Having successfully converted a Metre Gauge (MG) diesel loco into Broad Gauge (BG) as a pilot project a few months ago, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here has now been given an order to convert three diesel MG engines into BG for supply to public sector undertakings (PSUs).
The workshop, in addition to carrying out periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives, has been exporting locos to various countries after carrying out necessary modifications in them, received the order recently from the Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES), a Government of India Enterprise.
Three "in-service" MG locos would be acquired from the Southern Railway and the North Western Railway, headquartered in Jaipur, for converting them into BG engines. The converted BG locos would be essentially utilised by the PSUs for shunting purposes. The MG engines to be acquired for conversion would be 20 to 25 years old.
As part of the conversion work, the under frames and bogies of the MG engines would be replaced with new BG frames and BG bogies. The engine’s power pack, general control systems, engine related equipment would, however, be retained and re-used. The converted locomotives would be fitted with air brake system with improvements in the loco pilot’s cabin.
A senior workshop official told The Hindu that the conversion works would be carried out at a cost of Rs. 6.75 crore. The converted locos would be dispatched in February – March. The official said many power and steel plants required BG locomotives for their internal operations for shunting purposes.
The cost of converting an in-service MG loco into BG would work out much lesser than manufacturing a new BG shunting loco, the official said adding that the surplus MG stock would be put to use by conversion.
For the first time, the workshop has converted a BG locomotive into Cape Gauge for export to Mozambique. A 1,800 Horse Power (HP) BG engine was acquired and upgraded to 2,400 HP with necessary modifications carried out inside the loco to suit the railway system of the African country.
The engine has been given a fresh coat of polyurethane painting and fitted with compact fluorescent lights inside the stainless interiors of the loco pilot’s cabin. The loco would be dispatched soon. The workshop had exported 24 MG locos to Mozambique over the past three years.