Guntakal Diesel Shed
by P V S Praveen
I was supposed to go on a trip on the Guntakal - Giddalur section of the SCR. The focal point of interest on this section was the ghat section on the Chelama-Gazulapalli-Diguvametta stretch. But due to unforeseen circumstances, this trip got postponed. My next alternative was to check out the Pendekallu-Pagadirayee-Gooty section. Preliminary investigations revealed that there was nothing spectacular on this stretch. So that got dropped out. But I do intend to make this trip sometime in the near future. Guntakal _ Bellary MG Trip was also through (I am yet to submit a trip report of that trip Will be doing it shortly) Finally I was left out with the Guntakal Diesel Shed.
Before I start out with this small report, let me make it clear that some of the technical facts reported out here might be incorrect. Already a lot of information exists about diesel locomotives on the IRFCA pages; hence I am not going in-depth into technical details over here. What I have strived to provide out here, is some general info on the GTL shed + some technical tidbits thrown in here & there.
This shed is located at one fag end of the Railway Colony. As I entered it, I saw the cut out front portion SHORT HOOD of an ydm4 '0000'. This shed is ISO 9002 certified. To my right I can see the classrooms of the technical training centers. It appears that some examination was going on, with some of the apprentices working on their papers. I tool up the flight of steps stopping to catch a glimpse at the miniature cutout front portion (short hood) of a WDM4. Reached the first floor, went past the Sr DME's chamber.
My first halt was at the office of the DEE. He wondered why I wanted to visit the GTL shed. I told him about my interest in railways, in general & IRFCA in particular. He didn't obviously hear of anything like the IRFCA, so I had to repeat it not once, not twice, but three times. After the initial introductions were through, he explained in brief the various aspects of a diesel-electric locomotive. I didn't have a pen & paper or else I would have made some notes as he spoke along. Anyway, there is a lot of info on the IRFCA site, about diesel locos.
The technology transfer of these Alco's commenced somewhere in the late 50's early 60s. Among other things, the DEE mentioned the existence of a temperature controlled Radiator fan, fitted at the top of the locomotive. This is activated only when the temp: of the cooling medium reaches particular point i.e., 68 degrees centigrade. At the second stage, when the temperature is at a higher range, the radiator fan is activated completely. He also spoke about the driver's cab. And the no: of levers on the control panel. Basically u have 3 levers:
Throttle - This has 8 notches + one idle notch Reverse Switch - To enable the bi-directional movement of the loco A third lever for the brakes- two types of brakes - SA9 & A9. The former is for the mechanical breaking of the loco while the latter is utilized for dynamic braking.
He did explain the concept of dynamic braking, but since it has already been discussed on IRFCA, I did understand, that it is an efficient method of braking. After this I, Vinay and Mr. Krishnan (who works in the shed) went around the loco workshop. The Guntakal Diesel shed once had about 120 MG locos (This shed is older than the Golden Rock Workshop at Tiruchirapalli) now it is left only with 11 locos. Some of the locos were exported to Malaysia, along with other rolling stock. These MG locos serve the Bellary Guntakal Pakala Chittor Katpadi section of the SCR, the only remaining MG Section in SCR (apart from the Bolarum - Nizamabad stretch in the HYB division.)
The fuel tank capacity of these locos is about 3000 liters for the MG and about 4000 liters for the BG locos. In idle conditions the MG locos consume about 25 litres of fuel/ hour.
1994 saw the induction of BG locos to the shed. As of now the strength of BG locos stands at 87. All of them are WDM4/4A's of the 17xxx and 18xxx series. These have an rpm of about 1000. The only difference between these and their WDG3 cousins is the difference in RPM's. The WDG's have an RPM of about 1050. We later went up the ramp and examined the cab & the interior assembly. Saw two speedometers, one on the control panel & the other near the floor. Had a look at the traction motors and the auxiliary compressors etc. All these locos have a scheduled visit to the loco shed, according to a trip schedule.
The shed has a lot more to be seen, but since I was running out of time (Mustafa was expected at my place at around 1640 hours and we had to reformat my system), I had to leave.