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STUDY ON DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE WORKS

TRANING REPORT

SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

HARYANA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT AMBALA ROAD KAITHAL

AS PART OF COURSE OF

ENGINEERING)

B.TECH. ( MECHANICAL

KURUKSHETRA UNIVERSITY KURUKSHETRA SUBMITTED BY Gaurav kumar Bohria

ROLL NO. 1709644 PREFACE The globe is shrinking .The world is taken over by the technicians.A day after day a new technology srises. A technician without practical knowledge is zero,dont matter how many books you have studied .practical know how is must to be successful.

Industrial trainning is the bridge for a student that takes him from the world of the theoretical knowledge to that of practicle one. > training is a good industry is highly conductive for: 1. development of solid foundation of knowledge and personality. 2. confidence building. 3. Pursuit of excellence and disipline. 4. enhancement of creativity through motivation and drive which help produce professional and well for the rigorous of the job. During the training I got the exposure to various eqipment and machines their maintenance and technology concerning the repairing the diesel locomotive and hence was assisted in developing self-confidence . the training helped me in implementing my theoretical knowledge to the actual industrial enviroment. This traininig at the DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE WORKS VARANSI

STUDENT S DECLARATION I hereby certify that the works which is being done in the project entitled study on diesel locomotive by GAURAV KUMAR BOHRIA as per course requirement of b.tech. Submitted in the department of Mechanical Engineering at HARYANA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGE MENT under KURUKSHETRA UNIVERSITY ,KURUKSHETRA is recorded of my own work carried out during a period . The presented in this project has not been submitted be me in any other institute for the award of b.tech degree.

Signature of HOD.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I highly grateful to the D.P GUPTA(Director), HARYANA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY OF MANAGEMENT,for providing this opportunity to out the project work.

The constant guidence and enncourge ment received from the department of mechanical,HCTM ,KAITHAL has been of great help in carrying out project and is acknowledge with reverential thanks.

I would like to express a deep sense of grantitude and thanks to HOD ER. R.P SINGH who help in the project work.without the wise counsel and able guindance ,it would have been quite difficult to complete the project work in this manner.

We express gratitude to other faculity members of the department of mechanical engineering ,HCTM for their intellectual support throughtout the couse of this work.

INTRODUCTION TO DLW Background diesel locomotive works (DLW) is production unit


under the ministry of railways. This was setup in collaboration with American locomotive company (ALCO) USA in 1961 and the first locomotive was rolled out in 1964. This unit produces diesel electronic locomotives and DG sets for Indian railways and other customers in India and Abroad. Subsequently a contract for transfer of technology of 4000 HP Microprocessor Controlled AC/AC Freight (GT 46 MAC) / passenger (GT 46 PAC) locomotives and family of 710 engines has been signed with electro motive division of general motors of USA for manufacture in DLW. the production of these locomotives has now started and thus DLW is the only manufacturers of Diesel Electric Locomotives with both ALCO and General motors technologies in the world.

Brief History

Set up in 1961 as a green-field project in technical collaboration with ALCO/USA to Manufacture Diesel Electric Locomotives.

First locomotive rolled out and dedicated to nation in January,1964. Transfer-of-Technology agreement signed with General Motors/ USA in October,95 to manufacture state-of-the-art high traction AC-AC diesel locomotives.

A flagship company of Indian Railways offering complete range of flanking products in its area of operation.

State-of-the art Design and Manufacturing facility to manufacture more than 150 locomotives per annum with wide range of related products viz. components and sub-assemblies.

Unbeatable trail-blazing track record in providing cost-effective, ecofriendly and reliable solutions to ever-increasing transportation needs for over three decades.

Fully geared to meet specific transportation needs by putting PriceValue-Technology equation perfectly right.

A large base of delighted customers among many countries viz. Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Tanzania to name a few, bearing testimony to product leadership in its category.

VISION: To be a World class manufacturer of Diesel Electric locomotives." QUALITY POLICY: "We are Committed to Excellence in all Activities and Total Customer Satisfaction through Continuous I and Services." SCOPE:
-

improvement in Quality of Products

"We shall achieve our vision through Continuous Improvement in the areas of Product Quality, Research and Development, Supplier Partnership, Human Resource Development and Team Work with emphasis on Core Competence leading to Customer Satisfaction and Business Excellence."

