A research centre on developing bullet train technology will be ready at IIT-Kharagpur by the end of this 2015. Funded by the Indian Railway Board, the new building of the Centre for Railway Research (CRR) is being constructed at a cost of Rs 20 crore inside the IIT campus, centre in-charge Prof Subhransu Roy told PTI. He said that the Indian Railways has identified four thrust areas for research – high-speed trains, developing heavy haul capacity to carry more freight, intelligent maintenance and use of advanced materials like polymers, rubbers, etc. “The new centre, which would be ready in the next 7-8 months, will work according to the ‘Make in India’ campaign to develop indigenous technology in railways. Developing technologies related to bullet trains is one of our focus areas,” Roy said.India is currently considering two corridors for high speed trains. While Japan is conducting the feasibility study for the bullet train project in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, China will do the same for the Delhi-Chennai route. Operating out of a temporary set-up, IIT researchers have already started working on suspension and bogies technology for high-speed trains.Other sanctioned projects worth Rs 20 crores related to R&D of railway technology include the development of provisions for design of steel concrete composite railway bridges for high speed passenger traffic. Developing bullet trains would require an array of rolling stock design aspects to be addressed, such as, aerodynamic design of rolling stock, vehicle dynamics, vibration and noise control, advanced control of electric loco drives, static and dynamic analysis of railway bridges, etc, Roy said.Around 40 faculty members from different departments of the institute and as many scholars are engaged in the research projects. Once fully ready with high-end specialised labs, CRR will also house an academic unit offering MTech courses in railway management and engineering.Besides the regular civil and mechanical engineering aspects, students would be taught on rail wheel dynamics, track, geotechnical aspects, transport planning, etc, officials said. For operational aspects related to trains, they will invite working rail professionals as adjunct faculty.The proposed degree course, whose curriculum is yet to be finalised, will have a maximum of 30 seats having space for both railway-sponsored employees as well as candidates who have cleared GATE entrance exam.Currently, technical aspects are dealt by railway PSUs like Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO). The Railways have their own training centres for its manpower requirements and now they are planning to come up with a railway university. “Our pass-outs can find jobs in the railways or even as teachers in the rail university when it comes up,” Roy said.As a precursor to the proposed MTech courses, they recently ran a short-term course where international experts on high speed rail system discussed technical aspects with Indian Railway officials.
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