NEW DELHI: In a move that could improve the speed of trains, the Indian Railways is all set to introduce US-made diesel locomotives that are capable of travelling at a top speed of 100 kmph on various routes, officials in the ministry said on Monday. The existing diesel locomotives in operation across the country have a top speed of 75kmph.
In a direction issued to the several Zonal Railways last week, the Railways board announced the introduction of the WDG4G class of locomotive manufactured by GE Diesel locomotive.GE is providing locomotive technology to Indian Railways and by 2025, through a joint venture, it will manufacture 1,000 fuel-efficient locomotives at a rate of 100 per year. These will be used for powering freight traffic across the country. Of the 1,000 to be built, 700 locomotives will have 4,500 Horsepower (HP) while the rest will have 6,000HP.
About 50 fuel-efficient diesel locomotives manufactured at the GE facility in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA have already been delivered to India and the rest will be manufactured in Marhoura, Bihar under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The Railway board said Zonal Railways will have to fulfill the conditions/stipulations put down in the RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation) final speed certificate.
“Observance of all permanent and temporary speed restrictions already in force and those may be imposed from time to time on various accounts. Brakes of locomotives shall be in good working order during the operation. Locations of bridges on which sped restrictions have been imposed shall be notified by the Railways and incorporated in the working timetable...” said the directive issued to zonal railways.
The new locomotives have advanced featured like improved fuel efficiency because of an electronic fuel injection system, higher reliability and are said to be more environment-friendly, said the advisory.