Sanjay Kumar is chief engineer, working on signalling and telecom, at Kolkata Metro Rail (KMRCI) and is also an officer for the Indian Railway Services of Signal Engineers (IRSSE)
Sanjay has spent over 25 years in the railway engineering domain, he was instrumental in commissioning India’s first Wi-Fi enabled train on the Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani express route. He is currently with KMRCI and is responsible for planning, ICB tendering, execution, testing and commissioning for the Kolkata East West Metro Rail Project.
The Kolkata Metro Rail (KMRCL) is implementing a first-of-its-kind metro project in India, the railway will connect Howrah and Sealdah railway stations, two of the busiest railway stations in the world. It will also pass under the River Hooghly – the first such river crossing in the country.
Sanjay will be speaking at Middle East Rail on March 12-13 and at the World Metro & Light Rail Congress & Expo on April 18-19.
Tell us more about your experience with Kolkata Metro. Any recent notable achievements and exciting projects in your career you’d like to share?
I have over 25 years of experience in a multi-functional range of railway engineering skills which includes planning, tendering, design, execution testing & commissioning and maintenance of railway signal & telecom and train control systems in India and abroad.
The KMRCL is implementing the latest state of the art signalling and train control system, platform screen doors and automatic fare collection system. During my two-and-a-half-year tenure at KMRCL my achievements are finalization of tenders for automatic fare collection, independent safety assessment and platform screen door works packages. Each package involves a minimum of three stages and its execution, design approvals, interface management, etc.
I was instrumental in obtaining SACFA approval from the Communication Ministry and framing of KMRCL General Rules & Opening rules and business rules.
My other notable achievements include the successful completion of S&T enabling works of SGDET Malaysia project. I was instrumental in commissioning of India’s first Wi-Fi internet in running train (Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani express).
I have also introduced the first computerised train control charting system and real time train enquiry in the Nagpur division of the SECR zone. This has increased the train control and monitoring efficiency, better crew management and enhanced passenger satisfaction.
While working as a divisional engineer, I commissioned a freight operation information system and the first electronic interlocking in the CKP division of SER.
What are the objectives of the of Kolkata EW metro projects in the areas of operational readiness, efficiency and reliability of the rail infrastructure? What sort of challenges do you anticipate in achieving them?
Safe, efficient and reliable mass transportation is a priority issue for governments around the world. Rail transit is widely viewed as a sustainable solution, yet its development always comes with a multitude of challenges to bring projects to completion in time, while ensuring that stringent safety and technical standards are adequately met.
The KMRCL project is still under the implementation stage. However, we have made the operational strategy which includes various working maintenance models, level of training and staff requirements. As far as reliability and efficiency is concerned, the system is being implemented by considering the international standard RAMS requirement.
The only challenge being anticipated is for getting the approval of various statutory authorities without which operations cannot be started. The solution to this should come from interacting with various signalling contractors and metro authorities across the country.
Are there any specific plans for rail asset management frameworks that Kolkata EW metro will be pursuing upon completion that you would like to share with us?
KMRCL is in the implementation phase. However, the assets with its main components are having their normal life cycle of about 20 years with regular maintenance.
Moreover, there will be manual and auto-checking system in place for monitoring the performance requirement of these equipment/assets. This will further suggest suitable action to be taken to retain, repair or replace the assets before they reach their predicted expiry date.
What are your perspectives on the adoption and future applicability of predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring at Kolkata EW metro? What technologies are being considered?
We all know that most metros are the lifeline and backbone to any city and even a short duration of failure will cause a knock-on effect for traffic, even in other areas of the city.
In a nutshell, any failure is not tolerable. Therefore, the time has come for predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring of assets. I feel that technology for predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring is still in the evolution stage here and could see better implementation for selected equipment.
You will be delivering a presentation on the rail infrastructure readiness of Kolkata’s EW Metro CBTC system, what will be the major focus on your presentation?
The main areas of my presentation will focus on explaining the features and philosophy of signaling and telecom systems for main line and metro systems including its specific interfacing requirement with rolling stock, power supply, platform screen door, track, tunnel ventilation system and other sub systems.
I will also be covering the major technical and contractual challenges for execution of the CBTC project through a specific case study. It will also include the operating principles in different scenarios, technical requirement and the benefits of adopting a CBTC system over the conventional DTG system.
The other areas of my presentation will be for the risk associated for implementation of CBTC system and its mitigation arrangement. While doing so, I have highlighted the tools and technologies assisting analysis of rail asset life cycle, through demonstration of RAMS (reliability, availability, maintainability and safety) requirement along with LCC (life-cycle cost) analysis.
The optimization of system life cycle performance through continuous improvement process has also been covered for the benefit of maintenance.
At the 6th Rail Engineering & Maintenance Summit 2017 we observed an exciting panel of speakers around the world including representative speakers from London Underground – Transport for London, MTR Hongkong, Crossrail, Road and Transport Authority Dubai, MRT Malaysia, Indian Railways and others. What did you learn from this conference?
I learned from the experience of the leading professionals in the rail and metro fields in various countries, especially on the signaling and train control system, platform screen door and AFC. I also managed to hear a few case studies the described interface and integration challenges during design, installation, testing and commissioning of metro projects.
In addition, I learned how experts view the best ways to simplifiy the various mandatory approvals from the statutory (government and non-government) authorities for commissioning of the metro/light rail/mainline rail projects. This event brings together the innovative ideas being adopted across the world for sustainability of the metros. In fact, today it is a big challenge in the industry to maintain the grade of service without compromising RAMS requirement, stringent safety and technical standards. The expert speakers absolutely helped address these issues.
About Kolkata and KMA
The present population of Kolkata is 4.5 million, with the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) covering 1,851 square kilometres with a population 16.8 Million. 81 per cent of all jobs in West Bengal are concentrated in KMA.