THE RESEARCH Designs and Standards Organisations (RDSO) has given a go-ahead to the Railway Board for manufacturing crashworthy coaches in bulk at the Integrated Coach Factories (ICF, Chennai) and Rail Coach Factory (RCF, Kapoorthala). All types of coaches, including general, sleeper, I-AC, II-AC, and III-AC are being modified as per the suggestions made by the premiere research institute of the Indian Railways.
The crashworthy coaches are being designed to save life and property in major accidents.
The technology is such that the impact of head-on collision does not reach the passenger-occupied areas in a coach, as the energy generated by the collision would be absorbed in the non-passenger areas (toilet) through ‘controlled collapse.’
Another cause of high rate of deaths in major mishaps is the climbing of coaches one over the other.
The technology would prevent such a telescopic situation and reduce the number of casualties. A coach has been successfully tried in Barauni-Amritsar Jan Sewa Express.
About some of the important modifications recommended for the conversion of ordinary coaches into crashworthy ones, a senior officer informed that the main feature of the technology was the provision of honeycomb-like element for absorption of energy. During designing, utmost care has been taken to see that the strength was evenly distributed so as to prevent the impact from reaching the passenger density areas in a coach.
But the designing of SLR coach has been delayed owing to progress of work on it. The second physical test involving an SLR and General Coach was not up to the expectations and needed fine-tuning.
Additional Director General (ADG-RDSO) R Jayraman said the work of fine-tuning would be completed in about a fortnight, and accordingly the board would be informed. As regards research, an officer said computer simulation is done on coaches, followed by the physical tests. If there is any variation, the figures are matched and corrected. “As is being done in the case of SLR,” said the ADG.
But, in case of the general coach, there has been a minimal difference between the predicted figure on simulation and physical tests.
“There the approval was done without any delay,” he added. The physical tests for GS and SLR coaches were carried out in Lucknow in February in association with the USA-based organisation Transportation Technology Centre Incorporated (TTCI). The SLR and GS coaches were hit against the ramp platen wagon weighing 100 tonnes.