Railways to import high-speed accident relief trains

Aiming to put rescue and restoration work during accidents on fast track, Railways is procuring high-speed self-propelled accident relief trains (SPART) and hydraulic cranes with telescopic boom from Europe.

Currently, Railways have 27 self-propelled accident relief trains that run at a speed of 110-km per hour.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will announce the procurement proposal of 160 km per hour high-speed relief train in his maiden Rail Budget 2013-14 on February 26.

"We are planning to buy two high-speed SPART which can run at 160 km per hour speed in the first phase," said a senior Railway Ministry official, adding, "These will enable rescue equipment to reach the accident site at faster pace and help speedy rescue and restoration work."

The diesel driven SPART consisting of three coaches is estimated to cost about Rs 40 crores.

Railways will procure the state-of-the-art SPART through global tendering process. As per the plan, the technology of the first two SPART will be imported from Europe.

Beside, Railways have also decided to import eight hydraulic cranes with telescopic boom from Europe to strengthen its disaster management.

"We will go for global tenders to buy the new 175-ton hydraulic cranes with telescopic boom shortly," said the official.

The 175-ton hydraulic crane is likely to cost about Rs 25 crore.

Railways have 69 hydraulic cranes and the existing crane has the capacity to lift 140 tons only. Since, the axle load of coach and wagon has increased, railways need the 175-ton cranes.

"The telescopic boom cranes are required to undertake rescue work inside the tunnel or bridge," he said.

The hydraulic cranes are equipped with cutters, spreaders and hand operated tools for cutting of coaches for rescue of passengers trapped inside the coaches in case of an accident.

Telescopic boom cranes are equipped with hydraulic cutters to cut LHB coaches and wagons made of stainless steel.

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