Kacheguda railway station goes eco-friendly: Coach washing plant inaugurated

Hyderabad: In 15 minutes flat, 24 coaches can be cleaned and set to roll, thanks to the Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) at Kacheguda Railway Station.

The Hyderabad Division of South Central Railway has set up a modern plant which was inaugurated by Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, South Central Railway, here on Thursday.

Commissioned at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore including the plant maintenance for the next five years, the plant ensures saving water to the tune of 14,000 litres per day.

The idea for Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) is born on the need to come up with a quality exterior coach cleaning system, which can undertake high standard cleaning of an entire train rake during the course of primary & secondary maintenance, in the least possible time, at the same time reducing the use of water and electricity consumption.

ACWP is a multistage external cleaning which basically involves using high pressure water jet, horizontal and vertical rotating nylon and cotton combination brushes etc., for cleaning of all the coaches of a train rake, as it slowly moves forward in the maintenance pit line.

Each train rake of 24 coaches takes around 15 minutes to undergo cleaning while the electricity consumption is just around 10 units. The manpower requirement also scales down to just one person.

The water consumption for automatic coach washing gets reduced by around 60 per cent as compared to the normal manual washing method.

Not just that, while the fresh water required is 3,600 litres for cleaning a 24 coach train in the manual system, Automatic Coach Cleaning reduces the requirement to 1,440 litres, thereby saving 2,000 litres of fresh water per train cleaned.

With around 160 coaches getting washed at the Coaching Depot, Kacheguda each day, the fresh water saved aggregates to a sizeable 14,000 litres per day. The cost incurred for bogie wash and alkaline chemical works out to around Rs. 350/- per train.

The process basically starts with the train sensing device of the ACWP starting the movement the train rake enters the plant area. The detergent spray unit acts to spray bogie wash chemical which is followed by high speed brushing to remove dust and muck.

Later, alkaline detergent meant to clean the external coach body surface is sprayed followed by brushing twice. Then, recycled water is pressure sprayed and the coaches brushed.

The last part involves spraying of fresh hot water at 50o C at very high pressure on the coaches to ensure total perfect cleaning, thereby ending the process.

The advantages accruing from Automatic Coach Washing Plant include reduced requirement of water, power and consumables in the automatic cleaning process as compared to conventional cleaning methods, comes as a big bonus and adds to the conservation efforts of the Railways.

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