Lucknow: As India’s largest stainless steel maker and the largest supplier of stainless steel to Indian Railways, Jindal Stainless partnered with Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) in the third edition of InnoRail India 2018 here today. With a 60% market share in the coach segment, Jindal Stainless has joined hands with the Railways for additionally modernizing rail infrastructure, particularly in the bridge segment. Speaking to media on the sidelines of InnoRail, Head, Sales, Jindal Stainless, Mr. Vijay Sharma said, “As a progressive organization, RDSO keeps innovating ways and means to build safe and sustainable infrastructure. Stainless steel coaches and foot-over-bridges validate their movement in this direction. Jindal Stainless is proud to partner their journey by expediting conversion of coaches into stainless steel and strengthening rail infrastructure at the same time.” Over the next 4-5 years, Railways plans to produce around 10,000 stainless steel coaches annually.
India has a coastline of 7500 km which necessitates the use of stainless steel infrastructure. High air-borne salts in marine environments cause rapid corrosion and degradation of infrastructure. Bridges, especially in these areas, are exposed to severe risk of collapse. As per industry data, around 1,35,000 rail bridges exist in India, of which over 25% are over 100 years old and need immediate replacement. The first such stainless steel foot-over-bridge is coming at Bhayandar station in Mumbai next year. Though more than 1000 bridges are rehabilitated every year, there is a huge backlog in rebuilding these bridges.
The stainless steel material for wagons and coaches produced by Jindal Stainless is already tested and approved by RDSO, the highest advisory body to the Indian Railways. Apart from supply of stainless steel to Railways, Jindal Stainless also organizes fabrication training programmes at Integral Coach Factories to enhance their output. Other than the conventional coaches which are made out of carbon steel, both, LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) and suburban coaches are shifting towards stainless steel.
This shift towards stainless steel, undertaken by Railways, is an initiative in augmenting passenger safety, optimizing lifecycle costs, and building sustainable infrastructure. Stainless steel has high impact resistance, does not get deformed, and can absorb more energy during collision. This prevents loss of life during accidents and mishap. Easy design, fabrication, and reduced life cycle cost give stainless steel an edge over any other metal. Additionally, the inherent properties of corrosion resistance, fire resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, easy weldability, and speed of construction make stainless steel an ideal choice for coaches and railway infrastructure.