Indian Railways gets ‘Make in India’ aerodynamic-design electric locomotive! Indian Railways’ Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) has recently rolled out an all-new design 5,400 HP electric locomotive with an aerodynamic design. According to CLW, the electric locomotive is the first in the country to have an aerodynamic design that will help it achieve speeds of up to 200 kmph. This new ‘Make in India’ electric locomotive will be used to haul premium superfast trains such as the Gatimaan Express, Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express.
A CLW official told Financial Express Online that the WAP-5 passenger electric locomotive, with its new aerodynamic design, will reduce the air drag at higher speeds for more energy efficiency. The new design electric locomotive will be dynamically stable for high speed operations. It has a ergonomically re-modified driver desk for improving the conditions of loco pilots, the official said. The gear arrangement has also been modified for hauling the train at a maximum speed of 200 kmph. The new electric locomotive also has a crew voice and video recording system that will help record and analyse onboard driving data. The cameras with microphones have been placed at cricial positions, the official said, adding that they will record voice signals and store data in a digital format.
On the cost front, the new aerodynamic electric locomotive has been manufactured at around Rs 13 crore. “The cost is similar to other electric locomotives that we make, but this a new design and will help the train attain higher speeds,” the CLW official told Financial Express Online.
As Indian Railways looks to extensively upgrade its track and signalling infrastructure, it is also moving looking to haul its trains in a more eco-friendly way with the help of electric locomotives. Earlier this year, Varanasi’s Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) converted a locomotive from diesel to electric traction. Indian Railways plans to convert those diesel locomotives that have been operated for 18 years (mid-life) into electrical locomotives. The focus on rolling out electric locomotives will help reduce the use of diesel and hence lessen the carbon footprint. Recently, PM Narendra Modi-led Cabinet cleared the ambitious project for 100% electrification of the broad gauge Indian Railways network.