A newly manufactured high horsepower diesel locomotive with dual cabin arrangement has been introduced by the Railways for the first time in south India.

The 4,500 horsepower loco commissioned this month would be homed at the Diesel Loco Shed in Tiruchi, the biggest shed in Southern Railway zone with a holding of over 150 diesel engines including 27 EMD-type locos. This will be the first shed in south India to home the dual cab loco.

The loco pilot cabin has been provided in both ends of the diesel engine similar to that of an electric locomotive. It could be operated from front and rear cabin.

At present, all diesel engines being operated in south India are provided with only single cabin.

The dual cab loco would provide accurate visibility to the loco pilots to sight the signals and any obstructions on the track even at a speed of 130 kilometre per hour.

Dispatched from the Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi, the dual cab loco is presently being used for training loco pilots of Salem and Palakkad railway divisions on handling the engines.

The loco would be extensively used for hauling prestigious super fast trains such as the Rajdhani and the Jan Shatabdi expresses of south India.

Another unique feature of the dual cab engine is that it has been provided with a parallel display system for the Assistant Loco Pilot to monitor the performance of the engine from his seat. This facility is not available in other locomotives, railway officials here told The Hindu.

Equipped with computer controlled braking system, the engine can run at a maximum permissible speed of 130 kilometres per hour.

The seats inside the cabin have been ergonomically designed and various parameters such as speed, air pressure in brake pipes, feed pipes, main reservoir tanks have been customised and displayed in a computer (LED) display, eliminating the conventional gauges.

The control panel has been fabricated with fibre reinforced plastic material to give an elegant look.

With a 5,000-litre fuel tank capacity, the engine with six traction motors weighs 123 tonnes.

It would be utilised for hauling Rajdhani and Jan Shatabdi trains upon getting a clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety, the officials said.