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BriefhistoryofelectrictractioninIndia

HistoryofelectrictractioninIndia

ElectrictractionwasintroducedonIndianRailwaysinyear1925on1.5KVDCandthefirst
electric train ran between Bombay's Victoria Terminus and Kurla along the Harbour Line of CR, on February 3,
1925,adistanceof9.5miles,flaggedoffthethenGovernorofBombaySirLeslieOrmeWilson.

Intheyear1957,IndianRailwaysdecidedtoadopt25kV50HzACtractionbasedonFrenchRailway(SNCF)
technology.

The first 25kV AC electrified section was BurdwanMughalsarai, completed in 1957, followed by the
TatanagarRourkelasectionontheHowrahBombayroute.Thefirstactualtrainrun(apartfromtrialruns)using
25kVACwasonDec.15,1959ontheKendposiRajkharswansection(SER).HowrahGayawaselectrifiedbyabout
1960,electrificationtillKanpurontheHowrahDelhiroutewasdonebyabout1972,andtheentireHowrahDelhi
routewaselectrifiedonAug.5,1976.TheBombayDelhi(WR)routewaselectrifiedbyFeb.1,1988.TheCRroute
wasfullyelectrifiedbyJune1990.

Consideringtheadvantagesof2x25kVACsystem,itwascommissionedbetweenBinaandKatni(CR)
onJan.16,1995asapilotproject.ThiswaslaterextendedtoBishrampur.Though this system was not
proliferatedfurtherearlier,itisbeingplannedforuseonDedicatedFreightCorridorstotakeupheavier
traffic.

HistoryofElectricLocomotives

SNo

ClassofLoco

DCLocomotives
1
WCM1
2
WCM2
3
WCM3
4
WCM4
5
WCM5
6
WCM6
7
WCG1
8
WCG2
AC/DCLocos
9
WCAM1

Yearof
Manufacturing

Horse
Power

Technology

1954
1956
1957
1960
1961
1996
1925
1970

3170
2810
2460
3290
3700
5000
2400
1640

EnglishElectric
EnglishElectric
EnglishElectric
Hitachi
CLW
CLW
SwissLocoworks
CLW

1975

3640(AC)
2930(DC)
4720(AC)
3780(DC)
5000(AC)
4600(DC)

CLW

10

WCAM2

1995

11

WCAM3

1997

WAM1
WAM2
WAM3
WAM4

1959
1960
1964
1970

2870
2790
2790
3640

KMKRUPPSFAC
Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi

WAP1
WAP3
WAP4
WAP5
WAP6
WAP7

1980
1987
1994
1993
1998
2000

3760
3760
5000
6000
5000
6350

CLW
CLW
CLW
ABB
CLW
CLW

ACLocos
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

http://elocos.railnet.gov.in/Analysis/Elect_Tr_history.htm

CLW
BHEL

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22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

WAG1
WAG2
WAG3
WAG4
WAG5
WAG6
WAG7
WAG9
WAG9H

1963
1964
1965
1966
1984
1987
1992
1996
2006

2900
3180
3150
3150
3900
6000
5000
6000
6000

SNCF
Hitachi/Mitsubishi
Europe
CLW
CLW/BHEL
ASEA
CLW
ABB/CLW
CLW

Threephasetechnology

Afterreachingapowerlevelof5000hp,therewasnofurtherscopeforupgradationwithminimalinputsin
the dc drive locomotives, as the capacity of equipment in the traction chain was fully utilised. Any further up
gradationneeded a total new design.During late 80s, development took place in developed railways towards
three phase induction motor based drives for traction due to the distinct advantages of less maintenance
intensiveness in comparison to dc drives. Induction motor drives are also known for extremely effective
regeneration,therebyreducingtheenergycost.

