Madurai Division to haul Majestic White Locomotives WAP-7s for Important Trains


Madurai (MDU): Railways majestic white locomotives WAP 7s could be found hauling important trains in the Madurai division. According to official sources at the Madurai division, the loco pilots of the division will be given training of these advanced locomotives shortly.  Once the training is done, WAP 7s will be pressed into hauling major trains, they said.

The Dindigul-Madurai-Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli section was electrified and opened for train traffic in January this year, enabling seamless electric traction from Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram without the need of swapping locomotives. The Vanchi Maniachchi – Tuticorin section has also been electrified.

Post electrification, Indian Railways’ work horses – WAP 4s were used for hauling all the trains. In last month, a WAP- 7 hauled the Guruvayur Express from Thiruvananthapuram to Trichichirapalli marking the first arrival of WAP-7.  Currently, Trichchirapalli division crew are getting trained on handling the locomotive and Madurai crew will be trained next.

“All loco pilots during their training learn about all type of locomotives including WAP-7s. But WAPs-7s are high-end locomotives, the most advanced ones in the Indian Railways requiring handling experience to operate them. Loco pilots in the Chennai division who operate them on a regular basis have hands-on experience and we will need some brushing up before starting to operate them,” said a loco pilot in Madurai division.

“Our loco pilots will be trained on these locomotives in Trichy. Once the training is complete, WAP-7s will be used to haul trains in Madurai division also,” said a senior official at the mechanical department of the division.

Currently, WAP-7s, belonging to the Rayapuram Loco Shed, are used in most of premium trains of Southern Railway, especially long bound trains.

The acceleration and deceleration of these locomotives will be smooth and quicker providing better travel experience to passengers.

When used in long bound trains with frequent stoppages, they will save a lot of time by quickly accelerating after each halt, railway sources said.

Meanwhile, the white locomotive, also known as the ‘beast,’ evinced a lot of interest among rail users and people are discussing it on the social networking sites.

Rail enthusiast M Arun Pandian says WAP-7 is the finest locomotive of the Indian Railways which comes with variety of safety and riding features.

“It is the most advanced locomotive of Indian Railways and with white livery it appears so majestic while hauling trains. It is going to be a beautiful sight when premium trains in Madurai and down south are going to be hauled by this locomotive,” he said.

About Indian Locomotive Class WAP-7

Type and Origin
Power Type: Electric
Builder: Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, West Bengal, India
Gauge: 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Electric System(s): 25 kV 50 Hz AC AC Overhead
Current Collection Method: Pantograph
Performance Figures:
Maximum Speed: Test Run:180 km/h (112 mph)
Operational: 140 km/h (87 mph)
Power Output: 6,350 hp (4,735 kW)
Operator(s): Indian Railways
Number(s): 30201 onwards
Locale: Northern Railways, South-Central RailwayEastern Railway South East Central Railway

WAP 7 is a moderate speed high power locomotive developed by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works by modifying the gear ratio of existing WAG 9 class. It is capable of hauling trains at speeds ranging between 140 and 180 kilometres per hour (87 and 112 mph) and is now largely used by Northern Railway (NR), South Central Railway (SCR), Southern Railway (SR), Eastern Railway (ER), South East Central Railway (SECR),Central Railway (CR), West Central Railway (WCR). As of October 2014, there are 205 locomotives in service on Indian Railways.

Similarity with WAG 9

The WAP-7 is actually a modified version of the WAG 9 freight locomotive with modified gear ratios and is set to replace the fleet of WAP 4’s, the most widely used passenger locomotive today. The process will be a very slow one however, with WAP 4s still being produced and the production of WAP-7’s increasing at a slow pace.


With a maximum speed rating of 180 km/h (110 mph) (IR restricts it to 140 km/h or 87 mph), the WAP-7 has the highest acceleration figures while hauling mail/express trains. The WAP-7 can also haul loads of 24-26 passenger coaches (1,430–1,550 t or 1,410–1,530 long tons or 1,580–1,710 short tons at 140 km/h or 87 mph).  It is also known to haul 18 heavyweight Air Conditioned coaches (1,120 t or 1,100 long tons or 1,230 short tons) on 1:40 (2.5%) inclines single-handedly. At a trial conducted by Indian Railways, it clocked a speed of 184 km/h (114 mph). It is the most successful passenger locomotive on the Indian Railways roster after the WAP-4. It is used to haul premium trains like the Rajdhani Expressand the Shatabdi Express apart from other regular mail/express trains. It also regularly hauls other trains like the Hyderabad-New Delhi, H.Nizamuddin-Thiruvananthapuram, H.Nizamuddin-Chennai, H.Nizamuddin-Bangalore, New Delhi-Sealdah and the New Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express and Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Duronto Express.

WAP-7 locomotive can deliver 6,000 hp (4,500 kW) with regenerative braking being one of its salient features. The regenerative braking is deployed on down gradients conserving energy to the tune of 30-35 percent. It has an inbuilt microprocessor based fault diagnostic system to make trouble shooting easier. Another feature of this locomotive is that it eliminates the need to have separate EOG sets for air-conditioning in long distance trains hence providing significant amount of savings on maintenance and running costs. This technology, called HOG or “Head On Generation”, transfers electric power from the loco’s pantograph to the coaches instead of “End on Generation” in which a Power Car equipped with diesel generator capable of generating adequate power of 3-phase 50-cycle 415V/750V AC (called as hotel load) is provided at either end of the train rake to supply power.

A 24-coach (1500t) passenger rake can be accelerated to 110 km/h in 180 seconds (over 3.7 km) by a WAP-7; to 120 km/h in 235 sec. (5.3 km); 130 km/h in 302 sec. (7.9 km); 140 km/h in 390 sec. (9.1 km); 150 km/h in 490 sec. (11.1 km); and to 160 km/h in 610 sec. (13.1 km).

Technical specifications

Manufacturing Company: Chittaranjan Locomotive Works
Traction Motors: 6FRA 6068 3-phase squirrel-cage induction motors (850 kW (1,140 hp), 2180 V, 1283/2484 rpm, *270/310A; Weight- 2,100 kg (4,600 lb), forced-air ventilation, axle-hung, nose-suspended; Torque 6,330–7,140 N·m (4,670–5,270 lbf·ft). *95% efficiency.)
Gear Ratio: 72:20
Axle Load: 20.5 t (20.2 long tons; 22.6 short tons)
Power: 6,350 hp (4,740 kW)
Wheel Diameter: 1,092 mm (43 in) new, 1,016 mm (40 in) worn
Wheelbase: 15,700 mm (51 ft 6 18 in)
Bogies: Co-Co, Fabricated Flexicoil Mark IV bogies; bogie wheelbase 1,850 mm (72 78 in) + 1,850 mm (72 78 in)
Unsprung Mass per Axle: 3.984 t (3.921 long tons; 4.392 short tons)
Length over Buffers: 20,562 mm (67 ft 5 12 in)
Length over Headstocks: 19,280 mm (63 ft 3 in)
Body Width: 3,152 mm (10 ft 4 18 in)
Loco weight: 123 t (121 long tons; 136 short tons)
Cab Length: 2,434 mm (95 78 in)
Pantograph Locked down Height: 4,255 mm (13 ft 11 12 in)