Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi, the engine production unit of Indian Railways, has developed the first prototype of a 5500 HP diesel locomotive (WDG5), as part of its continuing technological upgradation programme.
The first ever 5500 HP diesel engine to be manufactured anywhere in the world, the locomotive has already started running on a pilot project basis in North Central Railway.
No locomotive manufacturer anywhere in the world has attempted more than 4000 HP on 22-tonne axle load because of the smaller moving dimension of locomotives, except perhaps in the US and Canada.
The 5500 HP WDG5 is primarily aimed at improving the throughput with higher balancing speeds. The locomotive will be able to achieve 100 kmph speed on level tracks with higher axle load.
WDG5 brings to Indian Railways advanced technologies such as electronic fuel injection (for higher fuel efficiency and emission control).
DLW's locomotive designs implement collision protection, provision for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, task lighting, improved visibility, ergonomic seating and a soothing and aesthetic visual TFT-based display (similar to that used in aircrafts), thereby setting up new standards for crew comport and safety.
Today DLW is able to manufacture locomotives with a wide horsepower range, from 1400 HP to 5500 HP for multiple track gauges.
Besides meeting the needs of non-railway customers in India, DLW is exporting locomotives to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, Tanzania, Sudan, Senegal, Mozambique and Myanmar.
In addition, DLW has diversifies into the manufacture of diesel generator (DG) sets and has supplied some extremely critical back-up DG sets to Nuclear Power Corporation India Limited's nuclear power plants at Kota, Narora, Kaiga and Kalpakkam.
DLW, which is the only manufacture of mainline diesel electric locomotives in the whole South and Southeast Asia, has grown and transformed over the years to meet the nation's changing transportation needs.
Having manufactured over 6,700 locomotives till date, DLW is now one of the biggest locomotive manufacturers in the world.
In 2012-13, DLW manufactured 294 locomotives, increasing its production nearly three times from 112 locomotives manufactured in the year 2002-03.
Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi will be entering the 'Golden Jubilee' year when it completes 50 years of its production service in 2014.