On23rdJuly1993,throughalandmarkdecision,IndianRailwayssignedacontractwithABBTransportation
(Switzerland) for importing freight and passenger class of locomotives together with transfer of technology
agreementforindigenousmanufacture.ThedesignwasapprovedbyRDSOaftermanytechnicalinteractions,in
which, CLW also associated. As ABB did not have much experience in the broad gauge system, they had to
customisemanyaspectsofbogies,carbody,cabequipment,tractionmotoretc.

BothWAP5andWAG9classhaveGTObasedtractionconvertersandmicroprocessorbasedcontrol.This
was the first time that CLW handled such high technology locomotives, and it needed a paradigm shift in the
management of this technology. The real challenge was posed when the technology was to be absorbed and
indigenousproductiontobedone.11numbersofpassengerlocomotiveswhicharrivedin199596weredirectly
put into service after field trials. Rated at 5400 hp, it has a maximum test speed of 180 km/h, which can be
increasedto225km/hbycertainmodificationsinthefuture.Thesehavebeentestedsuccessfullyupto180km/h
andspeedcertificateissuedfor160km/hservicespeed,eventhoughmaximumoperationalspeedtodayisonly
150km/h

6freightlocomotivesofWAG9classreceivedin1996infullyassembledandtestedconditionwerealso
straightawayputonserviceaftertrials.Thishadaratingof6000hpwithmaximumservicespeedof100km/h,
capableofdelivering460kNstartingtractiveeffort.

Duringtheyear2000,aftermasteringvehicleapplicationsoftwarebyCLWengineers,anewvariantWAP7
wasbuiltbyadaptingtheoriginalWAG9design.WAP7wasintendedforpassengeroperationforservicespeeds
upto130km/h,whichisthemaximumspeedofRajdhaniandShatabditrainstoday.WAP7addressesthehigh
speed segment very well now. With an output of above 6000 hp, this is the most powerful and preferred
locomotive for passenger operation today due to its excellent acceleration, deceleration and energy saving
features.WAP5will,however,addressthespeedsof140km/handaboveinfuture,asI.Rlyisalreadyworkingin
thisdirection.CLWwentontobuildthesethreeclassesoflocomotives.

AvariantWAG9Hwithanadhesiveweightof135tonneswasalsodevelopedcapableofdelivering52
tonnesstartingtractiveefforttargeting1in150gradedsections.Thoughthislocomotiveclearedtheoscillation
trials,thisfleetwasnotbuiltduetootheroperationalreasonsasaresulttheprototypeWAG9H(#31030)was
convertedintoWAG9class.However,withincreasedaxleloadsnowbeingpermitted,RailwayBoardhasplaced
orderfor4locosofWAG9Hclasswith22tonnesaxleload.Thefirstlocomotive,viz.,31086with22tonnesaxle
loadwasflaggedoffbyHonbleMRon29thJuly2006andhasenteredintoservice.

Advantagesofthreephaselocos:
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Betterrelaibiltyandavailabilityofthreephaselocos
Itregeneratesenergyabout1518%,amovingpowerhouse.Regenerationofpowerisavailablein
3phase locomotives. Regenerative braking effort is available from the full speed till dead stop.
Consequently,theoverallefficiencyofoperationishigher.
Maintenancecostofa3phaselocomotiveislessduetoabsenceofbrushgear/commutatorinthe
tractionmotorsandswitchgearsinthepowercircuit.
3phaselocomotiveoperatesatnearunitypowerfactorthroughoutthespeedrangeexceptatvery
lowspeeds.

IGBTbasedpropulsiontechnology

GTOtechnologyisgettingobsolete,theworldover.IGBTbasedpropulsionsystemisalreadyinplaceina
few countries. To tackle the obsolescence problem and keep abreast of the technology and derive its inherent
benefits,CLWhasalreadygotaprojectsanctionedforbuilding5locomotiveswithIGBTbasedpropulsionsystem.
This will be according to TCN open standard interface. This is a vision project of Indian Railways presented in
Ministersbudgetspeech200405andisalreadyunderway.Inordertosustain3phasetechnologyataffordable
cost,andtoensurecomponentlevelstandardisationandobsolescencehandling,aparalleldevelopmenthasbeen
takenupwithCDAC(underministryofIT)forindigenousdevelopmentofTCNbasedvehiclecontrolsystemand
IGBTbasedauxiliaryconverter.

