Chittaranjan Locomotive Works - Asia's Largest Electric Loco Hub


30-05-2016: My 4th visit to Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. Early morning I board 12019 Howrah Ranchi Shatabdi Express. I reached Howrah Station 15 minutes before the scheduled departure and as such I couldn’t go to the front of the rake to take a snap of the Locomotive.


The train departs at 6:05am sharp.


As we proceed, Howrah Loco Shed passes by where I have been a regular for the last 7 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.

Chai time!!! 

I have a cup of tea and then my breakfast provided by “Meals on Wheels”.
 

8:20AM

I reach Asansol at 8:20am. 


I manage to go to the front of the rake and take a look at the Locomotive that pulled my train. It was a HOG WAP 7 road numbered 30457. Recently Howrah Shed has been allotted 5 Hotel Load WAP 7’s.




The HOG Locomotives are being currently used in other trains and express’s for test purposes. It is supposed to be finally implemented with hotel load power in Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express.

I take a rickshaw to Asansol bus stand from the station. From there I board a bus to Chittaranjan. It takes me 45 minutes to reach Chittaranjan.
I visit the GM’s office building where I was supposed to meet a friend of my Dad’s who is currently the Dy CAO/TA at CLW.
But unfortunately, I couldn’t meet him. .

I come across a poster in the GM’s office building where I find the “Make In India” campaign. This is our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s project and is being currently implemented in many places including CLW.


I move to the D&D building which is a few meters away from the GM’s office building.

Design and Development:




The Engineer’s at Howrah Loco Shed where I have been a regular for more than 8 years have already informed the authorities at CLW, that I will be visiting the factory for a day. I meet a few of them and i do the needful documentation to get a gate pass issued.
I meet the Dy Chief Electrical Engineer, D&D and get involved in a conversation regarding the status and the scenario of  Locomotives that are currently being rolled out from CLW.

The details shared by him are as follows:

·        This year's Loco production target is 300.
·        Only WAP 7/WAG 9H/WAP 5 is being manufactured.
·        No more GTO based Loco's and hence Doppler Radar is not being used in any G9 Loco. IGBT has solved the issue.



·        Hurth Coupling has been changed in few P5 Loco with another alternative drive, just for experimental purpose. It is being supplied by Henschel Germany.
·        CLW Dankuni to be operational by next year(only WAG 9 Locomotive will be made; 100 is the target).

1st Loco by CLW Dankuni: WAG 9 31713



2nd Loco by CLW Dankuni: WAG 9 31751



·        For Hotel Load, target is 50 WAP 7 per year as of now. Converter is being supplied by Siemens, ABB, Medha.



·        WAP 5 Hotel Load Loco to be out soon.
·        High Rise Pantographs are being installed in WAG 9H Loco.
·        Software is still MICAS. No up-gradation yet.
·        No more WAG 9 Loco is produced. It is WAG 9(H).
·        WAG 7 and WAP 4 production have stopped completely.




I meet AEE, D&D who happens to be a GP 140 Engineer. He shares some insights on Locomotives.
CLW has now started outsourcing many a component of the Locomotive. It is necessary as CLW has to meet the demand of the increasing number of Locomotives required every year by IR. The demand in the number of Locomotives is because each year a lot of lines are getting electrified.
I am offered a cup of tea.
I then get my gate pass issued after my documents have been verified by the authorities.
It is a special day permit.
I keep my bag in the D&D office. I am on my way to the factory.
I enter the factory premises through the D&D gate.

Fabrication Shop:


I come across the first workshop, i.e Fabrication Shop named ELF 17 and ELB 25 respectively. This time there are no shells of WAG 7 and WAP 4 as I had seen in my previous 3 visits.


There were shells of WAG 9, WAP 7 and WAP 5. The Fabrication shop has the longest bay amongst Locomotive factories in Asia. A new Fabrication Unit has come up just beside the old shop, but it is half the size of the original one.


The new fabrication unit has come up in order to meet the demand of the increasing number of Locomotives.
There are bogies of WAG 9, WAP 7 and WAP 5 on the shop floor. These bogies had been manufactured by private companies and are now being assembled in the shop.
I spot the shell’s of the 3 Phase Loco’s which have been manufactured by a private firm.
As I move further I find that the shells are being joined with the side walls and the under-frame of the Locomotive.
There are approximately 20 Locomotives, being built and assembled in the Fabrication shop.

