For first time Golden Rock workshop provides welded type boiler to it

The second new oil-fired steam locomotive meant for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) rolled out from the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here on Monday.

Weighing nearly 50 tonnes, the ‘X' class metre gauge steam loco has been provided with welded type boiler for the first time procured through outsourcing.

A technical team from the over 80-year-old Golden Rock Railway Workshop would be sent to Mettupalayam to monitor the initial trial runs in the hilly NMR section, declared as a World Heritage Railway system by the UNESCO, before being put into active service.

Comprising a total of 3,461 components, the new loco whose hauling capacity is 97.6 tonnes has been provided with rack and pinion arrangements to operate on the hilly railway track that has rack bar arrangement in the stretch from Mettupalayam to Coonoor.

Furnace oil is used as the main fuel for the oil firing system of the steam loco which can run at a maximum speed of 30 kilometre per hour in plain and 15 km per hour in gradient. The life of the engine is 40 years.

The steam loco was flagged off through video conferencing by Sanjiv Handa, Member, Mechanical, Railway Board from the Southern Railway headquarters office at Chennai in the presence of the Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan, Chief Mechanical Engineer S.K. Sood and top railway officers. The loco would be transported by road to Mettupalayam.

This is the first time in the Indian Railways that an all-welded type boiler has been used for ‘X' class loco, said the Chief Workshop Manager P. Mahesh.

In order to replace the existing over-aged fleet of six ‘X' class locos operating in the NMR section, the Railway Board had entrusted the Golden Rock Railway Workshop with the task of manufacturing four new oil fired steam locos and sanctioned Rs.40 crore for this purpose. The first oil fired loco equipped with riveted boiler rolled out in February 2011 and put into service during March last year. With change in technologies, boiler manufacturing was switched over from riveted design to all weld design.

The remaining two locos are expected to be dispatched by July and December, Mr. Mahesh said.