As a succor, IR to induct more WAP7 Locos to overcome late running of trains & to improve upon Operating Ratio target

CHENNAI: Railways will introduce more WAP7 locomotives, the modern three-phase high-speed locomotive, to overcome the late running of trains in the State.

This follows the improvement in timings after the introduction of the WAP7 (W- Wide Gauge, A- Working on 25 KV AC Supply, P-Passenger Trains Hauling Purpose) locomotive, known as “milky monsters”, instead of the WAP4 locomotive on the popular Venand and Vanchinad expresses.

“The punctuality of these two trains depended on by hundreds of office-goers and students has gone up by 25% after the introduction of WAP7,” Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, Shirish Kumar Sinha told media persons.

Many popular express and mail trains have more stoppages and it has been found that the WAP7 loco with regenerative braking suits them the most. Regenerative braking is deployed on down gradients conserving energy to the tune of 30-35%.

Mr. Sinha said the division had asked the zonal railways and the Railway Board for WAP7 locos for popular trains such as Parasuram Express and two more WAP7 may join the division in August.

WAP7 can easily accelerate to 110 km/hour in 180 seconds over 3.7 km, 120 km/h in 235 seconds over 5.3 km, 130 km/h in 302 seconds over 7.9 km, 140 km/h in 390 seconds over 9.1 km, 150 km/h in 490 seconds over 11.1 km, and 160 km/h in 610 seconds over 13.1 km even for a rake with 24 coaches.

Besides quick acceleration and deceleration, WAP7 eliminates generator cars or power cars for supplying power to air-conditioned coaches. Another feature is the Isolated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) control power flow to the traction motors.

The loco is designed for heavier loads, high speeds, and power requirements and saves time with its higher accelerating capability.

At present, 85 WAP4 locomotives are used by the Thiruvananthapuram division for hauling mail and express trains. “A 25% change to WAP7 locomotive can improve the punctuality of trains running in the State from the existing 55%,” Mr. Sinha said.