Central railway (CR) is planning to make modifications to some of its locomotives, that will make its trains more fuel efficient, saving it around Rs8 crore per annum.
WDM2 type locomotives, which are not suitable for main line operations, are used for shunting — the process of moving a train or carriage onto a different track in or near a station.
CR has modified the engines of 22 out of its fleet of 50 WDM2 locomotives. These are affiliated to various diesel loco sheds, including Kurla and Kalyan. The modifications were carried out locally at the sheds during their annual overhaul.
“We will isolate four out of 16 cylinders in the engines of WDM2 locomotives. Doing this will cut off the fuel supply to the four cylinders, saving us 25 per cent of the usual diesel consumption,” said AK Tiwari, chief motive power engineer (diesel), CR.
This project began in November, 2011, with a single shunting locomotive undergoing the modifications. Once they were sure it worked fine, CR made the same modifications to five more engines.
A senior official said “Engines need to be powerful so that they can move with greater speed. However, shunting engines do not go beyond 10-20km per hour. They therefore require less power. The modifications in the engine have not affected our shunting work at all.”
He also said that CR has written to the railway board and suggested that they replicate the same modifications in similar shunting locomotives used by other zonal railways. “The railway board has asked the Research Design and Standards Organisation to study the pros and cons of the modifications in locomotive engine before taking any further decisions,” added the official.