Faster trains for Bihar! Indian Railways upgrades track; Some trains running ahead of schedule

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October 15, 2020 8:50 AM

The main line from Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction railway station (formerly known as Mughalsarai), which travels a distance of 393 kilometres to Jhajha in the district of Jamui, via Bihar's capital Patna, has been upgraded.

During the lockdown, the work on this long-pending Indian Railways project was fast-tracked.

Indian Railways has upgraded a line in Bihar that can now support trains with a speed of 130 kmph. The objective of the national transporter is to accommodate faster trains as well as to ensure the trains are on time. According to an IE report, the main line from Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction railway station (formerly known as Mughalsarai), which travels a distance of 393 kilometres to Jhajha in the district of Jamui, via Bihar’s capital Patna, has been upgraded. For several years, this railway line has been fit for a top speed of 110 kmph. With more train services being introduced on this rail network, the actual average speed on this railway line is often reduced to a crawl in peak seasons.

According to the report, the benefit of this rail line upgradation is that all trains have started gaining about 30 minutes. Also, it is being expected that the time saving will help introduce more trains in the state in the future. During the lockdown, the work on this long-pending Indian Railways project was fast-tracked as the national transporter got an opportunity to upgrade its infrastructure due to the suspension of regular passenger train services. The report further stated that the East Central Railway zone marshalled resources in three different engineering departments in order to upgrade the railway track, signalling as well as traction power apparatus. Over the years, while various development works took place in phases, the last seven months provided the opportunity to Indian Railways to speed up and finish the line upgradation project.

According to the report, the benefit of this line upgradation has already started showing. For example, instead of the usual three hours or more, the Sampoorna Kranti Express of Indian Railways that runs between Patna and Delhi is reaching Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya railway station in just two-and-a-half hours. Also, the Purushottam Express that runs between Puri in Odisha with the national capital via Bihar, is reaching Koderma in the state of Jharkhand around 40 minutes before its scheduled time. Onwards, the train is reaching Gaya nearly 20 minutes early and then to Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay railway station about half-an-hour before time.

However, the increase in train speed due to line upgradation has led to a problem. Many trains that are running in this line are now standing idle after reaching their stations earlier than their scheduled time. Since the timetable of trains is yet to be revised, trains are not able to depart from their en-route railway stations before their scheduled time. A senior railway official was quoted in the report saying that the speed gain will be factored in the new timetable and many new train services will be pushed easily in without choking the system because of this line upgrade.

Besides, the railway tracks were renewed with 60 kg, long-welded rails as well as the concrete sleepers were replaced with the matching 60 kg variety for higher speed. Also, for better cushioning, the layer of ballast, the bed of stones on which the railway track rests, was raised. Along the 400-odd km line, all points, as well as crossings, were upgraded. To allow for greater braking distance for fast trains, extra, double-distancing signals were put up as well. Also, to stop the train at the intended point, signals indicating the driver when to apply brakes have been installed by the national transporter. Additionally, in order to enable higher loads of energy required for higher speed, the overhead equipment that carries the electric wire for traction, have been equipped with more robust insulators.

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