In any Railway, locomotive and wagon/ coach management is a crucial function in the quest for efficiency and profitability in operations. In particular, locomotives as the main workhorse of the railway, are a core asset which must be well managed to achieve superior performance. In India, Railways is the principal mode of transport in the country. The adequacy, efficient maintenance and optimal functioning of the fleet of Rolling Stock are, therefore, the pre-requisites to the effective role of Railways as a Public Carrier.
As on 31 March 2002, Indian Railways had a fleet of 7740 (Provisional (December 2002)) locos (BG, MG and NG) comprising 54 Steam, 4148 Diesel Electric, 667 Diesel Hydraulic/ Mechanical and 2871 Electric locos. Steam locos have almost been phased out. However, keeping in view their glorious heritage, a few steam locos continue to operate for tourist interest.
For 2001-2002, the Plan outlay of Indian Railways was Rs.10176.98 crore. Of this, the outlay on rolling stock was Rs.3056.22 crore (30.03 per cent) of which the outlay on locomotives was Rs.1263.27 crore (41.33 per cent). The repair and maintenance cost of locomotives for 2001-02 was of the order of Rs.1525.71 crore.
Due to dwindling budgetary support, keeping and acquiring an absolutely necessary fleet of locomotives and ensuring its optimal utilisation at the minimal cost are of paramount importance.
For Rake Management System (RMS), against a target of 233 locations to be completed by June 2001, only 90 locations could be completed by Railway Administration as on 31 March 2002.
3.1.1 At the Railway Board’s level, Member (Traffic) is in overall charge both of the Transportation and Commercial Departments. On the Transportation side, he is assisted by Additional Member (Transportation), and Executive Director (Freight Movement), Executive Director (Coaching), Executive Director (Safety) and other officers in the lower grades.
Planning, Mechanical (Traction), Electrical (Rolling Stock), Traffic, Production and Finance Directorates are associated in the exercise on Planning, Assessment and Procurement/ Production of locomotives.
3.1.2 On each Zonal Railway, the Chief Operations Manager is the Co-ordinating Officer for Traffic (Transportation) Department. Other Heads of Departments, who work with him or assist in the Railway operations are Chief Freight Traffic Manager, Chief Passenger Traffic Manager, Chief Transportation Planning Manager and Chief Motive Power Engineer etc.
3.1.3 The Senior Divisional Operating Manager looks after the transportation of Coaching and Freight Traffic on the Division, including operations at loading / unloading points, yards, terminals and the transhipment points. He is assisted by DOMs / AOMs, Area Managers, Control Organisation and Movement Inspectors. Field staff of the Transportation Department on the Division include yard and station staff, and Guards / Brakemen.
3.2.1 Diesel: Member (Mechanical) at the Board’s level, Chief Mechanical Engineer at the Zonal Headquarters level, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer (Diesel) at the Divisional level are looking after repairs and maintenance of rolling stock viz. Diesel locomotives, Coaches and Wagons.
3.2.2 Electrical: Member (Electrical) at the Board’s level, Chief Electrical Engineer at the Zonal Headquarters level, Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer / Traction and Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer (Operations) at the Divisional level are looking after repairs and maintenance of rolling stock viz. Electric locomotives, Coaches.
Manufacture of electric locomotives is done at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) and that of diesel locomotives at Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi. CLW is headed by a General Manager assisted by Principal Heads of Department and Heads of Department. DLW is headed by a General Manager assisted by Heads of Department.
Central Review covers inter-alia the aspects related to assessment, production/ procurement, utilisation and maintenance of Diesel electric and Electric locomotives (BG) in Indian Railways and other connected issues especially performance of Production Units (DLW and CLW). The central review covers a period of five years from 1997-98 to 2001-2002.
The aspects on electrification, choice of tractions, and fuel efficiency, which were covered, inter alia, in the Central Review on Fuel Management over Indian Railways in Railway Audit Report No.9 of 2000 have been excluded from the purview of this Central Review.
5.1 Loco sheds: All activities of 25 out of 41 diesel loco sheds and 16 out of 25 electric loco sheds on the Indian Railways were reviewed.
5.2 Workshops: All the nine existing workshops were reviewed with reference to their performance relating to POH/ Repairs versus targets and delay in placement for POH.
5.3 Power Plans / Coaching Loco Links: Power Plans of one Division of each Zonal Railway for the year 2001-2002 were reviewed.
