Indian Railways converts diesel locomotive into electric
In a first, the Indian Railways has converted a diesel locomotive into an electric one, as part of its efforts to completely electrify the broad gauge network.
The conversion has also enhanced the power of the locomotive from 2600 horsepower (hp) to 5000 horsepower.
The work on the project began on December 22, 2017 and the new locomotive was dispatched on February 28, 2018. From conceptualisation to the execution; the Indian Railways said that the conversion of the diesel locomotive to electric was carried out within 69 days.
“In keeping with the Indian Railways’ Mission 100 per cent electrification and de-carbonization agenda, Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi has developed a new prototype electric locomotive converted from diesel locomotive. After its mandatory trials, the locomotive was launched from Varanasi to Ludhiana,” railways said.
The Indian Railways has planned to discontinue mid-life rehabilitation of diesel locomotives and has decided to convert them to electric locomotive and utilise them till their codal life.
“While mid-life rehabilitation of diesel locomotives, at a cost of around Rs 5-6 crore, is inescapable and unavoidable for running of the diesel locos beyond 18 years. Only 50 per cent of this expenditure will be used for conversion of diesel locomotive to electric locomotive. Once converted, the loco will have 5000 horse power as compared to the 2700 horse power diesel locos,” it said.
The project is a step towards saving of traction energy costs. This will in turn reduce the railways’ fuel bill and also reduce carbon emissions.
“This is a unique product of the Indian Railways and has been produced without incurring any extra expenses. It is the first of its kind in the world,” the statement from railways said.
Consequent upon requisite trials, the sanction for commercial services was communicated by the Railway Board on November 27. During its first run on December 3, the converted locomotive hauled a 5200 tonnes load cruising at a maximum permissible speed of 75 kilometres per hour (kmph).