South Central Railway Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager Pradeep Kumar has donned the role of an instructor in the Electric Traction Training Centre (ETTC). He explained the Apprentice Loco Pilots (ALPs) about major components in the engine.

The DRM, who visited the ETTC last week, interacted with the students. He explained that sand box was an important part of the engine, which helps prevent slipping of wheels from the tracks.

“Automatic sanders (sand boxes) and manual sanders are arranged in the engines. Wheels usually lose grip during rainy and winter seasons and when oil and grease falls on the tracks. The pilot should press the pedal to apply sand on the tracks to provide friction between the wheels and the tracks. Only river sand should be used in the process”, explained Mr. Pradeep Kumar.

Likewise, simulators (computer-based locos) will help identify the mistakes committed by a driver during training.

The instructors explain the apprentice loco pilots about the mistakes committed by the learners on the screens. The ALPs can rectify their faults and improve their driving skills, said ETTC Principal D.R.J. Prasad.

The ALPs, who arrived from different States, completed training on technical and general and subsidiary rules at the ETTC.

They will undergo training on ‘road learning’ for about 15 days.

The apprentice pilots would accompany the senior loco pilots on running trains and learn on road rules. Finally the loco inspectors inspect the driving skills of the fresh candidates, Mr. Pradeep Kumar told The Hindu.

“The Indian Railways arranged three model cars to explain the ALPs on different components in the engine. A display of the major components is arranged in the loco training centre”, said Mr. Pradeep Kumar.

Later, he observed the driving skills of the women loco pilots on the model cars.