SALIENT FEATURES Annual production capacity Annual turn-over (Rs) Total number of staff Workshop land Township area Covered area in shops Covered area of other service buildings Electrical power requirement (Average maximum demand) Electrical energy consumption (units/year) Stand by power generation capacity 19.8 million 3000 KW 125 Locomotives 5000 million 7223 89 Hectares 211 Hectares 86300 Sq.m 73700 Sq.m 3468 KVA

Locomotives General Information:


Classification of Locos:
What do the designations such as 'WDM-2' mean? Locos, except for older steam ones, have classification codes that identify them. This code is of the form '[gauge][power][load][series][subtype] [suffix]' In this the first item, '[gauge]', is a single letter identifying the gauge the loco runs on:

W = Broad Gauge Y = Meter Gauge Z = Narrow Gauge (2' 6") N = Narrow Gauge (2')

The second item, '[power]', is one or two letters identifying the power source:

D = Diesel C = DC traction A = AC traction CA = Dual-power AC/DC traction B = Battery electric(rare)

The third item, '[load]', is a single letter identifying the kind of load the loco is normally used for:

M = Mixed Traffic P = Passenger G = Goods S = Shunting L = Light Duty (Light Passenger?) (no longer in use) U = Multiple Unit (EMU / DEMU) R = Railcar (see below)

The fourth item, '[series]', is a digit identifying the model of the loco. Until recently, this series number was simply assigned chronologically as new models of locos were introduced. However, starting in 2002, for diesel passenger, goods, and mixed locos, i.e., WDP, WDG, and WDM sequences, (and only for them, apparently, not for electrics, nor for diesel shunters), the series digit identifies the horsepower range of the loco, with '3' for locos with over 3000hp but less than 4000hp, '5' for locos over 5000hp but less than 6000hp, etc. This new scheme will be applied to all passenger/goods/mixed-haul diesel locos starting in June 2002, except for the WDM-2 and WDP-1 classes of locos.

The fifth item, '[subtype]', is an optional letter or number (or two of them) that indicates some smaller variation in the basic model or series, perhaps

different motors, or a different manufacturer. With the new scheme for classifying diesel locos (see above), the fifth item is a letter that further refines the horsepower indication in 100hp increments: 'A' for 100hp, 'B' for 200hp, 'C' for 300hp, etc. So in this scheme, a WDM-3A refers to a 3100hp loco, while a WDM-3F would be a 3600hp loco. The last item, '[suffix]', is an optional indication that indicates something special about the loco, such as a different gearing ratio or brake system than usual. So, a WCM-2 is a broad-gauge (W) DC electric (C) mixed traffic (M) engine, model 2. Likewise, a WDS/5 is a broad-gauge diesel shunting engine, model 5, and a ZDM-5 is a narrow-gauge diesel mixed-traffic model 5 loco. YAU-1 is the old series of MG EMUs run on the Madras-Tambaram line. The subtype indication of minor variations is not very systematic. Often successive variants of a model are given subtypes 'A', 'B', etc. in alphabetic order, e.g. ZDM-5A, WAM-4A, WAM-4B, etc., but not always. For many loco classes (WDM-2A, WDP-2A, notably), the 'A' also indicates dual braking systems (capable of hauling air-braked and vacuum-braked stock). But in some, such as the WDM-2CA, the 'A' indicates a loco with only airbrakes. A WAM-4R is a faster version ('R' for rapid?) of the WAM-4, and WAM-4P is a version of the WAM-4 designed specifically for passenger use ('P'). But a WAM-4 6P is a version regeared and allowing all-parallel operation of the traction motors. A WDM-2P is a prototype version of a WDM-2 class.

