Railways are modernized with the objective of allowing heavier trains to run safely and economically at faster speeds, of improving productivity, and of providing better customer service to rail users. This consists of upgrading the track, use of better designed rolling stock, adopting a superior form of traction, better signalling and telecommunication arrangements, and using other modern techniques in the various operations of a railways system. A railway track is modernized by incorporating the following features in the track.
(a) Use of heavier rail sections such as 52 kg/m and 60 kg/m and the use of wear-resistant rails for heavily used sections so as to increase the life of the rails.
(b) Use of curved switches of 1 in 16 and 1 in 20 type for smoother arrival at yards.
(c) Use of prestressed concrete sleepers and elastic fastenings such as Pandrol clips to provide resilience to the track and ensure the smooth movement of trains at high speeds.
(d) Use of long welded rails and switch expansion joints to ensure a smooth and fast rail journey.
(e) Modernization of track maintenance methods to include mechanized maintenance, measured shovel packings, etc., in order to ensure better track geometry, to facilitate high speeds and smooth travel.
(f) Track monitoring using the Amsler car, portable accelerometer, Hallade track recorder, etc. to assess the standards of track maintenance and plan for better maintenance, if required.
Other aspects of modernization of the railways generally include making the following provisions.
(a) Use of better designed all-coiled, anti-telescope ICF coaches with better spring arrangements and better braking systems for safe and smoother rail travel.
(b) Provisions of universal couples to ensure uniformity in the coupling of the coaches.
(c) Introduction of diesel and electric traction in order to haul heavier loads at faster speeds.
(d) Introduction of modern signalling techniques to enable trains to move at high speeds without any risks.
(e) Setting up of a management information system for monitoring and moving freight traffic in order to avoid idle time and increase productivity.
(f) Computerization of the train reservation system to avoid human error and provide better customer service for reservation of berths.
(g) Use of computers and other modern management techniques to design and maintain railway assets more efficiently and economically, to ensure efficient human resource development (HRD), to increase productivity, and to provide better customer service.