Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rolling stock


Locomotives in India consist of electric and diesel locomotives. Steam locomotives are no longer used, except in heritage trains. Locomotives are also called locos or engines. In India, locomotives are classified according to their track gauge, motive power, the work they are suited for and their power or model number. The class name includes this information about the locomotive. It comprises 4 or 5 letters. The first letter denotes the track gauge. The second letter denotes their motive power (Diesel or Electric) and the third letter denotes the kind of traffic for which they are suited (goods, passenger, mixed or shunting). The fourth letter used to denote locomotives' chronological model number. However, from 2002 a new classification scheme has been adopted. Under this system, for newer diesel locomotives, the fourth letter will denote their horsepower range. Electric locomotives don't come under this scheme and even all diesel locos are not covered. For them this letter denotes their model number as usual.
A locomotive may sometimes have a fifth letter in its name which generally denotes a technical variant or subclass or subtype. This fifth letter indicates some smaller variation in the basic model or series, perhaps different motors, or a different manufacturer. With the new scheme for classifying diesel locomotives (as mentioned above) the fifth item is a letter that further refines the horsepower indication in 100 hp increments: 'A' for 100 hp, 'B' for 200 hp, 'C' for 300 hp, etc. So in this scheme, a WDM-3A refers to a 3100 hp loco, while a WDM-3F would be a 3600 hp loco.
Note: This classification system does not apply to steam locomotives in India as they have become non-functional now. They retained their original class names such as M class or WP class.
As of 31 March 2010, Indian Railways had 5,022 diesel locomotives (increased from 17 on 31 March 1951), 3,825 electric locomotives (increased from 72 on 31 March 1951) and 42 steam locomotives (decreased from 8,120 on 31 March 1951) (see Railway Budget 2012-13 Explantory Memorandum).

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