Indian Railways Vision - 2020 aims to transform IR from a net technology importer to technology exporter. In order to develop a long term frame work for research collaboration, MOU with IIT Kharagpur has been signed by Railway Board on 13/2/2010 for setting up a state-of-the-art Centre for Railway Research (CRR) at IIT/Kharagpur.
Research Centre shall have the following research areas -
• Heavy Haul Technology
• Vehicle Dynamics
• High-Speed Technologies
• Energy Efficient Traction Power Supply Systems
• Track Research
• Use of Artificial Intelligence for Predictive Maintenance and Management.
• Material Sciences for Railway related Composites including Rubbers, Polymers and Insulation Materials.
• Development of Integrated / Embedded Processors for Railway Applications
• Applications for Access Control, Security and Safety including Biometrics
• Open Platform Propulsion Control Systems for Rail Vehicles
• Non-Conventional Drives and Technology including Maglev, Linear Induction Meter.
• Remote Sensing and Measurement of OHE, Track and Signals
As per MOU –“Indian Railways will provide grants in aid to the Centre for Railway Research. Parties would mutually decide the modalities of funding and execution of this MOU based on recommendations of the ASC (Apex Steering Committee). A Program Advisory Committee (PAC), comprising of officers from Indian Railways and faculty members of IIT Kharagpur will be formed. The exact composition of PAC will be based on the recommendation of the APEX STEERING COMMITTEE. PAC will administer, monitor and supervise all the R&D related activities coming under this MOU”.
The center for railway research shall also offer Ph.DProgramme in research areas related to railways & will also involve B.Tech&M.Tech students in research projects & offer course & electives related to railway technology.
For execution & implementation of the MOU an apex steering committee has been formed vide railway board letter no. 2010/3400/1 dated 23.03.2010 consisting of following members.
• DG/RDSO: Co-chairman
• Director, IIT/KGP: Co-chairman
• Dean SRIC, IIT/KGP: Member
• Dean CE IIT KGP: Member
• Prof Electrical Engg./ IIT /KGP: Member
• ED/Research/RDSO: Member
• ED/E&R Railway Board: Member
• ED/FX(II) Railway Board: Member
To administer ,monitor & supervise all the R&D related activities coming under the purview of CRR , aprogramme advisory committee ( PAC) comprising of officers from RDSO , lucknow& faculty member of IIT-KGP , experts of technology , other institutions has been formed following members were nominated as members of PAC by apex steering committee.
• ADG RDSO: (Co-Chairman).
• Deputy Director IIT KGP:(Co-Chairman)
• Director/S&T Research/RDSO: (Joint Secretary)
• Prof. S. Roy, PIC, CRR:(Joint Secretary)
• ED/VDG RDSO: Member
• ED/Finance RDSO: Member
• Dean UG, IIT KGP: Member
• Prof. P. K. Sen, Chair Professor, STC,: Member
• Prof. T. K. Ghoshal, Professor, EE, JU, Kolkata: Member
• Prof. PradipDatta, Professor, ME, IISc. Bangalore: Member
PAC is free to co-opt members on need basis
Progress made so far
· MOU signed on 13.02.2010
· Apex steering committee constituted on 23.03.2010
· PAC constituted on 03.05.2010
Railway board vide letter no. 2010/E&R/3400/1 dated 11.05.2010 has suggested following areas for research for CRR to begin
· Heavy Haul Technology
· High-Speed Technologies
· Use of Artificial Intelligence for Predictive Maintenance and Management
· Material Sciences for Railway related Composites including Rubbers, Polymers and Insulation Materials.
Construction of CRR building
Renovation of the space for computation laboratory, office & experience laboratory has been completed.
Tender for construction of CRR building has been awarded to M/s EPIL. It is finalized that a G+4 storey building will be constructed for CRR. However, the foundation will be for a G+7 building for possible future extension. The plan of the building has been finalized. Soil Testing and survey work has been completed. Ground breaking ceremony of CRR new building was held on 24.08.2012. Construction of CRR building is in progress. Target date-June 2015
Projects undertaken at CRR
Total no of twelve no. of R&D projects have been successfully awarded to IIT-KGP in the areas of Heavy haul, High speed, artificial intelligence and material sciences.
Following are Research Projects that has been taken up under CRR so far:
1. Project on Development of provision for design of steel concrete composite Railway bridges for normal speed and special provision for high speed passenger traffic (Bridges & Structures Directorate).
2. Creep & Warping (including Gauge widening) of hot Loco wheels, towards development of design guidelines against gauge widening (Motive Power Directorate).
3. Online monitoring system for OHE traction parameters (Traction Installation Directorate).
4. Development of Railway Bridge Health Monitoring System and wireless sensor networks (Bridges & Structures Directorate).
5. Scientific Evaluation of High Voltage Insulator Conditions/ Prediction of Residual Life of Composite Insulators (Traction Installation Directorate).
6. Design and Development of an On-board Intelligent Embedded Platform for detection of weak failure modes and prognosis of severe faults in locomotives (Electric Loco Directorate).
7. Development of Composition and Standardization of Properties of Composite Brake Blocks for Application in Coaches of Indian Railways (Metallurgical & Chemical Directorate).
8. Suspension and Bogies Technology for High Speed Trains (Carriage Directorate).
9. Thermo-mechanically processed high strength bainitic steel rails for Indian Railways (Metallurgical & Chemical Directorate).
10. Aerodynamic Design of Traction Rolling Stock with Speed Potentials of 250 km/h (Electrical Directorate).
11. Assessment of Various Strategies of Seating Arrangements. (Carriage Directorate).
12. Modelling & validation of interlocking for railway were signalling system (Signal Directorate).