Trial run of new oil-fired engine for famous NMR held

Trial run of the new oil-fired engine for the `Heritage` Nilgiris Mountain Railway train, a major tourist attraction, was carried out for a distance of 18-km between Mettupalayam and Aderley stations, railway sources said.

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 15:41 PM IST

Coimbatore: Trial run of the new oil-fired
engine for the `Heritage` Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR)
train, a major tourist attraction, was carried out for a
distance of 18-km between Mettupalayam and Aderley stations,
railway sources said on Thursday.

The engine, developed by Golden Rock railway workshop at
Tiruchi, will replace the existing one which runs on
coal-fired steam.

The engine fitted with five empty compartments was run upto
Aderley station yesterday to test the volume capacity. The
trial run was very successful, the sources said, adding
further tests would be carried out in a few days.

With the coal fired engines frequently developing technical
snag in the last couple of years, the Southern Railways
entrusted the work of building oil-fired engines to the Golden
Workshop in Tiruchirapalli, which delivered the engine last
week at Mettupalayam, sources said.

The Rs 10 crore engine weighs about 50 tonnes and has
separate tanks to hold nearly 850 litres of diesel and 2,250
litres of furnace oil. The engine has the capacity to run at a
speed of 30 km/hour on plains and at 15 km/hour on a gradient.

The NMR, which was introduced in 1899 with coal-fired
vintage Swiss locomotives, holds the UNESCO World Heritage
status.

It runs between Mettupalayam and Udhagamandalam (Ooty), a
41.8km distance, covering it in over five hours, chugging on a
rack and pinion track through 16 tunnels, 250 bridges and
108 curves.

Of the six steam engines, only four are in working
condition, and the new engines would mark the beginning of
the process to phase out these steam engines, which were also
a major tourist attraction, they said.

Railway authorities are hopeful that the new engines would
help in providing disruption-free service to passengers, who
face problems of cancelling their journey midway due to the
`snags, particularly cutting of steam supplying rods`, they
said.

Inaugural run of the NMR fitted with the new engine was
expected in another 10 days after checking the track
suitability, the sources added.

PTI