Indian Railways Thread

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Supratik » 12 Jun 2015 17:46

Bibek Debroy just read my mind.

Several metro projects have been initiated in Kolkata. Except EW metro all of them were initiated by Mamata as RM. However, after becoming CM she refused to help in land acquisition and removing encroachments. So all of them are stuck. Recently Babul Supriyo, the BJP MP persuaded Mamata to remove one hurdle in EW metro. However, when these projects will be completed no one knows. Mamata is crazy - that is all I can say as these projects would have sealed her Kolkata votebank for at least 10-20 yrs.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby SaiK » 12 Jun 2015 23:36

what would be the cost of travel on bullet vs current first class even?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Muppalla » 13 Jun 2015 08:47

How is railways doing in terms train reaching desitnations on time? Even today for states like Bihar, railways is life line.

Image

Prabhu may be doing good but if even this type trains run 18 hrs late then there is problem that BJP could just lose elections.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby member_27845 » 13 Jun 2015 11:35

SaiK wrote:what would be the cost of travel on bullet vs current first class even?


Typically as much as an air ticket for the same sector ( I am talking about Tokyo-Osaka or the Seoul-Busan trips )

The real benefit is in frequency of the trains and surprisingly the time saved ( if you take a flight , you will spend an hour going to the airport , an hour waiting there and and an hour heading back to the city , whereas a train will take you right to city centre, so you can actually save 3 hours as compared to a flight )

Bullet trains are for people put a premium on their time and convenience , and to get a sizeable segment of the population that think like that , the economy has to develop much much more ( maybe another 20 years )

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby nawabs » 13 Jun 2015 15:48

Muppalla wrote:Prabhu may be doing good but if even this type trains run 18 hrs late then there is problem that BJP could just lose elections.


Nearly every train from bihar to delhi, apart from 2, is running late by a min. of 10 hrs for last 2 months.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Jun 2015 18:26

looks like lack of extra trainsets to replace a DN train that is having a turnaround and use a fresh UP train.
so once that cycle of lateness starts, it does not end until a fresh train is found at both ends OR a UP/DN train is cancelled on one day.
incremental delays on each trip keep adding up.
we need around 8 hrs to clean a train, inspect it and make it ready for turnaround.

I have seen it in the past on the guwahati-kochi/tvc/blr trains.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby SaiK » 14 Jun 2015 07:29

err.. indian traffic conditions are such that no bullet or concord service help,. one would be forced to spend 3 hours either to rly station or airport. travel time should be mostly during non-peak hours. no departure should be in the peak hours. checking time into bullet should be lesser than airline check in since you carry the luggage. so, no special checkin required.

bullet train and rail infra should consider pre-built structures to speed up. 2020 is impossible otherwise.. parallel and concurrent working, distributed resource planning, concrete structures, etc.. can be all done in plug and play jigs. i'm scared of china investing rather japan here.. they will take away all mftr to china

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vipins » 14 Jun 2015 17:34

Tatkal booking timings changed ,in effect from 15th June 2015
10am onwards for AC class and 11am onwards for Non-AC class.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby kvraghav » 15 Jun 2015 08:25

What is the email id of the railway minister? We have a idea on Big Data Analysis for railways and want to present the idea.
Anyone can help?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vsunder » 15 Jun 2015 08:47

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3cqr0AHIjU

I had posted this video earlier of the Double decker from MAS to Bangalore. It illustrated many points I had made in my post. I had talked about 60kg/m rails IR uses and also how the rails have to be degassed at Bhilai or else hydrogen embrittlement weakens the rail and this was the cause of the Khanna accident in 1998. But this video also highlights another important factor. So I come back to this video. The video shows the derailment at 7:35 at Chitteri of the Muzzafarpur-Yeshwantpur express. I have seen this derailment too traveling on the Shatabdi soon after. I dug out the CRS report on the derailment and it highlights several problems with the MAS-Katpadi section. These problems will have to be addressed system wide in the quest for higher speeds. The reason here was failure of the rail welds. IR uses two systems of welds, Alumino Thermic (AT) and Flash Butt welding, (FBW) which is a superior process and does not need any filler material. It seems that Chitteri-Mahendrawadi-Katpadi has had many problems with the track. The tracks no doubt are 60kg/m the highest density rails IR uses( the linked article explicitly says so), but the concrete sleepers are 20 years old and the welds are AT. Because of shorter sections of track due to degassing issues as explained above, the number of welds will increase and this then causes issues like the Chitteri accident. So steel plants like Bhilai have to start manufacturing rails in longer lengths and mechanisms developed to transport these rails to the work site. Here is the CRS report of the Chitteri accident:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 181019.cms

Welding in situ is done in numerous ways, but more or less (AT) and (FBW) are the preferred ways. Due to the time block constraints on busy sections like MAS-Jolarpet etc, AT is preferred. Usually the welding can be done with a 55 min time block. In AT, a mixture of Aluminum and Ferric oxides is prepared. This usually has the trade name thermite. The ends of the rail are coated with kerosene, and brushed with wire brushes to remove, grease and dust. Then the ends are pre-heated by an acetlyne torch. The thermite mixture is introduced and lit with a Magnesium strip. A violent exothermic reaction ensues and the metal melts, filler is also added. Then after the weld cools, excess metal is ground off and the collar of the weld painted with some anti-corrosive paint, since this degrades due to the sewage from the open toilets on IR. This could have been a factor in the Chitteri accident, among others.

