coach washing plant
The smart automatic coach washing plant installed by NFR at Kamakhya coach maintenance depot.

Guwahati: In a move towards environmental sustainability by leveraging technology, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has installed its first-ever smart automatic coach washing plant (ACWP) at the Kamakhya coach maintenance depot here.

The plant, having multistage cleaning facilities, was inaugurated by NFR general manager Anshul Gupta on Wednesday.

“This system is eco-friendly and provides an efficient and cost-effective technique for outer body cleaning with optimum utilisation of water. Currently, coaches are being manually cleaned, which is time and water-consuming,” an official statement said.

The automatic coach washing plant ensures the reduce-recycle-reuse principle through its water treatment plant.

“It uses only 300 litres of water out of which 80 per cent is recycled water and only 60 litres (which is 20 per cent) of water is freshwater as compared to 1500 litres per coach in manual cleaning,” the statement said.

The plant can clean up to 300 to 350 coaches per day.

“The system is equipped with controlled chemical and soap dilution, which ensures no pollution. It can save around 1440 litres of water per coach in cleaning activities, thus saving 34 thousand litres of water per rake of 24 coaches,” it said.

Cleaning of coaches through this process also involves saving manpower, thereby reducing the expenditure.

The plant is also equipped with PLC (programme logic controller)-based intelligent control system which has an auto-start system when the train enters the ACWP. It can count the number of coaches, calculate the speed of the train and generate an MIS (management information system) report.

It is also capable of self-diagnosis and auto-indicates any failure in the system. Thus, the state-of-art system provides better quality of cleaning as compared to the conventional manual system of coach washing.

“The railway plans to install eight more ACWPs at Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri, Dibrugarh, Katihar, Silchar, Naharlagun, Alipurduar and Agartala. NFR has put one more step forward in the direction of leveraging technology to achieve environmental sustainability with the commissioning of this plant at Kamakhya,” the statement said.

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