Indian Railways To Buy Seven Modern Self-Propelled USFD Systems Worth About Rs 1000 Crore To Detect Rail Defects

by Arun Kumar Das - Jan 24, 2023 01:34 PM +05:30 IST
Indian Railways To Buy Seven Modern Self-Propelled USFD Systems Worth About Rs 1000 Crore To Detect Rail DefectsRepresentative Image.

With a focus on technology, Indian Railways is pushing for the induction of self-propelled vehicular ultrasonic flaw detection (USFD) system, to eliminate train derailments due to rail fracture.

While there are about 35 derailment cases in the current year, an equal number of cases were reported in the previous year also. A total of 55 derailments were reported due to track defects in the pre-Covid days in 2019-20.  

Currently, the Railways is not equipped with the self-propelled vehicular USFD system and totally depends on manually operated USFD machines.

'There were many issues with the self-propelled USFD machines. However, all issues have been resolved now and we are floating tenders for purchasing the state-of-the-art USFD machines, for faster detection of rail fractures', sources in the Railways said.

The Rs 1,000 crore tender is slated to be floated shortly for acquiring seven vehicular USFD systems. There are three major players who are expected to participate in the bid. While one is UK-based, the other two are based in Australia and the United States.

Currently, it is estimated to cost Rs 130 crore per machine, which also includes the operation and maintenance cost for five years.

Once the bid is through and the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder, a new chapter would begin in the Railways history, ending years of search for a proper system to tackle rail fracture, in a faster way.

Attempts were made as early as 1985, to acquire these sophisticated systems and pilot projects were implemented on the tracks many times — which ended in failure.    

The last time the vehicular USFD was brought, was in 2005, and it also failed to give desired results due to various reasons. But this time, the authorities are hopeful of a successful introduction of the self-propelled vehicular USFD machines on the tracks.

The focus is now on to introduce tech-driven equipment to eliminate derailments. 

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.