5.4 Utilisation (including detention) Indices: 100 per cent review of all indices of the utilisation records maintained at the Zonal Railways’ Headquarters/ Divisional Headquarters.
6.1 Acquisition of Rolling Stock (including locomotives) is processed through the Corporate Plans, Five Year Plans and Annual Plans.
Acquisition of locomotives involves the following aspects:
For sizing an ideal fleet of locomotives, an efficient system of assessment for requirement on a realistic basis is essential.
6.2 Macro Level
6.2.1 The assessment of requirement of locos on line (Loco on line:-Average number of Locos on line on allotment basis for meeting traffic requirements) for Indian Railways is done centrally in Railway Board by the Planning Directorate in consultation with Traffic, Mechanical and Electrical Directorates based on the projected volume of traffic, shares of tractions and the loco utilisation indices/ norms aimed at in the Five Year Plan Documents.
6.2.2 At the commencement of IX Five Year Plan (1997-98 to 2001-02), Railway Board based on the above mentioned methodology assessed additional requirement of 1950 locomotives [1,050 electric locomotives and 900 diesel locomotives (including 50 diesel locomotives for Konkan Railway)] as indicated below:
|Particulars||Projected Traffic for 2001-2002
(terminal year of IX Plan)
in BTKMs/ GTKMs
|Share of Traction in
|Utilisation norms in
NTKMs**/ GTKMs# per
loco per day on line
required on line
* BTKM:- Billion tonne kilometres
** NTKM: One tonne of goods (excluding tare weight of wagon) hauled for one kilometre
# GTKM: One tonne (Gross) hauled for one kilometre
|Total number of locomotives required||=||6416|
|Holding of locomotives as on 1 April 1997||=||5116|
|Additional locomotives required in IX Plan||=||1300|
|Add on replacement account||=||600|
|Total additional requirement of locomotives during IX Plan||=||1900|
|For Konkan Railway requirement||=||50|
|Total locomotives requirement||=||1950|
The assessment done centrally by Railway Board contains an element of anticipation of higher productivity, which may not often materialise. On the contrary, the requirement assessed by Zonal Railways through Power Plans and loco links take into account the ground realities. It was, therefore, considered desirable in the IX Plan document that while assessing the requirement on the basis of the projected traffic, an alternative set of calculations should be made based on power plans and loco links of Zonal Railways. Any significant difference between the two sets of computations should be analysed and moderated before investment decisions are arrived at.
Railway Board moderated their locomotive requirement during their annual exercises. Against the projected additional requirement for 1950 locos for five years (1997 to 2002), 1350 locos were procured (1319 through Production Units and 31 through import).
From the records available, it was seen in audit that:
Railway Board moderated their loco requirement. But this was not done with reference to alternative calculations based on Power Plans and Loco Links of Zonal Railways as stipulated in the IX Five Year Plan document.
Finance Directorate while vetting the production programme for electric locos for the year 2000-2001 (final) of the IX Plan questioned the basis of moderation and observed that:
Audit attempted an independent assessment of requirement of locos. The table below shows a comparative annual position of locos on line, locos required by Zonal Railways through power plans and coaching links and locos actually required on line with reference to traffic actually hauled during 1997-98 to 2000-2001 of the IX five year plan:
|Locos on line
|Locos as per
and loco link
|Locos required on line
as per actual traffic
(assessed by Audit)
Note: Locos on line exclude hydraulic and mechanical locos ranging from 479 to 491 which Railways are using for shunting purposes
From the above, it would be seen that:
From the above position, the following audit comments arise:
6.3.1 Power Plans and Loco Links
Zonal Railways project their requirement for locomotives based on power plans for Goods traffic and Loco Links for passenger traffic and submit the same to Railway Board. The requirement of goods locomotives is normally assessed on the basis of length of each section, average number of trains run per day in the section, Engine Kilometre per loco/day (engine utilisation norm in Kms) and terminal detention. Requirement for passenger locomotives is worked out by loco links.