Similiarly, a WAG-5HA is a WAG-5 with Hitachi motors ('H') built by CLW; a WAG-5HB is the same, but built by BHEL. A WAG-5P, interestingly, is a WAG-5 loco (a goods loco in its original design, as indicated by the 'G') which has been modified by re-gearing to haul passenger trains (the 'P' indicates 'passenger')! An 'E' suffix often indicates a variant that is purely air-braked (WAP-1E, WAM-4E, etc., but redundant with a WAP-4E.). [5/02] As indicated above, a new system of classifying mainline diesels has been introduced. The new scheme got off the ground with rebuilt WDM-2C locos being reclassified as WDM-3A (as they have a power rating of 3100hp). It is likely that the new classifications will coexist with the old ones for some time. With the optional suffix, things get even less predictable and less systematic. A WDM-2 5PD is a WDM-2 with a different gearing ratio (the '5P', usually a 'P' in such a suffix indicates a gearing ratio suitable for passenger service). On the other hand a WAM-4 6P indicates all 6 traction motors permanently connected in parallel in electric locos 'S' and 'P' often stand for 'series' and 'parallel' combinations of traction motors. Dual brake systems ('D'); similarly with a WAM-4 6PD, another common designation. (It's been reported that the 'PD' in these may actually refer to suitability for push-pull operation...??) A WAP-1 FMII is a variant of the WAP-1 using Flexicoil Mark II bogies. Ad hoc combinations of many such suffixes are possible, as with 'WAM-4 P HS DB 6P' (HS = high speed, DB = dual-brake compatible, P = regeared for passenger operations, 6P = all 6 traction motors may be placed in parallel operation). The WAM-4 locos, in particular, are notorious for having

countless minor variations as CLW and various workshops keep making minor experimental changes to them. Some sheds follow their own schemes too. Bhusawal shed, for instance, adds 'DBC' or 'ABC' to loco classes to indicate locos that have undergone conversion of the braking systems ('dual brake converted', and 'air brake converted'). The model numbers are assigned chronologically as new loco types are brought into use in IR, but there are some exceptions. Sometimes model numbers are assigned to some experimental locos which are never brought into regular use. Some classification codes break the system above: e.g., 'RD' is used as a code indicating the power and the load for diesel railcars, and not 'DR' as one might expect: YRD-1 is a series of MG railcars, NRD-1 similarly an NG series of railcars. Railcars used on the Tambaram line were classified simply 'RU'. 'RB' is used for railbuses, e.g., the WRB railbuses built on Ashok Leyland bus frames operating between Bangarpet and Kolar.

PRODUCT OF DLW:
DLW is an integrated plant and its manufacturing facilities are flexible in nature. these can be utilized for manufacture of different design of locomotives of various gauges suiting costomer requirments and other products. the product range avilable is as under. : WDG4 WDP4 Locomotive 4000 HP AC/AC Frieght traffic Locomotive 4000 HPAC/AC Broad Gauge High Speed

WDG3D

3400 HP AC/AC Broad Gauge Mixed Traffic

Micro-Processor Controlled Locomotive. WDM3C 3300 HP AC/DC Broad Broad Gauge Mixed

Traffic Locomotive. WDM3A Locomotive. WDP3A 3100 HP AC/DC Broad Gauge High Speed 3100 HP AC/DC Broad Gauge Mixed Traffic

Passenger Locomotive. WDG3A Locomotive.

3100 HP AC/DC Broad Gauge Freight

WDM2 Locomotive.

2600 HP AC/DC Broad Gauge Mixed Traffic

WDP1 Locomotive.

2300 HP AC/DC Broad Gauge Intercity Express

WDM7 Locomotive.

2150 HP DC/DC Broad Gauge Mixed Traffic

WDM6 Locomotive.

1350 HP DC/DC Broad Gauge Mixed Traffic

WDS6

1350 HP AC/DC & DC/DC Broad Gauge

Shunting Locomotive.

YDM4

1350 HP AC/DC & DC/DC Broad Gauge Mixed

traffic Locomotive.

EXPORT LOCO 2300 HP AC/DC Meter Gauge/Cape gauge Mixed Traffic Locomotive.

Diesel Generating Sets

800 KW to 2500 KW

Spare Parts fot engines, locomotives and generating sets.


WDG2 - WDG2 class 3100HP diesel electric locomotive with AC-DC

transmission, powered with DLW built 16Cyl. ALCO251C diesel engine, is exclusively designed for heavy freight service. High adhesion two stage suspension designed trucks minimise weight transfer and provide a higher starting tractive effort and excellent riding quality. Ergonomically designed cab is located between long and short hoods for either direction operation. The load starting capability of locomotive is 4700 tonnes on steeper (1 in 300) gradient track. The locomotive is suitable for multiple unit operation upto three units. WDG2 is popular for the low & easy maintenance at extended periods, low rolling resistances, reduced noise & exhaust emissions, fuel saving safe operation with anti-climber arrangement and high hauling capability.