Flash Butt welding is accomplished by arcing between the two ends of the rail. The ends are held together and electricity is passed between the two ends between 400-500 volts at 30,000-80,000 amps. One has to be careful that there is no short circuit and the arc does not go dead. The heat of the arcing causes metal to melt. Essentially that is the basic idea, there are details. Flash butt welding can be made an automated operation and in fact IR has flash butt welding equipment supplied by Plasser which you might observe hard at work across the IR system. Here is what to look for:
http://www.plassertheurer.com/pdf/aktue ... 2en_04.pdf



So there is a balance between longer rail segments, transportation of such rail segments and effective degassing. Thus even the issue of higher speeds as opposed to high speed rail( which is a harder problem to solve) is much more complicated, it is also a metallurgical problem that has to be addressed as seen by the example of the Khanna and Chitteri accidents. Too long and you cannot degass effectively and/or transport, short then but many welds and other problems arise. I see many are posting thoughtless comments without any engineering or material science thought going into these posts. One gets the impression from these posts that it is as easy as taking a school atlas and connecting two cities with a ruler and the problem is solved or 4 power point bullet points and ergo we have HSR, better management, better implementation, write to Prabhu and wave Alladin's lamp.

Question For Arshyam or any other IR cognoscenti, I am definitely not one: Are all the rail welds on Class A lines of the Flash Butt weld type? If the answer is yes, there you go why MAS-SBC is a Class B line.

Theo-Fidel and Singha: Here is something for the two of you. As you may know TBM Godavari ( Bangalore Metro)drilling a 973m tunnel from Sampige Road to Majestic got stuck after a drive of only 350m. The company used Indian operators with minimum or zilch experience who destroyed the cutter head. They encountered granite with a crush strength of about 200MPascals and essentially the operator has to maintain the optimal pressure, neither too much and certainly not too little. Thus the operator has to carefully monitor this crush pressure as they go along, and also the preliminary geotechnical survey must reveal the type of rock, crush strength etc and this engineering analysis must go into the choice of TBM type, slurry, Earth pressure balance machine whatever, the nature of stuff above also matters, if there are houses, dwellings etc . as sinkholes may develop if the wrong choice of machine is made. Unfortunately with the limited experience they destroyed the heads and distorted it, or poor geotechnical survey or a combination of everything, who knows, jugaad all the time. The pictures that have emerged from the damaged head are mind boggling. Cutter heads missing from the drum and what not. For a long time Pradeep Singh Khairola, IAS who heads Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) and the press officers suppressed this news and released all sorts of rosy predictions as to when the project will be complete. Eventually they had to admit that the TBM was stuck in the middle. It cannot back out as it has already placed tunnel rings behind it and the hole behind is now smaller. Thus the only way out is to dig a shaft, get a new cutter head (8-10 crores), attach it, fill the hole and move forward. The new head was ordered from Italy and took a long while to come. Then the shaft was dug, and the clowns as usual never, never learn. They again went and told the press that in a month the TBM would start again. Unfortunately they forgot one thing, :roll: the monsoons. Now the shaft is filled up with water, supposedly the pumps cannot keep up and it is next to impossible to bring the entire damaged cutter head assembly up and lower the new one and get it moving. So now they say 2 months before they can get it done. In the meantime when Modi had a Skype type of interview with Khairola, he assured Modi that things were on track and the entire Phase 1 of Bangalore Metro would be operational by March 2016. This is clear prevarication and was obviously a canard to anyone who had a rudimentary understanding of where the project is currently. This is too ambitious. At current tunneling rates, my prediction is March 2018. After the tunneling is over, they have taken a year to install the tracks( by the way they are using Flash butt welding on Bangalore Metro) and signalling and communication equipment, plus the obligatory CRS inspection. My prediction of March 2018 is also sanguine. It may very well be close to the end of 2018. You are going have this problem x10,000 tunneling in the ghats for HSR. The sad thing is they are repeating this problem with Phase 2. Instead of learning from their mistakes and concentrating and awarding contracts for the underground sections first, they are focusing on the overground section. It is the UG sections that take time esp. with Bangalore where there are differences in the geological formations and strata as one goes from say North to South. There is one saving grace though, the land above where the TBM failed is vacant land, free from dwellings, thus a shaft could be dug. The only restriction is, that it is near the IR tracks into Yeshwantpur. Since they have encountered granite( as can be seen in the pictures of the shaft) IR has only allowed blasting on a very limited scale. The shaft fortunately has been dug completely. But why bring out newsletters with misleading information and give fake dates to the PM, the Press?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 15 Jun 2015 12:51

what happened to the thailand contractor who was supposed to run the TBMs? were they pushed out and someone local took over?

its such cases that convince me we indians somehow genetically lack a sense of planning and sequencing needed to get these big things done and the chinese, swiss, koreans everyone and their dog have that in spades.

