today 135

Track laying for India’s largest railway construction project

Produced at Plasser India, three SVM 1000 I track laying trains are working on the largest infrastructure project in India. The impressive construction projects include a dedicated freight corridor with a total length of around 3,300 km.

The Madar-Iqbalgarh CTP 2 section in the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor achieved the highest ever monthly progress milestone and laid 41.25 km track in June 2018. CTP 1 and CTP 2 teams jointly laid 54.1 km of track, surpassing the earlier record.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) announces high achievements (Twitter, 3. 7. 2018, 12:11 PM)

The Golden Quadrilateral Freight Corridor

The completed network will comprise six freight-only lines in 1,676 mm wide gauge. Two are being built, financing for the other four was approved in January 2018.

Under construction:

  1. Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, 1,483 km, from Jawaharlal Nehru port in Mumbai (Maharashtra) to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh (Greater Delhi)
  2. Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, 1,760 km, from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal (Greater Kolkata)

Already approved:

  1. East-West Dedicated Freight Corridor, 2,000 km from Kolkata to Mumbai
  2. North-South Dedicated Freight Corridor, 2,173 km from Delhi to Chennai
  3. East Coast Dedicated Freight Corridor, 1,100 km from Kharagpur (near Kolkata) to Vijayawada
  4. South-West Dedicated Freight Corridor, 890 km from Chennai to Goa

As there is a lack of capacity for the transport of raw materials and industrial products, India has been investing heavily in the expansion of the rail network for many years. “Dedicated Freight Corridors” are created which, as the name says, are dedicated specifically to freight transport.

Currently, the East and West freight corridors are being built. Both lines cover a total length of about 3,300 km. The Eastern freight corridor runs from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal, the Western one from the Jawaharlal Nehru port in Mumbai (Maharashtra) to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.

10,000 km for more freight traffic capacity

In the final phase, a network of dedicated freight corridors will cover India, connecting the country’s four largest metropolises: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Together with the two diagonals – North-South Corridor (Delhi-Chennai) and the East-West Corridor (Kolkata-Mumbai) – the Golden Quadrilateral Freight Corridor (GQFC) will be created. In future, it will transport 55% of the freight traffic of the Indian Railways on a total length of about 10,000 km.

The Indian Railway Ministry set up the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd. (DFCCIL) for the development and financing, construction, maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight corridors.

Increase in transport efficiency

The modernisation of transport technology, increase in productivity and reduction of transport costs per unit are at the core of the project. International experience and technologies for heavy traffic lines will be used. The aim is to achieve a high load capacity and thus higher loads at higher speeds by means of optimum construction of the permanent way.

The West corridor is designed as a heavy traffic line for 25 t axle load (32.5 t for bridges and dams). Trains with double-stack cars (for two containers on top of each other) will travel on a fully electrified line at speeds up to 100 km/h.

India’s leading contractors are working with Plasser & Theurer machines

In the West corridor alone, the project consists of laying about 1,400 km of track, installing numerous turnouts, building more than 1,300 bridges and 20 stations as well as supplying the required equipment. Such construction projects require the latest technologies and state-of-the-art methods of international railway construction.

The construction tasks are placed in lots, with all the large Indian construction companies being involved, such as IRCON, Tata, L&T Larsen & Toubro and GMR Group. All companies rely on the efficiency and quality of our machines and work with different machine types on these construction sites.

GMR starts with a modern machine fleet

GMR Group, as a new entrant into the track construction business, is involved in the construction of the Eastern corridor. The company uses two continuous action SVM 1000 I track laying machines which were purchased in the last two years (see also today issue 133).

In addition, GMR uses two Duomatic 08-32 C track tamping machines, one Unimat 08-275 3S universal tamping machine, two PBR 400 ballast profiling machines with integrated turntable and one DGS 62 N Dynamic Track Stabiliser for the associated construction tasks.

Larsen & Toubro uses Plasser & Theurer technology

L&T Larsen & Toubro, India’s largest construction company, is mainly active in the construction of roads, industrial plants, airports, urban development, but also in metro systems. Now, L&T carries out its first large construction project on a standard gauge railway in the West corridor, using one SVM 1000 I track laying machine and the machines for track maintenance (Unimat 08-275 3S, Duomatic 08-32 C, PBR 400, DGS 62 N).

Assembly line track laying using the SVM 1000 I

The SVM 1000 I has been designed for laying new track in particular. The first machine of the SVM series was put into operation in Australia in 1981. Since then, it has laid thousands of kilometres of track.

This machine model has proven its efficiency in successful operation on four continents. The outstanding features of the machine include not only the compact design and the uncomplicated operation, but also the high precision of the sleeper placement and the achieveable working output. Experience has shown that – with a continuous supply of new sleepers and rails – an output of 300 km per year can be expected.

The SVM 1000 I, consisting of one laying unit and two portal units, is built by Plasser India. The machines are equipped with clip units. They are suitable for the transport and laying of sleepers and rails. The portal units are height adjustable allowing compliance with the gauge during transfer travel. For this, the craneway is lowered into the parking position.

The construction train is supplemented with flat cars, 45 of them in the case of GMR Group. These have been adapted for the transport of the sleepers and rails required for track construction. One layer of UIC 60 rails (12 rails of 250 m length) sits below four layers of concrete sleepers of Indian manufacture. As a rule, 24 such cars are coupled to the laying machine with sufficient material for 1.5 km of track, which corresponds approximately to the output of a 6-hour work shift.

New track construction with integral rail placement

Portal units equipped with special gripper arms pull the rails to the front of the machine. Hydraulically adjustable rollers ensure the correct guidance. At the front, the rails are taken over by a site vehicle with rail grippers and pulled onto the ballast bed over auxiliary rollers. This is how the rails are pre-positioned in defined construction stages.

During work operation, the laying machine is supported on the front transport car. The track-laying truck is used as the drive for the complete train, including the sleeper and rail transport cars. The portal units transport each layer of sleepers to the laying unit. A proven feed system takes them to the laying unit, which lays them at a precise spacing. The laying output achieved during use in India is ten to twelve sleepers per minute.

The pre-positioned rails are lifted again, taken past the machine frame, placed on the newly laid sleepers and fixed using the integrated clip units. The complete material logistics therefore takes place on the track under construction.