Having decided to use bio-diesel in a big way for its fleet of diesel locomotives to reduce fuel consumption, Southern Railway has set out on this task by putting in place necessary infrastructure required for setting up a huge bio diesel tank in Tiruchi.
As a prelude to installing the bio-diesel tank, the work of laying seamless steel pipeline to a length of around 200 metres has commenced within the Diesel Loco Shed at Ponmalai here.
The bio-diesel tank would have a 20,000 litre storage capacity with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) laying the seamless steel pipeline within the premises of the shed that houses different types of diesel locomotives.
The pipeline laying work is expected to be completed in a day or two following which the IOC would install a new tank adjoining the shed to store bio-diesel to be procured from a private supplier at Chennai. Southern Railway officials toldThe Hindu that the bio-diesel tank would be ready by first week of October to enable blending of bio-diesel with high speed diesel for use in diesel locomotives. Five per cent of bio-diesel is to be blended with 95 per cent of high speed diesel at the Railway Consumer Depot adjoining the Diesel Loco Shed. The blended fuel would be used in the diesel locomotives when they come for refilling at the shed and at the Tiruchi Goods Yard, a senior officer said. The blended fuel would be sent through the seamless steel pipeline from the railway consumer depot to the fuel point at the shed where the refilling would take place.
Seamless steel pipes have been chosen as it could withstand the oil pressure. The Southern Railway has proposed to put up a 70 kilo-litre tank adjoining the shed to store the blended fuel before this year. The initiative of the railway administration to use bio-diesel is to reduce diesel consumption and cut down its staggering oil bill, the officer said. The locomotive’s performance would not get affected in any way by using bio-diesel in a limited quantity. The blended fuel would be used in the high horse power EMD locomotives and the ‘Alco’ type diesel locomotives – both of which are housed at the Tiruchi Diesel Shed.
The diesel shed accommodates 45 ‘EMD’ locos which can chug at a maximum speed of 130 kilometres per hour and 61 ‘Alco’ locomotives besides 31 diesel power cars.