Amco Saft India Limited batteries provide safe passage through India’s longest rail tunnel

Nickel-based batteries manufactured by Saft’s Indian joint venture have been selected to provide both trackside and onboard back-up power for the record-breaking Pir Panjal tunnel

Paris, July 18, 2013 – Batteries from Amco Saft India Limited, the Indian joint venture of the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, have been selected to provide safe and trouble-free journeys for trains using India’s longest railway tunnel, in Pir Panjal range of the middle Himalayas. Amco Saft batteries have been installed in the tunnel, to support vital safety systems, and also onboard trains for engine starting and back-up power.

The tunnel, constructed by Hindustan Construction Corporation Limited (HCCL) on behalf of the Indian government, was completed at the end of year 2012 and at almost 11 km (7 miles) in length is India’s longest and Asia’s third longest. It was built to improve transport links to India’s Kashmir valley, replacing a 35 km road journey that was vulnerable to winter closures with a 17 km rail route that is open throughout the year.

Train services through the new tunnel have just started, and several types of nickel-based battery have been supplied by Amco Saft to support reliable railway operation.

At trackside locations, ultra-low maintenance Amco Saft batteries are in operation inside and at either end of the tunnel to power fire detection, safety and signaling applications. They are designed specifically for remote applications where systems must be totally reliable and require minimal visits by maintenance staff.

Installed onboard existing Northern Railways trains, high performance Amco Saft batteries provide the reliable power essential for engine starting and back-up power.  

The robust and reliable design of both the low maintenance and high performance Amco Saft batteries, featuring nickel-based technology, ensures that they will operate reliably in the extreme temperatures common in the Pir Panjal mountains.  They are also ideally suited for use across a range of demanding applications as emerging countries increasingly include rail solutions in their transportation systems.

General Manager of Saft’s Industrial Battery Group division, Xavier Delacroix said: “Saft is delighted that batteries manufactured by Amco Saft have been selected to ensure the reliable operation of one of India’s most prestigious new railway routes. This success demonstrates the benefits of our recently opened factory in Bangalore, which is ideally positioned to meet the demands of India’s growing rail market, especially as the government is focusing on the urban transportation sector with plans to introduce mass transit systems for all cities with over three million inhabitants.”

The new Amco Saft manufacturing facility in Bidadi, Bangalore, is a world-class battery factory which doubled Saft’s manufacturing capability in India when it opened in January 2013. Nickel-based batteries manufactured at the site support mega power plants, renewable energy schemes, defence, oil and gas, railway and other industrial customers in India.