6.3.2 A review of Power Plans by Audit revealed that there are variations in computation of requirement for locos in the Power Plan of different Zonal Railways as brought out below:
6.3.3 A micro review by Audit of power plans of some sections on Central, North Eastern, South Central and Northern Railways revealed that locos in excess of actual requirement (as assessed by Audit) were justified by Railway Administrations as brought out below:
However, it was seen in audit that in respect of Delhi Division, the loco requirement was worked out at 92 (34.71 diesel and 57.22 electric) by basing the computation on an average number of locos on line per day in deviation from the method advised by Zonal Railway Headquarters. Audit, however, assessed the requirement at 67 locos (33.15 diesel and 34.11 electric) with reference to the method advised by Zonal Railway Headquarter to divisions.
6.4 From the assessment portion as brought out above, it is clear that there were excess locos on line in Zonal Railways. This excess of locos resulted in (i) non-achievement of utilisation targets of locos in use (Availability Index) and (ii) tendency of Zonal Railways to keep excess locos in Goods Repair Stored (GRS) to conceal the excess locos as discussed below:
7.1 As per IX Plan, the targets in terms of percentage for diesel and electric locomotives in use (Locos after deduction of ineffective locos (awaiting repairs and in GRS) from locos on line) to those on line (availability index) was fixed at 85 and 90 respectively. It was also contemplated therein that enhancement of this target could be reviewed in view of performance of the imported high power locomotives.
7.1.1 It was seen in audit that the average percentage of 7 Zonal Railways (except Northeast Frontier and South Eastern) in respect of diesel and 6 Zonal Railways (except North Eastern, Northeast Frontier and South Eastern) in respect of electric locos was 72.95 and 76.80 respectively during 2001-2002, the final year of IX Plan. This was far below the target fixed for IX Plan, which is again another indication of availability of loco on line in excess of requirement.
7.1.2 Audit has attempted an assessment by adopting the number of locos in use as the bare requirement and applied the margins as were considered reasonable in the IX Plan. As per target envisaged in the IX Plan, percentage of locos in use to those on line, the corresponding locos on line required with reference to locos actually in use and the locos considered in excess are indicated below:
|Year||Type of traction||Locos in use||Locos on line||Locos on line with
reference to target *
* Col. No.3 (X) 100/85 (Diesel) * Col. No. 3 (X) 100/90 (Electric)
Targets envisaged could not be achieved due to greater number of locos on line (vide Col.4) than actually required on line (vide Col.5) for meeting the utilisation targets. In other words locos ranging from 648 to 861 were in excess of the requirement during 1997-98 to 2000-01.
Railway wise position revealed that:
7.1.3 Misuse of category "Good Repair Stored" (GRS)
Locomotives which are fit for use after repair but are not immediately available for use due to their parts having been greased or leaded are kept under category GRS maximum for a calendar month.
A review by Audit in 7 Zonal Railways (except North Eastern and Northeast Frontier Railways) of locos kept in GRS revealed that on a monthly average, the locos kept in GRS in all 7 Zonal Railways were 73 (11 diesel, 62 electric) in 1998-99, 92 (14 diesel and 78 electric) in 1999-2000, 99 (40 diesel, 59 electric) in 2000-2001 and 140 (84 diesel, 56 electric) in 2001-2002.
A review of Railway wise position disclosed that:
This practice of keeping excess locos in GRS by Zonal Railways to conceal excess/ idle locos was commented upon at the conference of Chief Freight Traffic Managers held in August 2000.
8.1 Annual Rolling Stock Programme (including locos) is drawn up in the wake of Five Year Plan for the Indian Railways for the purpose of acquisition of rolling stock for Zonal Railways and targets for production of locos are fixed by Railway Board after fine tuning.
8.1.1 The performance in production vis-ŕ-vis target for five years from 1997-98 to 2001-02 of these units was reviewed in audit. It was noticed that while production in DLW was more or less as per the targets, production in CLW was generally in excess of targets fixed during the review period.
It was further seen that in CLW, during the period of Review, actual production of 652 locos exceeded the target of 614 locos by 38 locos. The reasons for excess production were:
Frequent revision of targets resulted in blockage of materials worth crore of rupees. For 1999-2000, the Railway Board fixed a target for production of 160 locos (March 1997). Later, it was raised to 170 locos (June 1998). CLW Administration accordingly initiated steps for procurement of materials for production of 170 locos. Subsequently, Railway Board reduced the targets frequently from 170 to 137 in February 1999, to 118 in March 1999 and to 108 in August 1999. Against the final target of 108, CLW produced 120 locos during 1999-2000 resulting in excess production of 12 locos only to consume some of the huge materials procured. The remaining excess materials/ components worth Rs.23 crore were processed in works in progress.
