Hubballi: The South Western Railway (SWR) zone designers and engineers rolled out a novel pedal operated trolley to ferry men and machines in between station platforms or to an accident spot in emergency, replacing the vintage type which is pushed manually, an official said on Friday.
"The pedal operated trolley can reach the work site for maintenance or mishap spot faster than an accident relief train due to operational reasons or manual trolleys," said SWR chief mechanical engineer P. Ravi Kumar in a statement in Karnataka's Hubballi city.
Hubballi is about 400km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state where the zonal railway is headquartered.
"The pedal-operated trolley works with chain and sprocket transmission system. Once sprocket is fixed on axle and other through chain, the pedal trolley moves forward like a bicycle. It works in both directions by reversing seat and handle," said Kumar on the occasion.
Touted to be the first of its kind, the innovative pedal trolley can move men and equipment weighing up to 1,000 kg at about 10kmph speed.
The trolley was developed in-house using light weight materials, which makes it easily portable.
"The innovation improves mobility of manpower and relief materials to work spot or an accident site quickly," said SWR general manager A.K. Singh.
The pedal trolley will be used in the Hubballi division on a pilot basis and more will be rolled out for deploying in other divisions of the zone across the state.
Though the railways have not been able to operate passenger and express trains since March 25 when the Covid-induced lockdown was enforced and extended to contain the pandemic, special trains between two intra or inter cities and freight trains are being operated on need base since May 12 as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
"Barring regular passenger trains on inter-state routes and for suburban service, our operations are continuing for running specials and goods trains," said the official.
In a related development, the traction sub-station at Kariganuru in the zone has been charged to operate electric trains on the 73km Kariganuru-Harlapur route.
"The commissioning allows the overhead electrification lines to be charged and supply power to AC locomotives for running trains up to 92km," said Hubballi divisional manager Arvind Malkhede in a statement.
The electrification enables the zone to replace diesel engines for passenger and freight trains for 132km up to Ballari in the state's northwest region.
"Besides reduction in pollution; economy and efficiency of train operations will improve when trains are run on electricity than diesel," said Malkhede.
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