The National Railway Vikas Yojana (NRVY) scheme is being implemented in Karnataka to develop state-of-the-art rail transport infrastructure and address the rising demand in the Hospet-Hubli-Tinaighat region. Our client, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), is a public sector unit owned by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Railways. Its mission is to support transport infrastructure to meet the growing demand experienced in India.
SMEC was appointed to undertake Project Management Consultancy (PMC) services for the design, supply, erection, testing & commissioning of this 25 KV, 50 Hz section of track measuring 614 km. The PMC also include traction overhead equipment, sub stations, switching stations, SCADA and associated signalling and telecommunications, civil engineering work and ancillary buildings.
One of the challenges faced was the electrification of a new railway track across a hilly forest sanctuary with poor network coverage. Due to challenging site conditions and required design modifications, frequent re-work had to be done by the Contractors. The SMEC team monitored the work both day and night to ensure timely delivery with a focus on quality and safety.
The project experienced pandemic-related disruptions and nation-wide lockdowns, which affected deadlines. Nevertheless, the team responded proactively and worked diligently to achieve project milestones.
The project was split in to two packages of work:
Package 1: Hosapete (excl.) – Hubballi (excl.)
- 330 tkm
- 3 traction sub-stations
- 3 sectioning posts
- 7 sub sectioning posts
Package 2: Hubballi (incl.) – Tinaighat (incl.)
- 284 tkm
- 2 traction sub-stations
- 2 sectioning posts
- 8 sub sectioning posts
The scope included electrification of 35 railway stations, including Hubli Junction, the longest railway platform in the world measuring 1,505 metres. The team provided seamless coordination and detailed planning for works required on running lines, as to not disrupt ongoing railway operations for both users and workers. Further to this, a close working relationship was formed with the State Electricity Board to ensure efficient modification of overhead power lines.
Due to soil collapse caused by a heavy monsoon, many foundations were shifted. The team used cranes to align the foundations and used compressed soil and stone to stabilize the foundations and overhead equipment structures. Crane-mounted rail ballast regulating machines were deployed for tree training in the hilly forest areas. Regular site visits were conducted to monitor progress across environmental mitigation and general progress implementation advancement. This helped assist the RVNL in achieving timely completion of the construction packages, including necessary advance actions for site handover, and achieving milestones. SMEC also provided the RVNL assistance through sharing computer-aided project management techniques.
This project enhances the capacity of the current rail network to cater to the increasing demand. It facilitates movement of imported coal from Marmagao Port to Steel Industries and Thermal Power Plants in Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bellary, and Raichur districts. Moreover, the project expedites the transportation of iron ore to Chennai and Marmugoa ports, thus improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system.
Electrification of the rail network will also reduce pollution and improve the economy and efficiency of train operations by shifting from diesel to electricity. The Ministry of Railways is committed to strengthening the railway network to meet the increasing transportation needs in the region.
This project engagement in India marked the beginning of SMEC’s project management consultancy services in the country. Lessons learned from the venture will be applied to future opportunities in India and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, where railway electrification has yet to begin.
Railway Electrification of Hospet-Hubli-Tinaighat, Karnataka, India
Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)
2018 – 2023