8.1.2 Transfer of Technology (TOT) to Diesel Locomotive Works
To upgrade the technology for manufacture, in DLW, of high horse power locomotives (General Motors-GM locomotives), Indian Railways signed a contract with. General Motors, USA in October 1995 with contractual terms and conditions for 10 years effective from 10 January 1996. Accordingly, targets for production of 50 GM type locos were fixed for three years from 1999-2000 to 2001-02 as shown below:
From the above table, it would be seen that against a target of 50 locos required to be manufactured during 1999 to 2002, only 3 locos were manufactured during 2001-02.
The targets for manufacture of 50 locos could not be achieved because manufacture/assembly of GM type locos (WDG4), a new technology, was to start only after procurement from Electric Motor Division (EMD), USA, 10 engines and other vital items like ACC Cabinet, Dynamic Brake Hatch Traction Alternator etc. The Railway Board entered into a contract with EMD only in March 2001 for procurement of these items while the tender had been opened in March 1999. The engines and other items were, however, received in March 2002, after a delay of three years from the opening of the tender. During this period stores worth Rs.95 crore (including some items received from EMD) remained blocked.
Thus, targets were fixed by the Railway Board without any proper planning for procurement of items required specifically for the purpose of production of such locos.
8.2 From the position obtaining above, it would appear that the locos required to be procured ever year were far less than the installed capacity of CLW and DLW of about 300 per annum. Railway Board needs to take a view on downsizing these production units.
9.1 Improving asset utilisation is the key to improving the overall performance of an organisation. Tighter controls and clear understanding of how the organisation’s assets are being utilised is critical to enhancing corporate performance. If assets are not utilised efficiently, the system will tend to have cases of “trains without power” and “power without trains”. Further, there will be an increase in the incidence of light engine movements and loco down time.
9.2 Poor engine utilisation leads to availability of locos below the targets in various sections of the Railway resulting in sluggish clearance of outgoing loads from yards, congestion in Departure Yard, blocking of sorting lines and the Reception Lines. So efficient utilisation of locomotives is by far the vital factor in maintaining fluidity of movement of traffic. A close watch and efficient management of locos naturally leads to better mobility and utilisation of the rolling stock and thereby more efficient and economical Railway operations.
9.3 Indices of loco utilisation: The following indices are used by the Zonal Railway Administration to judge the efficiency of locomotive utilisation:
9.3.1 Engine Kilometres: Engine kilometres per day per engine on line and in use are indicators of mobility of trains. A review of position by Audit revealed as under:
All India average of engine kilometres per day per loco on line in respect of diesel traction declined from 337 kilometres in 1997-98 to 327 kms. in 2000-01. The figures for 2001-02 are not available.
A review of Railway wise position revealed that:
9.3.2 Average speed of goods train
Average speed of goods trains has a marked influence on the turn round of locomotives and the crew and also on the utilisation of the section capacities. Lower average speed of goods trains results in congestion of sections which are saturated resulting in further reduction of speed. Thus, a vicious circle is created i.e. lower speeds, lower availability of locomotives and lesser clearance from yard.
The IX Plan had envisaged increasing average speed and average load of goods trains as one of the essential objectives. With a view to achieving this objective, greater fluidity of movement of trains was envisaged in the IX Plan through procurement of high horse power state of the art locomotives.
Average speed and average horse power of locomotives on Indian Railways during the period from 1997-98 to 2000-01 (figure for 2001-02 were not available) is given in table below:
|Type of traction||1997-1998||1998-1999||1999-2000||2000-2001|
|Average Horse Power||2377||3952||2504||4173||2485||4171||2517||4244|
D = Diesel
E = Electric
Source - Annual Statistical Statement
From the above table, it would be seen that
A further scrutiny of Railway wise position of average speed/ average horse power (Annexure XXI) reveals that :
9.3.3 Average load of trains (Goods and proportion of mixed (Average load of train hauled by goods and mixed locomotives)): The average load per train is an important efficiency index of freight operation of Railways. It has direct impact on NTKM, the final measure of efficiency of freight operation. Loads handled by locomotives depend on Horse Power and tractive effort of the locomotive.
