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The facility fixes itself a target of doing periodic overhaul to 1,680 coaches in 2016-17
Do you know how long it takes for a railway coach to go through a periodic overhaul (POH) and what is the average lifespan of a coach ? How many hours are spent on cleaning up a coach after every long, overnight trip? How many wheel and axle assemblies does a coach have and how much does each of the assemblies weigh?
Answers to these and more questions were given on Monday to presspersons on a ‘Media Visit’ to the Carriage Workshop at Lallaguda, run by the South Central Railway (SCR), that shares the maintenance in the form of Periodic Overhaul and Intermediate Overhaul (POH & IOH) of the approximately 5,000 coaches/bogies with a similar workshop near Tirupati.
A workshop with a 123-year-old history, was born on September 30, 1893, under the aegis of the ‘Nizam Guaranteed State Railways’ with the task of undertaking POH and repairs to broad and metre gauge steam locomotives, coaches and wagons. It was then brought under the purview of the Nizam State Railways and later in 1951 it came under Central Railway.
Once the South Central Railway was formed on October 2, 1966, the workshop became a major facility. In 1997, it got its current name as Carriage Workshop and currently is on a major, Rs. 90 crore expansion, of which Rs. 30 crore has been spent, said Chief Workshop Engineer, Som Kuwar, who has the responsibility of ensuring that every nut, screw and bolt and every fixture is in place, in every coach.
The visit threw up the mammoth logistics and scale of operations undertaken by the approximately 3,500-odd workforce here. The facility complex that spans 13.97 hectares with a covered area of 4.25 hectares works on a budget grant of Rs. 267.5 crore in the fiscal 2015-16. From the current 1,571, the facility has fixed itself a target of doing POH to 1,680 coaches in 2016-17, Mr. Kuwar said.
Its activities include overhaul of all passenger-carrying coaches including those manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory and Rail Coach Factory, Diesel Electrical and Diesel Hydraulic Multiple Units, the MMTS coaches, the German-made Linke Hofmann Busch coaches and those of the Double-Decker trains apart from all departmental coaches, said Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer Hem Singh in a power-point presentation. The workshop maintains a whopping 55 wheel and axle assemblies every day using a specialised lathe machine. The checks for a two-tonne heavy wheel and axle with a normal life span of six years, include ultrasound to detect internal cracks and one crack is enough for it to be scrapped. The average lifespan of a coach is about 25 years, it was said.
The Head of the Lallaguda facility, Chief Workshop Manager P. Uday Kumar Reddy said they also maintained the Heritage John Morris Fire Engine, now an exhibit at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi and a predominantly wooden-body coach built in the year 1890, stationed at the workshop itself.
SCR’s Chief Public Relations Officer M. Umashankar Kumar said the fact that the workshop was gearing up to take up POH of coaches once in two years was an indicator of its improving internal efficiency levels. The POH apart, officials work on checking and cleaning up coaches for about six hours after every overnight trip.
From: The Hindu