Rail Users travelling from Kacheguda Railway Station in Hyderabad City can expect a pleasant change in the way the rail coaches look clean and glittering as their train, originating from the station rolls on to the platform after undergoing a clean scrub as part of the maintenance drill before commencing journey.
In yet another initiative to take passenger experience to next level, the Hyderabad Division of South Central Railway has set up a modern Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) at Kacheguda Railway Station, which was inaugurated by Shri Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, South Central Railway on 29th August, 2019. The fully automated washing plant located at the Train maintenance hub, the Coaching Depot at Kacheguda has been commissioned at a cost of Rs.2.5 crores including the plant maintenance for the next five years.
Inaugurating the facility, the General Manager, SCR stated that the setting up of the ACWP marks an affirmation of the Zone’s commitment to provide better rail services. He asserted that SCR will not leave any stone unturned in initiating new and innovative measures to bring about a positive change in the quality of rail travel. An offshoot of the same is the setting up of the Coach Washing Plant, he added. Besides providing safe and reliable service to rail users, it is also the endeavor of railways to ensure a neat and clean rail journey, the General Manager opined.
Shri N. Sita Rama Prasad, Divisional Railway Manager, Hyderabad Division; Shri R.V.N. Sharma, Principal Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, SCR; Shri Hemsingh Banoth and Shri P.V.Sai Prasad, Additional Divisional Railway Managers, Hyderabad Division and other officials were also present during the inauguration.
Automatic Coach Washing Plant:
The idea for Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) is borne on the need to come up with a quality exterior coach cleaning system, which can undertake high standard cleaning of an entire train rake during the course of primary & secondary maintenance, in the least possible time, at the same time reducing the use of water and electricity consumption.
Automatic Coach Washing Plant is a multistage external cleaning which basically involves using high pressure water jet, horizontal and vertical rotating nylon and cotton combination brushes etc., for cleaning of all the coaches of a train rake, as it slowly moves forward in the maintenance pit line. Each train rake of 24 coaches takes around 15 minutes to undergo cleaning while the electricity consumption is just around 10 units. The manpower requirement also scales down to just one person. The water consumption for automatic coach washing gets reduced by around 60% as compared to the normal manual washing method.
Not just that, while the fresh water required is 3600 litres for cleaning a 24 coach train in the manual system, Automatic Coach Cleaning reduces the requirement to 1440 litres, thereby saving 2000 litres of fresh water per each train cleaned. With around 160 coaches getting washed at the Coaching Depot, Kacheguda each day, the fresh water saved aggregates to a sizeable 14,000 litres per day. The cost for incurred for bogie wash and alkaline chemical works out to around Rs. 350/- per train.
The process basically starts with the train sensing device of the ACWP starting the movement the train rake enters the plant area. The detergent spray unit acts to spray bogie wash chemical which is followed by high speed brushing to remove dust and muck. Later, alkaline detergent meant to clean the external coach body surface is sprayed followed by brushing twice. Then, recycled water is pressure sprayed and the coaches brushed. The last part involves spraying of fresh hot water at 50o C at very high pressure on the coaches to ensure total perfect cleaning, thereby ending the process.
The advantages accruing from Automatic Coach Washing Plant primarily relate to the excellent cleaning quality of entire train lengths achieved in the shortest possible time. The process does away with the labour intensive activity of external cleaning of trains in the manual method. Reduced requirement of water, power and consumables in the automatic cleaning process as compared to conventional cleaning methods, comes as a big bonus and adds to the conservation efforts of the Railways.
Source: South Central Railway