New steam loco all set for dispatch from Golden Rock Railway Workshop

The diesel-fired system will be used for Nilgiri Mountain Railway section

September 26, 2022 06:36 pm | Updated 06:36 pm IST - TIRUCHI

The new steam locomotive with high-speed diesel firing system at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi.

The new steam locomotive with high-speed diesel firing system at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 The Golden Rock Railway Workshop at Tiruchi has, for the first time manufactured a steam locomotive with High Speed Diesel firing system, instead of coal or furnace oil firing systems, for operation in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) metre gauge section soon.

The new steam loco belonging to the ‘X’ class has been manufactured with in-house design in a span of seven months at a cost of around ₹ 9 crore sanctioned by the Railway Board, New Delhi.  Initial trials of the newly manufactured loco have been done inside the workshop premises to check the alignments of the cogwheels and wheels and to ascertain its overall performance.

The over 90-year-old workshop had in the past manufactured four ‘X’ class steam locomotives with furnace oil firing systems for the NMR section. It had dispatched a new coal-fired steam locomotive in August last year for the same section. These locomotives are in operation at present. 

A senior official said this is for the first time that a ‘X’ class steam locomotive with high-speed diesel firing system has been manufactured at the workshop. A team of around 70 technical personnel were engaged in its manufacture which commenced in February this year. Nearly 1,600 to 1,800 parts required for the new loco were manufactured in-house. 

Weighing around 50 tonnes, the new loco has a fuel injection pump introduced in it. An all-welded boiler suitable for high-speed diesel firing system and high-pressure diesel burners have also been installed in the loco with its oil tank capacity being 1,600 litres. The main diesel tank is fitted with baffle plates inside to arrest the turbulence while running. The loco has also been fitted with a vent pipe for releasing oil vapour from the diesel tank. 

Installation of a couple of stainless steel water tanks of combined holding capacity of 4,500 litres, provision of LED lights in the loco pilot’s cabin for better illumination and provision of twin beam head lights for better visibility when the loco passes through tunnels are among the other salient features in the new loco.

The official said trials will be conducted in the hilly NMR terrain once the new loco is dispatched from the workshop on a trailer to Mettupalayam.  A technical team from the workshop will supervise the trials in the NMR section before it is deployed for actual operation, the official added.

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