Rail­ways rac­ing ahead with ‘green’ drive

Khaleej Times - - PAKISTAN -

new delhi — Aim­ing to be­come more eco-friendly, In­dian Rail­ways has de­cided re­place wooden sleep­ers with com­pos­ite sleep­ers that are not only lighter but also stronger.

“The Rail­ways has de­cided to use the com­pos­ite sleep­ers in a lim­ited way. It is be­ing used mainly on girder bridges,” a se­nior Rail­way Min­istry of­fi­cial said,

Com­pos­ite sleep­ers were first used by the Rail­ways in the Mu­rad­abad di­vi­sion in 2003. They have an edge com­pared with the strength of wooden and chan­nel sleep­ers.

The of­fi­cial said that no com­plaint has been re­ceived till date about the use of these sleep­ers, which were de­ployed on a big­ger scale from 2016 in over 10 zones.

The of­fi­cial also pointed out that com­pos­ite sleep­ers, com­pris­ing a mix­ture of steel and fi­bre plas­tic, costs more as com­pared to the other sleep­ers. “The cost of a com­pos­ite sleeper is about Rs25,000, whereas a chan­nel sleeper costs about Rs7,000,” he said, adding that cost is the big fac­tor.

He said the Rail­ways pre­ferred them over wooden sleep­ers be­cause of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues that cropped up over the cut­ting of trees.

“This de­ci­sion has been taken in the wake of a Supreme Court or­der im­pos­ing re­stric­tions on cut­ting trees. If suc­cess­ful, all wooden sleep­ers will be re­placed with com­pos­ite sleep­ers.”

In June 2016, the Rail­way Board Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor (Track), in a let­ter

to all the zonal of­fices, said that the Re­search, De­signs and Stan­dards Or­gan­i­sa­tion (RDSO) was plan­ning to re­place wooden sleep­ers with those made of com­pos­ite ma­te­rial. It would ini­tially be tried on bridges.

The pri­mary func­tion of a sleeper is to grip the rail to the gauge and to dis­trib­ute the rail load to bal­last

with ac­cept­able in­duced pres­sure.

Pavwan Dro­liaa, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of As­terix Re­in­forced Lim­ited, which deals in man­u­fac­tur­ing of com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als, said that fi­bre-re­in­forced foamed ure­thane (FFU) com­pos­ite sleep­ers are made of rigid polyurethane re­in­forced with glass fi­bre. —

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