Indian Railways have sought private participation in designing new freight wagons, according to a new wagon design policy.

The Ministry of Railways issues guidelines for new wagon designs proposed under the policy

Indian Railways have sought private participation in designing new freight wagons, according to a new wagon design policy issued by the government aimed at tapping outside expertise in an area that was a preserve of the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the R&D wing of Indian Railways.

The policy seeks to expedite the introduction of new wagon designs incorporating latest technology to cater to the needs of more efficient and cost-effective transportation of existing commodities as well as expansion of the commodities basket.

The Ministry of Railways has issued guidelines for new wagon designs proposed under the policy. Potential wagon designers can be an individual, Private/Public Ltd Company, joint venture or a partnership firm, the policy issued by the Ministry of Railways said.

Committee to be formed

A Committee on Wagon Design (CWD) will be formed by the Ministry of Railways for processing new wagon designs. The six-member CWD will comprise the Executive Director -Wagon- Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Executive Director -Track- RDSO, Executive Director (Freight Marketing) Railway Board, Executive Director, Mechanical Engineering (Freight), Railway Board and two technical experts having relevant domain expertise from industry, with one each to be nominated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)/Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

The new wagon designs will undergo an eight-stage vetting process ahead of a full introduction on the Indian Railways network including Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC).

After the new designs are sanctioned by the Railway Board, the wagon designer can start manufacturing two rakes of new wagon design (NWD), either in-house or through outsourcing, mandatorily in India. However, special components that are not available locally, can be imported.

A detailed inspection will be undertaken by an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) on all wagons after revenue service of two rakes for 50,000 km each (likely in about 180 days), to assess the efficacy of design and manufacture of the new designs. ISA is an accredited body competent to carry out design review, inspection and testing.

Wagon designer

The wagon designer will have to submit a report of field service testing of two rakes, including periodic and final inspection reports of the Independent Safety Assessor, certificate of compliance with guidelines for new wagon designs along with standards/parameters proposed by it, to the committee on wagon design for final approval.

The committee on wagon design will grant final approval for unrestricted introduction of the new wagon designs on the Indian Railways network after scrutinising the reports, the policy said.

Source : The Hindu Businessline