New Delhi :Speeding up of trains, on Indian Railways (IR), is an on-going exercise. The trains are charted keeping in view the speed potential of the rolling stock used and also the Maximum Permissible Speed of the concerned section. It is also dependent on factors like availability/up-gradation of track, doubling of section, up-gradation of rolling stock etc. In its endeavour to speed up trains, IR during 2018-19 & 2019-20 have speeded up 140 & 70 train services respectively.
To contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, IR have discontinued all regular passenger carrying trains w.e.f. 23rd March, 2020. At present, only special trains keeping in view the concerns and suggestions of State Governments and health advisories, are being operated. However, during 2020-21, it has been decided to speed up 488 train services.
Up-gradation of track infrastructure is done through regular track renewal works, as and when the track becomes due for renewal based on criteria stipulated in Indian Railway Permanent Way Manual (IRPWM). This up-gradation of track caters for raising of sectional speed of sections upto 130 kmph. Following steps are taken/being taken to improve the railway tracks-
- During 2020-21, 4363 km (in Complete Track Renewal units) track renewal had been carried out. For the current year i.e. 2021-22, 751 km (in Complete Track Renewal units) track renewal has been carried out upto June, 2021.
- Modern track structure consisting of Prestressed Concrete Sleeper (PSC) Normal/Wide base sleepers with elastic fastening, 60kg, 90 or higher Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) rails, fanshaped layout turnout on PSC sleepers, Steel Channel Sleepers on girder bridges is used while carrying out primary track renewals.
- Long rail panels of 260 M/130M length are being manufactured at the steel plant to minimize number of Alumino Thermit joints in the track.
- Provision of Thick Web Switches (TWS) is planned for all important routes of IR. To expedite provision of TWS, procurement of Thick Web Switches has been decentralized to zonal railways.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.