GENARAL CHARACTERISTIC:

Installed power Power input to traction under site condition - 550 C temp. & 600 M altitude Gauge Wheel arrangement Principal Dimensions Height (Max)

3100 HP 2750 HP 1676 mm Co-Co 4162 mm

Width (Max) Length (Overall)


Locomotive weight basic

3016 mm 19132 mm
123000Kg.

Nominal axle load Wheel diameter basic Max. starting tractive effort Max. service speed Fuel tank capacity

20500 Kg. 1092 mm. 37884 Kg. 100 Kmph 6000 Litres

WDM2 - WDM2 class 2600HP diesel electric locomotive with DC-DC transmission, powered with DLW built 16 Cyl. ALCO251B diesel engine, is designed for mixed traffic service, passenger or freight. The locomotive equipped with fully equalized trimount trucks has medium axle loading and higher adhesion. The versatile locomotive is geared for maximum speed 120 Kmph and suitable for multiple unit operation. WDM2 locomotive has characteristics of low and easy maintenance, reduced noise & exhaust emission, fuel saving, safe & comfortable riding quality and reliable high performance.

GENARAL CHARACTERISTIC:
Installed power Power input to traction under site conditions - 550 C temp. & 600M altitude Gauge Principal Dimensions Height (Max) Width (Max) Length (Overall) Locomotive weight basic Nominal axle load 2400 HP 2250 HP 1676 mm 4185 mm 3010 mm 17145 mm 112800 Kg. 18800 Kg.

Wheel diameter basic Max. starting tractive effort Max. service speed Fuel tank capacity

1092 mm. 30456 Kg. 120 Kmph 5000 Litres

WDM2C
WDM2C class 3100 HP Diesel Electric Locomotive with AC-DC transmission, powered with DLW built 16 Cyl. ALCO 251c fuel engine, is designed for mixed traffic service with dual brake system, suitable for both air and vaccume braked rolling stock. The cast steel fully equalized trimount type trucks of locomotive minimise weight transfer and allow higher tractive effort for moderate axle loading. The locomotive is geared for maximum operating speed of 120 Kmph and has hauling capacity of above 4700 tonnes at the speed of 60 Kmph. The riding quality is excellent. Full width cab is located between short and long hoods for either direction operation. The locomotive is provided with dynamic brake and is suitable for multiple unit operation upto three units. Low and easy maintenance at extended periods, low rolling resistance, fuel saving, reduced noise & exhaust emissions and high reliability are the basic characteristics of the locomotive.Requisit safety devices including anti climber arrangement are provided for safe operation of locomotive.

GENARAL CHARACTERISTIC:
Installed Power Power Input to traction at site condition-55c temp and 600M altitude Services Guage 3100 HP 2750 HP Mixed Traffic 1676 mm

Wheel arrangement Principal Dimentions Height (Max.) Width (Max.) Length (Overall)

Co-Co 4185 mm 3010 mm 17145 mm

Locomotive weight basic 118800 Kg. Nominal Axle load 18800 Kg. Wheel diameter basic 1092 mm Max service speed 120 Kmph Fuel tank capacity 5000 Liters. WDP2 - WDP2 class 3100HP high speed dual cab diesel electric locomotive with AC-DC transmission, powered with DLW built 16 Cyl. ALCO251C diesel engine is exclusively designed for passenger service. Two stage suspension flexicoil Co-Co MK-V trucks provide moderate adhesion and excellent riding quality. Aerodynamic frontal profile and streamlined full width body minimises air drag. Anti-collision posts are provided for protection of crew and equipments. The locomotive is designed for speed potential of 160 Kmph and is suitable for multiple unit operation upto three units. WDP2 is popular for low and easy maintenance at extended periods, reduced noise and exhaust emissions, fuel saving and safe operating characteristics.