The average load of trains for (i) net or freight weight, (ii) gross weight including weight of engine (iii) gross weight excluding weight of engine pertaining to goods and proportion mixed increased from 1997-98 to 2000-2001 (figures for 2001-02 were not available) of all Indian Railways are shown in Table below and those of individual Zonal Railways in Annexure XXII.
Goods and proportion of mixed
|Net or freight weight (tonnes.)||1114||1223||1114||1207||1157||1245||1193||1263|
|Gross weight including weight of engine (tonnes.)||2321||2506||2374||2505||2397||2555||2458||2588|
|Gross weight excluding weight of engine (tonnes.)||2152||2350||2205||2350||2230||2399||2289||2430|
|Average tractive effort of a loco (in Kgs.)||28139||30351||28150||30806||28525||31345||28767||31536|
|Average horse power.||2377||3952||2504||4173||2485||4171||2517||4244|
D - Diesel
E - Electric
A review of Railway wise position revealed that:
9.3.4 Hours worked per day per engine on line
Targets for the number of hours to be worked per day per engine on line have been assessed by Audit on the basis of prescribed percentages of ineffectiveness of locos (hourly ineffectiveness) as advised monthly by Railway Board to Zonal Railways.
It was seen that:
9.3.5 Hours worked per day per engine in use
The loco in use should normally work for 24 hours a day. It is, however, seen that on Indian Railways, the average number of hours worked per day per loco in use was about 19 hours in both electric and diesel traction. The Railway wise position revealed that:
9.3.6 Net Tonne Kilometre (NTKM) per engine day
NTKM is a most comprehensive index for judging freight productivity of locomotive. Improvement of the indices discussed above lead to better NTKM and better utilisation of locomotive in freight operation.
The two main indices for judging utilisation of locomotive in terms of NTKM are:
The norms in terms of NTKMs per loco per day on line in diesel and electric traction (BG) as projected in IX Five Year Plan, were 2,00,000 and 2,70,000 respectively.
All India Railway position is given in the table below:
|Year||1997 - 1998||1998 - 1999||1999 - 2000||2000 - 2001|
|NTKM per goods locomotive on line||173035||286599||167834||269459||172233||284945||179887||292182|
It would be seen from the table above that All-India on line figures were well below the target during the period of review for diesel traction.
The Railway wise position, as indicated in Annexure XXIV revealed that:-
9.3.7 Shunting, Light Engine and Assisting not required engine Kilometre
Shunting Engine is an engine used for moving a vehicle or rake of vehicles inside a station, marshalling yard or other railway installations (depot, workshops etc.) which are not considered as a train movement. Light engine is an engine and tender, with one or more brake vans attached to it. Assisting not required engine is an engine running attached to a train to prevent its running light, and which is not required for banking or assisting purposes. Increased use of locos for these purposes is indicative of mismanagement.
The position of shunting engine, light engine and light and assisting not required engine kms. per 100 train kms. on Indian Railways is given in the table below:
Passenger / Goods and proportion of mixed (excluding departmental)
|1. Shunting engine Kms. per 100 train Kms.||4.56||19.9||4.49||20||4.58||19.8||4.26||19.4|
|2. Light engine Kms. per 100 train Kms.||0.91||13.6||1.02||14||0.84||13.2||0.81||13.7|
|3. Light and Assisting not required engine Kms. Per 100 train Kms.||0.95||20||1.07||20.1||0.92||19.1||0.86||20.2|
Passenger and proportion of mixed
Goods and proportion of mixed
Review of position obtaining on Zonal Railways revealed that shunting engine kms., light engine kms., light and assisting not required engine kms. per 100 trains kms. in goods and proportion mixed (excluding departmental) was more than all Indian Railways figures in Central and Southern Railways during all the five years.
10.1 Better mobility of locomotives being the primary objective of Railway operations depends largely on co-ordination among many departments viz. Operating, Mechanical, Signal and Telecom, Engineering and Commercial. Better the efficiency in the working and co-ordination among all these related departments the higher the mobility and lesser the detentions of the locomotives. If the operations of the different departments are interlocked and synergised, operational efficiency will improve.
The enroute detention to rolling stock could be attributable to any of the departments viz. Engineering, Signalling and Telecommunication, Mechanical, Operating and others.
