Railways to manufacture locos that run on diesel, electricity

In a first for Indian Railway, diesel locomotives will soon haul trains by drawing power through overhead wires on an electrified route, with the public transporter embarking upon manufacturing dual-mode engines.

“We will be manufacturing dual-mode locomotives to run trains on diesel and also by drawing power through overhead wire on electrified route,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the project.

Railways will manufacture five dual-mode locomotives of 4500 horse power (HP) capacity each at Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi as a pilot project.

Though similar locomotives are operational in the US and South Africa, it will be a first in India, the official said.

Currently, 52 per cent of total trains are on diesel traction. Diesel locomotives are generally replaced by electric engines on electrified route causing delays.

“However, with the acquisition of dual-mode locos, there will be no need for changing the locomotive for electric traction as the same diesel engine will be utilised on electrified route,” he said.

A dual-mode locomotive is estimated to cost about Rs 18 crore, while a 4500 HP diesel locomotive costs about Rs 13 crore.

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