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Railway workshop overhauls high-power Siemens motors

R. Rajaram
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Motors fitted in 4,500-hp locos; only workshop to have achieved the feat

Going strong:A view of Golden Rock Workshop at Ponmalai in Tiruchi.— File photo: A. Muralitharan
Going strong:A view of Golden Rock Workshop at Ponmalai in Tiruchi.— File photo: A. Muralitharan

Engaged in a slew of activities including manufacture of steam locomotives, the over 80-year-old Golden Rock Railway Workshop here crossed another milestone recently when it successfully overhauled motors of Siemens-make fitted in high horsepower EMD-type diesel locomotives.

This is the only workshop in the Indian Railway network to have successfully repaired Siemens motors in 4,500 horsepower EMD locomotives, which are capable of running at a maximum speed of 140 kilometres per hour.

A technical team of the workshop made a presentation on the successful repair of the motors during the three-day International Railway Equipment Exhibition organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Indian Railways at Pragathi maidan in New Delhi recently.

To start with, the Golden Rock workshop repaired two Siemens motors, each weighing around 1,000 kilograms, and is in the process of restoring the third one. Hitherto, the motors were being sent to the company for repairs.

Having met with success after working on it for nearly two years, the authorities have planned to open a separate section within the heavy electricals repair shop exclusively for Siemens motors. The two EMD locomotives with refurbished AC motors are successfully running in different railway sections in the South Western Railway.

Equipped with micro processors, the EMD locos with higher fuel and lube oil capacity are slightly longer than the Alco-type diesel engines, the main stay of the railways. Manufactured at the Diesel Loco Works in Varanasi, the EMD locos, earlier called GM locomotives, have better fuel efficiency than conventional engines.

Workshop authorities told The Hindu that their technical personnel adept in repairing Alco locos were successful in repairing the Siemens motors at a lesser cost.

About 120 motors would be repaired in the near future. Once repaired, the motors would be fit enough to run for four to five years, a senior official said.

With Rs.20 crore funds sanctioned by the Railway Board, necessary infrastructure facilities have been created within the sprawling workshop to carry out periodic overhaul (POH) of EMD locos and their major sub assemblies.

EMD locos are sent for a POH once in 18 years while overhauling of its major sub assemblies are carried out once in six years. These locos are being operated from 1997 in various sections across the Indian railway network. The first EMD loco is expected to be dispatched to the workshop for a POH in 2015.

In addition to carrying out POH of diesel engines and passenger coaches, the workshop has been manufacturing container wagons meant for the Container Corporation of India and oil-fired steam locomotives for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

It has exported over 125 in-service diesel locomotives to various developing countries after carrying out necessary modifications in them.

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