Out of 12 divisions test checked, the position available in respect of 3 divisions (1 each on Northern, Southern and South Eastern Railways) where information regarding departments responsible for enroute detention was available is given in the following table:
|Railway||No. of cases of
|Bifurcation (Nos.)/ (Percentage)|
(11.70 per cent)
(32.41 per cent)
(28.37 per cent)
(1.36 per cent)
(26.15 per cent)
(19.17 per cent)
(25.51 per cent)
(25.36 per cent)
(2.76 per cent)
(27.20 per cent)
(2.00 per cent)
(0.03 per cent)
(0.63 per cent)
(95.65 per cent)
(1.69 per cent)
Figures in bracket indicates the percentage of total cases of enroute detention
It would be seen from the above table that on South Eastern Railway, the major contributor to enroute detention was Operating Department. (95.65 per cent).
Locomotives are detained due to delay in passing train orders and delay in actual operation of the locomotives by the operating department at terminal points.
10.3.1 Review of terminal detention of locomotives in 25 divisions for diesel and 13 divisions for electric locos revealed that:
Railway wise position revealed that:
Detention of locos in yards generally occurs due to delay in formation of rakes, arrival of crew etc. In respect of loaded rakes, the detention occurs due to lack of free entry of rakes in nodal yards. A review of detention of locos in yard with and without load in 22 divisions (diesel) and 19 divisions (electric) revealed that during the period of review, on 1037909 occasions diesel locos and 1521932 occasions electric locos were detained for 2143890 and 2243199 engine hours respectively. The average detention on each occasion on 8 Zonal Railways (except North Eastern Railway) was 2.07 hours (diesel) and 1.47 hours (electric). Against the all India average, the average detention on each occasion was 15.78 hours and 14.15 hours on diesel and electric side respectively on Southern Railways.
To ensure regular availability, reliability and productivity of the locos, efficient maintenance in shed and workshop is essential. An efficient maintenance system is able to diagnose failures quickly, identify parts and services required, identify repairs facility options and most importantly reduce part waiting time, actual repairs time and shop waiting time. Loco maintenance in India is based on the concept of periodic overhauls and is not condition based, improved maintenance reduces the incidence of unscheduled maintenance and increase the intervals between schedules. Loco sheds are entrusted with a specified holding of locomotives to repair the locomotives as per different schedules and keep a watch on the repair of the locomotives in the workshop and to maintain the level of targeted outage.
For meeting the targets of maintenance / repairs etc. and minimising the down time / detention before locos are taken into sheds for maintenance, it is necessary that the homing capacity of loco sheds should be adequate to accommodate the holdings assigned to them.
The position of homing capacities and loco holdings of 36 diesel and 22 electric sheds on Zonal Railways as on 1 April 1997 and 31 March 2002 is indicated in Annexure XXV.
It would be seen therefrom that as on 1 April 1997, the homing capacity of 36 diesel sheds and 22 electric sheds was for 2900 diesel locos and 2165 electric locos. Against this, the loco holdings were 3211 diesel locos and 2540 electric locos. There was, therefore, a shortfall in capacity for 311 diesel locos (10.72 per cent) and 375 electric locos (17.32 per cent).
As on 31 March 2002, the homing capacity for diesel locos was 2950 against holding of 3574 locos and for electric locos, it was 2521 as against holdings of 2871 locos. This indicates a shortage of about 21 and 14 per cent respectively despite completion of some works to augment the homing capacity on Indian Railways during the period of review.
Railway wise position as on 31 March 2002 revealed that shortage in capacity was severe on Northern (38 per cent), North Eastern (53 per cent) and Southern (40 per cent) in respect of diesel sheds and on South Central Railway (43 per cent) in respect of electric shed.
Currently maintenance of diesel locos comprises the following schedule:
|No.||Type of schedule||Period||Place|
|Trip schedule||7 days||Shed|
|Quarterly schedule||Three monthly||Shed|
|Half-yearly schedule||Six monthly||Shed|
|3 - yearly schedule||3 years||Shed|
|(c)||POH||6 years||Work Shop|
|(d)||Remanufacture - Workshops, Patiala||18 years||Diesel Component Works, Patiala.|
Development of diesel technology and continuous upgradation and improvement of sub-assemblies, materials, repair facilities and maintenance techniques is a constant and on going process. Accordingly, there should be a regular review of schedule items and their periodicity to eliminate infructuous and redundant attention and also to incorporate additional attention as may be required for better maintenance and enhanced availability.
