Hyderabad: From the days of ferrying passengers in steam locomotives, railways have moved into high tech locomotives. Be it passenger train or freight train or superfast express, locomotives have always spearheaded railways and brought revolutionary change in the transport system.
The locomotives consist of electric and diesel locomotives and South Central Railway (SCR) stood as one of the front runners in Indian Railways to introduce high speed locomotives. Now it is gearing up to introduce, WDG-6G diesel locomotive, the most powerful diesel engine in Indian Railways.
“Spread over 6,322 route kilometre, the SCR operates 745 passenger trains and around 350 freight trains each day and most of them are run by electric locomotives”, said Ch Rakesh, Chief Public Relations Officer, SCR.
All the electric and diesel locomotives of the zone are maintained at Lallaguda, Moulali, Kazipet, Guntakal, Vijayawada and Gooty and one more diesel loco shed is coming up at Guntakal, he added.
Electric locomotives in SCR
Wide gauge AC charged freight dedicated goods (WAG)-9
WAG-9 with 6,100 horsepower (H) is one of the powerful freight locomotive in Indian Railways fleet. There are variants in WAG-9 such as WAG-9H, WAG-9i and WAG-9Hi. With its higher power, this locomotive has replaced WAG-7 which till then was the main electric locomotive.
With increasing demand of heavy freight traffic, the new high-adhesive bogie has been developed by Research Design and Standards Organisation. This type of locomotive with 5,500 H is equipped with IRAB-9 brake system for hauling graduated release automatic air braked train.
Wide/ broad gauge AC electric passenger, class (WAP-5)
WAP-5 is high speed electric coaching locomotive. One of the notable features of WAP-5 is regenerative braking, available from the full speed till dead stop and its 5,400 horsepower. This has flexible gear coupling, wheel-mounted disc brakes, and a potential for speed enhancement to 200 kmph.
It was built by adapting the original WAG-9 design. With an output of above 6,000 horsepower, this is a preferred locomotive for Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains due to its excellent acceleration, deceleration and energy saving features. It is capable of hauling trains at speed ranging between 110 to 140 kmph.
The WDG-6G diesel locomotive with 6,000 horsepower is based on General Electric (GE) of the US evolution series and is fitted with a 16 cylinder V-16 evolution series engine, a four-stroke fully turbocharged and inter-cooled machine.
Safety standards of the locomotive also get to the next level with the cab frontal collision system designed to withstand tough crash worthiness norms. Packaging of electrical hardware and equipment has been optimally done to enable easy maintenance.
This 3,300 Horsepower locomotive is upgraded, higher-power versions of the WDM-3A loco and introduced in 2003. It achieves faster acceleration and effective wheel slip control system. It is used in coaching and goods service.
The three phase AC traction control systems on diesel locomotive has 4,000 horsepower and high fuel efficiency while demanding low maintenance. This engine has many modern features like, laser hardened cylinder liners and unit fuel injectors.
To improve speed potential of the goods locomotives, the WDG4 was modified and classified as WDG4D. It was introduced in 2013. These are exclusively utilised for freight service A-4500 horsepower, it has 16-cylinder 2-stroke turbo super charged diesel engine.
Locomotives in SCR
Diesel locomotives: 594
Electric locomotives: 685
Passenger trains: 745
Freight trains: 350
Route network: 6,322