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New facility for electric locos

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Southern Railway has proposed to create a new facility in Tiruchi to home electric locomotives.

New machinery and facilities required to maintain electric locomotives will be put in place inside the huge Diesel Loco Shed campus here, which has been maintaining a fleet of diesel locomotives for over 40 years.

A detailed proposal for creation of new facilities and procurement of machinery and tools costing around ₹7 crore for maintenance of electric locomotives has already been forwarded to the Southern Railway headquarters for onward submission to the Railway Board for final approval.

Tiruchi is one among the four dedicated diesel loco sheds in the Southern Railway zone, with a total number of 148 diesel locos including 62 high horsepower GM locos, which can chug at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour.

Railway sources told The Hindu that the plan to maintain electric locomotives inside the sprawling diesel shed was in accordance with a directive from the Railway Board. The target is to put in place the facilities within a year.

The shed authorities have already identified the location as per which a broad gauge track will be laid to a distance of nearly 400 metres with overhead electric wire where a metre gauge track existed earlier. A couple of pit lines will be laid for homing electric locomotives besides construction of a building to carry out necessary testing as part of maintenance.

As the shed has been maintaining only diesel engines over the years, the technical personnel will be trained on maintenance of electric locomotives. To start with, a couple of electric locomotives will be maintained at a time at the shed, said a senior officer.

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