A committee set up to review periodicity of schedules had suggested elimination of the fortnightly trip and monthly schedule and replace these with a 90 days schedule. Railways are yet to implement the changes proposed. The committee had further suggested extending the yearly schedule to 18 months.
Railway Board enhanced the periodicity of various maintenance schedules in respect of electric locos with effect from December 2001 as under:
|Type of the schedule||Previous due period||Revised due period|
|IA (Inspection-A)||40 (days)||45 (days).|
|IB (Inspection-B)||40 (days)||45 (days).|
|IC (Inspection-C)||40 (days)||45 (days).|
|AOH (Annual Overhaul)||1 Year||1.5 years|
|IOH (Intermediate Overhaul)||3 Years||4.5 Years|
|POH (Periodical Overhaul)||6 Years||9 Years|
Due to enhanced periodicity, the ineffective percentage of locos (locos under maintenance/ repairs etc.) should have been correspondingly decreased. However, it was noticed that the corresponding decrease in ineffective percentage has not been made in Zonal Railways.
Maintaining locos as per periodicity of maintenance schedule is of utmost importance for ensuring reliability and availability of locomotives.
The position of maintenance schedules due and actually done in the review period in 9 Zonal Railways revealed that while there was no overall shortfall in giving maintenance schedules as per norms in diesel traction, there was substantial shortfall on electric side. In electric sheds, against 79020 maintenance schedules due during the period of review, maintenance schedules actually done were 74660. This registered a shortfall of 4360 schedules (5.52 per cent).
A scrutiny of Railway wise and shed wise position revealed that:
Target and actual: During the period of repairs and maintenance in sheds/work shops locos remain ineffective on account of major/ POH minor. Railway Board prescribes percentage of such ineffectiveness from time to time.
The position of targets and actuals of ineffectiveness was reviewed. It was seen that in 9 loco sheds viz, Itarsi, Kurla, New Katni, Jhansi and Kalyan (Central Railway), Gomoh (Eastern Railway), Ghaziabad (Northern Railway), Vadodara and Valsad (Western Railway), the actual percentage of ineffectiveness generally exceeded the targets fixed for them. In all, 26195 Engine days were lost resulting in loss of earning capacity of Rs.139.31 crore.
The target outage is directly proportional to holding. It was seen in audit that though the holding of Gomoh electric loco shed of Eastern Railway was enhanced from 123.5 locos (1997-98) to 145.5 locos (2000-2001), the target for outage remained unchanged (95 locos) during 1998-99 to 2000-2001. Even this low target could not be achieved.
In addition to the scheduled maintenance programme, unscheduled out of course repairs are also undertaken for failure of locos on line in service and/or when serious problems with their working is reported by the drivers. A high incidence of unscheduled out of course repairs would indicate that the quality of repairs during regular maintenance was not of the desired standard.
The position in respect of 19 diesel and 15 electric sheds where information was available revealed that:
Further review of Railway-wise and shed-wise position revealed that the incidence of unscheduled repairs was very high on Central Railway (Diesel) and South Eastern Railway (Electric) as brought out below:
As per instruction under section 1 of ‘Manual of Statistical Instructions- Volume I', a Statement No. 26 A should be prepared to depict the locational status of the locomotives at different points under the maintenance sphere.
This Statement does not, however, show separately engines in transit to and from shed / workshop and also when moved dead to and from shed / workshop on mechanical account and those stabled in shed awaiting workshop repairs. Due to incomplete nature of the statement, ineffectiveness on those two heads could not be examined.
After a locomotive fails under operating department, it should be made available to the shed within a stipulated time as fixed by the Zonal Railway authorities depending on its distance from the shed. Faster movement of dead locos would result in their being repaired early thus leading to increase in availability index of locos. It is, thus, necessary to have a system that ensures prompt delivery of dead locos to the sheds for necessary attention.
It was seen in audit that the time taken in excess of stipulated for a dead loco to reach the shed was being booked to 'Miscellaneous Traffic Outage' (MTO) on electric side and to 'Dead Outage' on diesel side. Thus, concerned sheds were including these locos in their figures for outage when in fact they were not in use. The outage figures were thus, inflated to the extent of locos booked under MTO or 'Dead Outage'.