Assembly Shop:

Then I proceed towards the Assembly Shop. I see a total of about 30-40 Locomotives whose electronics, mechanical, pneumatic and electrical components are being assembled. The components have been supplied by ABB, Bombardier, BHEL, Medha, Crompton Greaves, Stesalit, Faively Transportation, Autometers, Siemens and others.


There is no In house production of  components like Auxiliary Converters, Compressors, Transformers, Hotel Load Converters, Pneumatic Panel etc.


The Assembly shop is divided into 4 sections.

1. Wiring Section(Cabling of HB1, HB2, SB1 etc)
2. Transformer Section
3. Installing of Pipes and Pneumatic Equipments
4. Installation of Electrical equipment's such as converters, auxiliary and control electronics etc

I meet few of the engineers who happened to be my Locomotive teachers when I stayed at CLW in 2013 for a period of 3 weeks. They welcomed me. 


I had the privilege of discussing various issues with them.

One such topic was Hotel Load. Hotel Load is a new application that has been introduced to eliminate the generator cars (EOG) used in rajdhani and shatabdi trains. One of the major problems in Hotel Load (HOG) Locomotive is when the train passes through a neutral section.
When the Locomotive passes a neutral section power cannot be generated at that particular point of time. Because of this, there will be no power supply in the entire rake. The power is restored only when the Loco crosses the neutral section. So, in order to avoid this measures are being taken. The problem doesn’t occur if there is an EOG Car, since the power supply of the coaches are delivered from the generator car.

Testing Shop:

I move to the Testing shop. 8 to 9 Loco’s are being tested. 


There is no WAP 5 Locomotive, as they have been rolled out from the factory a few day’s back. I see a Hotel Load WAP 7 and a WAG 9.  



These two will be commissioned soon. The other Loco’s are still in test mode.
The WAP 7 Hotel Load had a different type of braking system.
Basically two firms provides brakes. They are “Faively Transportation System” and “Knorr Bremse”. The one I see is a Knorr type.


From there, I move to the paint shop. 

Paint Shop:


I have never been earlier to the paint shop as it is situated far away from other workshops. There are 7-8 Locomotive’s ready to get painted. A few of them have already got a fresh coat of paint and they need to be moved to the assembly shop. Painting is also outsourced.
I then proceed to the Motor shop. 

Traction Motor Shop:


The stator and rotor are manufactured here and the rest of the motor parts are supplied by private firms. I see more than 100 squirrel cage induction motors ready to be put into service.


A little further away from the motor shop is another Motor shop. Here I see DC Hitachi Motors. These will be supplied to WAP 4 and WAG 7 Locomotives as and when required.
These motors will be sent to the respective loco shed’s where the conventional locomotives are housed.  During POH (Periodic Overhauling) and AOH (Annual Overhauling), these will be replaced.

3.00 PM

It starts raining. It’s a smart downpour. I get inside the Assembly shop. From there I ride pillion on an engineer’s bike to the D&D office. At 3.30 PM, I collect my bag and bid them goodbye. I thank them. They tell me to come for a visit again.
I go to a nearby restaurant  “Sonali” in Chittaranjan where I have some food since I have skipped lunch.


At 4.30 PM I board a bus and reach Asansol at 6.00 PM.

12020 Ranchi Howrah Shatabdi arrives at 6.30 PM, 5 mins late and departs at 6.31 PM from Asansol.


It arrives at Howrah at 9.30 PM, 25 mins late as there was a derailment at Talit.

A day well spent.
A lot of things learnt.




Previous Visits:
1. Visit 1
2. Visit 2
3. Visit 3

GP 140 History and Engineer's:
1. History
2. Engineers


                                 Brief History of CLW Technology:

LATEST UPDATES:  (04-03-2018)


Shri Rajen Gohain, Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways flagging off the 900th WAG-9H freight loco in CLW on 20-5-2017.


Shri V P Pathak, GM flagging off the First Loco with toilet facility in CLW on 1-6-17


GM CLW inaugurating the toilet facility in LOCO in CLW on 1-6-17

In an unprecedented performance, Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW), a premier PUs of Indian Railways,has broken all previous records by producing 325 Elec loco much before the close of FY 2017-18. In a simple & sober send off the 325th Elec loco of this year 30667, WAP-7.







Factory: CLW Dankuni
                                                          ---xxx---

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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.