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Indian Railways saves crores on diesel cost of premium trains! New eco-friendly system being used; details

Devanjana Nag

Indian Railways achieves another environment-friendly feat! Taking a step towards modernization, the Northern Railway zone is now operating 14 pairs of Premium and Mail Express trains on the "Head On Generation" (HOG) system. With this move, an annual diesel cost of Rs 42 crore has been saved by Indian Railways. Currently, six pairs of Shatabdi Express, four pairs of Rajdhani Express, train number 12235/12236 Anand Vihar Terminal-Madhupur Junction Humsafar Express, 22401 Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Udhampur AC Express, 12280/12279 Taj Express and train number 12497/12498 Shan-e-Punjab Express are being run on this system. Indian Railways is also planning to convert 11 more pairs of trains to the HOG system in the near future, which includes two Shatabdi Express, two Duronto and seven Mail Express trains.

Indian Railways is introducing Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) AC coaches on several Premium and Mail express trains. Unlike Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches, LHB coaches need an uninterrupted power supply to meet the electric load of lights, fans, air conditioning, charging points, and pantry needs, collectively known as Hotel Load. According to Indian Railways, for this purpose, end-on-generation system is used in the form of generator in power cars that are attached generally at the two ends of the rake. With the improvement in technology and continuous advancements in the field of power electronics, power supply systems, and control system, the national transporter is adopting an energy-efficient power supply system for coaches- the HOG system.

In this system, power is fed from the electric locomotive to the train instead of the power cars to cater to the Hotel Load of the train. The electric current is tapped through the locomotive’s pantograph and fed to a transformer and then to a converter to obtain the 750 Volts, 3 Phase 50 Hertz power supply required for the coaches.

The HOG system is economical, environment-friendly and advantageous in operation. Also, the system is more reliable with less number of chances of failure during train operations due to equipment failures. It is being said that the system will earn additional revenue for Indian Railways by replacing the power cars with passenger coaches. Also, there is no use of diesel for power generation so there is no air pollution due to the burning of fossil fuel. Moreover, the high decibel noise emanated by power cars has been eliminated as well.