My tryst with Gomoh Loco Shed and GP 140..


        My trip, my learning experience,  my understanding of the Locomotives, my  easy access to all the workshops, and my innumerable questions being  answered and explained to, has all been possible because of the kind help and  encouragement of 1. Mr US Ojha 2. Mr Asutosh Jha(AEE Gomoh) 3. Mr Asutosh(DEE Gomoh) 4. Mr B.C Pal 5. Mr Brijesh Kumar(AEE Howrah)

Thank you everyone, Thank you very much.
I am ever grateful to you.

With Regards
Sundar Mukherjee

23-12-2014:  Get set go!!! Gomoh ELS!!!

It has been a year that I had been planning to visit this Loco shed and finally the day has arrived. I arrived at the platform at 5:30am to find that the 12019 shatabdi rake had already moved in. I moved towards the Locomotive to see the link for today's Shatabdi. The link for this day was a Howrah P4, road number 22510. I was disheartened to see that it didn’t get a P7 link which is my favorite loco till date. I boarded 12019 Up Howrah Ranchi Shatabdi express.

The coaches were none other than Alstom LHB. As far as my knowledge goes and from what i have gathered through the internet, a journey experience with the French TGV or the Pendolino appears great, but still the smoothness of the ride in an Alstom LHB is quite up to the mark by Indian standards. I get a window seat. The train departs at 6:05AM dot on schedule. The train on the adjacent platform was the Black Diamond Express. Reminds me of my first trip to CLW in April 2013 - I had then travelled on the Black Diamond Express.

Swaach Bharat!!!

As the train slowly makes its way dodging innumerable line crossings and intersections, an announcement is made in the coaches to keep the train clean and neat and not to litter - an initiative taken by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to keep the train and the platforms spick and span. 
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (English: Clean Indian Mission) is a national level campaign by the Government of India, covering 4041 statutory towns to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country. This campaign was officially launched on 2nd  October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself wielded the broom and cleaned a road. The campaign is India's biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees along with students of schools and colleges of India participated in this event.

As we proceed, Howrah Loco Shed passes by where I have been a regular for the last 6 years (My first visit was in 2009).  This is the shed where Locomotive engineers have helped me quench my thirst about the intricacies of Locomotives and shaped me up to whatever little I have known about Locomotives till date. The shed whizzed past me in a flash.
I noticed a few P4’s and P7’s as the shatabdi express rolled past the shed.
There was a TSR (temporary speed restriction) at Liluah because of the Poorva Express derailment a few days back causing the train to move slowly.

As it passed Liluah, it accelerated. This is the first time when i didn't feel the momentary jerk in the LHB coaches during braking and acceleration. During my days at CLW, the Dy CEE, D&D, Mr Suresh Kumar had already told me this that in conventional locomotives, the jerk felt is very less compared to 3 phase. Currently CLW and RDSO is working on that to reduce the jerks.

I spotted the Dankuni factory. Not as big as Chittaranjan Locomotive Works as there will be the Assembly shop only. 

(Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Dankuni)

Chai time!!!

I have a cup of tea and my breakfast provided by “Meals on Wheels”, and we reach Asansol at 8.20am. I get down on the platform and have a look at the station. I am nostalgic each time I visit this station.  It reminds me of my visits to CLW (Chittaranjan Locomotive Works).

As I pass Asansol, I could see new P7’s and G9’s parked in the Asansol Loco Shed. The P7's and G9's have recently been rolled out from CLW. 
This is the only shed where we get to see these classes of Locomotives that were provided by the Japanese group (Mitsubishi, Hitachi) - the WAM 1, 2, 3 classes.

Asansol Loco Shed.

The train departs once again. I reach Dhanbad at 9.20am. Since there was no connecting train to Gomoh at that time, so I had to book a taxi and it took me an hour to reach Gomoh. 

Finally I reach Gomoh ELS (Electric Loco Shed).
It is located a few meters away from Gomoh Railway station.

The entrance to Gomoh Shed. I had to register my name and the name of the person whom I wanted to meet before I entered the Loco Shed.

I am greeted by a WAG 7 at the entrance. I suddenly realise that the yellow board where “Gomoh Electric Shed” was mentioned, is missing. I had seen this displayed in one of the pictures clicked by the GP 140 engineers during their stay in Gomoh. 

The original livery of WAG 9H clicked by a GP 140 engineer.

The shed is divided into 3 bays. 1st bay is where all the components starting from TM’s, gears, compressors, and other equipments are kept.
The 2nd bay is where the Locomotives are kept which are undergoing maintenance.

The 3rd bay is kept for testing and also for keeping the Locomotives which are to be shifted from one bay to the other for maintenance. Only AOH(Annual Overhauling) and IOH(Intermediate Overhauling) is done in this shed. And the shed is meant only for goods locomotives.

My tour manager and guide at Gomoh Loco Shed was Mr U S Ojha. He is a GP 140 engineer. He was in Switzerland during 1996 for training purposes for the G9 Loco. He had received training of FUPLA language at Oerlikon, Switzerland and for trouble shooting procedure in 3-phase locos.

