After a series of tests and trials, a trial run of a Diesel Locomotive was successfully conducted on Nilgiri Mountain Railway on Saturday (October 31) between Mettupalayam and Hillgrove.

A release from the Salem Division said that the train for the trial run had five coaches pushed by YDM4 Diesel Locomotive, backed by a steam locomotive and another coach, since it was a trial run. The train moved over the rack section up to 8.2 km. The haulage and braking efficiency of the diesel locomotive were tested along with the steam loco in the critical section where the gradient is 1 in 12.5.

The maximum speed of the train in the rack section will remain at 13 km ph for the diesel locomotive as in the case of the steam. The diesel locomotive with 5 coaches was operated up to Hillgrove Station, a distance of 10 km, and all the parameters like hauling capacity and braking efficiency were satisfactory. The train which left Mettupalayam at 08.35 hours went up to Hillgrove Station and then came back to Kallar Station at 13.25 hrs. The outcome of the trial is found to be encouraging, the release added.

The trial run was conducted in the presence of V.Carmelus, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Chennai; P.N.Ram, Divisional Railway Manager, Salem Division; Parmanand Singh, Chief Motive Power Engineer, Diesel, Chennai; R.Kuppan, Chief Workshop Engineer; C.C.Joy, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Erode; G.Chandraseharan, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Salem; and Narayanan, Divisional Engineer, Salem.

During the trial run, the expertise and experience of Dasarathy, Retired Member Mechanical, from Railway Board, was taken.

The Advantages in operating trains with diesel locomotives on Nilgiri Mountain Railway will be that more number of coaches can be operated in a train between Mettupalayam and Coonoor than in steam operated trains, thereby catering to more tourists and passengers. Also, reliability of the train services can be improved, thereby avoiding delays in operation.

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