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New tech on ghat section of Bengaluru-Mangaluru rail line

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on October 05, 2020 Published on October 05, 2020

Will help improve efficiency

The Mysuru division of South Western Railway zone has commissioned the multi-section digital axle counter (MSDAC) technology between Yedakumari and Kadagaravalli stations on the Sakaleshpur-Subramanya Road Ghat section of Mangaluru-Bengaluru railway line.

According to the Mysuru division, the new technology will help enhance the capacity of the railway line by nearly 35 per cent. Apart from aiding in introducing additional passenger services, the technology will also help in the efficient operation of freight trains as detentions would be brought down. The technology greatly reduces the maintenance of track circuits in the inhospitable terrain of the ghat section.

A statement by Mysuru division said that a team led by D Sreenivasulu, Senior Divisional Signal and Telecommunication Engineer, South Western Railway (Mysuru Division), was involved in the execution of the technology-intensive project.

Giving the background for installing the new technology, it said the introduction of additional passenger services and freight trains on the 55-km ghat section between Sakaleshpur and Subramanya Road for achieving higher productivity was rendered difficult in view of the restrictions imposed by the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

Catch sidings

The non-availability of catch sidings — a mandatory safety protocol — at two of the four stations in the section with a ruling gradient of 1 in 50 with four stations was the primary bottleneck. With a view to overcoming the critical infrastructural deficiency hampering train operations at an optimal level, Mysuru Division undertook modification and upgradation of the signalling system in June through the creative use of technology by installing highly reliable and fail-safe signal and telecommunication gears at Kadagaravalli and Yedakumari stations.

It said that the maintenance costs are comparatively lower with a high degree of reliability so much essential for seamless train operations in ghat sections. Hassan-Mangalore Rail Development Company Ltd borne the cost of the project.

Terming the implementation of technology as a daunting task in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, it said that unprecedented rainfall in the area — 6,000 mm since the commencement of work — compounded the already delicate situation.

Difficulty in moving skilled manpower for specialized work in the ghat section, non-existent road connectivity to transport cables, location boxes, MSDAC equipment, fear of landslips at the time of trenching for laying cables, lengthy tunnels, steel girder bridges, rocky topography, dependence on diesel generator sets for power, etc., were some of the biggest challenges surmounted during the execution of the work.

Complimenting the team for working steadfastly in completing the work in a very short time despite many hurdles along the way, Aparna Garg, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway, Mysuru Division, said she was confident that the introduction of the new safety protocol will pave the way for safer and more efficient train operations in the ghat section where the demand for new passenger services is being made persistently.

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Published on October 05, 2020
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