we are no better than arab world in attempts to hide failure and save face and h&d. atleast the arab world knows their limitations and always hires the best foreign contractors to do it - we are neither here not there

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vsunder » 15 Jun 2015 15:59

Singha wrote:what happened to the thailand contractor who was supposed to run the TBMs? were they pushed out and someone local took over?

its such cases that convince me we indians somehow genetically lack a sense of planning and sequencing needed to get these big things done and the chinese, swiss, koreans everyone and their dog have that in spades.

we are no better than arab world in attempts to hide failure and save face and h&d. atleast the arab world knows their limitations and always hires the best foreign contractors to do it - we are neither here not there


Excellent question/s Either due to jugaad, poor management, money not arriving in the appropriate tranche, whatever reason, BMRCL ( Bangalore Metro rail corp.) in their infinite wisdom decided to split the underground project tender into two parts, the North-South sector, KR market to Sampige road and East-West, Cubbon Park to Magadi Road. The East-West sector, Cubbon Park to Magadi Rd. was handled by some foreign company that had those Thai TBM operators. They did a very professional job and East-West tunneling is now complete . Not only that, the Thai operators also have the propensity to post tons of tunnel pictures on their FB pages, so there is a lot of photographic record of the East-West tunneling compiled by interested parties who trawl FB. Track laying and third rail laying is reaching completion East-West post tunneling. I am not sure about the status of the signalling and communications equipment. They have even managed to push a train set by battery power clear across the town to Mysore Rd. from its depot. That was considered a major milestone, first train through tunnels in South India. All hoopla went on for some time. The train was preceded by a giant steel cut-out of a bogie to make sure it does not get obstructed anywhere in the tunnels and so remedial action can be taken. This was the gauge checker. So East-West is in great shape but still did not come in on time.

It is the North-South tunneling that is the problem. This is some jugaad Indian company, that used zero experience employees to cut corners and bid low on the tender. Result plenty of times their TBM's got stuck and now one is really and truly dead in the tracks. The employees never post any pictures so photographic records unlike the East-West route are hardly available for the North-South route. The TBM's North-South are named Kaveri, Krishna and Godavari. The entire East-West operations were carried out by just two TBM's, Margarita and Helen. So with their pants on fire BMRCL requested the owners of Helen and Margarita to keep Margarita( the two are slurry machines by the way while, Kaveri etc are Earth pressure balance machines). in Bangalore and help the North South tunneling. Helen was sent to Jaipur. Margarita is already proving her worth and has done 750m of tunneling from Majestic to Sampige road, the section where Godavari is stuck at 350m. See the difference. BMRCL was shouting that the progress is slow because of exceptionally hard granite. But you can see that work done by professionals and a professional company as opposed to jugaad operations. A TBM starts 7 months later and tunnels 750m while another joke company does 350m in far longer time and gets stuck. On the south side Krishna does 9m a month and still has not broken through at Chikpet, I think one can do better with a pickaxe and shovel. Once it breaks through at Chikpet, there is a 747m drive to Majestic before operations are complete. The third TBM Kaveri has started out on its last drive the 747 m from Chikpet to Majestic under Robbins management. It suddenly started tunneling 80+m a month under the new company that has taken over operations from Coastal or whatever the name of the jugaad company is. Previous to that under the jugaad company 10m a month would be a great achievement, people actually had come to take that as a great achievement, how low are the standards. As usual BMRCL announced in their news conferences, Bangalore is very special for the rock is very hard etc. People lap up this nonsense. It is for these reasons I believe that posts made on this forum many a time are far removed from the ground reality. Do people not process information before they post, or are they living in la-la land, generic posts ignoring the actual ground realities are just too painful to read. I am hearing that once Krishna breaks through at Chikpet and once Godavari is restarted, operations will be fully handled by Robbins a well-known US based company that is handling irrigation tunnels in Andhra Pradesh. Of course Margarita will remain with the other company. Currently it has stopped it's magnificent drive and undergoing checks before it finishes the 223 m to Sampige rd. It made it's drive from Majestic to Sampige rd. ( South to North) because the massive slurry plant it needs was set up at Majestic for it's East-West operations and it is utilizing this same slurry plant for its rescue operation on the Northern sector. As the TBM moves, massive pipe segments are attached and huge pumps convert the excavated rock and soil into a slurry that is pumped now almost a 1km away back to Majestic for processing and disposal at the slurry plant. During the East-West drive, the slurry was being pumped all the way from Cubbon Park to Majestic. TBM Godavari of the jugaad company does not need a slurry plant, it is a different type of machine, and is moving North to South. The sad part is such complicated projects should not be handled by IAS officers who have little or no knowledge of technical matters like this Kharola fellow. Companies should be vetted for past performance and tenders of all sections like all UG or all overground given to a single contractor with known antecedents.

