Oil-fired steam loco for hill railway

Equipped with new oil–fired system, the narrow gauge steam locomotive is all set to chug in the lush green Matheran Hill Railway in Maharashtra. The 96-year-old steam loco ‘B 794’ will henceforth run using high speed diesel as fuel instead of coal in the 20-km eco-sensitive section from Neral to Matheran located on the Western Ghats range in Raigad district.

The ‘B’ class engine was dispatched on Monday from the over 80-year-old Golden Rock Railway Workshop here, which was entrusted with the task of converting the firing system of the loco from coal to oil. The Golden Rock Workshop accomplished the firing system conversion work within a span of 30 days after receiving the loco in April end.

As coal-fired system was posing problems to environment besides causing fire at times from the small particles of burnt coal flying out of the loco’s chimney in the eco-sensitive Matheran region, the Railways decided to convert the loco into oil-fired to avoid such situations in future, workshop officials said. The Golden Rock Workshop was chosen for the task as it had experience and required expertise in conversion of firing system from coal to oil. The workshop had already manufactured oil-fired steam locos for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

As part of the conversion work, the 15.5 tonne steam loco has been provided with twin head burner, combustion blower with air control, fuel pump, electrical control unit, fuel oil system accessories, and diesel oil tank.

The oil tank with a capacity of 800 litres has been installed in the bunker area where coal had been stored earlier. The 5 KVA generator set to power electrical items has been installed in the side platform of the loco which will run at a speed of 13 km per hour hauling four coaches. The loco has been given a fresh coat of polyurethane painting. The modification work has been carried out without affecting the heritage value of the loco, said P. Mahesh, Chief Workshop Manager. This is the first time that a narrow gauge loco has been sent for conversion of firing system from the Matheran Hill Railway, Mr. Mahesh said.

A technical team from the workshop will monitor the trials in the hilly Neral–Matheran section before the steam loco with oil-fired system is put into operation. The cost of conversion was Rs. 20 lakh. The loco was flagged off by S. Sundarrajan, Director, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, on the workshop premises.

The Neral- Matheran Light Railway was built between 1901 and 1907 by Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy at a cost of Rs. 16 lakh. It is operated by the Central Railway now. Matheran is connected to the town of Neral, which lies at the base of the hills, by narrow gauge rail.


Third steam loco for NMR rolls out of Golden Rock

The third oil-fired steam locomotive meant for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) was flagged off at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here on Friday.

Comprising over 3,400 components, the steam loco belonging to the ‘X’ class has been manufactured at the workshop at a cost of Rs. 3.7 crore.

The workshop undertook manufacturing of 600 components in-house including oil-fired boilers to improve the reliability of the locomotive.

Similar to the second loco dispatched in March last year, the third loco has also been fitted with all welded boiler.

The Railway Board had entrusted the workshop with the task of manufacturing four oil-fired steam locos for the NMR, which has been recognised by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

The fourth loco is under production.

The need for manufacturing of new steam locomotives was felt as the old ‘X’ class engines procured from Switzerland and operating in the NMR section started developing problems leading to frequent service failures.

Initial efforts to get these locomotives imported failed due to limited number of sources and prohibitive costs.

The General Manager, Southern Railway, Rakesh Misra flagged off the third loco at a function held at the workshop premises.

The Divisional Railway Manager Manjula Rangarajan, Chief Workshop Manager P. Mahesh and senior railway officials participated.


BG locos converted to cape gauge for first time

For the first time, Golden Rock Railway Workshop has converted two in-service broad gauge diesel locomotives to cape gauge for export to Mozambique railways soon.

A host of modifications and additional features have been incorporated as part of the conversion work in the two engines to suit the operational requirement of Mozambique railways.

The RITES, a Government of India Enterprise under the aegis of Ministry of Railways, had entrusted the cape gauge conversion work to Golden Rock Railway Workshop after purchasing two in-service BG diesel engines from Southern Railway.

The cape gauge conversion works are in the final stage in the two locomotives which would be exported to the African nation through RITES in the second week of November.

Each of the two BG engines with 1,676 mm gauge distance was converted to cape gauge with 1,067 mm gauge distance to suit the Mozambique railway network.