GENARAL CHARACTERISTIC:
Installed power Power input to traction under site conditions - 550 C. temp. & 600M altitude 3100 HP 2750 HP

Gauge Wheel arrangement Principal Dimensions Height (Max) Width (Max) Length (Overall) Locomotive weight basic Nominal axle load Wheel diameter basic Max. starting tractive effort Max. service speed Fuel tank capacity

1676 mm Co-Co

4262 mm 3124 mm
19182 mm

117000 Kg. 19500 Kg. 1092 mm. 29250 Kg. 160 Kmph 5000 Litres

WDS6 - WDS6 class 1350HP diesel electric locomotive with DC-DC transmission, powered with DLW built 6 Cyl. ALCO251D diesel engine, is specially designed for handling long and heavy train loads in Steel Plants and Industrial Yards. The locomotive equipped with fully equalized trimount trucks has high starting tractive effort and is capable of withstanding heavy buffing loads of 400 tonnes. It is designed to negotiate sharp curves of 45 meter radius track and can work in multiple unit operation. A creep speed control feature for operation between 1 to 7 Kmph can be provided as an optional fitting.

GENARAL CHARACTERISTIC:
Installed power 1350 HP

Power input to traction under site conditions - 550 C temp. & 600M altitude Gauge Principal Dimensions Height (Max) Width (Max) Length (Overall) Locomotive weight basic Nominal axle load Wheel diameter basic Max. starting tractive effort Max. service speed Fuel tank capacity

1150 HP 1676 mm 4000 mm 3060 mm 17194 mm 126000 Kg. 21000 Kg. 1092 mm. 34020 Kg. 62.5 Kmph 4600 Litres

YDM4 - YDM4 class 1350HP meter gauge diesel electric locomotive with DC-DC transmission, powered with DLW built 6 Cyl. ALCO251D diesel engine, is designed for mixed traffic service, passenger or freight. The locomotive equipped with fully equalized trimount trucks has light axle loading and higher adhesion. The maximum speed potential of the locomotive is 100 Kmph and is suitable for multiple unit operation. Locomotive is highly economical and reliable in operation with high level of performance.

GENARAL CHARACTERISTIC:
Installed power Power input to traction under site conditions - 550 C temp. & 600M altitude Gauge 1350 HP 1150 HP 1000 mm

Principal Dimensions Height (Max) Width (Max) Length (Overall) Locomotive weight basic Nominal axle load Wheel diameter basic Max. starting tractive effort Max. service speed Fuel tank capacity 3407 mm 2730 mm
15208 mm

72000 Kg. 12000 Kg. 965 mm. 18936 Kg. 100 Kmph 3000 Litres

OTHER PRODUCT & RELATED SERVICES:


DLW is not only fast emerging as a global powerhouse to manufacture locomotives and their spares but also as a single window destination offering wide gambit of related products and services. It is adequately equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and competent manpower to undertake:

turn-key maintenance jobs; design consultancies; Techno-economic feasibility studies; procurement/ contract management consultancies; supply chain/ logistics management services; high-end turn-key jobs; project management consultancies.

DIFFERENT WORKS AT DLW:

UNDERFRAMES & SUPERSTRUCTURES


Precision cutting and forming of sheet metal is utilised for manufacture of superstructures including drivers cab, engine hoods, and compartments for housing electrical equipment. All activities connected with pipes like pickling, bending, cutting, forming and threading of pipes of various sizes are undertaken in another well-equipped work area. In yet another work area, all electrical equipment is assembled in the fabricated control compartments and drivers control stands. Underframes are fabricated taking all due care to ensure designed weld strength. Care is taken to impart the requisite camber to the underframe during fabrication itself. Wherever required, welds are tested radiographically. Welder training and their technical competence is periodically reviewed.

BOGIE MANUFACTURING
Large special purpose machines are utilised for machining cast and fabricated bogie frames. In the same work area, axle and wheel disc machining is undertaken on sophisticated CNC machines. Inner diameter of wheel discs are carefully matched with the outer diameter of axles before the wheel discs are pressed onto axles, at designated pressure, using a specially designed wheel press. The complete truck (bogie), including bogie frames, wheels and axles, brake rigging and traction motors is assembled before being sent onwards for locomotive assembly.

