Kerala: Rail platform cleaned with mechanised ballast cleaning

Authorities said this is the first time in Southern Railway such a cleaning was undertaken.

Kozhikode: Ballast cleaning (cleaning of metals and gravels in between the sleepers of track) has been successfully done on a platform line using a machine for the first time in the history of Palakkad division. The cleaning was done at Payyoli station on November 3 on a 280-metre long track and again on Mahe on December 2 on a 540- metre long track.

“It is very difficult to use machine for ballast cleaning on tracks due to high level platforms on the main line. That is because such machines require clearance on either sides of track to function effectively. Here, we shifted the track temporarily away from high level platform, screening the ballast by machine and sliding it back to the original location,” said Palakkad Division Railway Manager (DMR) Naresh Lalwani.

The DMR added that the ballast cleaning machines currently available with Indian Railways are not designed to work on tracks adjacent to high level platforms. Hence the work of deep screening of ballast on platform line is done either manually or is kept in abeyance.

The work at Payyoli was on trial basis. Two JCB excavators, points and crossing tamping machines, ballast cleaning machines and other tamping machines were used for five hours, besides regulating traffic. The Payyoli experience buoyed the authorities to repeat it at Mahe and it was also a success.

“70 cm clearance is needed on both side of the machine to do the ballistic cleaning. However, due to adjacent high platform, there will be only 30 cm on that side. So, we shifted the track 40 cm away from the platform side using points and crossing tamping machines and excavators,” explained Shabin Asaf, assistant divisional engineer, Kannur, who overhauled the work. Authorities claim that works undertaken for such a long platform line is for the first time in Southern Railway.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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