Starting a WDM-2 diesel locomotive
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This is the general procedure for starting a diesel locomotive of the WDM-2 class.
Compare to the WAM-4/WAP-4/WAG-5/WAG-7 electric locomotive starting procedure.
The WDM-2 has no key to start the engine - it has a 30mm diameter green colour switch in the electrical panel to crank the prime mover. Similarly there is a red switch to stop the prime mover.
The starting sequence is something like this:
- First a walk-around of the loco is done ensuring that the loco appears in condition fit for duty. This takes around 10 minutes. All the fluid levels (coolant, lube oil) are checked at this stage. After being started, the loco is checked once again before leaving the shed orstabling area.
- Close the battery master switch inside the short hood compartment.
- Close the fuel pump breaker and wait for the fuel oil pressure gauge to start showing some reading. The presence of fuel oil pressure means that the fuel is present at the injectors when the engine is cranked.
- Close the crankcase exhauster breaker - this blower removes explosive vapours from the crankcase during operation.
- Ensure: loco brakes on, generator field breaker open, reverser in the neutral position, Engine Control Switch in the Idle position, throttle in the closed position.
- Press the green start switch - the bell will sound inside the engine compartment warning anyone working there that the beast will wake up soon. I think it takes a second push of the button during which the engine is cranked.
- The switch is to be held down till all the cylinders start firing.
- Once the prime mover is running, observe the oil pressure, air pressure, brake pipe pressure being build up.
- Observe the battery charging taking place. The battery charging ammeter in the electrical panel always shows a (center) zero reading - this indicates the charging and discharging of the battery is perfectly balanced. The charging is checked by operating a toggle switch near the ammeter - this toggle switches off the field to the auxiliary generator (meant for battery charging, etc.) and the ammeter immediately shows a small negative deflection indicating a loss of battery charging. Once the switch is closed, the ammeter swings back to the center zero position.
- Another check of the loco - some drivers open the crankcase exhauster breaker at this stage - the positive pressure inside the crank sometimes shows up oil leaks faster.
- The throttle is moved to ensure that loco is responding to being notched.
- Release the parking brake, remove any wedges, wheel blocks, or rocks placed at the wheels to stop the loco from rolling.
- Move the Engine Control Switch from Idle to Run position.
- Observe the signal being pulled off, release the loco brakes and honk before moving!