The freight transport in India is all set to get a facelift in months to come. A state-of-the-art freight train engine,designed by Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO),Lucknow,and manufactured by Diesel Locomotive Works,Varanasi,will soon be put to test on Bareilly-Moradabad railway line.
The engine,named Bheem,has a host of new features,which include computerised controls,an air conditioned cabin for the driver and a toilet. Special care has been taken to provide comfort to the driver and overall safety in the engine,known as WDG-5 in Railway nomenclature.
It will have a dashboard like the ones used in an aeroplan, said Rajiv Vishnoi,Senior Executive Director Standards (Motive Power),RDSO. The controls are computerised and the driver will be able to start the engine just by the click of a button. The display will employ TFTs,which are used in LCD TVs. It will also have better protection against collision and improved visibility.
Bheems 5,500 horse power (HP) diesel engine will be the first in India. Currently,Railways employs 4,500 HP engines for freight transport. The engine also features 20 cylinders,while the 4,500 HP engines have 16 cylinders. All this translates as a balancing speed of 100 kmph with 59 standard wagons,while the the 4,500 HP engine could manage only 85 kmph. At full horsepower,Bheem can attain a maximum operating speed of 105 kmph.
The engines Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) will also replace the existing mechanical fuel injection (MFI) technology. EFI was,again,developed by RDSO in collaboration with IIT Kanpur and Diesel Modernisation Works,Patiala,last year EFI is also undergoing trial in a 3,300 HP engine. If all goes well,it will replace MFI in existing freight trains sometime next year, said Vishnoi.
EFI will result in saving up to four per cent of fuel, he said. Indian Railways consumes nearly 2.5 billion litre of fuel costing approximately Rs 10,000 crore.