Skybus & MIT Award to Rlyman
MIT innovation award for Sri Ashwini Kumar Upadhyayia should be commended. Nothing comes easy in life. To think differently is divine gift.
Some engineers seem to think of possibility of plagiarism in the work awarded in MIT. They quote Skybus and my work. But first one should know properly the story of Skybus.
Then coming to the Skybus, I must frankly admit it was no innovation. In service felt anguished from the first steam loco derailment in Shahabad in 1972. Entire night as AEN stood there to restore traffic. My first month of working post. Later on witnessed loss of life and always wondered at the confidence of loco drivers driving at speeds touching 100 even on the steam locos at that time. Hardly 25 mm flange and trust in gangmen.
Wanted to have the same railway but safer , one which can never derail nor coaches escape haywire or roll down slopes.
Simple reconfiguration of the same proven railway bogie and coach, preventing the bogie from escaping tracks under any circumstance.
Thus Skybus was made. It is actually no innovation. Same ICF bogie, our IRSME engineers got , same track, ballastless 60 kg rails laid in concrete box, and coaches hung below. No great innovation. Instead of 12 coach train every 3 minutes, we proposed every minute 4 coach train , wider body and lighter shorter but carrying capacity same as Mumbai suburban.
What is different? Nothing same third rail used , DC traction our CEE from CR installed.
We just did railway only. But now event of an over speeding incident by wrong start of auto pilot before testing because of over zealous operator, caused excessive swing of coach , a corner hitting a column. But except one standing against instruction at open door, and who got thrown down and hit his head on ground with a concrete pedestal, no casualty. A few minor injuries and the Austrian engineers traveling inside at that time too rolled down from seats within coach.
And no derailment nor coach turning turtle , as would have happened in normal railway.
We restored retested, the Austrian engineers too cane back to again ride confidently and RDSO , BARC too jointly took oscillation trials at 70 kmph certified to usual metro standard.
Actually Skybus is just a reconfigured railway. Same wheels, rails and coaches , we made lighter because risk is reduced and IIT Mumbai designed them BEML made.
So what's new? It is same rail based mass transit system
Nothing is innovative to confuse.
Then it costed us just Rs 37 cr per km of double line with two sets of coaches and fully operational AC station. Verified by CAG.
Skybus is capable of same speeds as railway from 100 to 300 using same rolling bogies. But why be surprised? It is but, the same railway physics. Uses same proven elements and track- bogie interaction is identical. Mass carried now has center of gravity closer to rail.
Though simple configuration, resulting system suddenly opened up new design opportunities.
What surprised me most is railway brothers total inimical attitude condemning using own imagined systems without even trying to verify facts . Not a single railway board member chose to inspect and take a ride. But chair of power condemned Skybus as unsafe for own obscure reasons. Denied India a shining place in comity of nations.
How derailment protected railway is unsafe compared to derailment risk carrying railway?
But ASCE chair visited and inspected and wrote a tech paper ..proceedings now. National Geo and Discovery came and covered post my retirement ...But not our guys.
But may be I am not too smart.
But I feel fulfilled. The anguish I suffered as AEN , before I left service made me put together system which will not derail and proved the solution too. There is no new technology.
So long a nation has technical heads who are deeply unprofessional, the public will be denied fruits of work of Indian engineers.
Hare Krishna bless all!