New Delhi: The Indian Railways has announced that it will replace the power generator cars placed at either end of trains and instead run them through power drawn from an overhead electric supply system. The plan, which will make train journeys less noisy and more eco-friendly, will be implemented by December this year, according to senior officials.
The Head On Generation (HOG) system will be used to replace the power cars, which generate noise around 105-decibel. Speaking at a press conference, member (rolling stock) of Railway Board Rajesh Agarwal said once the system is adopted, diesel will not be used for power generation, reducing air pollution. The elimination of high decibel noise emanated by the generator cars will also result in the reduction of air pollution.
Agarwal said the plan will save the Railways Rs 800 crore a year in power bills and reduce air and noise pollution. He said currently, the cost of power is more than Rs 36 per unit. Once the HOG system is adopted, the price will drop to Rs 6 per unit.
Around 340 trains have already been converted to the HOG system, and the Railways plans to convert 284 more trains by the year-end, Agarwal said. Some of the trains that already run on this system are six pairs of Shatabdi Express, four pairs of Rajdhani Express and some other express trains. Among those that will be converted soon are two Shatabdi Express trains, two Duronto and seven Mail Express trains.
Instead of the two power cars, there will be one standby ‘silent’ generator car to be used for emergency. The second car will be replaced by an LSLRD (LHB Second Luggage, Guard & Divyaang) compartment. This compartment will have a specially-designed cabin with six seats reserved for disabled persons, an additional 31 seats for chair car travellers and extra luggage space.
The Railways is in the process of converting its Linke Hofmann Bosche (LHB) coaches, which use two power cars at either end for its power supply, into the HOG system. The national transporter had only recently moved from the old integral coach factory designs to LHB coaches, which are lighter, have more carrying capacity and higher speed potential.
According to reports, the LHB coaches also require uninterrupted power supply for lights, fans, air conditioning, charging points and pantry needs, which is collectively known as hotel load. The Railways has been using power generator cars at both ends of the rake to meet this supply. Once the HOG system is adopted, it will eliminate the necessity of these generators.
Apart from being economical and eco-friendly, the HOG system is also more reliable and will have a lower risk of failure during train operations due to equipment failures.
(With PTI inputs)