LOCOMOTIVE ASSEMBLY & TESTING


Assembled and tested engines are receive in this Shop from Engine Division. Also, underframes, assembled trucks, superstructures and contractor compartments are received from respective manufacturing and assembly shops of Vehicle Division. Important alignments like crank shaft deflection, compressor alignment and Eddy Current clutch/radiator fan alignment are done during assembly stage itself. Electrical control

equipments are fitted and control cable harnessing is undertaken. The complete locomotive is thus assembled before being sent onwards for final testing and spray painting. Rigorous testing of all locomotive systems is conducted as per laid down test procedures before the locomotive is taken up for final painting and despatch.

FABRICATION OF ENGINE BLOCK

Steel plates of sizes up to 80 mm thick are ultrasonically tested before being precision cut by numerically controlled flame cutting machines. Fabrication of engine block is completed by submerged arc welding using semi-automatic welding machines. Down-hand welding is ensured using specially designed positioners. Special fixtures are used for making downhand welding possible in inaccessible areas. Critical welds are subjected to radiographic examination. All welders are periodically tested and requalified for the assigned job.

MACHINING OF ENGINE BLOCK


The fabricated engine block is then taken up for a variety of machining operations like planing, enveloping and end drilling. All these operations use heavy duty planers and CNC drilling machines. V-boring of cylinder liner bores is a process requiring a high degree of precision and is

undertaken using a specially designed machine. Recent addition of a planomilling centre has provided further fillip to the quality and speed of enveloping operation. 12 Cylinder and 16 Cylinder Blocks have V angle of 45, whereas the 6 Cylinder Block is inline type.

COMPONENT MANUFACTURING
Over 2000 components are manufactured in-house at DLW. These include ALCO turbo superchargers, lubricating oil pumps, cam shafts, cylinder heads, chrome plated cylinder liners, connecting rods and various gears. Our well-equipped Machine Shops have dedicated lines for operations like turning, milling, gear hobbing, drilling, grinding and planing etc. In addition, DLW is equipped with a variety of special purpose machines and a large number of state-of-the-art CNC machines to ensure quality and precision. All related processes like heat treatment and induction hardening are also carried out in-house. A completely new Chrome Plating Shop for Cylinder Liners has been set up with modern infrastructure like fume extraction system and Programmable Logic Controlled material movement system.

ENGINE ASSEMBLY & TESTING


The engine block, crankshaft, camshafts, cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods, cylinder heads, exhaust manifold, turbo-supercharger and all related piping is assembled to make a complete engine. This is followed by mounting of electrical machines like traction alternator, auxiliary generator and exciter. This power pack is tested for horsepower output and other parameters of engine health on computerised Engine Test Beds. Only after the engine parameters are found perfect the power pack is allowed to be moved to the locomotive assembly area.

What is a diesel locomotive?


Actually, it is more properly called a diesel-electric locomotive. The

concept is relatively simple: An oil-burning engine turns an alternator or generator which in turn produces electricity that powers traction motors that connect to the axles of the locomotive. This process is much more efficient than the external-combustion steam locomotive. The gasoline engine, like in an automobile, has a thermal efficiency (the conversion of fuel into work) of 8 or 9%. The diesel engine, however, has a thermal efficiency of about 30%. Unlike in a gasoline engine in which the fuel is ignited by spark plugs, the fuel in a diesel engine ignites because of the air pressure inside the cylinders. The air in the cylinders is raised to about 500-600 psi which raises the temperature inside to about 1000 degrees F. Oil injected into the hot air ignites and expands. The expanding gas forces the piston to move down and this turns the crankshaft that is connected to the generator(DC) or the alternator(AC) where electricity is produced. When the piston rises again from the momentum, the gas is expelled from the cylinder and the cycle begins again. The generator or alternator then provides power to the traction motors. Then you're on your way!

Why was diesel engine developed?


Diesel engines came about to replace steam. Even though the original British Rail Modernisation Plan of 1954 specified that electric trains (which already existed on the former Southern Railway in the form of 3rd-rail D.C. electrification) should replace steam directly, because of the amount of bureaucracy involved -BR was a large organisation, and still bureaucratic to this day- meant that diesels were needed as a stop-gap measure before the money could be found to electrify all the tracks. The decision to phase out steam had been a political one, to give an illusion of development. In actual fact steam locomotives were fine examples of industrial machines. They were reliable even with the minimum maintenance, and when kept in pristine condition they performed well. The relative sophestication of a diesel locomotive in fact posed an operational handicap: better maintenance facility was needed in order to ensure reliable operation, and as a result of the additional equipments needed, the early diesels were relatively low in power output, with the class 40 at 2,000hp almost at the top of the range whilst large, powerful express passenger steam locomotives routinely produced 2,500hp or more. Indeed in the early years diesels were often called in pairs to haul trains which previously just one steam locomotive would have had no problem handling.

