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Global Heavy Haul Experiance and Indian Railway
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  M. M. Agarwal Former   Chief Engineer, Northern Railway. K. K. Miglani Deputy Chief Engineer (TP), Northern Railway. Prologue  RITES Journal 19.1January 2010 Global Heavy Haul Experienceand Indian Railways The phrase ‘Heavy Haul Operation’ cameinto prominence with the first Heavy HaulConference held in Perth in WesternAustralia in 1978. A large number of HeavyHaul Trains are being operated in America,Australia, Africa, Europe, Brazil,Scandinavia and UK for the last 3 to 4decades. Fortescue Railway in WesternAustralia is possibly the world’s latestheavy haul line which opened in 2008.The authors have examined the problemsfaced by some of the important heavy haulsystems in the world railways, inconstruction and operation, with specialreference to Indian Railways. The mainproblems which require to be addressedhave been highlighted in the Paper alongwith possible remedial measures. Theexperience gained from these railwayscan be useful during the induction of heavyhaul trains on Indian Railways.- Editor Introduction The phrase “Heavy Haul” (HH) operation probably came into prominence withthe first Heavy Haul Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia in 1978. Heavy Haul(HH) trains operate in some of the world’s most difficult conditions of terrain andclimate, with rail temperatures up to 75 o C in North West Australia, down to minus 50degrees C in Canada, and with annual ranges of up to 80 o C. Trains can be of 250vehicles giving a trailing weight of some 30,000 tonnes and train lengths of more than3 kms., with track curvature of 220m and grades of 2%.By 1975-1980, Heavy Haul trains were being operated in Africa, Australia,Brazil, North America, Europe and Scandinavian countries. The growth has been  19.2Global Heavy Haul Experience and Indian Railways phenomenal since then and in most of the developed nations, these Heavy HaulTrains are running as an economic necessity.It is proposed to take case studies of a few typical railways and discuss thevarious problems faced by them as well as remedial measures in construction as wellas in operation and maintenance.It may be brought out that some studies of Heavy Haul trains relate to earlieryears. Though there have been many technical developments since then, yet some ofthe problems brought out in earlier days are still relevant in the present day context.The case studies discussed in this Paper for running of Heavy Haul trains indifferent countries of the world not only relate to construction and maintenance of thetrack but also of some specific issues concerning the track. The case studiesdiscussed in the paper are:(i)Burlington Railway of North America for maintenance of Heavy HaulRailway lines.(ii)Harmersley Railways of North-West Australia for maintenance of HeavyHaul Railway lines.(iii)Fortescue Railways of Western Australia for construction of HeavyHaul Railway Line.(iv)Economics of running Heavy axle load and longer trains in Sweden(Europe).(v)Maintenance of Heavy Haul Corridor of Union Pacific Railway.(vi)Track Transition solutions for Heavy axle load service – American RailRoads.(vii)Effect of Heavy axle load on Bonded Insulation Joints – ResearchStudy by TTCI (American Rail Roads).(viii)Heavy Haul operation on Narrow Gauge in Australia, Brazil & SouthAfrica- 9 th  International Heavy Haul Conference.It is felt that experience gained by different Railway systems of the worldmay be of considerable help to Indian Railways specially for running of 25 tonnes axleload trains on nominated sections of Indian Railway as well as for the DedicatedFreight Corridors.The various case studies are discussed in subsequent paras along with theconclusions.  M. M. Agarwal & K. K. Miglani19.3 Burlington Railway of North America Introduction  Burlington Railway of North America is one of the oldest Heavy Haul operatedrailway, constructed in the decade 1970-1980. The traffic carried on the railway wasmostly coal and mixed traffic with an axle load of 30 tonnes and a maximum speed of75 km per hour. The annual tonnage was 50 HGT. The gauge adopted was standardgauge of 1435mm. Track Structure  The track consisted of 68 Kg per metre rail & with mostly wooden sleeperswith cut spikes and also mono block concrete sleepers with special clips; maximumcurvature was 220 metres radius. Problems Faced  A study carried out indicated the following problems with the track on accountof Heavy Axle loads :(i)RailsRapid rail wear, Rail end batter and dipped joints, Cracked rails,Corrugation of rails.(ii)Sleepers(a)Wooden Sleepers - By far the most common wooden sleeper fastenerused was cut spike and rail anchor. The problem faced was sleeperdegradation causing deformation of track geometry and lesser sleeperlife.(b)Concrete Sleeper – The concrete sleeper fasteners were embeddedin housing forming an integral part of the sleeper, with a self-tensioningspring clip located in the housing. In case of concrete sleeper therewas no problem of any type except for the fastenings.(iii)Fastenings – Different problems existed on different type of fastenings:a)Wooden Sleeper –Problems experienced were lifting and lateralmovement of the spikes giving poor gauge.b)Concrete Sleeper - The problems faced were of low clamping force(toe load) and low rail creep resistance values. Also, the rubber padssuffered from abrasion, cutting and permanent set.  19.4Global Heavy Haul Experience and Indian Railways Conclusion  It may be brought out that subsequent upgradation of track structure anddeployment of new technology has sorted out many of these initial problems causedduring Heavy Haul operation. Hamersley Railway of North Western Australia Introduction  Hamersley Railway of North Western Australia used to transport iron ore overa standard gauge (1435 mm), single track of 388 kms, joining mines at Tom Price andParaburdoo with two ship-loading points.Trains consisted of three 2700kw diesel electric locomotives and up to 210cars with a 30t axle load. Train length was over 2kms, and gross weight about 26,000tonnes. On 100km an adverse grade of 0.4% existed between Paraburdoo and TomPrice. Problems Faced  (i)Embankments: These were constructed in a short span of about oneyear without proper consolidation and as such gave problems ofsettlement, slippage and even failure.(ii)Track: Degradation resulting in poor track geometry, fastening becomingloose, widening of gauge affecting cross levels and other track parameters.(iii)General: ã The heavy axle loads, rising tonnage and train frequency had twoimportant effects: increasing track degradation and decreasing timefor repairs. ã By the mid-70’s, with tonnage at 55 MGT/year and expected to furtherincrease, it seemed that track maintenance would limit the capacityof the system. Remedial Measures   (i)Up gradation of track by using rails of 68kg/m, and proper consolidationof embankment. Improving quality of ballast and providing higher ballastcushion; use of Malaysian treated sleepers and better quality of fasteners.(ii)Rail Profiling by proper rail grinding machine.(iii)Monitoring of Track tolerances: Laying standard track tolerances andproper monitoring of the same.(iv)Better track management system.
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