The Indian Railways is expected to invest approximately $140 million for modernisation of workshops and another $23.5 million for procurement of machines over the next one year.
Inaugurating a two-day international seminar on ''Railway Workshop Modernisation and New technology in Machine Tools'' organised by the Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers, COFMOW Chapter, in New Delhi today, R K Rao, member mechanical said that now the concept of 'workshop modernisation' itself had undergone a sea change.
The Central Organisation for Modernization of Workshops (COFMOW) was set up with a World Bank loan in 1979 to modernise age-old railway workshops.
Rao said that the rapidly growing Indian economy has been making huge demands on the infrastructure and logistics and the sprawling rail network of the Indian Railways has a definite edge in providing the most critical input to the economy namely transportation.
The Indian Railways have a massive investment plant of Rs250,000 crore for the 11th 5-year Plan, which translates to an investment of Rs50,000 crore a year, Rao said.
The initial task of COFMOW was to replace individual machines of pre-independence vintage and a phased replacement of machines.
Indian Railways is one of the single biggest units under one umbrella in the world. It has more than 50 independent mechanical engineering workshops and production units which undertake manufacturing, overhaul and repair activities for locomotives, coaches, wagons and other railway assets.
The Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers has been actively engaged in dissemination of Railway Engineering knowledge among its members, industry and users through a large pool of distinguished technical experts. It provides an opportunity to its member industries to gain from larger context and knowledge pool.
During the two-day seminar, 30 papers will be presented by foreign as well as Indian railway technocrats and Indian Railways officers who are responsible for production and maintenance of rolling stock as well as machine tool maintenance in workshops and production units, Railway Design and Standards Organisation, Railway Board and various public sector units.