Indian Railways’ locomotive production unit in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi has made history by converting a diesel locomotive into an electric one using technology developed in the country, the Times of India has reported.
Authorities at the production unit have said that this was the first time a diesel locomotive was converted into an electric one anywhere in the world. The work on the project, officials said, was completed in a short span of two months.
“The work on this project was started on December 22, 2017 and the locomotive was successfully rolled out on February 28, 2018,” an official noted.
A team of experts and engineers from the Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Chiitaranjan Locomotive Works, Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) and Bharat Heavy Electricals, working under the leadership of DLW General Manager Rashmi Goel, achieved this feat.
Only locomotives which are due for mid-life rehabilitation will be considered for conversion. The production unit made use of parts from decommissioned electric locomotives to make the process cost-effective while retaining chassis, bogies and traction motors used in the diesel locomotive.
The re-engineered locomotive is currently being tested for safety and incorporation of improvements in its design.
This development is significant because the Indian Railways, according to Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, will completely phase out diesel locomotives in the next five years and switch to electric locomotives.