I can see the deviousness already. Trial balloons are being floated to allow this Metro to undertake single line operations underground. Krishna is making slow progress on the South and Godavari is stuck on the North, so one tunnel, North-South is left with close to 1400m of tunneling. The other North-South tunnel, one has about 800 m of tunneling( Kaveri left with 530m and Margarita with 223m). I think they want to begin operations in that tunnel when it is done and thereby state that commercial operations on Phase 1 is achieved albeit a year and a half later than what they told Modi, I mean one leg is better than no leg and we are adjusting only. But there are some rules forbidding single line operations and my guess is that some move is afoot to seek an exception. Apparently there is some precedent in Delhi that they are using as an excuse. Keep tuned, you will hear more. With 2200m of tunneling left, plus track laying, comm equipment and signalling to be installed post tunneling, testing, how on Earth can one tell Modi that operations will begin March 2016? I mean what sort of effing country is this? I think I have a superb idea. Indians are into heritage this and heritage that. Why not do a first, we have this obsession with the Guinness book of world records. The first being no modern signalling underground and yes to single line operation. Bring back the Beale ball and token system underground and a man standing with a naptha flare in the dark tunnel as in the IR of yore. We can send tourists too in there to show how great we are at jugaad and making things work and also reclaim the IR heritage. I for one want to see the good old naptha flare, and the tennis racquet with the leather pouch with the Beale's ball.
Last edited by vsunder on 15 Jun 2015 20:00, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Abhay_S » 15 Jun 2015 19:20

Whats the sccop on Jaipur metro?can any local residents share their experience

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Suraj » 15 Jun 2015 20:37

Scoop ? Isn't it already in service as of a few weeks ago ?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 15 Jun 2015 20:44

here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKTGXN7oI24

the stations and trains look identical to delhi metro...unless told, a casual observer would not tell them apart.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Bade » 15 Jun 2015 20:48

Jaipur as of now is the fastest built metro in India, after Delhi. What is common between them is DMRC. While B'lur, Chennai, Hydbad are chugging hard but have fallen behind in time. DMRC/KMRL team has promised the next fastest operational one in Kochi's phase-I. Experience always counts. Rinse and repeat should be the model in implementing these, and not tailoring it for each city with new players...

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 15 Jun 2015 21:01

Vsundar saar,

Thanx for those detailed posts. Fascinating reading.

BTW I would point out that the TGV line use Termite welding. The French consider it superior.

It is good to read that there are competent TBM teams that do an easy 10m-20m a day through tough geology all over India. One just wishes more of these teams were Indian folks. IME such competent teams are not plentiful yet in India. So I suspect that BM is making do with what it has. At least that is my charitable take on things.

What interests me is that the TBM’s are made in Italy. You never truly master what you do not make with your own hands.
---------------------------------

Singha wrote:its such cases that convince me we indians somehow genetically lack a sense of planning and sequencing needed to get these big things done and the chinese, swiss, koreans everyone and their dog have that in spades.we are no better than arab world in attempts to hide failure and save face and h&d. atleast the arab world knows their limitations and always hires the best foreign contractors to do it - we are neither here not there


That’s a little harsh. There are very competent construction types in India. In fact most of Arabia is built by Indian, engineers, supervisors, contractors, and laborers. The real problem is raising the standards of construction across ALL contractors. There are superb companies like HCC and Gammon out there mixed in with an extraordinary dross of jugaad companies. Regularly on BRF we get posts praising jugaad behavior and I can only cringe. We need to wipe out jugaad and perform all work with professionals and the standards and quality will improve dramatically. There is nothing genetic about SoKo, Japan, EU, West, construction. Just a steady iteration of professionals improving 2%-5% in how they execute every year. We need that drive to improve ourselves steadily. Too often we hit a plateau and lose focus. Just like DM built 15-20 years back went faster than metro’s today.

I think I once posted about a project I open bid in Hyderbad and had 58!! :-? contractors put in their prequalifications. A large majority also appeared to have been fabricated though our team of 2 reviewers did not have time to figure it all out. We were under a 6 month deadline.
Last edited by Theo_Fidel on 15 Jun 2015 22:17, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vsunder » 15 Jun 2015 21:01

Suraj wrote:Scoop ? Isn't it already in service as of a few weeks ago ?

Unfortunately Suraj you labor under a serious misconception. Jaipur has two planned Metro lines.
The East-West line and a putative North-South line. Both lines have underground sections. If you had read my post, you would realize that the TBM Helen from Bangalore is in Jaipur, where it is tunneling the Underground portion of the East-West line. What has been inaugurated is just the elevated section of the East-West line. The Underground section is the part from what is called Sindhi Camp to badi Chaupar where the Hawa Mahal is. Thus tunneling is taking place in the so-called heritage area under various restrictions imposed by court orders to prevent damage to UNESCO sites etc. Now the serious issue is the North South line which has a even more substantial portion underground. No action has taken place either over ground or underground on this North South line and the CM Raje Scindia or whatever is now emerging as the bete noire of several people. She was first viewed as obstructionist since she held up work on the elevated section that was inaugurated and now she wants to do away with the North South line entirely as she views it as a white elephant and wants to go in for a BRTS system. So once the East-west underground line section is finished in 2018, it may very well be it for Jaipur Metro and there will be thus no connection from Jaipur airport in the south to the city center or the industrial areas in North Jaipur to the city center. I do not have accurate information as to how this Raje Scindia arrived at her decision, whether it was based on numerology, traffic studies 10 years from now or plain pique that Gehlot the previous Congi CM started this Metro project, or it is showmanship, but youngistan which dreams of every city in India should be like Paris is mucho sorely disappointed in Raje and will according to posts vote against this lady for being a Luddite etc. Youngistan with it's power points and flowcharts, cannot compute a single damn integral but wants to write to Suresh Prabhu and dream of giving lectures at the Institute Henri Poincare. As I always say who knows, old people like me do not anymore try to understand irrational behavior of individuals in India and their motivations, only I am trying to understand Rational objects like this, they are comforting and do not give pathological behavior which I usually detest:

link
Last edited by vsunder on 15 Jun 2015 21:08, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Abhay_S » 15 Jun 2015 21:04