RailwayElectrification

WithaviewtoreducedependenceonpetroleumbasedenergyinRailwaytransport,IRhavebeenprogressively
switching over to electric traction. This also enables haulage of heavier loads at higher speeds, thus increasing
throughput. It is a pollution free system and with use of modern high horse power locos having regenerative
braking,itbecomesvastlyenergyefficient.

OnIR,Electrictractionwasfirstintroducedon3rdFeb.1925betweenBombayVTtoKurlaHarbourline(16RKM)
on 1.5 KV DC system. By March 2008 electrification on IR had extended up to 18145 RKMs. This constitutes
28.65%ofthetotalRailwaynetworkand36.42%oftheBGsystem.

Planperiodwiseprogressofelectrification

PlanPeriod

RKMElectrified

RKMCumulative

PreIndependence1925
1947

388

388

1stPlan195156

141

529

2ndPlan195661

216

745

3rdPlan
AnnualPlan196669

1678

2423

814
954

3237
4190

533

4723

195
1522

4918
6440

2812

9252

8thPlan199297

1557
2708

10809
13517

9thPlan199702

2484

16001

10thPlan200207

1810

17811

11thPlan1styear200708

502

18145*

2ndyear200809

797

18942

4thPlan196974
5thPlan197478
InterPlan197880
6thPlan198085
7thPlan198590
InterPlan199092

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BriefhistoryofelectrictractioninIndia

3rdyear200910

1117

20059

*168RKMdeductedasMGelectrifiedline
dismantled

ACDCConvertionwork

The1.5kVDCoverheadsystem(negativeearth,positivecatenary)isusedaroundBombay(ThisincludesMumbai
CSTKalyan,KalyanPune,KalyanIgatpuri,MumbaiCSTBelapurPanvel,andChurchgateVirar).

WhyConversion?
OverheadDCtractionpowersupplysystemhasreacheditssaturationlevel.
Traction substations interspacing being very low making fault level unmanageble and creating
seriousfirehazard.
InvestmentsinDCifcontinuedwillbeexorritant
VeryhighrecurringmaintenancecostofDCtractionsystem

Workinvolved

OHEmodification:
Replacement of insulators, section insulators, isolators, increasingclearances, insulation under
bridges & tunnels, insulated overlaps modification, neutral section formation, errection of Aux.
transformers,easrthingandbondingasperACsystem
ConstructionofACsubstations&switchingstationsincludingSCADA
LTmodificationsatplatforms,washingsidings

ModificationstoSignalling&Telecom:
ReplacementofACtrackcircuitswithAudiofrequencyTrackCircuits(AFTC)/DigitalAxlecounters
(DAC)
Provisionofcutinrelays,screens&earthing
ReplacementofpointmotorswithACimmunizedmotors
ProvisionofOpticFibreCable(OFC)andSTM1equipments
Raising/ConstructionofROBs&FOBs

BenefitsofDCACconversion

25to30%savinginenergycostduetoVVVFdrive&Regenerationbrakingsystemsbeingemployed
inElectriclocos&EMUsexpectedtoyieldsavingofaboutRs.50Cr/Year
Introductionofhighpowerlocomotives.WAG7locosneedlessmaintenancearemorereliableand
generatehighertractiveeffortthanDClocos.Thiswillresultinsmootherghatoperationathigher
speeds
ReductioninMaximumPowerDemandforsameleveloftraffic
Reductioninno.ofsubstationsfrom73to18leadingtohigherreliability&lowermaintenancecost
Increasedlifeofcontactwire
Highervoltageinsulationlevelin25KVACsystemtowithstandsurgedwithgreaterreliability
LessermaintenanceonrailbondinginACsysytem
Goodstrainwith58BOXNcanbetakenuptheghatwithoutsplitting
Utilisationofelectriclocoswillincrease.