The other modifications incorporated to improve the horse power of the locos include provision of modified cam shafts, upgraded fuel injection pump and larger displacement of turbo super charger of ABB make.

The horsepower of one of the loco has been upgraded from 2,400 HP to 3,100 HP, while it has been upgraded from 1,800 HP to 2,400 HP in the other.

The excitation systems of both locos have been converted from electronic type to micro processor controlled system. Similarly, the engine governing system has been changed from electro-mechanical type to micro processor based.

Provision of plate type lube oil cooler to improve the cooling efficiency of lube oil system, cyclonic type air filtration system, panel mounted brake system and installation of maintenance free nickel cadmium battery are among the other additional features incorporated in the two engines.

One of the cape gauge loco has an air conditioned cabin.

Though the railway workshop had converted several metre gauge diesel engines to cape gauge and exported them to Mozambique and Sudan, this is the first time that the organisation had converted BG engines to cape gauge for export, say officials here.

The workshop had converted 34 in-service MG engines to cape gauge and exported them to Mozambique and Sudan.

In addition to this, it had exported 133 MG locos to countries, including Malaysia, Tanzania, Sudan and Benin over the years through RITES and IRCON, another government company.

Engaged in a myriad of activities, the over 80-year-old workshop also manufactures steam locomotives for Nilgiri Mountain Railway and container wagons for Container Corporation of India.

Locos to Mynamar

The RITES had supplied to the workshop four more in-service MG diesel locomotives for export to Myanmar. The six locomotives already supplied to Myanmar were working satisfactorily, the officials said.


Railway workshop to make rubber plates for tracks

Engaged in major rolling stock activities including manufacture of container wagons and steam locomotives besides carrying out periodic overhaul of diesel engines, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here will soon embark on a new activity of producing grooved rubber sole plates for track application.

The over 85-year-old nodal workshop of the Indian Railways has received in principle sanction for the latest activity from the Southern Railway headquarters.

The workshop would be investing Rs.1 crore sanctioned by the Southern Railway towards procurement of machinery to execute the new work using its well-established infrastructure and skilled technical workforce.

Milling machine, kneading machine, calendaring machine, and hand moulding machine are proposed to be procured for the manufacture of grooved rubber plates, each of which would be four to five millimetre thickness.

To start with, the workshop intends to produce five to 10 lakh grooved rubber sole plates per annum and supply them to the Southern Railway. Natural rubber would be used as one of the basic raw materials for the production.

The grooved rubber sole plates are placed between concrete sleepers and the track to absorb vibrations and shock when a train runs on the railway line. The plates provide a cushioning effect ensuring better riding quality.

The rubber plates were being supplied by private manufacturers to the railways, officials say adding that the workshop had evinced interest in producing them. The production is expected to start before this year.

Alongside approving the new project and earmarking funds, the Southern Railway has also sanctioned Rs.1 crore each for extending the electrical maintenance shop; carry out improvements to the toilets; and for the construction of a gas storage shed inside the workshop.

Housing over 25 different types of shops, the sprawling workshop also carries out periodic overhaul of air-conditioned and non air-conditioned passenger coaches besides constructing stainless steel body BOX-N wagons.


Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Railway workshop to build wagon prototype

TIRUCHI: Engaged in a slew of activities, including manufacture of container wagons and steam engines, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here will soon knuckle down to the task of building a prototype of higher capacity tank wagon meant for carrying petroleum products.

The Railway Board has identified this premier workshop in the Indian Railways network to manufacture a prototype eight-wheeler higher payload tank wagon with a capacity to carry 73,000 litres of petroleum product.

The wagon development work is expected to commence soon based on the designs provided by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO). Workshop authorities said officials of the Lucknow-based RDSO, the research and development organisation under the Ministry of Railways, would inspect the prototype tanker wagon and carry out different kinds of tests before according clearance for mass production of such wagons for future railway requirements.

Upon completion, the wagon would be put through its paces such as load testing and overload testing.

It would be taken for running test as well. This will be the first time that the workshop develops a prototype of a tank wagon.

The over 80-year-old workshop that has been manufacturing container wagons and ‘BOXN HL’ wagons made of stainless steel in addition to carrying out periodic overhaul of broad gauge diesel locomotives and exporting diesel engines after modifying them, is also engaged in developing prototypes of bogie open type (BOXN 25M) wagon and low platform container wagon (BLC 25M) each of which will have a capacity of carrying 100 tonnes.

