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COLUMN TRACK CONSTRUCTION

SYNOPSIS:Railways are made up of complex mechanical and electrical systems and there are

hundreds of thousands of moving and fixed parts. If a railway service is to be reliable and
effective, the equipment must be kept in good working order and regular maintenance is the
essential ingredient to achieve this. A railway will not survive for long as a viable operation if it is
allowed to deteriorate because of lack of maintenance.Life based Maintenance (preventive
maintenance), if efficiently facilitated, then optimal operation of rolling stock simultaneously with
optimised cost can be ensured in contrast to Failure based maintenance (corrective
maintenance) and consequence halt in operation.Rolling stock is the most maintenance intensive
part of the railway system and is the most vulnerable for failure if maintenance is neglected. A
stalled train will block a railway line immediately and will affect the scheduled operation on an
intensively used system to an unmanageable shambles for the remainder of the day. Reliability is
the key to successful railway operation and maintenance should be the number one priority to
ensure availability and reliability for a continuous and seamless track. Column Track is primarily
concerned with providing the requisite provision for all the significant microscopic and macroscopic
maintenance of the rolling stock.This paper brings out the procedure of instalment of prefabricated
Column Track.L&T Construction has initiated the installation of railway tracks on
prefabricated Reinforced Concrete columns for the first time in India in Hyderabad Metro
Rail Project.

In the installation of column track, prefabricated reinforced concrete columns are placed in
the concrete trenches for both the rail of the track. The Reinforced Concrete columns are
lighter than the steel column and hence it is efficient to handle them and align them to the
required accuracy level. In order to make this process easier , we have designed some
special tools.

Major Activities concerned with the construction of Column Track in sequence are:

Taking Over access from Depot Team.

For taking over the access, joint survey for alignment, levels and inspection for possible
infringements and subgrade compaction are done. The data are documented in handing
over check list.

Placing the rails, welding, USFD testing and forming panels.

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Survey of the track alignment for Column track on depot workshop.

The Primary Control points as set by Depot team are taken over and Secondary Control
Points at every 18 m are established in the depot and each inspection line.From the
Secondary Control points track center line of each Column track are marked on available
concrete bed. After SOD inspection for infringement, Temporary Bench Marks are
established. Further based on the difference in the as built levels of the column track and
concrete bed top of the depot, the rail levels and concrete depths are determined.

Installation of column track and Concreting of Pits

Precast columns with C-clamp are erected in the pits. Base Plate will be fixed on the top of
the column. Rails are placed over rollers that are fixed on temporary support (Fig.I and
Fig.II) which are installed at the interval of 6 m center-to-center.Track Parameters and track
alignment are done by GSF fixed at 1.2 m center-to-center and track master respectively.
After removing the temporary support final alignment is done by track master. Column
supports are replaced by wedges. Initially we will do the 3 free rail on which 36mts only will
be concreting leaving 9 m on either side for reference of the next rail length. The same
process will be repeated till the entire length of the column track. After completion of the
1st pour we will bring the LWR to the site and we will place it on the columns. After placing
of panels, we will again fix the fasteners to the rail. After that track parameter shall be
rechecked with Track master and any final adjustment required are done.

Curing of concrete in column track

Exposed surfaces of concrete will be kept continuously in damp or wet condition by ponding
or by covering with a layer of sacking, canvas, hessian cloth or similar materials and kept
constantly wet for at least seven days from the date of placing concrete in case of ordinary

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Portland cement and at least 10 days where mineral admixture or blended cement are used.
The period of curing shall not be less than 10 days for concrete exposed to dry and hot
weather. In the case of concrete where mineral admixture or blended cements are
used, it is recommended that above minimum periods may be extended to 14 days.

As built survey

The As built survey is carried out as per site construction details in comparison to the
approveddrawings. Final levels of rail top are taken by using the appropriate survey
instruments and aredocumented in the checklist of as built details of column track.

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As built Drawings

Support Arrangement for Rail Rollers – (Option I) (Fig.1)

Support Arrangement for Rail Rollers – (Option II) (Fig.1I)

Support Arrangements for the Columns – (Option I) (Fig.1II)

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Support Arrangements for Columns – (Option II) (Fig.1V)

The Development of Train Maintenance

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Installation of Prefabricated Reinforced concrete columns in lieu of steel columns
optimises the cost of construction of column track.The regular inspection of motive power,
coaches and wagons has long been a part of the railway culture. The need for inspections was
based on the need to ensure the good condition of the structure of the largely bodies of the
coaches and wagons and the integrity of the wheels, axles and braking systems.

References

IVSN Murty (Approved: October 2013)HM-LE-ALLDEP-M0601-DOC-MS-TRW-00-007.

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