In a bid to increase the speed of trains on its existing network, Indian Railways has initiated ‘push & pull’ trials on the Jaipur-Jodhpur inter-city route, which has managed to cut the travel time by 30 minutes to 4 hours and 10 minutes.
A railway board member said the time can be reduced further up to one hour on longer routes as well as routes with speed restrictions and curves, adding that the technique would be extended to most of Indian Railways’ network, once the safety approvals are obtained. The technique is largely cost-neutral.
The ‘push & pull’ technique involves placing of two locomotives, one in front of the train and one at the back, essentially providing more stability to the train. It reduces jerks, decreases the shunting time, increases the speed and reduces the time taken to accelerate and decelerate on curves. The transporter has been experimenting with the technique with its freight trains and sources in the ministry said such trials have been successful.
In the recent trials on the Jaipur-Jodhpur inter-city route, the transporter was able to increase the speed of train to 0.46 metre/second from the earlier 0.2 mt/second achieved using a single locomotive. The transporter, after receiving the prerequisite approvals from the safety commissioner, plans to use this technique on trains such as Rajdhanis and Shatabdis to increase their speed.
“We have been experimenting to increase the speed of trains by attaching two 4500 HP locomotives one in the front and one in the back. Even though the route which we are currently doing trials on doesn’t have any speed restrictions or curves, we were able to reduce the time taken to reach the destination by 30 minutes. We will be conducting these tests on congested routes after these trials. We are sure we will be able to further reduce the journey time on such routes,” a railway board member told FE.
Officials in the ministry of railways state that the hotel load requirement of trains will be met by these locomotives essentially doing away with the need of power cars in a passenger train. “Generally, there are two power cars in a train set, which take care of the hotel load requirement. The two locomotives attached to a train will take care of the hotel load requirement, doing away with the need of power cars. We will replace the power cars with coaches increasing capacity and revenue,” the railway board member said.