South Western Railway reuses scrap sleepers and rails in Ghat section

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Thousands of sleepers are released every year in view of track safety, during track renewals. SWR has found out a novel way to put these redundant concrete sleepers to use in the ghat section of Castle Rock-Dudh Sagar.  

This ghat section has o­ne of steepest gradients o­n Indian Railways. Track maintainers, gangmen and key men have to move o­n section by foot, for checking and ensuring safety of track. The Sleepers released from track after inserting new sleepers have been laid in inverted and longitudinal manner parallel to the track facilitating a pathway for Track maintainers and Keymen. 

  • Care has been taken to ensure that the vertical distance from rail level to pathway level is maintained suitably.  
  • Pathway has been constructed in this ghat section for 12 Km using about 10,000 scrapped sleepers. 
  • The sleeper pathway helps in easy access of track for inspection by Railway officials.
  • In addition Loco Pilots of trains use these paths to check their train formations during halts and when waiting for signal in this section. 
  • The Keyman/ Night patrolman/ Track Maintainer can also safely move to the shelter of track pathway, if there is any train movement during inspections. 
  • The pathway also provides easy platform for workers for loading and unloading rails sleepers during track renewal/ maintenance etc,.
  • In addition to pathway these sleepers have been used to prepare Trolley Refugee platforms where sleepers are placed laterally to the track in batches of 8 to 10. 
  • Trolley refugees are built at an interval of 100m and facilitates placing of trolley used for inspections during train movement. 
  • The trolley platforms are also being used for keeping rail dolly, trucked out Rails and Sleepers and even used as a resting place for Keyman after completion of his beat.  Around 2,500 sleepers have been used for construction of trolley platforms.
  • Scrapped Sleepers are also put to used for constructing side drains in tunnels with intermediate distance of 600 mtrs. 
  • This prevents the track ballast from falling into the drains and allows free flow of rain water during the monsoons. 
  • Sleepers in double layer are also used as a Ballast retainer wall to prevent the shoulder ballast from falling off  at steep locations.
  • Scrapped/released Rails are also being used to good effect by fixing of rail pegs of 1 m length at a regular intervals.  
  • Rails are also used as a ballast retainer and rail pegs at regular gaps help to keep the released sleepers that prevent the ballast from falling as a ballast retainer. 
  • The ballast retainers prevent ballast from falling due to vibrations in train movement. At bridge approaches retainers maintain sufficient ballast and elevated track retainers also obstructs the movement of animals from entering the track area and ensures safe train movements. 
  • Using of scrapped sleepers and rails is a very cost effective and time saving methodology. 
  • This all weather road will allow rain water to seep through during rainy season.

The work has been executed in challenging section in tough weather by team headed by Shri Neeraj Bapnas, Senior Divisional Engineer, West, Hubballi Division under the guidance of Shri Vipul Kumar, Principal Chief Engineer and Shri Arvind Malkhede, Divisional Railway Manager, Hubballi.

Shri A.K. Singh, General Manager South Western Railway appreciated the team for this work which will facilitate smooth movement of men and materials in the ghat section at negligible cost by reusing materials.

Source: South Western Railway-Press Release

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