Suraj wrote:Scoop ? Isn't it already in service as of a few weeks ago ?


sorry if 'scoop' is misunderstood. i wanted to hear the news without the FUD of our MSM.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Suraj » 15 Jun 2015 21:41

Thanks vsunder. I remember reading about the 'hard granite' excuse of Bangalore Metro about a year ago. It didn't make sense then, but no one sat down and wrote about it as well as you have.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Muppalla » 16 Jun 2015 16:25

2/3 population lives in North and most of concentration is around gangetic plains. The Railways' real life line is truly there. But the new projects, bullet trains etc are all in the industrial and business corridors of India. If the investments does not go to areas of population concentration, then the resentment and anti-incumbencies will kick in pretty fast.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 16 Jun 2015 16:31

i am not sure for what historical reason the UP, Bihar, WB, BD became so insanely overpopulated. even myanmar which has similar terrain, rivers, rainfall seems way lesser density and do does TSP.

eastern UP and Bihar seems to lack badly in ability to put-up any industrial cluster or white collar industry...there is no ITvity oriented place between Delhi to Kolkata a distance of 1000+km and 1/2 of india's population . hordes of people have moved out of that region for centuries and yet it shows no sign of population stability. unlike the NE there is no tyranny of distance either - a thick network of roads and railways was put up in british era itself as it had all the major cantonments and connected the old capital to shimla and delhi location was always strategic. neither it lacked in leaders and intellectuals.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Sachin » 16 Jun 2015 19:03

Muppalla wrote:2/3 population lives in North and most of concentration is around gangetic plains.

But is'nt it in these very area which also sees absolute lack of law enforcement? Even the plan to remove alarm chains from trains was first thought by IR senior officials in this area. This was after rampant chain pulling for people to get down and walk away. So with this kind of lawlessness and boorish behavior, if the people also expect bullet/high speed trains in this area, I don't think it is a real good idea. Especially when such trains would not bring in much profits (or even commercial viability) as there are no major industries etc. in that area. I am fine with focusing on areas where railways can help people etc., but doing high cost projects in a lawless land would not be a very smart thing to do IMHO.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby arshyam » 16 Jun 2015 19:37

vsunder wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3cqr0AHIjU

I had posted this video earlier of the Double decker from MAS to Bangalore. It illustrated many points I had made in my post. I had talked about 60kg/m rails IR uses and also how the rails have to be degassed at Bhilai or else hydrogen embrittlement weakens the rail and this was the cause of the Khanna accident in 1998. But this video also highlights another important factor. So I come back to this video. The video shows the derailment at 7:35 at Chitteri of the Muzzafarpur-Yeshwantpur express. I have seen this derailment too traveling on the Shatabdi soon after. I dug out the CRS report on the derailment and it highlights several problems with the MAS-Katpadi section. These problems will have to be addressed system wide in the quest for higher speeds. The reason here was failure of the rail welds. IR uses two systems of welds, Alumino Thermic (AT) and Flash Butt welding, (FBW) which is a superior process and does not need any filler material. It seems that Chitteri-Mahendrawadi-Katpadi has had many problems with the track. The tracks no doubt are 60kg/m the highest density rails IR uses( the linked article explicitly says so), but the concrete sleepers are 20 years old and the welds are AT. Because of shorter sections of track due to degassing issues as explained above, the number of welds will increase and this then causes issues like the Chitteri accident. So steel plants like Bhilai have to start manufacturing rails in longer lengths and mechanisms developed to transport these rails to the work site. Here is the CRS report of the Chitteri accident:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 181019.cms


Flash Butt welding is accomplished by arcing between the two ends of the rail. The ends are held together and electricity is passed between the two ends between 400-500 volts at 30,000-80,000 amps. One has to be careful that there is no short circuit and the arc does not go dead. The heat of the arcing causes metal to melt. Essentially that is the basic idea, there are details. Flash butt welding can be made an automated operation and in fact IR has flash butt welding equipment supplied by Plasser which you might observe hard at work across the IR system. Here is what to look for:
http://www.plassertheurer.com/pdf/aktue ... 2en_04.pdf

So there is a balance between longer rail segments, transportation of such rail segments and effective degassing. Thus even the issue of higher speeds as opposed to high speed rail( which is a harder problem to solve) is much more complicated, it is also a metallurgical problem that has to be addressed as seen by the example of the Khanna and Chitteri accidents. Too long and you cannot degass effectively and/or transport, short then but many welds and other problems arise.

