Mysore, July 12 (JP)- The 86-year-old Ashokapuram Railway Workshop is in for a major overhaul and modernisation as a master plan entailing an investment of Rs. 62 crore is to be submitted to the Railway Board for its approval.

According to sources in the Railway Workshop, once the Railway Board approves the plan, it would be the first major over-hauling and modernisation programme to be implemented which would help meet the requirements of the Indian Railways for another 50 years.

The master plan proposes to have State-of-the-art machinery and equipment to dispense with certain obsolete and manual operations still deployed in the workshop.

New infrastructure by way of new sheds, realignment of the existing sheds, new facility for overhead cranes to lift the bogies and streamlining the workshop process so as to introduce an inflow system, apart from modern painting equipment, has been envisaged in the master plan.

The workshop was mainly used for the Periodic Overhauling (POH) of coaches. At present, it has a capacity to take up 11 air-conditioned coaches and 65 non-air-conditioned coaches a month. But once the workshop was upgraded, its capacity would be augmented to handle at least 100 coaches a month, Chief Workshop Manager P.K. Purohit said. This was necessary in view of the expansion of the railway services and introduction of new train services, he added.

A proposal to upgrade the workshop was accorded administrative approval a few years ago and a Rs. 32-crore plan was submitted. But the Railway Board sought some technical upgra-dation and further improvements and hence, a new master plan for Rs. 62 crore was being finalised. The master plan would be submitted to higher authorities soon, Purohit said. The workshop at Ashokapuram has a sanctioned strength of 1,984 employees while the present employee strength is 1,742. The workload on the employees has also increased.

The Railway Board has allocated funds for the compu-terisation of the entire workshop. This would make the coach history accessible and retrievable for any details pertaining to its maintenance and repair which adds to the safety factor. Among the new mission areas identified for the workshop was the development of LED destination boards in which the train number, train name, coach number can be stored and displayed in multiple languages and reset with remote operation.

The Mysore Railway Workshop was established as a base workshop for the erstwhile Mysore State Railway in 1924 and it was expanded in 1938. It was originally designed for the POH of metre gauge coaches but was expanded to take up the POH of broad gauges in 1992-93, the sources added.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore