Coronavirus scare: Tests for Kolkata Metro’s China-made rake put on hold; here’s why

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Published: February 28, 2020 3:10:20 PM

A team of Chinese engineers was supposed to arrive in Kolkata for conducting the radio frequency interference (RFI) tests for the first rake. However, now the testing of the rake is in limbo.

Kolkata MetroIf Dalian contracts the company for the RFI tests, then it will be carried out and completed without any delay, by the month of March or April.

Coronavirus scare puts China-made Kolkata Metro rake tests in limbo! This comes after the recent Coronavirus outbreak, which has forced CRRC Dalian to explore other alternative ways to get the Kolkata Metro rake tested, according to a PTI report. CRRC Dalian is a Chinese manufacturer which produces railway units, locomotives and diesel engines. An official was quoted in the report saying that a team of Chinese engineers was supposed to arrive in Kolkata for conducting the radio frequency interference (RFI) tests for the first rake. However, now the testing of the rake is in limbo.

According to the report, the RFI or radio frequency interference test comprises the radiation or conduction of radio frequency energy which causes an electrical device to produce noise, that typically interferes with the functions/operations of an adjacent device. Presently, there are around 10-12 Chinese engineers for the integration and coordination of the Dalian-made rake of the Kolkata Metro, who have been working in the city for the last six months. They are involved in the process of conducting various tests of the rake for its integration with the Kolkata Metro network and are working with the engineers of the Kolkata Metro project as well as the RDSO. Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry had placed an order for 14 rakes from Dalian for the Kolkata Metro Railway project.

Indrani Banerjee, Kolkata Metro Railway spokesperson was quoted saying in the report that the engineers from a Dalian agency were to arrive in the first week of March 2020, but the coronavirus outbreak has compromised the schedule. She added that the RFI trials cannot be put on hold indefinitely. CRRC Dalian is consulting with SAMEER or the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research for the purpose, which is under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Central government.

SAMEER is known to have expertise in conducting the RFI tests and has also conducted such trials earlier, for the Medha rakes manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai for the Kolkata Metro project. Dalian is currently in talks with the firm and a set of protocols are being discussed for the same. If Dalian contracts the company for the RFI tests, then it will be carried out and completed without any delay, by the month of March or April.

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