With a view to ensure safe rail operation, the Railways will procure modern inspection cars to examine the electrical overhead equipment (OHE) on the tracks. The Railways has decided to introduce eight-wheeler OHE maintenance and inspection cars to carry out the overhead electrical inspection work, according to a release. The Research Design Standard Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of the Railways, has finalised the specifications for the prototype of these cars. Under the first phase, the Railways will be procuring 45 of such OHE inspection and maintenance cars for operation on broad gauge electrified routes. The Railways has already placed contracts with two firms — Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Bengaluru and Phooltas Transrail Limited, Patna — to submit designs of such vehicles. The inspection car is a self-propelled vehicle. It is used not only for periodical inspection, patrolling and maintenance of the traction overhead equipment (OHE), but also for restoration of the OHE at the site of breakdown.
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These are specially used at night for electric current collection tests in order to ascertain a safe contact between the pantograph of the electric locomotive and the contact wire of the OHE.
The OHE inspection and maintenance car uses power generated by a diesel alternator set for propulsion. It has a maximum operating speed of 110 kms per hour.