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One more loco adds steam to NMR fleet

R. Rajaram
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Alok Johri, Member, Mechanical, Railway Board flagging off the ‘X’ class metre gauge locomotive at Golden Rock Workshop, Ponmalai in Tiruchi on Wednesday..Photo:M_Moorthy
Alok Johri, Member, Mechanical, Railway Board flagging off the ‘X’ class metre gauge locomotive at Golden Rock Workshop, Ponmalai in Tiruchi on Wednesday..Photo:M_Moorthy

The fourth oil-fired steam locomotive meant for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) rolled out of the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here on Wednesday adding one more steam engine to the existing NMR fleet.

The ‘X’ class metre gauge locomotive manufactured at a cost of around Rs. 4.79 crore is all set to chug on the 20-km Mettupalayam- Coonoor hilly terrain.

Comprising over 3,400 components, the brand new steam loco weighing nearly 50 tonnes can run at a maximum speed of 30 kilometres per hour on the plain and 15 kilometre per hour on the gradient.

The Tiruchi workshop, which was entrusted with the task of manufacturing four oil-fired steam locos for the NMR, declared as a world heritage railway system, had despatched three locos between February 2011 and March 2013.

The fourth loco was flagged off by Alok Johri, Member (Mechanical), Railway Board, New Delhi, at a function organised on the workshop premises here on Wednesday.

The need for new locos to run on the NMR section was felt as the old locos imported from Switzerland years ago developed problems leading to frequent service failures.

As efforts to import steam locos failed due to limited number of sources and prohibitive costs, the Railway Board assigned the Tiruchi workshop with the task of manufacturing four oil-fired steam locos and sanctioned Rs. 40 crore for this purpose.

Furnace oil is used as the main fuel for the oil firing system of the new steam loco with its codal life being 40 years. The workshop undertook manufacture of 600 components in-house to speed up the loco manufacture.

Furnace oil is used as the main fuel for the oil firing system of the new steam loco


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