Coimbatore

Oil-fired locomotive may be introduced in NMR section

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is currently pushed uphill from Coonoor to Ooty by diesel locomotives.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is currently pushed uphill from Coonoor to Ooty by diesel locomotives.  

Trial run using three coaches between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam completed

The Salem Division of the Southern Railway is considering introducing oil-fired steam locomotives along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) line between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam in a limited capacity, to make charter services more appealing to tourists.

Currently, the trains running between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam, are pulled by diesel engines. Railway officials said it became impractical to use coal-fired or oil-fired engines to pull the train up the slopes. “Currently, coal-fired or oil-fired steam engines are used from the section of the NMR between Mettupalayam and Coonoor, from where the train is hitched onto a diesel locomotive to complete the trip to Udhagamandalam,” an official said.

Charter services

However, with charter services being introduced, many of the tourists using the service have requested the Railways to use only the coal-fired engines for the duration of the route. “However, due to a variety of reasons, the coal-fired engine cannot be used for the entire journey, but we are considering using the oil-fired locomotives from Coonoor to Udhagamandalam,” confirmed an official.

Recently, a trial run was completed using an oil-fired locomotive using three coaches between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam, confirmed Divisional Railway Manager, Salem Division, U Subba Rao.

said that a variety of parameters, including the time it takes for the train to reach Udhagamandalam from Coonoor, as well as any technical challenges the locomotive may face were tested.

Though the train took slightly longer than the time it would take for a diesel locomotive to complete the trip, officials said that they were satisfied with the results of the test run, and plan to do more such runs in the coming months to ascertain the feasibility of using the oil-fired locomotive for the trip.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 11:46:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/oil-fired-locomotive-may-be-introduced-in-nmr-section/article29913158.ece

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