Monday, June 9, 2014

       The Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer,
       Diesel Loco shed-KJM.

Respected Sir,
                         While it is a pleasure to see that KJM locos are well maintained, and clean, there is always room for improvement and keep locos operator friendly.

                          This organization of loco running staff would like to bring some matter of grave concern related to locos maintained in KJM/UBL sheds and also would like to make some suggestions to upgrade cab ergonomics.
1) Working with WDG4/WDP4 locos has become   a nightmare for the loco pilots as the temperature inside the loco cab raises beyond human tolerance during day time. The situation is even worse if the loco is long hood leading (the hot fumes from the 2 stroke engine also rush into the cab).  Unlike conventional 4 stroke engine locos (WDM2, WDM3A, WDM3D), the operating temperature of these high horse power WDG4/P4 locos is very high i.e. between 80-87 degree centigrade.   The cab  ceiling of these WDG4/WDP4 locos are not thermally insulated so that at day times the temperature inside the cab exceeds beyond the bearable limit , and  during night(winter) the cold temperature further goes down which makes working very hard.    It is a shame   that when a car worth a few lakhs of rupees is provided with air-conditioned cab for its user,   the loco sheds are totally denying   the loco pilot of a proper  working environment inside the cab of its WDG4/WDP4 locos worth crores of money. A major part of the duty hours of the crew is spent inside the cab be it goods/mail/exp. and hence it’s time their miserable condition is done away with.    
Considering all the above factors, this association humbly requests your kind intervention in modifying the WDG4/WDP4 loco cabs to air-conditioned as per the existing guidelines of the Railway board.
2) Loco pilot’s seat is one of the most neglected items in the loco.  In many of the locos, seats can’t be adjusted/ fixed firmly at a particular place.  Even in express trains which works with long hood, the seats are permanently fixed  (i.e. far away from the window thus forcing the helpless Loco Pilots/Asst. Loco Pilots to sit in an awkward/uncomfortable posture, bending sideways to have a look at the road and signals).  This posture causes severe hip pain, to the crew.    Many of the seats starts moving in a zig –zag/ to and fro fashion, the moment loco starts , or on run according to the loco vibrations , which do not allow the loco pilot to concentrate on his driving as he has to frequently try adjusting his seat to position.  This also affects their continuous view of road and  signals.   Hence forth all locos to be provided with originally designed adjustable type of seats only, as this will improve the visibility of road and signals especially during long hood working.
3) The sun shade visor provided on the lookout glasses does not serve its purpose. Most of the locos are not been provided with these visors. The remarks made by the loco pilots to paste sun screen film say about 10 inch width permanently on top of the look out glasses,  and fully on the window shutter glasses,  are not at all considered by the shed yet.  Due to this the loco pilots  suffer from direct sun light exposure  on their eyes , hence causing the dazzling effect/glare which is dangerous for the proper visibility of road and signals.  The rise in temperature inside the cab due to direct exposure of sunlight rays causes fatigue in the crew early.  The present sun shade visors should be removed and newly designed one should be fitted in the loco which should be adjustable to downwards according to the convenience of the loco pilot.   Most of the locos are without sun film stickers on windows and this causes the exposure of the helpless crew to scorching sunlight during daytime and especially during summer.
4) The metal grilled box provided inside the cabin to keep fire extinguisher can be converted into a seat by providing a cushioned top ,  which would be useful for the inspecting officials.
5) A leak proof metal box can be provided outside the cabin to keep the spare sand bags.  At present the sand bags are kept inside the cabin which makes the cabin very untidy.  It should be designed in such a way that the rain water does not enter the box and the sand bags does not scatter on the floor at the bottom  for avoiding wet sand .
6) The windshield wiper blades fitted in KJM based locos do not serve its purpose due to shifting of the control stands to the extreme left and right side of the cab, wiper blades should be fixed/ made to move to the extreme ends  of the windshield glass so that the visibility of the loco pilot is not restricted  while sitting in the seat.  At present the wiper does not swipe/clean the portion of windshield glass at the left end of LP and right end of ALP.    In some locos the windshield wiper blade rubber disintegrated , causing permanent stains on the glass.  These might be due to inferior quality of wiper blades, and so standard quality rubber blades only to be used. 
           In some UBL locos there were permanent stains on the windshield glass and this highly affected visibility of the crew.   It’s high time these glasses are replaced with new ones.
7) There is no provision of hand rest in WDG4/WDP4 loco motives, which is very uncomfortable to the loco pilots.  Hand rests may be provided near to the control stands.
8) There is no provision to have food inside the loco cab.  . If the box provided for to keep the fire extinguishers is made as a movable one with small roller wheels it can be slided to use a seat as well as a table to have meals.
9) The cab doors can’t be kept in open condition due to the lack of latches provided outside the doors as seen in Hubli based locos. Open cab doors at least when the train is stopped will considerably lower the temperature inside the cab by fresh air from outside.
10) Additional leg room provided for the ALP’S in some locos is of much relief to the crew which should be extended to all the locos.  The top most portion should be covered flat otherwise it would not be possible for the ALP to write log book and to keep food packet/lunch box while having meals.
11) Kindly arrange to provide a socket for the charging walkie talkie.
12) Temperature inside the cabs is too much to bear especially during day time/summer. Kindly arrange to provide heat resistant materials on the ceiling of the cabin.   Hence temperature can be reduced to an extent till such time air conditioner is fixed.
13) In most of the locos the control stand gauges are poorly illuminated and this causes strain/ difficulty in reading the various parameters including speed.   Digital SPMs are provided in some locos, these may be extended to all locos.
14) A short hollow pipe about 10inch long and 3 inch dia. is fixed in most of the locos on the control stand near to the toggle switches,  and this causes discomfort/pain to the left knee of LP.
15) Even when the temperature outside the cab is cool, it is very hot inside the cab due to poor air circulation inside the cabin due to no openings other than the window glass.  Kindly arrange to increase the air circulation inside the cabin.
16) In many of the locos we found that the cab door can’t be latched/ locked properly , and the cab door keeps opening frequently on run. Some locos the cab door beading is missing and results in open gap through rain water directly enters and falls on the crew and the sensitive control stand.
17) The location of speedometers in some WDG3A locos is very inconvenient and unsafe for the loco pilots as it is provided far away from the lookout glass. Due to which continuous observation of speed is not possible as loco pilot has to withdraw his attention ahead of track towards the SPM to observe the speed. Kindly arrange to shift the location of the speedometer nearer to the lookout glass hence simultaneous observation of road, signals and speed is possible.
18) VCD alerter lamp/buzzer acknowledge buttons provided in the initial locos was soft plunger type which can be easily  operated/pressed  by palm or fingers of LP/ALP, but now we see that these are replaced with ordinary push button type which has to be operated with a single finger and also more pressure has to be exerted.     We demand that all the P4/G4 locos be provided with the original design soft type plunger buttons.
19)  We also observed that EM2000 LCD display in many locos very dim/dull and this has led to inability of the crew to read various parameters displayed including speed.  All these defective LCD screens to be replaced with new ones.
                      All the safety committees appointed by railways has recommended the modifications  in the loco cabins and railway has its own guidelines regarding cab ergonomics.
                     We request your good office to do the needful to make the much needed modifications as highlighted in this representation which will result in a serene working environment of the Loco pilots and Asst. Loco Pilots.
                     Anticipating positive approach from your good self,
      Thanking you,
                                                                              Yours faithfully,

Bangalore                                                                    ( C.SUNISH)


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