BENGALURU: Namma Metro’s Rail Grinding Machine is gradually emerging as yet another non-fare revenue source for the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). It was set to be despatched by road to assist Mumbai Metro last week but the heavy downpour there has stalled it.
The machine was bought by BMRCL from a US-based firm Loram for `30 crore in 2014. This machine plays a key role in minimising derailments and extending life of the rails. Work is carried out at nights due to the huge noise it emanates while grinding.
“After completing work on our rails, we lent it to Hyderabad Metro last year, which helped us earn a couple of crores. Other Metros too have requested for it,” said BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola.Barring the initial 6.7 km of Metro line from Baiyappanahalli to M G Road, opened in October 2011 for which the machine had to be borrowed from elsewhere, the machine has been put to good use for the remaining 36 kms out of the 42.3-km of Phase-I.
According to the information obtained from BMRCL, Mumbai Metro and the Alstom Factory at Chennai are now waiting to borrow the machine. “We earned `2.19 crore from Hyderabad Metro,” an official said. “We hope to earn `2.37 crore from Mumbai and Chennai,” he added.
While 23km of Mumbai rail will be ground soon, 15 km of rail in Alstom Factory in Chennai will require it. With the numerous cities across the country set to have their own Metros, it could become a revenue grosser for BMRCL.
Asked about the need for such a machine, a top official said, “After initial construction works and laying of new rail, carbonisation layer has to be removed to smoothen the tracks. Also, due to continuous rail-wheel interaction, rolling contact fatigue is generated on the rail top. Regular profiling is therefore required.”The output of this machine is good with grinding of 1km of track taking place in a 4-hour night block, he added.