Nilgiris steam locomotive is now diesel-powered

HSD is less viscous and produces lesser heat ensuring finer control and atomisation, and fumes in the drivers' cabin are reduced.

Published: 04th April 2022 10:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2022 05:50 PM   |  A+A-

File picture of a Furnace Oil-fired X-Class Steam Locomotive

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE: The Steam Loco Shed, Coonoor in Nilgiris converted the UNESCO-recognised Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) (No.X-37398) that is a furnace oil-fired X-class steam to a High-Speed Diesel-fired locomotive since the latter is more environment-friendly.

According to railway sources, furnace oil is highly viscous, sticky and dirty to handle, making the loco and its surroundings unclean. It is also difficult to handle in Coonoor as the low temperature increases its viscosity. Moreover, the loco pilot and firemen are forced to work under heat and feel suffocated, especially inside tunnels. Apart from this, there is high sulphur content in the oil which is harmful to the environment, sources added.

Meanwhile, HSD is less viscous and produces lesser heat ensuring finer control and atomisation, and fumes in the drivers' cabin are reduced. The fuel can also be completely used in this locomotive type.

A Salem Railway division official said "Pollution is reduced since furnace oil contains 2.7% of sulphur while HSD fuel has only 0.01% sulphur. Carbon deposit, ash and other sediments settling on parts of the locomotive like firebox, flue tubes, smoke tubes etc., would be significantly reduced, keeping the train cleaner and easier to maintain.

"The modification was done in-house modification within`3 lakh. The estimated cost for these works by a third party was `22 lakh. The conversion is technically done, but more trials to test fuels that produce lesser heat will be conducted," the official said.



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