Rail Coach factory at Harnaut to be operational in 2 months

PATNA: The railways’ ambitious project, Coach Maintenance Workshop, coming up at Harnaut in Nalanda, the home district of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, is likely to be made partly functional in July this year. However, the workshop will become fully functional in the next financial year.

According to ECR CPRO Dilip Kumar, railways has installed a few machineries, including bogie testing machine, surface wheel lathe, plasma profile cutting and other essential plants required for the smooth functioning of the workshop.

The CPRO said that of 975 employees required, about 200 have already joined the workshop. Many more officials and staff are likely to join the workshop in a month or so. The intermediary overhauling (IOH) block will be made functional in July this year, while the entire periodical overhauling (POH) block will be made functional sometime in March or April next year, he said.

The GPT Infrastructure Ltd, which has been assigned the task to complete the civil work of the project, has already completed the first phase of work and handed over to railways five sheds for installing machineries and plants. The sheet metal shop, bogie store shop, wheel axle shop and bogie repair shop have been completed in the first phase, the CPRO said.

According to him, the civil work at the site will be completed soon. Work on the administrative block building (IT section) of the workshop has been completed. Railways intends to make IT section functional on the campus soon to facilitate easy installation of machineries and plants, he said.

The Harnaut workshop is being developed on about 113 acres — workshop on 76 acres and staff quarters on 37 acres. Altogether 18 sheds would be built at the workshop in phases. The special feature of the workshop is that it will have the ‘double stacked coach maintenance technology’ to carry out periodical overhauling (POH) of coaches. The cost of the project, which was initially Rs 98 crore, has been revised to Rs 224.51 crore. Railways will soon finalize the tender for building staff quarters, sources said.

It may be recalled that the then President, A P J Abdul Kalam, had laid the foundation stone for the workshop at Harnaut on June 30, 2003 during Nitish Kumar’s tenure as railway minister. The ECR is one of the biggest zones of the Indian Railways, comprising five divisions — Danapur, Mughalsarai, Dhanbad, Sonepur and Samastipur. It has more than 3000 passenger coach holding capacity (number of coaches). These coaches are sent outside the state for periodical overhauling (POH) on a regular basis to maintain full safety measures on tracks, sources said.