The Rangiya Division of N. F. Railway has achieved the distinction of being the 1st division among the five divisions of N. F. Railway to carry out 100% mechanized deep screening of tracks. This has become possible because of a smart innovation by Civil Engineering Department whereby different kinds of track maintenance machines were clubbed together to form a unit so that all kinds of track maintenance can be carried out in particular section together.
Mechanised deep screening is the process of screening the stones or ballast below the railway track to remove muck and all unwanted matter which adversely affect track drainage. It is very essential to screen the ballast to ensure that the track base is sufficiently elastic and there is jerk free riding. A clean ballast vision also ensures minimum track failure like rail fractures etc. This task has been done by machines which are almost like trains themselves and cost to the order of more than one crore rupees.
It may be mentioned here that maintenance of tracks is of paramount importance for safe running of trains. Before Track Maintenance Machines running on tracks itself, like any other coaches, were introduced in 1995, all such maintenance works used to take a lot of time and resources and N. F. Railway was lagging behind. There are various types of track machines – viz. Ballast Cleaning Machines, Points and Crossing Tamping Machines, Track Tamping Machines etc. There are 39 such machines with N. F. Railway at present and 29 more machines are allotted to N. F. Railway in the current financial year.
From September last year, N. F. Railway started using 4-6 machines in tandem in one area during a traffic block (a time period when all train movements are stopped for enabling repair work). This had transformed the scenario and amazing results were seen. In the month of December 2017 alone, 40 Turnouts were deep screened for faults, which is an all time record since 2009. Creating history in Indian Railways, two Turnouts were screened by a Single Ballast Cleaning Machines in about 4 hours in the same month.
So far, with the recent innovation, these machines have done ballast cleaning of 42km, laid track for 12 km and 685 km of track Tamping were achieved. These are all time record achievements for N. F. Railway.