Railways minister flags off L&T-built full span launching equipment for High Speed Rail project
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, recently flagged off the L&T-built full span launching equipment at the company’s manufacturing facility in Kanchipuram, some 50 km from Chennai, that has been developed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor Project.Considering the enormous scale of construction involved in constructing the 508-km project, of which L&T’s share is 63 per cent, there is a need to adopt innovative, state-of-the-art construction techniques and methodologies to hasten the pace of execution. The full span launch equipment comprising the first-of-their-kind straddle carriers and girder transporters will transport and erect full-span girders as a single piece for the double track. The 40-m long girders weighing 975 mt will be the heaviest PSC box girders to be precast and erected in India’s construction industry.“This is a true reflection of our alignment to the spirit of building an Atmanirbhar Bharat,” said SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & Managing Director, L&T, at the virtual launch. “Both these equipment have been entirely designed and developed inhouse and, most pertinently, customised to the specific requirements of the project, which is by far the largest EPC project ever to be awarded in India. There are several challenges to build at such speed and scale, but we are committed to take on this mammoth challenge to deliver India’s first high-speed rail project in time and to quality.”“Although such equipment is readily available in several global markets, we felt it would be strategically more beneficial for us to build it indigenously in partnership with MSMEs [micro, small, medium enterprises], and an important step towards making India self-reliant,” according to SV Desai, Whole-Time Director & Senior Executive Vice-President (Civil Infrastructure), L&T. “Our manufacturing facilities have been adequately geared up to deliver such equipment that is critical for delivery. And there are more such innovations on the anvil to help us deliver this prestigious project.”Technology highlights on the full-span launching equipment:The equipment has been designed using state-of-the-art finite element analysis software by developing full-scale models inhouse following stringent international codes maintaining a world-class design standard.The machines are checked for various critical loading cases and optimised using combinations of different material grades to ensure long and efficient operation at a minimum operating cost.The launching girder machines are suitable for curve tracks and different gradients.The machines are equipped with highly mechanised and proven world-class and reliable components and can operate in automatic mode using inbuilt program logic.There is a provision for remote monitoring through Internet of Things (IoT).