|The long-pending modernisation and upgrading of the railway workshop at Ashokapuram in the city is set to take shape with the physical engineering work of the project set to commence this month.|
The upgrading entails creating new infrastructure at a cost of nearly ₹35 crore towards capacity augmentation of the workshop which undertakes Periodic Over Hauling (POH) of railway coaches.
POH of coaches is undertaken once in 12 or 18 months depending on the km clocked by the coach and is akin to servicing and maintenance with complete overhaul, including repairs and replacement of the parts that have a wear and tear. The Central Workshop in the city is one of the two of such facility in South Western Railways, the other being at Hubballi. The augmentation will shore up the workshop’s capacity to take up more coaches for POH.
At present, 70 coaches undergo POH each month and this will increase to 80once the new facilities are in place, Neeraj Jain, Chief Workshops Manager, Central Workshop, told The Hindu. He said the workshop undertakes POH of both ICF-designed coaches that are used in conventional trains besides the German-designed Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches used in the rakes of Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains. “The workshop at Mysuru is the only facility in the State to take up the POH of LHB coaches and the enhancement of the POH capacity also includes 14 AC and LHB coaches. Indian Railways has a long-term plan to switch over to LHB coaches completely and hence the workshop will also ramp up its capacity for POH of LHB coaches gradually,” he added.
The new infrastructure includes new sheds and heavy-duty 60 tonne cranes to lift and shift the coaches which will obviate the need for procuring loco every time a coach needs to be moved. It will also reduce the time taken for POH. Construction of new carriage lift, heavy corrosion repair shop of 20 coaches capacity with provision of 10 BG tracks with a spacing of 10 meters apart for a length of 80 meters each among others are other facilities to be created. In addition, a ₹18-crore proposal for a paint shop has also been submitted.
The workshop was established to cater to the erstwhile Mysore State Railway in 1924 and was expanded in 1932 for maintaining the metre gauge coaches. Consequent to the railways adopting a uni-gauge policy, the facility was converted to BG workshop and is now on its path to modernisation to service LHB coaches as well.