BLW selected for EoTT and ToT
Varanasi: The Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) has been selected by the Railway Board to implement the End of Train Telemetry (EoTT), a flagship mission project of the Indian Railways, which seeks to replace Guard & BrakeVan (BV) in freight trains. Besides, the Railway Board has also directed the BLW to be in readiness for undertaking transfer of technology of a new 9,000 HP freight locomotive platform.
Talking to reporters on Saturday, the BLW general manager Anjali Goyal said that the EoTT is a low-cost radio telemetry device which is used to establish communication between the locomotive’s driver and last wagon of the train to ensure that the train is running with all coaches/wagons as a complete unit. BLW is convener of task force for smooth coordination and streamlining the project implementation.
She said that the transfer of technology would include manufacturing of shell, bogies, traction motors, locomotive assembly, testing and commissioning. The project, which will span over four years, will see production of 200 locomotives with progressive increase in value addition from the shops of BLW.
She said that currently, the BLW is working for Mission Raftaar under which the Indian Railways increased average speed of trains by running in Push Pull mode. The operation of passenger loco in Push-Pull mode is done by formation of multiple of two WAP-7 locomotives with rake between the locomotives. The first pair successfully tested and dispatched from BLW for passenger service in February 2020. The BLW has cut in PUSH-PULL features in all newly manufactured loco from March 2020. BLW has planned to fit water closet in all WAG9H electric freight locomotives for crew comfort from 2021-22 financial year, she added.
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, the BLW set a record by manufacturing 200 electric locomotives in just 187 working days. The 200th electric loco was rolled out on December 31. The GM said that the BLW also has the credit to successfully convert High Horsepower Diesel locomotive to Electric locomotive first time anywhere in the world. First such twin unit of 10,000 HP conversion locomotive WAGC3 was flagged off by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2019. Since then, the BLW has converted eight diesel locomotives into electric locomotives.
According to the GM, the BLW’s electric locomotive production line has 98% indigenous materials input, supporting MSMEs and domestic manufacturing sector in a large way. The BLW is also working on a prestigious export order of six cape gauge 3,000 HP diesel locomotives to Mozambique worth Rs. 51.6 cr. This has been put on fast track in November 2020. Under this order, for the first time a 12 Cylinder Crankcase is being manufactured in BLW. In last two financial years, the BLW exported a total of 10 locomotives of 3,000 HP to Sri Lanka (3 in 2018-19 and 7 in 2019-20). The BLW turned out the first export Loco for Tanzania in March 1976 and since then 622 locos have been sold to various non-railway customers including 165 export orders to countries like Tanzania, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Senegal, Sudan, Angola, Mali, Mozambique and Malaysia.
The GM said that the BLW has completely repurposed its infrastructure to switchover from making diesel locomotives to electric locomotives. The staff and officers have risen to the challenge of re-skilling and reorganizing the shop floors, machines, jigs and fixtures and planning process for transition to electric locos. The shift of the production line from Diesel to Electric Locomotives, at BLW, is in line with Ministry of Railways’ multi-pronged strategy of lowering the fuel bill, reducing carbon footprint, reducing dependence on import of fuel and enhancing average speed and hauling capacity of trains.
BLW has achieved 100% implementation of Human Resource Management System (HRMS) module, which is a step towards enhancement of staff welfare by providing various HR facilities like viewing of service record, leave account, PF withdrawal etc. at fingertips.
BLW has a state-of-the-art Welding Research Institute, capable of certifying welders. BLW will engage with vendors of large fabricated items, to have welders trained to ISO-9606 standard. This will help in skill building and improve competitiveness of the private sector especially MSMEs which enhance Brand India image. BLW is also working on skill up gradation modules for e-learning. The Technical Training Center has been developed as “Centre of Excellence for Skill Development”. Under ‘KaushalVikas’ programme (Skill Development initiatives), a total of 521 local youths have been trained free of cost in various trades and certificates have been awarded.
Keeping pace with green initiative goals, BLW has enhanced its solar power generation capacity by 17.96 % and reducing the overall grid energy consumption by 26.27% up to November 2020.
Demand for rail-based Freight demand is forecasted to double in coming years, as per draft National Rail Plan. Railways require faster and heavier trains to achieve this objective. The BLW has planned to step up manufacture of 6000 HP freight locomotives of WAG9 class in a big way to meet requirement to funning faster and heavier trains. The BLW’s WAG9 Locomotives will also work in Dedicated Freight Corridor, a section of about 350 KM of which has recently been inaugurated by the PM on December 29, 2020.