Indian Railways to leave power cars to provide 4 lakh more berths for passengers
From October onwards, the railways will introduce the new technology known as "Head on Generation" (HOG), which is currently used worldwide to generate power for the AC units, fans and lights in train coaches.
With adoption of latest technology to enhance power generation capacity of locomotives, Indian Railways aims to provide four lakh more berths for passengers every day from October. The national transporter, which carries over 12 lakh passengers every day, would no longer use two power cars. A senior Railway Ministry official related to the development told IANS: "Currently there are one or two power cars attached to the train with diesel generators to supply electricity connection to run the air conditioning units, fans and lights in the train coaches."
From October onwards, the railways will introduce the new technology known as "Head on Generation" (HOG), which is currently used worldwide to generate power for the AC units, fans and lights in train coaches, the official reportedly said. Notably, the power cars are also called as End on Generation (EOG).
With the HOG technology, which is used to generate power to provide electric supply to the AC units, fans, lights from the overhead power lines and then is distributed to train coaches, the official said, adding that October 2019 onwards, over 5,000 coaches of the Indian Railways will operate on the new technology. The HOG technology is likely to save Rs 6,000 crore in fuel bills annually.
According to the official, a power car needs about 40 litres of diesel per hour per non-AC coach while an AC coach needs 65-70 litres of diesel per hour. The new system is also eco-friendly as no air or noise pollution will be there and it will help in reducing carbon emissions by 700 MT per year per train.
After removing one power car from the train, the railways can add a passenger coach in the train thus increasing the number of berths in the train without increasing the train length, said the official. Giving the example of Rajdhani Express, he said the Rajdhanis are currently hauled by a single locomotive with two diesel-powered generator cars at the rear to provide air conditioning and lighting within the train.
"After carrying out extensive tests, we have decided to remove the power cars. Power, obtained from the overhead cables through the pantograph of the lead engine, will be converted for providing air conditioning and lighting. This will be done through what in technical parlance is known as a hotel load converter," he told IANS, adding "By doing so we can attach two more AC-3 tier coaches to the train."
Rajdhani Express trains currently have 22 coaches with over 1,200 berths of various categories, and once the power cars are removed, they will reportedly be replaced with two additional AC-3 tier coaches, adding 130 berths. Further, the official said, once all LHB coaches are on this system, there will be an increase of more than four lakh berths everyday and thus additional revenue as well.
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Earlier this year, the railways tried to increase the speed and number of berths in Hazrat Nizamuddin-Mumbai Rajdhani Express by hauling it with two locomotives, one from front and the other at the rear. The trial run was reportedly approved on Feb 7 by the Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO). The pilot project led to the saving of over 105 minutes of travel time between New Delhi and Mumbai as it covered the 1,543 km in about than 17 hours from the previous 19 hours.
The push-and-pull technology is successfully adopted globally, as it not only increases a train`s hauling capacity but also reduces jerks when the brakes are applied as the load gets equally distributed through all the coaches, the official stated.