New Delhi [India], August 7 (ANI): Answering a question in Rajya Sabha on Friday, Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the speeding up of trains on the Indian Railways is an ongoing exercise.
"The trains are charted keeping in view the speed potential of the rolling stock used and also the Maximum Permissible Speed of the concerned section. It is also dependent on factors like availability/up-gradation of the track, doubling of the section, up-gradation of rolling stock etc. In its endeavour to speed up trains, IR during 2018-19 and 2019-20 have speeded up 140 and 70 train services respectively," the minister said.
To contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Railways discontinued all regular passenger carrying trains from March 23, 2020. "At present, only special trains keeping in view the concerns and suggestions of State Governments and health advisories, are being operated. However, during 2020-21, it has been decided to speed up 488 train services," the minister said.
Further, he informed that the up-gradation of track infrastructure is done through regular track renewal works, as and when the track becomes due for renewal based on criteria stipulated in Indian Railway Permanent Way Manual (IRPWM).
The up-gradation of track caters for raising the sectional speed of sections up to 130 kmph. The minister enlisted the steps which are being taken to improve the railway tracks.
"During 2020-21, 4363 km (in Complete Track Renewal units) track renewal had been carried out. For the current year i.e. 2021-22, 751 km (in Complete Track Renewal units) track renewal has been carried out up to June 2021," he informed.
Further, he added that the modern track structure consisting of Pre-Stressed Concrete Sleeper (PSC) Normal/Wide base sleepers with elastic fastening, 60kg, 90 or higher Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) rails, fan-shaped layout turnout on PSC sleepers, Steel Channel Sleepers on girder bridges are being used while carrying out primary track renewals.
"Long rail panels of 260 M/130M length are being manufactured at the steel plant to minimize the number of Alumino Thermit joints in the track, and provision of Thick Web Switches (TWS) has been planned for all important routes of Indian Railways. To expedite the provision of TWS, procurement of Thick Web Switches has been decentralized to zonal railways," Vaishnaw said. (ANI)
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