The Diesel advantage

One of the many advantages they offered over steam, even in their early years, is that they were very much more fuel efficient, and less polluting, since they do not churn out a large amount of smog-causing soot. They also offered better working conditions for the engine crew. No more was the tunnel a locomans nightmare, instead of driving practically blind through the dark with smoke filling the driving cab, the motormen now enjoyed clean, closed cabs without all the smoke and the dust, and had small lights to illuminate the line ahead. The upgrade was not welcomed by all engine crew. To run a passenger steam express at 80mph and keep it at that speed require real skill from both the driver and the fireman, but the same is relatively easy to do in a diesel. It also meant that the firemans job became redundant and they became secondmen on diesel-hauled trains, to simply assist the driver since the drivers absolute attention to the the signal ahead is becoming more vital as train speeds are pushed higher and higher. Interestingly, in the States they were never re-named as secondman, as a result the dubious practice of carrying a fireman on diesel trains persists until today, even though the job description has changed somewhat, the fireman is more like a diesel mechanic. It is wrong to think that in the early days diesels were more powerful and faster than steam counterparts. This becomes apparent when one examines the world speed record for a diesel is 148mph, whereas for steam it is 126mph, and the diesel record was set some 50 years later since the LNERs; it had the extra half-century in between to develop.

The transmission system.

At low speeds diesel engines have very little torque (turning force) and when stopped they have no turning force at all, engines have to be spinning to provide some traction. This presents a technical problem, because if the engine crankshaft was connected directly to the wheels like it is in a steam locomotive, it would not be able to provide any force to accelerate the train from rest. Cars and road vehicles get around this by a gear/clutch system, otherwise known as a mechanical transmission system. The clutch allows the engine to engage stationary wheels without having to slow down, and the gears allows the engine to keep the spinning at sufficient speed to keep the torque up. Clutch/Gear systems were used for the very first diesel trains around, indeed I have travelled on one and its a very strange experience, just like being on a bus. However the forces involved are much greater on a train than on a road vehicle, and gearboxes couldnt really take it, and caused a lot of friction too, further reducing the efficiency. Besides, diesel engines, being compression-ignited, have a very small margin of optimal spin speed. Efficiency drops off very sharply if the engine runs just slightly faster or slower, unlike petrol-engines which do not have as tight a limitation. But, the speed at which the wheels spin at 5mph differs dramatically from that at 80mph! To build such a gearbox would require perhaps some 15 different gears. Even the best rally-drivers would probably find it extremely difficult to change gears that fast, especially on commuter services where one may not even reach top speed between adjacent stations or signal checks. As any

truck driver would know, an articulated lorry has up to 9 gears for a similar reason, in order to keep the engine revs at its optimal value and to make sure enough tractive effort is produced, faced with a wide variety of gradients. Truck-trailers are only permitted to travel at up to 50mph in Britain, if one attempt to build a 100mph diesel locomotive out of mechanical transmission one would soon run into problems. An automatic transmission would be pointless, as the efficiency loss in such a transmission would render the diesel advantage in the early days practically nonexistent.

The electric transmission.


The solution was to use an Electric transmission. Electric motors have very high torque just when stationary. If you take two electric motors, wire them into each other, then if you turn one of them, the other one will turn. This principle is used in diesel engines, the engine turns one of the motors and the other is connected to the wheel axle. This is an excellent way of transferring the power. The to start the train the engines roar up, spinning the motor very fast. This puts a high potential difference across the axle motor bringing in enough torque to start the train moving off and accelerating.

The inside schematic diagram of an English Electric class 47 diesel-electric locomotive. Over 500 examples of this locomotive was built in the 1960s and it became one of the most common, general-purpose standard type of all times, with a top speed of 95mph. Over 250 examples still exists today.