R & D
In the course of our long association with the Indian Railways and as a result of our keen observation of leading manufacturers abroad, we became acutely aware of the need for in-house R&D activities for evolving new, improved and cost-effective designs of track components capable of longer service life, superior performance, higher reliability, increased safety and better riding qualities with attendant reduction in maintenance cost of track and rolling stock. With this end in view, we commenced our in-house R&D activities in the year 1989 with a dedicated team of engineers and have been fortunate to conceive, produce and optimize several designs of track components within this short period of 15 years. We have been granted patents by The Patents Office (of India) for several of the items developed by us.
A brief description of the items conceived and developed to meet critical needs of railway systems is given below:
IMPROVED SWITCH EXPANSION JOINTS (SEJs) - (Indian Patent No. 178898)
This is a product meant for use in Long Welded Rails. It has been laid on Indian Railway tracks on which fast and heavy traffic is carried. The design is superior to designs in use over several world Railway systems in that, it does not have any bends. The presence of bends in the existing designs of SEJs makes them fracture-prone and poses a severe safety hazard. Over 850 Nos. of Improved SEJs have been procured by Indian Railways and over 700 Nos. have so far been laid in track by different zonal Railways. They have given satisfactory service. BMW are anticipating repeat orders from Indian Railways in the near future. Read more ...
SWING NOSE CROSSING (SNCs) - (Indian Patent No. 183221)
This product evolved by BMW not only eliminates the infirmities and deficiencies of the conventional built up and CMS Crossings, but has also been found to be superior to (20 Nos. of) costly imported Swing Nose Crossings tried out on Indian Railways from 1992 to 1998. It is eminently suitable for use on all running lines (specially those carrying very
heavy and/or high speed traffic). Due to its unique features, the life and maintainability of the crossing and the rolling stock moving over it are greatly enhanced. Indian Railways have procured 100 Nos. of these crossings. The first SNC of BMW was laid on a heavy-traffic line carrying 40 GMT of traffic per annum on South Eastern Railway in July 1997.
It has been giving satisfactory service till April, 2004 (even after being in service for over 80 months). A remarkable feature is that it has thus far developed only about 2 mm of wear on the top of the head and has not been resurfaced even once. On the other hand, standard Cast Manganese Steel crossings laid in the neighbourhood develop 10 to 12 mm wear within 24 months and have to be scrapped. The immense benefit from BMW's new design of Swing Nose Crossing has been noted by Senior Track and Signal Engineers and also by local Maintenance staff. Based on this experience, BMW claim that their SNCs are superior and cost-effective vis-a-vis built-up crossings, CMS crossings and also imported SNCs.
Read more ...
SPRING SETTING DEVlCE (SSD) - (Indian Patent No.183370)
The design evolved by BMW has been duly evaluated by the Research, Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) of Indian Railways and recommended for use by zonal Railways with a view to eliminating problems of wear and rattling of Tongue rails forming part of high-speed curved switches. Over 350 Nos. have been procured by zonal railways and over 250 Nos. have been installed. Their performance has been observed to be satisfactory. Read more ...
IMPROVED INTEGRATED CROSSING - (Application No. 1355/Cal/1997)
This design has been evolved by BMW in order to develop a built-up crossing made from rolled rails which
- Performs integrally similar to Cast Manganese Steel (CMS) Crossings to eliminate frequent tightening of bolts.
- To enable the crossing to be resurfaced in-situ whenever wear develops on the surface (which is not possible with CMS crossings).
- Harden the wear-prone areas of the crossings to obtain longer wear-life.
Over 100 Nos. of such crossings have been supplied to the Indian Railways. The design can be readily used on Steel or Wooden sleepers and also can be made to suit Concrete Sleepers, on which presently only CMS crossings are used on Indian Railways. Read more ...
IMPROVED RAIL SEAT FASTENING - (Indian Patent No. 178788)
This design has been evolved by BMW for providing insulation-lining directly on Elastic Rail Clips in order to enhance the service life of the insulation, in comparison to the presently used Insulating Liners which are separate components having poor service life. The design also incorporates modified Rubber Pads to enhance their service life and also to prevent their falling out from under the rail-seat. Such falling out damages the top surface of the concrete sleepers due to direct contact with and impact from rail and also results in reduced toe load on rail flange. The design is yet to be marketed by BMW.
IMPROVED RAIL JOINT - (Application No. 1593/Cal/1997)
Indian Railways have so far used Switches with Asymmetrical Thick Web rails as tongue rails and also with Crane rails as tongue rails. In the former case, the Thick web rails have to be procured after due forging of their ends to enable their being joined to lead rails by means of fish-plates. This results in disproportionate increase in cost of tongue rails as hardly 2 or 3 firms in the world possess such forging capability. In the case of Crane rails, the ends of the rails have to be machined locally to enable connection by means of fish-plates. This causes disproportionate increase in the cost of fabrication and also does not lead to a joint with satisfactory strength. To meet such situations, BMW have evolved a design of Improved Rail Joint in which the ends of tongue rails (whether symmetrical or crane rail) are joined by a suitable joint which is much more rigid and sturdy as compared to standard fish plated joints. Similar joints can be developed by BMW to meet situations where rails with gross dissimilarity in shapes/ areas are to be joined together. The design is yet to be marketed by BMW.
SWITCH USING THICK-WEB CRANE RAILS
The utility if this design lies in the fact that Indian Railways can avail the benefit of use of thick-web tongue rails (which have about 6 to 10 times the life of standard tongue rails) without the need for importing costly thick-web rails from a limited number of producers abroad. The Crane rails produced by Bhilai Steel Plant can be utilized to avail the benefit of long life. 75 Nos. of such switches were fabricated and supplied by BMW to Indian Railways.