An innovative solution has been developed and executed by Indian Railways Central Railway to optimise the testing procedure for LHB power cars. Implementing Static Water Load Testing Units at the Wadi Bunder and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) coaching depots represents a notable progression towards improved operational efficiency and diminished limitations. It is the first facility constructed at a Central Railway coaching depot.
The power car serves as the critical energy supplier for the entire train rake, supplying voltage to a multitude of components, including but not limited to lighting, fans, air conditioning, and mobile charging stations. Following maintenance repairs, the power vehicle is subjected to load testing, an essential capacity or voltage inspection. The testing procedure presented considerable obstacles in the past due to its labour-intensive character. The procedure involved the manoeuvring of train rakes and was frequently impeded by the scarcity of available space, resulting in operational setbacks at the LTT and Wadi Bunder coaching depots.
The inventive resolution to the enduring obstacle encountered during the post-repair testing of LHB power cars on the Sick Line was implemented by the ETL (Emergency Train Lighting) Branch of the Mumbai Division. In the past, the testing procedure required the diversion of an LHB rake to the Sick Line, which resulted in considerable downtimes that could span from several hours to days. The reason for this setback was operational shunting limitations and the supply of rakes at the coaching depots of LTT and Wadi Bunder. This delayed the delivery of replacement power cars for passenger trains, which was inconvenient.
A paradigm transition occurs with the implementation of Static Water Load Testing Units
In contrast to the traditional approach, these devices enable the immediate connection of power cars to the rake for maintenance after load testing.
Numerous benefits are associated with this innovation including:
• Enhanced dependability and preparedness of power cars
• Decrease in personnel previously dedicated to shunting operations
• Elimination of unnecessary rake movement and marshalling, as well as shunting of power cars
• Diesel Loco usage savings for load testing purposes
• Yard congestion mitigation and line capacity optimisation
• Chief Yard Master (CYM) operational time is drastically reduced as a result of the elimination of shunting for load testing
The following are notable characteristics of the Static Water Load Testing Units:
• Capability to perform full load testing on DG sets of 750KV and 500KVA
Operational capabilities at a distance
• The use of forklifts facilitates mobility: Straightforward and transportable to any location with the aid of a forklift.
• Minimal water consumption for top-off
• Dependence on a 3-phase 415V supply to power the induction motor while the electrode is in motion.
Central Railway exhibits a dedication to operational efficiency and technological progress by implementing two units at each of the LTT coaching depot sick lines and Wadi Bunder. Establishing four Static Water Load Testing Units along the sick lines of the WB and LTT coaching depots has required a total investment of 38 lahks, which was achieved at a cost-effective ₹ 9.5 lakh per unit. These units are presently operative.
Under the supervision of Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer (PCME) Shri Sunil Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of the Mumbai Division Shri Rajnish Kumar Goyal, and Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer (DEE) of the Mumbai Division Shri KNVSL Ramesh, an innovative solution was developed.