Conversion of ICF coaches to NMG coaches

Project Name:

Conversion of ICF coaches to NMG coaches at South-Eastern Railway workshop Haldia/Kharagpur Workshop  

Location: Haldia and Kharagpur Workshop, West Bengal, India  

Type of project:

Conversion of ICF (integral coach factory or passenger coaches) design to a new variant of the NMG coach (New Modified Goods) to enable faster transportation of automobiles from factories to consumption centres across India.

Completion date: 31/3/2021

About the project :

Ministry of Railway, (GoI) had decided to convert the ICF (Integral Coach Factory) design to a 110 kmph version of the NMG coach (New Modified Goods). The new variant (codenamed NMGH) will enable faster transportation of automobiles from factories to consumption centres across India.

The Indian Railways’ Coach Rehabilitation Workshop (CRWS) had planned to roll out this program which will reduce the cost of transportation of automobiles and contribute to effective utilization of old passenger coaches by modifying the design and converting them to high-speed goods carrier. The new NMGs will have a rise in carrying capacity and all set to carry up to12 tonnes of load.

Success criteria of the project was timely completion and securing perfect balance in feed versus consumption rate of ICF coaches. It was a completely new type of job for both Tuaman Engineering and Indian Railway. Efficient alignment in innovative design implementation, stakeholder management, coordination and risk analysis were the prime focus area of the project.

Sustainable measures undertaken

The objective of the project itself is a vital step towards sustainability. ICF coaches are received at the end of their product life span and recycled to a brand-new product with a different purpose and design instead of not being dumped or scrapped.

This is a strong step towards reducing scrap generation and minimizing wastage of national property. Other salient features promoting sustainability are:

1.Usage of wood polymer composites for reduction of wood usage.

2. Minimized usage of Oxy acetylene cutting and using Plasma Cutting instead. Plasma systems don’t require storing or handling explosive gases or dealing with an open flame, thereby causing less damage to the air quality.

3. Due to substantial amount of painting work involved in the project, we used paint booths to minimize the damage on air quality. 4. We used Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) method with Solid Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Wires instead of Solid Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). This has resulted in minimization of gas fume emission. Also, lead free paint was used throughout.

Attention/measures/amenities for occupants’ wellbeing

The project was a design conversion project for passenger rail coaches to goods carriers and meant for carrying automobiles. The occupants for this project were the workers those were involved during the tenure of the project.
Zero Accident Policy and safe work environment by providing Personal Protective Equipment, conducting regular Toolbox Talks, Job Safety analysis, were of extreme focus for all stakeholders of the project.

We used Plasma cutters as they safer for the worker as compared to traditional oxy acetylene torches.
For labours involved directly in painting, adequate PPE were provided along with safety glasses and masks.
For GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) with solid MIG (Metal Inert Gas) wires instead of SMAW (Solid Metal Arc Welding) is another step to reduce the health hazards of the welders.
Covid 19 precautions were extremely high and resulted in zero loss of life.

Project’s ability to adapt to changing external scenarios

Political disturbances were the key challenge which was mitigated by effective communication and people management. Intake of local workers and upskilling them was a challenge but mitigated with a constant involvement of project leadership as well as management leadership.

Developing new vendors for bought out components complying with innovative design was critical. Educating the vendors with innovative designs and educating the technical aspects was also a daunting task.

Covid 19 mitigation plan was implemented with utmost diligence and no deaths were recorded due to covid infection at site. Overall, not only this project, Tuaman Engineering have demonstrated high performance on COVID response and was awarded with CIDC (Construction Industry Development Council) Vishwakarma Awards 2022 for “Covid -19 Warrior “category.

New-age technologies adopted

Lifting and transporting the ICF coaches from the yard and delivering them to the stripping yard /workshop was challenging as EOT cranes were not suitable for such works. This was mitigated by using special hydraulic jacks and Shunting vehicles. Mechanical modification for these coaches was a delicate design conversion exercise. Stripping out mechanical and electrical component causing minimum damage to the body structure, Corrosion correction, installation of numerous new components (like twin brake system, Flap doors etc) and maintaining the overall quality of the new product to meet the purpose of design conversion was done with latest engineering methodologies.

Modern Axle turning machines, Ultrasonic crack detectors for wheel shaft, Wheel Turntable, Precision control instruments etc were some of the technologies used in the project. The addition of Swing doors and end flaps was done to facilitate the movement of automobiles through coaches. Stripping of floor plate and adding new floor plate with compreg board (impregnated resin) of 12 mm thickness was critical. Providing suitable hook or locking arrangement for locking & securing of load (Automobiles) for safe transportation was another important aspect.

 Innovative materials used in the project :

  1. Wood Polymer composite: This reduces the usage of natural wood. Compreg boards with Impregnated resin was used as floor plating. Compreg boards have unique advantages of providing better cross breaking strength while having lesser thickness which means lesser storage space as well.
  2. Gas Metal Arc Welding with Metal Inert Gas wires having low fume emission compared to traditional SMA welding
  3. We support the   vision of Joint leadership of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and World Health Organisation for global elimination of Lead Paint. Only lead-free paint was used in this project.
  4. Paint Booths for protecting the worker’s health
  5. Plasma Cutting Tools to prevent degradation of air quality.
  6. Precision Wheel Turing machines, Turn Tables, Ultrasonic detectors to promote the best usage of modern technologies.
  7. Special Hydraulic Jacks and Shunting vehicle to mitigate challenges in real time site scenario.
  8. Flaps and swing doors to ensure smooth mobility of vehicles inside the wagon .

Salient Features:

  1. The project is first of its kind for Indian Railways and has national importance
  2. Design conversion of ICF (passenger coaches) to NMG (New Modified Goods) coaches will result in huge cost saving for Indian railway. Transportation time will reduce as the variants are 110 KmPH compatible.
  3. Waste reduction and minimization of scrap generation as national objective is complimented.
  4. A big leap towards sustainability objectives by talking a dauting challenge of receiving a product at the end of its life and creating a new product with a new purpose.
  5. Technology and material used are value adding to the nature and focussed towards minimizing damage.
  6. Worker’s wellbeing was utmost taken care off and external factors were effectively managed which resulted the project completion before schedule.

Role of PMC:

RITES Limited was the single nodal agency having a Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of Railway. Indian Railway the provided the workshop for carrying out the work. RITES was also actively involved in inspection of ICF coaches, ensuring works are being carried out as per the designs provided by the RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation), Reconciliation of material consumed, Validation of work done with benchmark quality standards, Compliance to Laws and regulations and HSE (Health Safety and Environment) practises. RITES Limited was the final authority to accept the converted NMG coaches.

Concept of the Design

NMG wagons are single-decker automobile carriers constructed from old Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches. All the windows and doors are removed, Flap and Swing doors allow vehicles to be driven into it. Perforated type floors facilitate lashing of wheels of the vehicles. Ceiling is repaired, covered to protect the cars.

You may also like