By Prarthana Mitra
In an attempt to end the frequent disruption in train services due to monsoon water logging on the tracks, the Central Railway announced that it will soon be rolling out modified, “waterproof” locomotive engines, capable of operating even in 12 inches of water.
Here’s what happened
Underscoring the difficulties faced by local train passengers and also by the CR to ensure that suburban train services run smoothly monsoonal downpours, Chief Public Relations Officer, Sunil Udasi referred to the heavy rainfall last September, that had caused a massive disruption of train services and marooned 25 rakes.
He added that the stagnant water had entered traction motors of the locomotive engines causing their failure and subsequently the CR had to put those rakes out of service and it took at least five days for them to function properly again.
Generally, a locomotive engine halts with only four inches of water, rendering it motionless until the water on the railway tracks recedes.
Come hell or high water
The new waterproof engines, however, can pull out rakes even in 12 inches of water, said Udasi.
Udasi told the Economic Times that the traction motor for the new engine, unlike the earlier models, has been sealed off completely to prevent track water from entering it. Furthermore, temperature sensors have been installed in order to check the rise in locomotive engine temperature.
These engines can haul local trains as well as long-distance suburban trains stuck on water-logged tracks and thus will help prevent trains from getting marooned on flooded tracks. Udasi further claimed that the engine, which has been modified at the Kurla car shed, is ready for use and available for deployment anytime it’s required, anywhere across the state.
The Central and Western divisions of the Indian Railways witness an enormous traffic of around 70 lakh passengers on a daily basis. This waterproof solution to travel woes is bound to bring a brief monsoon relief, especially to Mumbai local commuters, who suffer the most during the city’s heavy monsoonal bouts.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.