As wheels jam,rly rakes to be replaced soon

Modified and stronger cages will roll into Central Railway and Western Railway network after the new Siemens rakes from the Integral Coach Factory developed operational difficulties,leading to locking of wheels in most cases.

Written by Kalpana Verma | Mumbai | Published:March 9, 2009 4:24 am

‘The cages could not take the load and broken material from it damaged the roller on which the cages are supported’

Modified and stronger cages will roll into Central Railway and Western Railway network after the new Siemens rakes from the Integral Coach Factory developed operational difficulties,leading to locking of wheels in most cases.

Railway Board officials and Siemens personnel met recently and the firm has assured that it would replace the problematic cages which interfered with the traction motor,which rotates the wheels.

“The cages could not take the load and broken material from it damaged the roller on which the cages are supported. This resulted in the wheels getting jammed.” said a senior official of WR.

In February,211 local trains were late due to 36 incidents of failure of the new Siemens rakes. Due to this,27 trains were also cancelled in WR and CR.

“Wheel-locking occurred in 75 per cent of the cases,” said an official.

In CR there were 12 cases in January,most of them causing the wheels to lock. Due to this,78 trains were late and 10 were cancelled. In February,20 rakes failed,15 of them causing locking of wheels. It caused 145 trains to be delayed and led to cancellation of 20. Apart from this,four mainline trains were also affected. These rakes were introduced in February 2008.

In WR in February,16 new rakes failed delaying 166 trains. Seven trains were cancelled.

Sukhbir Singh,Member Electrical,Railway Board,said,“When a new technology comes,some problems do arise. Slowly,the problem will be sorted out. From April,Siemens will start replacing all cages with modified,stronger ones. I think by May the problem will be solved.”

Some software-related problems,were also reported,which resulted in application of the brakes on the entire rake. Maintenance staff had to waste eight to 10 minutes getting the brakes released,causing a delay in the train. According to Singh,“Siemens is also working on this problem.”

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