A visit to Vadodara(BRC) Loco Shed.

Few Moments in Vadodara Loco Shed….

28th June, 2014. A holiday for me. I am an intern for the last few weeks at Bombardier Transportation, Vadodara.

Couldn’t just sit idly at home. So thought of visiting a Loco Shed here at BRC(Vadodara).
Baroda Shed has one of the Loco’s which I am not familiar with.

WAP 5, India’s future high speed Locomotive supplied by ABB Transportation Systems and now with a transfer of technology, it is being manufactured at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.

I am welcomed by Mr Dinesh Jain, Senior Divisional Electric Engineer of BRC Loco Shed.
A few chatting sessions take place regarding my interests of Locomotives and finally I get a green signal to see the Loco Shed, tour around it and I make a usual trip report.

I am greeted by a huge sign board where the details of the Loco Shed is mentioned and few pictures of the Locomotives that the shed had undertaken to repair those which does not exist now in the Indian Railway Network.

The entrance of the Loco Shed.

It shows the number of certifications awarded by the government and other organizations. It is the 1st loco shed in India to get all three ISO certifications.

A brief description about the Locomotives it has holded, for major and minor repairs and few pictures too along with the certificates.

The Shed is divided into various sections:-
  •        Pneumatic Testing
  •        Transformer & Tap Changer
  •        M1/M2- Mechanical Sections.
  •        Testing Sections.
  •        Compressor and other auxiliaries section.

The transformer section contains transformers of 3 Phase and Single phase conventional Locomotives awaiting both for major and minor repair. CG(Crompton Greaves), Bombardier and Siemens were the companies that I could see imprinted on the transformers.

Even tap changers for conventional Locomotives were also kept.

Few testing sessions were done as I had observed. With a pneumatic machine, the oil was being circulated throughout the transformer to check any flaws with the machine. The drums contain the transformer oil which is also being supplied by few private firms.

I move to the next bay where conventional Locomotives have been kept awaiting IOH (Intermediate Overhauling) and AOH(Annual Overhauling).

I come across few P4 Loco’s where microprocessor control is mentioned on it.

Microprocessor control is widely applied to certain models of WAP-4 and other locos that have been retrofitted with a monitoring system that uses computerized circuitry to replace some of the electromechanical relays and switches that were part of the original design of these locos. Systems monitored by the microprocessor circuits include the DJ, silicon rectifier, battery chargers, etc. The advantage of this is that the status of the monitored equipment is displayed on an LCD panel in front of the driver and he does not have to look around and inspect the state of each relay or switch behind it manually. In such cases the microprocessor does not actually control anything.

Typical relays replaced by the monitoring circuits are QV60, QV61, QV61, QV63, QV64, QV65, QVLSOL, etc. Many sheds (Kanpur, Vadodara, etc.) display the annotation 'microprocessor controlled' very prominently on the loco itself. A few older locos (e.g., #22547) have also been retrofitted with the microprocessor monitoring. Apart from WAP-4 locos, some WAG-7 locos (Jhansi, Kanpur) have also been retrofitted with such systems.

A 3 phase P5 along with few P4’s converted to “Static Convertor Fitted” mentioned in a black board is kept for testing purpose and later to be removed from the Shed.

Locos traditionally had a rotary converter (of Arno make) to generate 3-phase AC on board to power auxiliary equipment such as traction motor blowers, compressors, exhausters, etc. Starting in the 1980s static converters using solid-state circuitry to generate 3-phase AC on board have been used instead of the Arno converter, driving up efficiency and reliability by eliminating the moving parts that the Arno contained.

I move to the next bay.

The roof hatch equipment of several P4’s and G7’s were lying on the shed. The pantograph is to be removed and replaced with new ones AM 92 or to be repaired as said by the shed people.
Newer locos almost always have the single arm pantographs. The single arm types are generally 
oriented with the bend of the pantograph pointing forwards (in the direction of motion) although this is not a strict rule and locos exist with pantographs in both orientations. Compressed air and a servo 
motor is used to raise the pantograph from its resting position to the raised position where its shoes 
touch the contact wire.

Now comes one of the most advanced units of IR. The 3 phase, a WAP 5 Locomotive.
This class started with a batch of 10 locos (#30000-30010, skipping #30008) imported from ABB / AdTranz in 1995. (11 were imported but one (#30008) was damaged by fire in transit and deemed unusable on arrival. It was then used as a bank of spare parts for the others.) These are among the few currently with IR to have an advanced design with GTO thyristor converters and 3-phase asynchronous motors. CLW has been manufacturing the motors since Feb. 24, 2000. Rated top speed is 160km/h, although in trials a WAP-5 loco is said to have been run at 184km/h. Continuous power at wheel rim is 4000kW (5450hp). A WAP-5 can take a 24-coach passenger train to 110km/h in 324 seconds. Wheel arrangement is Bo-Bo. Auxiliaries from ABB, Howden Safanco, BEHR, etc.
Although these are officially rated at 160km/h, one of these has been tested by CLW at up to 184km/h.
Other notable features of this loco are the provision of taps from the main loco transformers for hotel load, pantry loads, flexible gear coupling, wheel-mounted disc brakes, and a potential for speed enhancement to 200km/h. 78t weight. Braking systems include regenerative braking (160kN), loco disc brakes, automatic train air brakes, and a charged spring parking brake. MU(Multiple Unit) operation possible with a maximum of two locos.
A problem with the Hurth coupling and its indigenous replacement seem to have been part of the delay, but the locally manufactured components have now passed trials.
Air-conditioning: The original design called for these locos to have air-conditioned cabs. This, however, has been dogged by controversy over costs and fitment, and the first units made by CLW do not have air-conditioned cabs. One of the ABB units, #30000, does have air-conditioning, fitted by the Ghaziabad shed as an experiment.

I move out of the shed to get a better glance of the place. All I could see was few WAM 4’s, WAP 5’s kept in a line for allocation of passenger and super-fast trains that would be departing from Vadodara.
A G9 was also kept whose cattle guard was badly damaged and a fresh coat of paint was being given.
Thus ends of my most memorable trip and rail fanning moment at Vadodara Loco Shed. Thanks to the Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer. Thank You sir. Thank You very much.


My Bombardier "TCMS" Team: (During my internship for a month)


Who Am I?

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A Rail Enthusiast. Born and brought up in Calcutta. Have interests in rolling stock and Locomotives and their control techniques.
Also love to collect information and trivia on our Indian Railway network...
Have worked with ABB, Siemens, Bombardier Transportation and Larsen & Toubro as an intern. 
I majored in Electronics and Communications Engineering as my undergraduate degree on 2nd August 2016.