Sunday, September 11, 2016

TNN | Sep 10, 2016, Nagpur: The Nagpur division of Central Railway has shown the way in energy conservation. Loco pilots of the division helped save 1.06 crore units of power worth Rs5.13 crore in the five months from April to August.

Indian Railway is a bulk consumer of energy and pays extremely high charges for traction power. The Nagpur division consumed 56.43 crore units of electrical energy last year for hauling trains incurring an expenditure of Rs406 crore. Looking at the soaring energy bills, a special drive has been launched by divisional railway manager (DRM) Brijesh Kumar Gupta focusing on conservation of energy by the electric locomotives while hauling trains.

"This initiative has resulted in substantial savings. This was possible through our 'Urja sanrakshan mantra & mandand', a pocket book for loco pilots, assistant loco pilots and shunters. The book contains 'Dos & Don'ts' and tips on benchmark of energy consumption and regeneration. Regular counselling of the running staff also helped," said Gupta.

The Central Railway also introduced WAG-9, most powerful locos in Indian Railways' stable, in ghat section of Dharakho-Maramjob-Teegaon between Nagpur-Itarsisection. "All loco pilots were contacted individually and counselled by chief loco inspectors (CLIs) for steps they have to take to ensure conservation of energy while hauling trains," said Gupta.

Central Railway has fixed trip ration in terms of maximum units of energy that can be consumed by locomotives in a section. Besides, star ratings have been introduced for loco pilots who achieve various levels of energy consumption with respect to benchmarks.

"Practices like shutting down locos while train awaits signal for longer time, coasting while going down the gradient, passing of trains through stations at maximum permissible speed, signals to be given in time etc have been given focus for ensuring maximum energy conservation," Gupta said.

One more factor, Gupta said, was use of new generation 3-phase locomotives in substantial numbers. These state-of-the-art locomotives not only consume less energy in operation but also regenerate electricity using dynamic braking (DBR) while going down a slope. This regenerated electricity is fed back to the grid as loco works as mini power house during DBR application. There are areas in the division where these locos generate more electricity than they consume.

"Optimum and skilful utilization of these locos to the maximum advantage of Indian Railways is a challenge that Nagpur division is trying to meet," Gupta stated.


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