Indian Railways will soon start the upgradation of tracks with high strength rails (R-350).
Along with other steps such as improving train technology, installation of anti-collision systems (Kavach) and fencing of tracks, this upgradation is crucial to run high-speed trains, Railways' officials said.
The Union Railway Ministry has issued guidelines for adoption of R-350HT grade rails on its network. This rail, the guidelines said, has been used extensively across the world and is considered as ‘proven grade’ and hence no field trial is required.
However, since these rails will be manufactured by domestic companies and used for the first time by Indian Railways, they will be “kept under close monitoring” for a stipulated period to detect any unusual behaviour, the guidelines added.
According to sources, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is expected to start production of this rail in the next few months.
According to the Railways, the tenders will be floated for procurement of these high strength rails.
Currently, the Railways is facing constraints to increase the speed of trains due to infrastructure issues. So, a lot of steps are being taken simultaneously including the expansion of the Kavach system and fencing of tracks to avoid any cattle run-over and any animal coming onto the track.
The Railways has started the work to increase the design speed limit of the next-generation Vande Bharat trains, with sleeper coaches, to 220 kmph and work to improve the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah lines to allow trains to run at 160 kmph, has also begun.
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