The automatic washing process also enables them to save almost 60-70 per cent of water for cleaning train coaches, as compared to earlier manual washing process at South Central Railway's Kacheguda station.
Indian Railways Kacheguda station of the South Central Railway (SCR) zone has become the very first station in the zone to have the unique automatic coach washing plant (ACWP). The Kacheguda station falling under the Hyderabad division of the SCR zone has achieved modernized cleaning of train coaches with the inclusion of water conservation techniques. The station, which was declared the first energy-efficient station on the Indian Railway network in December 2017, utilizes the ACWP to wash it train coaches, replacing the manual cleaning process used earlier. PV Sai Prasad, Additional DRM, Hyderabad Division said that the automatic coach washing plant was commissioned in the month of July 2019 at the Kacheguda station and is the first station of the SCR zone to have had the same.
According to Sai Prasad, on average seven trains are cleaned through the ACWP taking just 15 minutes for each train. The automatic washing process also enables them to save almost 60-70 per cent of water for cleaning train coaches, as compared to earlier manual washing process. Some of the salient features of the ACWP are as follows:
- The automatic washing plant comprises a control room, effluent treatment plant, washing area, high-pressure unit, control panel and a pump room.
- Sai Prasad said that the coaches are washed through water atomizer system as the water is dispersed through sprinkler-like channels which has resulted in saving a large quantity of water per coach wash.
- The automatic washing system then includes layers of detergents, chemicals, brushing and a final wash through hot water as the coach passes through each of the layers.
- According to SCR, the cost of the plant is Rs 1.26 crore. The fresh water consumption per rake of 24 coaches is 1440 litres (60 litres per coach). Whereas, the total water consumption for manual washing per rake of 24 coaches is 3600 litres. Hence, the water saving per rake of 24 coaches comes out to be 3600-1440=2160 litres (60 percent saved).
- Additionally, the speed of the train passing through the ACWP is maintained at less than 10 kmph and the manpower required is one man per shift.
The Kacheguda railway station of the Hyderabad division is 103 years old and is a marvel of architectural elegance. It was built in the year 1916 by the then Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan and portrays a blend of Indian and Gothic architectural style.
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The station has been awarded with INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) award in the year 2014. It also has a one-of-its kind rail museum exhibiting the heritage old railway equipments. The station walls have been beautified with Cheriyal paintings, which is reflective of Telangana tradition and culture.
The station has a total of five platforms and receives a total of 47,000 passengers on a daily basis.
(The reporter was in Andhra Pradesh on the invitation of Ministry of Railways)