First Flash Butt Welding machine reaches Mumbai, begins welding of rails

Mumbai: The first Flash Butt Welding machine (FBW machine), which will weld head hardened (HH) rails for the 33.5-km long Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 corridor, has arrived in Mumbai and begun its work at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport Station from Friday. FBW machine will weld the rails by aligning, preheating, flashing, forging, stripping and air-quenching at a flash voltage of 340V and Boost Voltage of 420V. This is the first of the two such plants to be deployed.

"This is an automatic welding machine with pre-set parameters to function exactly as per the set values to produce quality welds. Welding of rails is planned from eleven different locations to cover entire 33.5 km project," informed Ranjit Singh Deol, MD, MMRC.

The FBW machine is manufactured by M/s Holland LP, USA. The second FBW machine is expected by the end of next month.

In all 8,366 ton of HH rails, out of 10,740 ton, have already been received by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). Remaining rails are already shipped from Japan. "These 18-meter long HH rails, manufactured by M/s Mitsui, Japan, will be welded into long panels using the FBW Machine and laid as continuously welded rails. For safety and passenger comfort," said Subodh Gupta, Director (Projects), MMRC.

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