RDSO has a number of laboratories which are well equipped with research and testing facilities for development, testing and design evaluation of various railway related equipments and materials.Some of these are:
Air Brake Laboratory is equipped with facilities for simulating operation of air brakes on freight trains up to 192 wagons and 3 locomotives as also for simulation of passenger trains up to 30 coaches.
Brake Dynamometer Laboratory has facilities to develop and test brake friction materials for locomotives, coaches and wagons. A unique facility in India , this laboratory has also been used by R&D organisations of Ministry of Defence like DMRL, DRDL and HAL for indigenisation of brake pads for defence aircraft.
B&S Laboratory has a 6mx14m heavy/testing floor on which full scale models of beam (spans up to 10 m, slabs, columns, towers, shells and other components made of concrete, steel, brick etc can be tested under static, dynamic or pulsating loads. A high frequency ranging 250-700 cycles/min pulsator for the application of a pulsating loads varying from 2 to 20 tones and a maximum static load of 40 tonnnes on heavy duty testing floor. The Laboratory is equipped with? analogue strain indicator, multi channel dynamic strain recording system, switching & balancing units, acoustic emission equipment, data acquisition system etc. for recording various parameters.
Diesel Engine Development Laboratory has four test beds capable of testing diesel engines from 100 to 6000 HP with fully computerized systems for recording of over 128 test parameters at a time. This facility has already enabled RDSO to develop technologies for improving fuel efficiency, reliability and availability of diesel engines as well as to extract higher output from existing diesel engines. Fatigue Testing Laboratory for testing prototype locomotive and rolling stock bogies, springs and other railway equipments subjected to stress and fatigue so as to ascertain their expected life in service. Geo-technical Engineering Laboratoryis equipped with facilities for determining strength parameters of soil in lab and field condition. The State-of-art Sub-surface Interface Radar (SIR) system, Laser based soil particle analyser, and computerized consolidation test apparatus have been installed in the lab. The lab also has computerised Static Triaxial Shear apparatus for determining the strength of soil as well as the design of embankment. Metallurgical & Chemical Laboratory is capable of destructive and non-destructive testing of metals, polymers, composites, petroleum products and paints for providing information to be used in design and also for monitoring performance of materials in service.
The M&C laboratory include Scanning Electron Microscope, Direct reading spectrometer, Ultrasonic Flaw Detector and other non destructive examination equipment, polymer and composite evaluation facilities, thermal analyser, corrosion engineering evaluation facilities including weather meter, static 760 hour AR test rig for grease testing. V2F dynamic test rig for grease testing, lube oil filter evaluation rig Cetane rating machine & 50t machine for rubber deflection characteristics.
Psycho-Technical Laboratory for assessment of critical psycho-physical attributes of operational staff such as drivers, switchmen and station masters for efficient operation. The ergonomic laboratory of psycho-technical Dte is also equipped with bio-feedback system for assessment of EMG, GSR (Galvanic Skin Resistance) temperature, pulse and respiration rate & is used for stress management exercises.
Signal Testing Laboratory for testing of all types of signalling equipments such as safety signalling relays, block instruments, power supply equipments, point machines, signalling cables, electro-mechanical signalling equipments/ components etc. There is an exclusive environmental testing section equipped with environmental testing facilities as per ISO:9000. These include, programmable heat, humidity & cold chambers, mould growth, dust, rain chambers. Signalling Equipment Development Centre has been set up in the Signaling Lab. In this Centre, working signaling equipment & systems have been set up. The working systems include SSI, universal axle counter, VLSI axle counter, AFTCs, block instruments etc. In addition, equipment developed by RDSO, such as signalling relays, poly-carbonate lenses, LED signal lamps, triple pole double filament lamps, power supply equipment etc., have also been displayed. This centre will be used for testing minor improvements in designs of SSI, axle counters etc., as well as for imparting training to newly inducted Inspectors. Track Laboratory for testing full scale track panel under dynamic load patterns similar to those encountered in service Stresses at the various locations of track components under simulated load conditions are measured and recorded for analysis. This has helped in rationalising and optimising design of track structures for Indian conditions. The facility of fatigue testing of welded rail joints is also available. n connection with joint research project of UIC on rail defect management, RDSO has been entrusted with lab testing of rail samples from various world railways under simulated loading conditions. Special rail tensioning system for application of longitudinal forces on rail samples to simulate the thermal forces of the field has indigenously been developed, installed and commissioned in track lab. This system, with capacity of up to 150 tonne in static condition, is being used to conduct testing of different rail samples.
Mobile Test Facilities for recording of track parameters, locomotive power and conducting oscillograph trials for evaluating vehicle-track interaction as also for monitoring track conditions. For condition monitoring of OHE under live line and to facilitate directed maintenance of electrification, a Network of testing and recording apparatus (NETRA) car, first of its kind , developed by RDSO is actively in service for scanning OHE in Railway.
Vehicle Characterisation Laboratory for conducting vehicle characterisation tests on railway vehicles to study the behaviour of suspension systems and to determine natural frequencies Centre for Advanced Maintenance Technology at Gwalior for upgrading maintenance technologies, and methodologies. Also to achieve improvements in productivity and performance of all railway assets and manpower. This covers reliability, availability, utilisation and efficiency.