Question For Arshyam or any other IR cognoscenti, I am definitely not one: Are all the rail welds on Class A lines of the Flash Butt weld type? If the answer is yes, there you go why MAS-SBC is a Class B line.

I think it is safe to say that IR is switching to Flash Butt for the most part. I am not well-versed with welding issues, but I took some time to dig up some info based on the above, but I couldn't find any references specific to track classes. That ToI report is interesting, for it say SR has been using AT welding on this route due to time pressures, but I found this circular from 2011 that discourages using AT welding, especially on new lines. Clearly, the first line is still applicable: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwa ... 082011.pdf
Instructions have been issued from time to time for reducing the scope of AT welding by using 10/20 rail panels and switching over to flash butt welding of rails in Construction Projects. However, the progress is not very satisfactory.

Use of AT welding in construction projects should be minimized to the extent possible. NOT a single weld without PCE's (Principal Chief engineer) approval.


This IRICEN course (http://iricen.indianrailways.gov.in/IRI ... MOBILE.pdf - not an official report though) says the plan was to have 90% of joints should be welded (mobile field welding) during construction itself.

This 2012 circular (http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwa ... 062012.pdf) says that some IR zonal railways (WCR, NCR, NFR) have installed their own welding plants to undertake FBW to rails supplied by SAIL, as the latter is not able to scale the supply of long welded rails, and directs the other zones to do so. Interestingly, NFR does not have any class A routes at this point, AFAIK. But they have installed the FBW plant and are ostensibly performing such welding for their needs.

So going by these 3 sources, it is safe to say a) FBW is extensively being used, and b) it is not restricted to class A routes. I can only infer that class A are all using FBW.

BTW, I found this link in the IRICEN forums discussing the technicalities of welding, in case you are interested: http://www.iricen.indianrailways.gov.in ... 652dc2e48e

I hope SR has fixed the issue with their welding processes on their major routes. Chiteri, especially seems jinxed, given that it was the site of 2 accidents in a short span (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chitteri). There was a mega block near AJJ a year or so ago, but I don't remember if it extended beyond toward Katpadi and whether they fixed the welds or replaced the rails with pre-welded LWRs. But I do recall Brindavan and Lalbagh expresses running on a diverted route that day.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vsunder » 16 Jun 2015 20:07

Thanks for all the research Arshyam. Your links do strengthen what I felt was that flash butt welding is superior. Thus it is all the more astonishing that Theo_Fidel reports that the French TGV and SNCF perhaps in general prefer thermite welding. One of the interlocutors in the IRCEN link posted by Arshyam mentions the need to be careful during field flash butt welding as it relates to track geometry. I seem to have a naive understanding of this matter. Before proceeding, let me take a stab on why the choice of words flash butt. The reason is that the arcing process heats the metal and almost melts it. Then the two ends of rail are butted together like bulls butting with their horns. The pressure applied fuses the metal. Thus presumably the origin of the terminology.

Regarding the comments made on track geometry. I surmise and I can be dead wrong that it has to do with the shape or rather the cross-section of a rail. The cross-section is an I. The top of the I where the carriage wheels make contact is a solid chunk of metal, then a central thin section the handlebar or waist or whatchamacallit, and then the base which is thinner. But the key point is heat capacity=mass x specific heat. So on heating the top part will store tremendous heat, the central part less and the base an intermediate amount. On cooling, therefore the top part will cool off slower and we have therefore unequal rates of cooling. So there is every likelihood that dimples may develop at the top by the softer metal sagging under gravity. Well this is then serious violation of the track geometry. In a factory one can supposedly control this by adjusting the rails so there is a natural bulge on top and thus sagging normalizes everything. But in situ it will warrant careful attention and competent personnel. So I can perfectly understand why one particular interlocutor is waving a cautionary flag. It would seem unless I am mistaken that in AT, it just goes, start the process and you have very little control. You have no way to control the exothermic reaction, slow it down etc. Flash butt welding seems to be a controlled process at every step along the way, to the rate of arcing to the amount of butting force, to adjusting the geometry at which you hold the rails together and so on.

This is far outside my area of competence, nevertheless material properties of matter and optical phenomena have fascinated me since a very young age and from time to time I keep myself honest by working on such questions which are brought to me by people.

Theo_Fidel

Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 16 Jun 2015 23:15

There is an excellent overview on Thermit(R) welding below, as against Thermite welding or Termite :) welding...
The key observation.
Thermit Welding is a skilled welding process and must not be undertaken by anyone who has not been trained and certificated to use it.

http://www.thermit-welding.com/thermit_ ... rocess.php

Take a look at IR process video below. You can see that they are right away violating several critical QC items at least at this install. Just from my eye..

- Weld Alignment. This is critical down to 1/256" accuracy required. No shims are being used and no digital alignment guide is being used.
- Poor temperature control. No rail temperature measurement is being made.
- Poor control of the Thermite. Not factory mixed can. Looks like more jugaad.
- Not matched to rail steel composition.
- No ultrasonic testing of 100% of welds.

