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First consignment of long-welded panels roll out of NF Railway’s new plant
PRANJAL BHUYAN

The flash butt machine brought from The Netherlands at the NF Railway workshop in Bongaigaon.
 GUWAHATI, Aug 27 - The first consignment of long-welded panels constructed at the newly-constructed Flash Butt Welding Plant located at New Bongaigaon Railway Yard has been dispatched for use by the Indian Railways.

 “The first loaded rake consignment comprising of 47 long-welded panels was recently dispatched for use in the Fakiragram-Dhubri broadgauge section. Another two rakes have also been dispatched to the Rangiya Division,” SK Ojah, Senior Public Relations Officer of Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction Organisation), told The Assam Tribune.

It is noteworthy that the plant which was built at a cost of Rs 44 crore, had been inaugurated at New Bongaigaon on March 28 this year by NK Prasad, General Manager of NFR (Construction Organisation).

“The plant is now functioning smoothly and is engaged in speedy execution of rail weld to cater to the need for better quality control product with high safety tolerance in place of the earlier conventional welding process,” said the official.

The entire operation was carried out under Antu Anjan Deka, Deputy Chief Engineer, who is also the project incharge, and under the control of Nilomoni Brahma, Chief Engineer of NFR (Construction Organisation).

In flash butt welding process of rails, the rails are welded by the heating, using the flashing technique with the help of hydraulic control system.

“The basic technology of Flash Butt Welding is to join the rails by metal resistance welding process, that is by forging the two single rails in high current of 20,000 to 50,000 amperes (amps) and with low volt (5 to 20 volt) by the welding machine,” said Ojah.

The welding process is in principle a regulated electric short circuit with the two rail ends functioning as DC poles. The high current produces an arc between the rail ends and the two rail cross-sections are heated to melting temperature due to the high input of current.

The result is an accurate weld without filler metal with a very small heat-affected zone and a more or less consistent progression of the hardening process with a favourable crystal-line structure.

The machine used in the plant was manufactured in The Netherlands and contract for it was awarded to Hyderabad-based M/S Patil SMH-JV Pvt Ltd.

“The plant has been developed with all infrastructural facilities. It has adequate facilities with provision for modern mechanised loading and unloading of rails using motorised gantries. After construction of 130/260 metre long welded panels in the plant, we can load the panels into special ‘End Unloading Rake’ by gantry and mechanised motorised hoist operation with a capacity of 20,000 MT panel,” added Ojah.

He said that the basic purpose is to convert free rails into long panels in order to achieve good quality of rail joints.

Work is on to augment operations further with a purpose to step up dispatch to different construction projects of NFR (Construction Organisation) and the NFR open line as well as other neighbouring zonal railways on demand.

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