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Published on : Friday, August 5, 2016
Indian government railway officials were left inspired following a visit to Network Rail’s brand new Electrification Training Centre last week and say techniques used on the project could be implemented on rail and metro programmes in India.
The officials were visiting the centre to find out more about some of the concepts used in the Great Western Electrification Project, with particular interest in the overhead line equipment, as they look to implement them into the Indian railway. The delegation included Manuj Singhal, chief electrical engineer and Anand Kumar, deputy chief electrical engineer from the Railways Indian Ministry who had a first-hand look at the new facility in Swindon, which was officially opened earlier this year.
The centre was built as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers as the company works to electrify the Great Western Main Line bringing faster, more reliable journeys, more seats and improved stations along the route.
Manuj Singhal, head of electrification in India, hopes to implement some of the concepts into rail and metro projects in Delhi. He said: “We were very keen to see how the rail systems work in England and how modifications to electrification were being made. The visit was very informative and we particularly learnt a lot about the engineering school and overhead line equipment which we hope to implement to projects in India.”
Network Rail’s Samantha Patterson, sponsor for electrification, said: “It was a great honour to show our Indian visitors the exciting new training centre. I am thrilled that they gained so much from the visit and we are pleased our Railway Upgrade Plan has provided inspiration for their own projects in India.
The Indian officials were given a tour of the new centre by Network Rail and were joined by representatives from Furrer + Frey UK, the company that produces the overhead line equipment used on the project.
The £10m state-of-the-art centre features overhead line equipment identical to that being used on the project, on a section of track not connected to the main line. This enables Network Rail’s engineering orange army to learn how to install and maintain the new system in a safe environment.
The centre also hosts a range of progressive courses which help apprentices, maintenance and operations staff to develop their technical abilities.
As part of the electrification project, train operator Great Western Railway will take delivery of a brand new fleet of Intercity Express Trains which will start to be seen in passenger service on select routes from next year. The trains will slash the age of the Great Western fleet by half, and provide more seats, more frequent services and quieter, faster and greener journeys.