BTW what the hell is that torpedo being used with the residue of a hundred previous melts being mixed in. Looks like something straight from Modor and the fires of Mount Doom. One cringes at the risks being taken....



With this sort of quality how can they even decide Thermit welding is not optimal.

IR will probably go with flash-butt welding till an accident is caused by crack at a flash-butt weld. At which point IR will blame flash-butt weld and look for yet another technology.

Need to focus on mastering technology and becoming professional about it, rather than looking for magic bullets.

Still Flash butt welding looks likea good process. Hope IR masters it and improves quality over time.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vsunder » 17 Jun 2015 02:47

Theo: Great video find. Seems the thermite came from sort of white bag.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby ramana » 17 Jun 2015 03:49

Singha wrote:i am not sure for what historical reason the UP, Bihar, WB, BD became so insanely overpopulated. even myanmar which has similar terrain, rivers, rainfall seems way lesser density and do does TSP.

eastern UP and Bihar seems to lack badly in ability to put-up any industrial cluster or white collar industry...there is no ITvity oriented place between Delhi to Kolkata a distance of 1000+km and 1/2 of india's population . hordes of people have moved out of that region for centuries and yet it shows no sign of population stability. unlike the NE there is no tyranny of distance either - a thick network of roads and railways was put up in british era itself as it had all the major cantonments and connected the old capital to shimla and delhi location was always strategic. neither it lacked in leaders and intellectuals.



The mitti is asli sonar.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 17 Jun 2015 04:55

That part of India from East UP to Bihar made a bet on agriculture as being the future and lost. Most crtically they ignored industry and education, esp. english. Back then everyone was trying to replicate Punjab, far and away the most prosperous state at that time. At one point Punjab per capita income was 5 times all India average....

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 17 Jun 2015 08:33

^^ I disagree. agriculture has been their mainstay for millenia and is mostly self driven due to good water table and river water. it needs no input from state govt than fertilizer subsidy which is given at center. you will rarely find grinding famines in gangetic and brahmaputra valley as there is mostly enough water to grow some food on a subsistence basis.

education, law, health, roads, rails, private industry, power all need active work from state govt and it shows there was very little governance at all

the state govt ran a giant state govt, and focussed on creating govt jobs with a high expense ratio.

no provision was made for what the educated urban middle class should do other than self-owned business or govt jobs.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Prasad » 17 Jun 2015 12:45

Muppalla wrote:2/3 population lives in North and most of concentration is around gangetic plains. The Railways' real life line is truly there. But the new projects, bullet trains etc are all in the industrial and business corridors of India. If the investments does not go to areas of population concentration, then the resentment and anti-incumbencies will kick in pretty fast.

Let them buy second class tickets first? Then we'll see about bullet trains.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby niran » 17 Jun 2015 13:22

ramana wrote:

The mitti is asli sonar.

precisely, in cow belt even without chemical fertilizers wheat produce is around 4 times of let us Guj, Rajasthan or even Punjab acre by acre, you oversee work (no farmer worth his salt works only oversee) for 3 months per year and live life, with chemical fertilizer you ensoi life.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 17 Jun 2015 16:51

no wonder even the afghani tribes gave up their typical herding and looting lifestyle and became farmers in the ganga-yamuna belt.
sher shah suri was from one such suri tribe that settled into bihar.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby chetak » 17 Jun 2015 17:20

Theo_Fidel wrote:There is an excellent overview on Thermit(R) welding below, as against Thermite welding or Termite :) welding...
The key observation.
Thermit Welding is a skilled welding process and must not be undertaken by anyone who has not been trained and certificated to use it.

http://www.thermit-welding.com/thermit_ ... rocess.php

Take a look at IR process video below. You can see that they are right away violating several critical QC items at least at this install. Just from my eye..

- Weld Alignment. This is critical down to 1/256" accuracy required. No shims are being used and no digital alignment guide is being used.
- Poor temperature control. No rail temperature measurement is being made.
- Poor control of the Thermite. Not factory mixed can. Looks like more jugaad.
- Not matched to rail steel composition.
- No ultrasonic testing of 100% of welds.

BTW what the hell is that torpedo being used with the residue of a hundred previous melts being mixed in. Looks like something straight from Modor and the fires of Mount Doom. One cringes at the risks being taken....



With this sort of quality how can they even decide Thermit welding is not optimal.

IR will probably go with flash-butt welding till an accident is caused by crack at a flash-butt weld. At which point IR will blame flash-butt weld and look for yet another technology.

Need to focus on mastering technology and becoming professional about it, rather than looking for magic bullets.

Still Flash butt welding looks likea good process. Hope IR masters it and improves quality over time.


Theo,

You may have not clearly understood the meaning of jugad. :)

It does not mean cheating or sly use of illegal means.

It generally means a dynamic and situational aware response to an emerging situation so as to fully meet intended targets, be it quality related or on time delivery related. This is as opposed to a rigid, inflexible, hide bound, by the strict rule book sort of affair. In the case you have depicted it's best to follow the rulebook rigidly. There is no room for jugad here. In many cases, jugad is possible without affecting critical delivery or quality parameters.