(Zurich Office)

We move out of the shed. Mr Ojha shows me the maintenance process that is being done on G9 Loco's. Most of the equipments are supplied by Bombardier and Crompton Greaves. He tells me that the Loco’s in their early stages had problems with the compressor’s supplied by Davies and Metcalfe. As a result, Faively Transportation Systems replaced them. 
He also explained what is Doppler radar based Adhesion control and where it is located in the G9.

Doppler Radar based Adhesion Control System is developed for improving the realizable adhesion in WAG9 & WAG9H class locomotives during wheel slip conditions which occurs due to bad weather and poor track conditions.
Using a Doppler Radar, the ground speed is detected, which is compared with each axle speed. The slipping bogie is identified precisely and instantaneous tractive effort correction is applied to bring the condition to non-slipping state. After slip is controlled, the tractive effort is restored back to the original value or to a safe level where re-adhesion is achieved.

Next we move to the bay where the bogies are undergoing maintenance. There were bogies of G9 and G7 undergoing IOH. 

WAG 9 and me.

WAG 7 and it's bogies which are being maintained and checked.

WAG 9 bogies. The TM's were being overhauled.

The side view of the Loco shed just adjacent to the entrance.

We move towards the end of the shed where there is an additional bay used for converting worn wheel profiles and are re-machined to the correct contour or shape. 

The wheel maintenance plant.

WAG 9 undergoing repairs.

Next we move towards Gomoh Railway station. Mr Ojha introduces me to another GP 140 engineer, N.K Ghosh,who was also there in Switzerland to receive training in the ABB factory on G9 and P5. I sat down with them and I was enthralled to hear their experiences at Switzerland. Unfortunately the ABB factory at Switzerland from where our P5 and G9 rolled out doesn’t exist anymore.

They offered me a cup of tea and pointing towards Gomoh Railway station tell me the history of the station. It is now named as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Gomoh. Gomoh is a place of historical importance also. On his great escape, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose caught Howrah-Kalka Mail (then known as 63UP Howrah-Peshawar Express) on 18 January 1941 from Gomoh. There is a statue of Netaji on platform no. 1 & 2 at Gomoh railway station which reminds people of his historic halt. Every year on 23rd January, the railway employees organize a small cultural program to celebrate Netaji's birthday. 

Next I meet, Mr Asutosh Jha (AEE Gomoh). Mr Brijesh Kumar(AEE Howrah) had already told him the day before that I would be visiting the shed. He welcomed me. He introduced me to the DEE(Divisional Electrical Engineer) Gomoh. We chatted for a few minutes.

The DEE of the Loco Shed welcomed me and invited me to his office. He then called the other officers of the shed and offered me to sit in his chair. I was initially hesitant but he forced me to sit on his chair. I was enthralled. It was a huge honor for me. I sat on his chair and frankly speaking i was feeling very uncomfortable because i felt i yet don't deserve to be on that chair. He along with the other officers sat opposite to me. The DEE(Mr Asutosh) told me to share my experiences till date. I HAVE NEVER BEEN HONORED LIKE THIS BEFORE. THANK YOU SIR.

I used his computer and with the help of my blog I showed him all the sheds that i had visited, people whom i have encountered and companies where i have done my internships. He also asked me to share my experiences during my days as an intern at Siemens and Bombardier.

A short brainstorming session took place. He offered me a cup of tea. 
Since I was running out of time, they told me to come once again and share all my experiences till date. I promised them that I would visit them once again.

From left (AEE II Gomoh, SSE Gomoh , DEE Gomoh, AEE I Gomoh)

The section where all the parts of the Locomotives are kept such as TM's, gears, blowers and other equipment's.

Next, Mr Ojha told me about a few people who had worked at Gomoh and asked me to get in touch with them. After chatting with him, i clicked a few photos of the shed and finally left Gomoh Loco Shed at 2:30pm.
The cab that i had hired was waiting for me.

I reach Dhanbad Station at 4:00pm. Down Shatabdi Express arrives at 5:30pm at Dhanbad station and I reach Calcutta at 9:15pm. 

Dhanbad Railway Station

1995-1996: Some information on GP 140.

This is the entire ABB group who worked at Gomoh Loco Shed during the project. 

This is Mr Pal who was also involved in the project and was one of the engineers at Gomoh from 1996-2005. Then he took a transfer and is currently one of the senior engineer at Howrah loco Shed. He took responsibility of my trip to Gomoh and got me introduced to Mr Ojha.

The picture here shows the DRM Dhanbad, Senior DEE of Gomoh Shed and the Project Manager of ABB in 1996 at Gomoh Loco Shed.

In this picture, GP 140 engineers were delivering special bolts for the WAG 9 loco cowcatchers, and were invited to a retirement dinner for one of their old employees who had been there for many years.  
From Left AEE Gomoh, DEE Gomoh and SR DEE Gomoh (center one).

Photos of Gomoh Shed in the year 1996 & 2000 taken by GP 140 Engineer.

BHEL made WAG 7 and ABB WAG 9

WAG 5 and WAP 1 undergoing maintenance at the Shed

The first WAP 7 (Road Number - 30201) homed at Gomoh

WAG 9 Manufactured by CLW

Note: Please refer GP 140 article's to know the entire history of 3 Phase Locomotives in India. 


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.