BENGALURU: Railway passengers departing from Bengaluru can look forward to travelling in cleaner trains as the first Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) for South Western Railway (SWR) Zone is finally set to begin operations in December — four months behind schedule.
Heavy rains followed by flooding in Gujarat ensured a huge delay in shifting the required machinery to Bengaluru. Vadodara-based Oriental Manufacturers Private Limited is on the job to install this facility in Bengaluru. Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station will be the first in SWR zone to have this facility, a senior railway official told TNIE.
“Huge savings in terms of water as well as time, reduced manpower and cleaner coaches are the advantages of ACWP, which will cost around Rs 2 crore,” he said. “Heavy rains followed by floods ensured the automated equipment could not be brought to Bengaluru ... but now we are on target to launch it by December second week,” he added.
Trains terminating at Platform 1 to 5 at KSR station alone can be cleaned at this plant, which will come up at the end of Platform 1 (called as Cantonment station end). “The plant will have a control room which will be operated by a staffer. Mammoth brushes, which will operate in a circular fashion to clean the coaches, will be controlled using switches from here. The plant will be used only to clean the outer shell of the coaches and not its interiors,” the official explained.
Explaining the savings in terms of time, the official said a rake (an entire train minus the engine) can be cleaned within 20 minutes while it takes nearly two hours in the manual system presently deployed. “The water requirement too will be cutdown by half. Instead of using 12,000 to 14,000 litres of water per rake, the plant will use only 6,000 litres. Moreover, 85 per cent of it will be recycled water.”
Rajasthan, whose three railway stations figured among top 10 in the country in the recently released national cleanliness survey by the Railway Ministry, has ACWP installed at its stations. Mudgoan Railway Station in Konkan Railway and Hazrat Nizammudin Station in New Delhi as well as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited make use of automation to clean their trains, the official said.