Use of Motor Graders in Railways
Motor graders, also called road graders or simply graders, is a commonly seen earth moving equipment which is primarily associated with road and civil construction work. A grader is actually quite an adaptable piece of heavy machinery that can navigate its way through tough terrain to operate and perform multiple jobs.
For instance, railway is one major sector where multi axle grader machines play an important role in construction work. Graders are utilised for a number of tasks at railway sites where the existing infrastructure such as track lines need to be extended, or else at new sites where fresh tracks are to be laid and new stations and terminals need to be constructed.
Scope for Graders in Railway Projects
The largest rail network in Asia, Indian Railways has an extensive rail network infrastructure connecting the length and breadth of the country including many interior and remote locations. Additional capacity expansion is continuously being planned and carried out as the Railway Ministry focuses not just on operating and maintaining but also upgrading its existing infrastructure to meet increased future demand in commuter and freight traffic.
In fact, for the current financial year 2021-22, infrastructure development is a key focus area for the Railways, with the Railway Ministry announcing its intent to complete 56 ongoing projects along with commencing new ones. Recently, in February 2021, the Railway Minister green-flagged as many as 88 railway projects across five states – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, in a bid to boost cross-country connectivity.
Some of the big rail projects spread across different railway zones, which have been earmarked for completion this fiscal include:
- 475 km Palanpur-Kandla port-Mundra port-Bhuj railway electrification
- 283 km Bina-Kota doubling
- 225 km Daund-Gulbarga doubling
- 123 km Yelahanka-Penukonda doubling
- 69 km Ahmedabad-Mehsana gauge conversion
- 93 km Dausa-Gangapur City new line
This scenario will no doubt lead to increased demand for graders since many of these rail projects will involve tunnels to be constructed in hilly regions, tracks to be laid on slopes and so on for which flattening of the surface is essential. Motor grader machines are ideal for such work to flatten out the rocky, uneven ground and then do a ‘grading’ or smooth levelling of the gravelly surface. This prepares the foundation ground and makes it ready for laying the top layer and the tracks.
Motor Graders at Work
Grader machines typically have two main attachments – Ripper and Dozer. The long dozer blade attachment at the front is used for tasks such as bulldozing, removing dirt and gravel, removing obstructing tree stumps, clearing fallen rocks and such tasks, which helps clear and flatten the surface. The sharp teeth-like attachment fitted at the back of the machine is called a ripper. It is used for breaking or ripping through hard material particularly where an existing surface has to be re-prepared.
When it comes to grader options available to contractors, the Mahindra RoadMaster G9075 and Mahindra RoadMaster G9595 are truly ‘Made for India’ grader machines because they have been designed after exhaustive research and developed on the basis of specific market insights. Thus they can guarantee optimal performance in large as well as small and medium road construction projects, which the latter constitutes majority of all road construction projects in India.
Mahindra RoadMaster G9075
The Mahindra RoadMaster G9075 is a rugged grader machine, powered by a 4-Cylinder Turbo Charged DiTEC engine churning out 55 kW at 2200 rpm. The dozer blade is designed for a higher rotation angle of about 500 for faster grading, while the improved hydraulic pump generates higher maximum pressure of around 20 MPa that transfers more power to the blade. The versatility of the Mahindra RoadMaster G9075 is enhanced by the 5-Tyne Ripper and a heavy duty Dozer Blade fitment as standard attachment.
Mahindra RoadMaster G9595
For a developing country such as India, the Mahindra RoadMaster G9595 is a highly optimized machine thanks to its new improved hydraulics with a bigger gear pump for increased per-hour productivity. Longer moldboard with a blade length of 3000 mm ensures better quality of work and better finishing. The 100% Mechanical Differential Lock generates greater power and equal distribution of motion to the rear tyres, which ensures enhanced grading performance and prevents the machine from getting stuck in muddy terrain.
Indian CE manufacturers such as Mahindra are therefore fully prepared with their BSIV range of graders to support and advance the growth of railways into the future.