The archetypes of these wagons with enhanced axle load are being developed based on the designs provided by the RDSO, officials said.

The workshop has dispatched over 2,500 container wagons to the Container Corporation of India, a government of India undertaking, till now.

The officials said the workshop had carried out overhaul of 134 diesel locomotives during the 2009-10 fiscal adding that 135 diesel engines would be overhauled in the current financial year.

Works are also underway for the manufacture of four new oil-fired steam locomotives for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway at a cost of Rs. 40 crore.


Indian Railways propose Research & Development Wings in Workshops

Tiruchirapalli: The Minister of State for Railways, E Ahamed, stressed the need for setting up research and development (R & D) wings in railway workshops in the country, with a view to institutionalizing innovative ideas of railway staff, as well as according due recognition to their talents and expertise.

The minister was speaking at a function held at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi, on Saturday, 8th August 2009, where he flagged off the 22nd rake of low bogey container wagons manufactured at the workshop, for the Container Corporation of India Limited.
The Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi is recognized as a nodal agency for various pilot programmes of the railways. With a workforce of approximately 7,000, this prestigious railway institution is involved in a gamut of activities including the manufacture of wagons, maintenance of coaches, and the periodic overhaul of locomotives.

The minister felt that this workshop, and others like this across the country, deserve their own Research and Development wings. He stated that the Railway Ministry would consider providing special funds towards this end.

Rupees 90 crore modernization programme

A rupees 90 crore modernization programme is already underway at the Golden Rock workshop. According to sources, funds amounting to nearly Rs. 69 crore would be spent on replacement of old machines and acquiring modern mechanical equipment. Some of the advanced equipment to be procured include Portable plasma profile cutting machine, robotic welding system with automation etc. PAMA – a special purpose multi-station machine for repairs of engine blocks – will be procured at a cost of nearly Rs. 40 crore. Tenders for smaller machines are expected to be floated soon. A modern material-testing laboratory will be set up inside the workshop, at an investment of nearly Rs. 2.5 crore. The workshop’s three traversors are also expected to be replaced. The training center will also be upgraded.

Funds amounting to approximately Rs. 15 crore would be utilised for augmenting infrastructure facilities and structural repair work. The workshop has over 30 shops inside the facility.

With the detailed estimate having been approved, Chief Workshop Manager, J Digi expects the entire modernisation programme to be completed in two years time.

In addition to being profitable in the domestic market, this workshop actively undertakes export orders. It manufactures wagons and exports modified diesel engines. The workshop also carries out periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives and coaches.

The Mozambique Railways have ordered two serviceable diesel locomotives. Benin has already purchased three locomotives. Locos manufactured here have also been shipped to Tanzania and Malaysia. Mr. Digi had earlier stated that the workshop earned rupees 29 crores in one year from overhaul of locos belonging to some 20 public sector undertakings.


Metre gauge locomotive converted into broad gauge

TIRUCHI: The Golden Rock Railway Workshop here has successfully converted a metre gauge diesel locomotive into broad gauge by carrying out necessary modifications in the engine.

The converted BG loco would be utilised essentially for shunting purposes. This is for the first time that the workshop has successfully converted an MG loco to BG.

The Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES), a Government enterprise functioning under the Ministry of Railways, had entrusted the workshop with the task of converting an MG diesel engine into broad gauge as a pilot project.

Subsequently, an MG loco that had hauled passenger and goods trains was taken up for conversion purpose with the RITES supplying the BG bogie frame and under frame along with engine hood and radiator compartment to the workshop for the modification work.

The MG loco was completely stripped and fitted with the necessary equipment required for a BG engine. Workshop authorities said the MG engine’s power pack, generator, radiator, electrical controls were re-used. Necessary modifications were carried out in the water pipe lines and air brake pipelines. The engine was fitted with modified control stand and dual brake system replacing the vacuum system. The interiors of the driver’s cabin were improved with exterior of the loco given a fresh coat of polyurethane painting.

The conversion work was carried out at a total cost of Rs. 2.25 crore, said a senior workshop official, adding that the trial runs were found to be satisfactory.