The Indian Railways is utilising the lockdown to complete several long-pending overdue maintenance works, which required a traffic block of long durations.
With passenger services being suspended during the lockdown, the Railways had time to complete what they thought was a crucial maintenance requirement without the worry to start the track for passenger trains.
A Railway Ministry note issued on Saturday informed that the department has used the lockdown period as ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to wipe out these maintenance arrears and take up the execution of work without affecting the train service.”
“These works were pending for several years and were confronting Railways with severe bottlenecks,” read the note.
Giving details, the railway ministry said that around 500 modern heavy-duty Track maintenance machines along with track, signal and overhead equipment maintainers have worked regularly for 10,749 machine days to complete overdue track maintenance of 12,270 km plain track.
The note issued to this effect by the PIB said that the backend warriors of Indian Railways have successfully executed long-pending maintenance works, including yard re-modelling, renewal of scissors crossover, repair of bridges during this lockdown period when passenger services were suspended due to Covid-19.
The Indian Railways manages the fourth largest railway network in the world by size. It has reinvented itself since India went for a complete lockdown.
Suspending passenger trains across the country has been an unprecedented action and the first in 167 years.
The railway network has also converted as many as 20,000 old train carriages into isolation wards for Covid-19 patients during this period.
Besides, the health of the track has been monitored through periodic runs of Oscillation Monitoring System (OMS) cumulating 1,92,488 km of track at 5362 peak locations.
Ultrasonic flaw detection (USFD) of 30182 km of track and 1,34,443 rail welds has been carried out.
Critical summer precaution activities like de-stressing of long welded rail (LWR) which involved huge man power has been taken up with a new procedure for carrying out the work with ensuring social distancing norms. 2,246 km of de-stressing of LWR has been done.
Important works completed by the Indian Railways include the construction of a bridge in Rajahmundry-Vishakhapatnam section, dismantling of Road Over Bridge (ROB) near Chennai Station (Southern Railway) and launching of Service girder for Canal work (East Central Railway).
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