Indian Railways is planning to have two electric locomotives to haul its Rajdhani Express trains to increase the number of berths and save travel time.
One locomotive will be in front and the other at the rear, to increase their speed and save travel time, the Railway Ministry has said.
Increasing Speed, Saving Time
The department is experimenting with two electric locomotives powering the Hazrat Nizamuddin-Mumbai Rajdhani Express.
According to NDTV, a railway official said that two locomotives were attached to the Rajdhani Express on 13 February after the Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO) gave its nod on 7 February.
With the two electric locomotives, the train saved over 105 minutes of travel time between New Delhi and Mumbai.
The Rajdhani Express train covered the 1,543 km distance in about 17 hours against the previous 19 hours.
Undergoing Tests And Upgradation
After carrying out extensive tests, Indian Railways decided to remove the power cars.
The power obtained from the overhead cables through the pantograph of the lead engine will be converted for providing air conditioning and lighting. It will be done through a hotel load converter, the official stated.
By this, railways can attach two more AC-3 tier coaches in the train.
Once the power cars are removed, they will be replaced with two additional AC-3 tier coaches, adding 130 berths, the official said.
The department further stated that the push-and-pull technology now being tried out has been successfully adopted globally.
The technology would not only increase a train’s hauling capacity but also reduce the jerk when the brakes are applied as the load gets equally distributed through all the coaches.
The Rajdhani Express
Currently, Rajdhani Express trains have 22 coaches with over 1,200 berths of various categories.
Moreover, they are hauled by a single locomotive with two diesel-powered generator cars at the rear.
The locomotive provides air conditioning and lighting within the train.
Last year, Indian Railways had experimented with twin-locomotives on the train with both engines in front. The experiment, however, did not result in a smooth ride.