Indian Railways to offer 4 lakh additional berths per day soon! A new technology is being adopted by the national transporter, allowing it to replace the power generation cars attached to LHB coaches in train rakes with sleeper coaches. Most trains on Indian Railways’ network are currently equipped with power cars housing diesel generators, which supply electricity to train coaches for various purposes including lighting, air conditioning and fans. Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry is now planning to introduce a new technology, called “Head on Generation” (HOG), which is already in use worldwide. A senior railway official told Financial Express Online that by October 2 this year, all LHB coaches will be introduced to HOG technology, saving around Rs 1.7 crore per year for 270 KL per year and carbon emission of 700 Mt per year in each train.
Under this new system, the power supply is tapped from overhead power lines and is distributed to train coaches. At present, the power tapped from overhead tension wires through an equipment, called pantograph is used to run the engines only. According to officials quoted in a PTI report, this year, over 5,000 railway coaches will be modified to run on the new technology. With this, the coaches will be able to accept power coming from the overhead cables via the engines. Not only will this eventually allow trains to run without power cars, but it will also make way for more coaches to be attached. Additionally, Indian Railways will save more than Rs 6,000 crore in fuel bills annually, the officials said.
According to an official, in regular practice, two power cars, provided with Diesel Alternator sets are placed at either end of the rake, for example in every Shatabdi Express train. After introducing the HOG system, there will be a requirement of one power car only for standby purpose. The official further said that the second power car can be removed and replaced with an extra passenger coach, that too without increasing the length of the train. Once all LHB coaches are on this new system, Indian Railways’ has calculated an increase of over four lakh berths daily through this and thus additional revenue as well, he added.
A power car per hour for a non-AC coach requires 40 litres of diesel while an AC coach requires 65 to 70 litres of diesel per hour. One litre of diesel provides around three units of electricity, so a non-AC coach uses nearly 120 units of electricity per hour.