ElectrificationofSidings

Though all the trunk routes/ Main lines have been electrified 53 no of sidings left out without
electrification.Thiscausesunnecessarydelayinmovementoftrains,itisrequirestractionchangeetc.,Oncethese
sidingsgetselectrifiedloadscanreachitsdestinationintimeandinturntheturnroundperiodofloadswillalso
getincreased.
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BriefhistoryofelectrictractioninIndia

ElectrificationofMissingLinks

Mainrouteshavebeenelectrifiedandtheirlinksarestillleftoutunwired.Forexamplemissinglinksare

JhansiKanpur,ItarsiJabalpurAllhabad.Thesemissinglinksrequirestobeelectrifiedsothatthedelayfortraction
changecouldbeavoidedandthroughputwillgetincreasedwithelectriclocooperation.

TrainLighting/AirConditioning(TL/AC)

Lightinginpassengercoacheswasintroducedstartingaround1897.TheJodhpurRailwaywasthefirstto

makeelectriclightingstandardonallitscoaches,in1902.Alongtimeago,steamlocosusedtohave24Vturbine
generatorstoprovidepowerforlightingandotherappliancesinthecoaches.Ingeneral,onlythefirstandsecond
class coaches had lights and fans for every compartment, the 'inter' class had only lights, and the third class
coacheshadjusttwolights,oneateachendnearthedoor.Provisionoflightsandfansasstandardequipmentin
allcompartmentswaslegislatedin1952.
Individualcoachesarepoweredbyaxledrivengeneratorswhichchargestoragebatteriesthatpowerlights,
fansandotherelectricalfittings.Oldercoacheshave24V(lessoften48V)circuitryandhavedynamosconnected
to the axles by belts. Newer coaches have 110V circuitry and use beltdriven 4.5kW, 110V alternators. Both
systemsusebanksof24Vbatteries(mostlyleadacidbatteriesofan800Ahcapacity)forbackuppower.LHBstock
uses4.5kWalternators(6kWforairconditionedstock).Inthe1990s,therewasabigpushtoconvertalloldstock
with24Vsystemstothe110Vsystem.
Inolderstock,forpoweringairconditioningequipment,aninverterwasusedtoconverttheDCoutputofa
setofbatteriesto415VAC.Forsometimenow,however,groupsof110Valternatorsdelivering1822kWeach
havebeenusedtopowerairconditioningequipment(thevoltageissteppedupto415V).Mostrecently,RDSO
hasdevelopedanewer25kW110Valternatorwithbetterpowercircuitry.
Manyairconditionedcoachesarenotselfcontainedwithregardtothepowersupply.Forsuchcoaches,a
'midongenerator'(MOG)isused;thisisa415V3phasealternator(eitherinoneofthecoachesorinaseparate
'powercar'), the output from which is used both for the airconditioning, and (stepped down to 110V) for the
lightsandfans.Some'endongenerators'(EOG)alsogenerate415V3phaseAC.
Priortothe1930's,variousarrangementsforcoolingtheinteriorsofpassengercoachesexisted,mostlyfor
thefirstclasscoaches.TheNorthWesternRailwayintroducedairconditionedstockinthelate1930's(theearliest
wasprobablytheFrontierMailin1936or1937).BBCIRailwaysalsoexperimentedwithairconditioningatabout
thesametime.Bytheearly1950's,airconditioningwasavailableonseverallongdistancetrains.Forexample,in
195253therewereairconditionedservicesbetweenBombayandHowrah,DelhiandMadras(GrandTrunkExp.),
Bombay and Delhi, BombayAmritsar (Frontier Mail), BombayViramgam (Saurashtra Mail), and Bombay
Ahmedabad(GujaratMail).These all used AC units that were mounted beneath the coach body (underslung),
interconnectedbypipes.Selfcontainedroofmountedunitsappearedinyear1980.
Thefirstfullyairconditionedtrainwasintroducedin1956betweenHowrahandDelhi.Popularlyknownas
theACExpress,itranontheGrandChord;laterthereweretwo,onerunningontheGrandChordandtheother
ontheMainLine.AnothertrainpopularlyknownastheACExpresswastheDakshinExp.betweenMadrasand
NewDelhiinthe1960s.
ACChairCarstockwasintroducedaround1955.Untilabout1979,airconditioningwasavailableonlyin
these and in AC First Class cars. Around 1979 the first twotier AC coaches were introduced. The first 3tier AC
coacheswereintroducedin1993(RCF)andusedontheHowrahRajdhaniviaPatna.(ThefirstsuchcoachwasER
2301A,laterchangedtoER94101A.)Thefirst60orsoofthethreetierACcoacheshad67berthseach,whileall
lateroneshave64berths.

