India’s Railway University on Fast Track

The campus of India’s first railway university and third such in the world after Russia and China will be a smart and a net-zero campus,a report by India Times has disclosed

Setting up railway university was the first project that Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi had announced for Vadodara from where he had contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 which he had relinquished later in favour of Varanasi. It was on October 22, 2016 that PM had announced the project while inaugurating the new integrated terminal building of Vadodara airport.

In December 20, 2017, the union cabinet chaired by PM had approved the Ministry of Railways’ initiative of setting up the National Rail and Transport Institute (NRTI) as a “Deemed to Be University” under de novo category as per the University Grants Commission (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016.

While the academic sessions for the first batch of students has already started at the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), Vadodara which is acting as a temporary campus, the central government has now roped in Delhi-based firm C P Kukreja Architects (CPKA) for designing the railway university campus which will come up at Pipaliya in Waghodiya.

CPKA will flag off the project from January 1, 2019 and complete it within a year.

Designed as per the GRIHA 5-star ratings, the green campus will be a centre for research having facilities for labs like mobility labs, intelligent transport system labs, and high-speed rail labs with latest cut-edge technologies provided by the Indian Railways.
The university campus spread across 110 acres will have the infrastructure to accommodate 3,000 full-time students.

“Through the design, the campus will be able to reflect the pride and legacy established by the railways through the course of the years. The overall design is a contemporary take on the classical style of architecture, subdued in its look, but imposing in its character,” said Dikshu C Kukreja, principal architect of C P Kukreja Architects.

According to the firm, the entire concept rests on designing a “smart campus” which compliments the transport-related education, multidisciplinary research, and training programmes. Upon entering the campus, one would be able to feel the transition between the spaces, welcomed by an extended row of sky-high columns, reminiscent of the arched forms of the railway bridges, spanning through the entire driveway.

Taking inspiration from the railway tracks, the meandering pavements will be spread across the course of the campus, creating a harmony of sorts.

The library is being designed as an iconic landmark in the university’s campus that can serve as the nucleus for students across various backgrounds of research and academia to participate in interactions and discussions.

“The university will follow an interdisciplinary approach for research of transport systems by bringing together academicians, scientists and engineers from different fields, and plans to leverage its academic and industry partnerships and collaborations,” the architects said.

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