TAMIL NADU

State-of-the-art diesel engine inaugurated

V. Anand, Southern Railway General Manager, inaugurating a new diesel engine attached to the Egmore-Madurai special in Chennai on Wednesday. - Photo: V. Ganesan.

V. Anand, Southern Railway General Manager, inaugurating a new diesel engine attached to the Egmore-Madurai special in Chennai on Wednesday. - Photo: V. Ganesan.  

CHENNAI Oct. 22. A high-power, state-of-the-art diesel locomotive was put into operation in the Southern Railway today. The new 4,000-HP engine — WDP4 — is hauling some of the Deepavali special trains on the Chennai - Nagercoil sector.

Flagging off the new engine attached to the Chennai Egmore - Madurai special at Egmore, the General Manager, V. Anand, said the loco, with an air-conditioned cabin, had a number of technical and safety features, besides being crew-friendly. The on-board computer and the self-diagnostic facility would provide continuous information to driver and maintenance personnel about the condition of the loco. The computer would also assist in the delivery of optimum power, making the loco smokeless and fuel-efficient.

The engine, the General Manager said, could ply at a speed of 160 km and run continuously for 90 days without any immediate attention. The three types of brakes — one for the engine, another for the engine and compartments and a dynamic brake to apply on down gradient to avoid jerking — would help to stop the train "in a jiffy." A special system would warn the driver at times of crisis and if he failed to respond, the brakes would apply automatically. Actual field trials of the engine were carried at the Konkan Railway, which were successful.

The Rs. 14-crore imported engine was now being manufactured at Diesel Locomotive, Varanasi, under a technology transfer agreement with the General Motors, U.S. The General Manager said the new engine-fitted Chennai - Madurai special would take just 7 and a half hours to reach Madurai (496 km), as against 9 hours and 30 minutes by normal express trains.

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