productivity and safety. Further, it will help to cope up with the increasing workload of POH of Track Machines.

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