Central Railways announces waterproof engines to tackle heavy rainfall


Mumbai train commuters who witness frequent disruption in services in heavy rains due to water logging on the tracks can now breathe a sigh for relief as the Central Railways is ready to roll out a modified, waterproof locomotive engine that could be operated even in 12 inches of water after a persistent problem where only four inches of water can bring a locomotive engine to halt and force the train to stay put until the water on the tracks recede.

The modified locomotive engine can move local trains as well as long-distance trains that get stuck on tracks due to water-logging, a senior Central Railway official said today.

Central Railways chief PRO Sunil Udasi said the modified and waterproof locomotive engine can pull out rakes even in 12 inches of water, which would avoid train services getting bunched up due to flooded tracks.

He said the engine, modified at the Kurla car shed, is ready for use and can be deployed anytime if needed. Underlining the difficulties the CR face to ensure that suburban train services run smoothly even during heavy rains, Mr Udasi referred to the downpour that had caused huge disruption of train services last September.

Udasi said that heavy rainfall had marooned 25 rakes on tracks in last September as water on tracks had entered traction motors of the locomotive engines and these rakes were required to be repaired or replaced on a war footing to keep Mumbai’s lifeline running which took them five days to make operational again.

Explaining the utility of the modified locomotive engine, Udasi said accumulated water on tracks can enter the traction motor fitted at the bottom of a locomotive engine and cause its failure.

Right now four inches of water on the tracks can cause such a disruption. In the new locomotive engine, the traction motor has been sealed completely to prevent the track water from entering it. The temperature sensors are also being used to check the rise in locomotive engine temperature.

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