A new research centre will be developed for research & development of bullet train technology at IIT-Kharagpur by the end of this 2015. The centre will be funded by the Indian Railway Board and the new building of the Centre for Railway Research (CRR) will be constructed inside the IIT-kharagpur campus.
There are four thrust identified areas by Indian Railways for research
- high-speed trains
- developing heavy haul capacity to carry more freight
- intelligent maintenance
- use of advanced materials like polymers, rubbers, etc.
Two high speed train corridors are proposed in India, while Japan is conducting the feasibility study for the bullet train project in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor and China for the Delhi-Chennai corridor. Working on suspension and bogies technology for high-speed trains has been already been started by the researchers in a temporary campus. Researchers are also working on the design of steel concrete composite railway bridges for high speed passenger traffic.
Developing bullet trains would require an array of rolling stock design aspects to be addressed, such as, aerodynamic design of rolling stock, vehicle dynamics, vibration and noise control, advanced control of electric loco drives, static and dynamic analysis of railway bridges, etc. 40 faculty members from different departments of the institute and as many scholars will be engaged in the research projects. Once fully ready with high-end specialised labs, CRR will also house an academic unit offering MTech courses in railway management and engineering. Besides the regular civil and mechanical engineering aspects, students would be taught on rail wheel dynamics, track, geotechnical aspects, transport planning, etc. For operational aspects related to trains, they will invite working rail professionals as adjunct faculty. The proposed degree course, whose curriculum is yet to be finalised, will have a maximum of 30 seats having space for both railway-sponsored employees as well as candidates who have cleared GATE entrance exam.
Currently, technical aspects are dealt by railway PSUs like Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO). The Railways have their own training centres for its manpower requirements and now they are planning to come up with a railway university. As a precursor to the proposed MTech courses, a short-term course will be conducted where international experts on high speed rail system discussed technical aspects with Indian Railway officials.