What you have depicted is patently illegal and criminal by any yardstick. The risks are life threatening and criminal liability will attach to the contractor performing this operation. The operator neither seems trained, qualified or validated for the process he is using. Obviously quality and risk issues are very far from his mind.

Theo_Fidel

Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 17 Jun 2015 20:41

Chetak,

Jugaad argument probably deserves its own thread.
Personally I’m categorically opposed to jugaad but there is no consensus in India.
------------------

BTW I also think this debate on what ails East UP/Bihar heart of India deserves its own thread. The fate of India will be decided on what happens here.
Last edited by Theo_Fidel on 17 Jun 2015 20:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby vsunder » 17 Jun 2015 20:45

In the video of Theo: you can see clearly the pre-heating as described by me earlier. This as commented by me earlier is being done by an acetylene torch. The reason is when the thermite mixture ( in the torpedo) is poured in, if the ends of the rail are cold, the mixture will immediately solidify. By keeping the ends hot, the layer of oxidation on the rail ends is "washed" away by the hot thermite mixture and the thermite mixture can get a good grip on the rail ends. The Thermite reaction is

3Fe_3O_4+8Al----> 4Al_2O_3 +9Fe( at 3090 Celsius with 719 kCal of heat produced)

So free Iron is reduced out. The mixture has other ingredients like Manganese so what forms is an alloy and better than free Iron. This is the weld. But there is also the slag of Aluminum oxide.
Other oxides of Iron like Ferrous Oxide FeO can be used, but the temperature is lower(2500 Celsius) and highest for Ferric Oxide(Fe_3O_4), but slag of Aluminum Oxide is formed in all cases. In Flash butt welding, no slag is formed as a byproduct of the process. The rail ends themselves are fused together by the high heat.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby nandakumar » 17 Jun 2015 21:28

Theo_Fidel wrote:Chetak,

Jugaad argument probably deserves its own thread.
Personally I’m categorically opposed to jugaad but there is no consensus in India.
------------------

BTW I also think this debate on what ails East UP/Bihar heart of India deserves its own thread. The fate of India will be decided on what happens here.

Theo, Chetak
I am no expert on engineering, being trained in debit/credit stuff that accounting is made of. Having said that I agree with Chetak about the true meaning of 'jugaad'. It is really not about cutting corners and arriving at short term solutions even if it is not really illegal or cheating end users. The best and probably the most celebrated example of jugaad is what you can do with a washing machine that took Whirlpool by surprise when they launched in India in 1997 or thereabouts. The company saw it as a mechanical device that can bring about interaction between a piece of fibrous material (clothing) and a surfactant (linear alkyl benzene) for the removal of dirt. But the inventive Punjabi farmer saw it simply as an agitator that you can churn curd to let the butter froth up at the top. The washing cycle (clockwise and counter clockwise movement of the drum) resembles the churning of the 'mathu' (in Tamil, I don't know the English word for it). I suppose the dairy industry does have automation devices for churning curd. But it wasn't available in the scale a small Punjabi farmer with a daily output of perhaps 100 litres (curd) could use. A few rounds of the washing machine did the trick for him. I am told by the top management of TVS who were the collaborators for Whirlpool in their India venture were zapped by the usage, even a little embarassed!

Theo_Fidel

Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 17 Jun 2015 21:51

Nandakumar,

To me that is a dangerous situation without understanding consequences. The components are not SS and hence not steam washable. Disease and contamination are guaranteed. I have no doubt people have died eating such food. We are not a bhooka-nanga nation anymore, we are middle income nation now and need to start behaving like one.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby amritk » 18 Jun 2015 06:33

Basics like gloves and eye protection is sorely needed. Gloves also act as force multipliers ...

@theo fidel go to pahadganj to see the washing machines in action. Then watch Delhi belly.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby raj-senthil » 18 Jun 2015 08:05

ISRO's GAGAN to provide navigational support to Railways

AHMEDABAD: ISRO has said it will provide navigational support to the country's Railways through 'GAGAN' (GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation) system.

"ISRO will provide satellite-generated information to the railways through space technology-based tools that will provide safety at unmanned level crossings," ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters here yesterday in reply to a question on how will ISRO help the Railways in using the navigational support system.

"There are host of requirements for using GAGAN in railways. We are providing some solutions," Kumar said.

GAGAN is an indigenous navigational guide system developed by ISRO on the lines of GPS system of the US.

Elaborating on it, Kumar said that at some places the railway tracks are under stress. If water accumulation happens, then based on digital elevation model data, other host of information which they generate, can be given.

"There is specific information provided for aligning the railway tracks, particularly in mountainous regions, and also identifying tracks which are most stable when you are going through tunnels. In all these things, space technology is useful," he said.

"We are trying to provide space technology-based tools for enabling them to deal with unmanned level crossings," he said.

GAGAN was jointly developed by the ISRO and Airports Authority of India ( AAI) with a view to assist aircraft in accurate landing.

The GAGAN signal is being broadcast through two Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites - GSAT8 and GSAT10.

With the use of GAGAN software system, a train would know the location of any unmanned level crossing and soon a a warning signal can be given.

As soon as the warning signal will be given, the train's hooter will automatically start when it comes near an unmanned crossing.



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