The depot in Sabarmati will be the largest or the 'mother depot' with an area of around 80 hectares. The depot will be provided with state-of-the-art equipment for regular maintenance of trains with washing plants, inspection bays, sheds, workshops, and stabling lines.
Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train: In a first, Indian Railways has decided to store water by building reservoirs in the bullet train depots! The water stored in the depots would be used in the maintenance of the high-speed trains. The move comes at a time when various parts of India are reeling under severe water crisis. According to a PTI report, Indian Railways’ plan for its Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor is to create self-sufficient depots at Surat and Sabarmati in Gujarat and Thane in Mumbai so that water need not be sourced from outside.
Sushma Gaur, spokesperson, National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) was quoted in the report saying that the water requirement of the depots for maintenance of the trains will be met by the reservoirs built within the depot area. The rainwater will be stored into these reservoirs and will be treated through the treatment plants established in the depot. Also, recharge pits will be made for recharging water back to the earth, Gaur said. NHSRCL is the implementing agency of the high-speed rail project.
According to the report, all depots of Indian Railways have rainwater harvesting pits to store water. Generally, around 12,000 to 14,000 litres of water is required for cleaning one rake consisting of 22 to 24 rail coaches. The depot in Sabarmati will be the largest or the ‘mother depot’ with an area of around 80 hectares. The depot will be provided with state-of-the-art equipment for regular maintenance of trains with washing plants, inspection bays, sheds, workshops, and stabling lines. The spokesperson informed that the operation control centre for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail line will also be housed in this depot. While the depot in Thane will spread over an area of about 60 hectares and will be provided with similar facilities for the upkeep of the trains.
Another deport is also being planned in Surat with an area of 44 hectares, she said. The Surat depot will receive trains from Japan and will be provided with basic facilities for train maintenance. The depots for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project are being designed based on the experience of Japan’s Sendai and Kanazawa depots of Shinkansen. The depots at Thane and Surat will also have facilities for recycling and re-use of effluent and sewage water. Also, in these depots, the bio-waste from trains will be collected in the trains itself, segregated as well as treated in the depots through sewage treatment plants, Gaur added.
Indian Railways has already taken steps to reduce its water requirements. In a bid to save water required for cleaning trains, the national transporter has also decided to set up automatic coach washing plants (ACWP) at 10 major depots. The ACWP will be equipped with an effluent treatment system as well as water softening plant for recycling water that is used for cleaning platforms and trains, the report said.