ElectricMultipleUnits(EMU)
Thefirst1500VDCEMUsusedaroundBombay(thefirstEMUsinIndia,1925)werefromCammellLaird

(UK)(laterMetroCammell)andUerdingenwagonfabrik(Germany).LaterunitsweresuppliedbyBreda(Italy)as
well.
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IRhaselectricmultipleunitsinoperationinseveralsuburbansections(Mumbai,Chennai,Calcutta,Bandel
Katwa, etc.). The Mumbai region with 1.5kV DC traction has several models of EMUs, classified from WCU1
through WCU15. Most models have DC traction motors with rheostatic control (resistance banks to vary the
inputpowersupply).DCEMUsarealsousedontheLonavalaPunesection.
BHELhasrecentlydevelopedsomeACDCEMUsforuseintheBombayareainboththe25kVACand1.5kV
DCtractionregions.ThenewACDCEMUsalsohave3phaseinductionmotorsandthyristorcontrol.RecentlyWR
hassignedacontractwithAlstomtoconvertsomeoftheexisting(Jessops)1.5kVDCEMUstooperatewithboth
ACandDCtractionpower.ThefirstsuchrakesarealreadyinregularuseintheBorivliDahanusection.AlltheAC
DC coaches have regenerative brakes. The 9xx series rakes fail over to electropneumatic braking directly if
regenerativebrakingdoesnotwork,whilethe3xxseriesrakesfirstfailovertodynamic(rheostatic)brakesfirst
before failing over to the electropneumatic brakes. The rakes for these will have 12 cars, and the rated max.
speedis100km/h.
TherecentdevelopmentoftheMainlineEMU(MEMU),manufacturedbyICF,wasintendedtoaddress
preciselythis,toallowEMUoperationsinmoreareas.Theyhaveawidthof10'8".MEMUsrunon25kVACpower.
MEMU driving motorcoaches seat 76 and the trailer coaches seat 108. They have a rated top speed of about
105km/handareequippedwithelectropneumaticbrakes.Thetrailercoachesweighabout33.6tonnesandthe
motorcoachesweighabout60tonnes.EarlierversionsofMEMUshadatopspeedof60km/h.RDSOimprovedon
thesebyincreasingthehorsepowerofthetractionmotorsandprovidingaweakfieldarrangementinthemfor
higherspeeds.
Duringtheyear2003,RDSOcarriedoutaseriesoftrialswithMEMUrakescarrying'DenseCrushLoads'
('DCL')stoppingatallstationsontheTundlaKanpursectionofNCR.These4carMEMUswereprovidedwitha
weakfieldarrangement.Itwasseenthattheuseoftheweakfieldallowedincreasedaccelerationabove40km/h,
savingtimeat7%atamax.speedof90km/hand105at100km/honthe228kmstretch.

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