The position regarding delay in transfer of dead locos to sheds test checked in 9 Zonal Railways for the period 2000-2001 to 2001-2002 is indicated in Annexure XXVI.
It would be seen therefrom that in 16 loco sheds of 7 Zonal Railways (except North Eastern and Western Railways), in 6425 cases, diesel locomotives which failed outside the sheds could not be returned to the sheds by the operating department within the stipulated time leading to 6506 hours being booked as dead outage while at the same time shown in the outage figures in the concerned sheds.
The loss due to excess time taken to return 6425 diesel locos to the shed, as assessed by Audit amounted to Rs.81.62 crore.
Similarly, in respect of 10 electric loco sheds in 6 Zonal Railways (except North Eastern, Northeast Frontier and Western), in 1978 cases electric locos could not be made available to sheds for repairs in time leading to 1680 hours being booked to MTO while at the same time shown in the outage figures in the concerned sheds. The loss due to excess time taken to return electric locos to the sheds was assessed by audit at Rs.35.73 crore.
It was further noticed that:
Completion of repairs within prescribed time period depends on availability of materials among other things. With efficient inventory control and materials required for repairs and maintenance of locos can be promptly made available. Delay in making materials available results in delay in repairs and thus affects adversely the availability of locos.
The position regarding delay in repairs due to non-availability of materials was reviewed in audit. It was noticed that in respect of 22 diesel and 13 electric sheds in 9 Zonal Railways, 1637 diesel and 1112 electric locos had to wait for 689622 and 1155144 engine hours respectively for want of materials. The loss of earning capacity of these locos so detained assessed in audit worked to Rs.542.53 crore.
It would be further seen that incidence of delay in making materials available for repair to the sheds was very high in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Railways as indicated below:
Besides Major and Minor Repairs schedules under taken in sheds, Periodical Overhaul and Other Heavy Repairs are done in the workshops. Regularity in the availability of the locomotives to the operating department as per targeted outage of the shed depends largely on the POH/ Repairs of the locomotives in the workshop as per the target.
The position in 6 workshops each doing POH of diesel and electric locos on 6 Zonal Railways (except North Eastern, Northeast Frontier and South Central) was reviewed in audit. It was observed that while there was no shortfall in POH targets for 1997-98 to 2001-2002 in all the 6 workshops on diesel side and 4 workshops on electric side in Central, Southern, South Eastern and Western Railways, there was shortfall of 19 and 14 in achieving the targets fixed for POH for electric locos in Eastern and Northern Railways respectively.
The prescribed time for POH/ repairs of diesel and electric locomotives in workshop is 15 days and 28 days respectively. In SouthEastern Railway, excess time taken over and above prescribed for POH for diesel locomotives varied from 1 day to 14 days and in case of electric locomotives, it varied from 1 to 105 days.
11.10 Year wise position of excess time taken over and above prescribed in Zonal Railways revealed that in 5 workshops doing POH of diesel locos (one each in Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and South Eastern Railways) during the period of review in respect of 1116 cases, 15815 days were taken in excess of the prescribed time for POH resulting in loss of earning capacity of Rs.59 crore.
Similarly, in 6 workshops (one each on Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, South Eastern and Western Railways) doing POH of electric locos, during the period of review, in respect of 1100 cases, 18486 days were taken in excess of those prescribed for POH. The extra detention resulted in loss of the earning capacity of those locos of Rs.117.72 crore.
The locos coming to workshops for POH should be taken inside the workshops without any undue delay or else the availability index would get adversely affected.
The position of delay of locos before being taken inside for POH in Zonal Railways was reviewed. It was noticed that in 5 workshops (one each in Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and South Eastern), during the period of review in 1464 cases, diesel locos suffered detention of 9991 days before POH. The loss of earning capacity for 9991 engine days worked out to Rs.69.97 crore.
Similarly, in 6 workshops (one each on Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, South Eastern and Western Railways) during the period of review, in 1519 cases, electric locos suffered 15121 days of detention before POH entailing a loss of Rs.105.80 crore by way of their earning capacity.
Railway wise position revealed that on Central Railway, the delay was considerably high and upto 258 days in respect of electric locos during 1998-99 and 316 days in 2001-2002.
There should be no delay in despatch of locos after their POH. During review position regarding despatch of locos after POH, it was noticed that in 3 workshops (one each on Central, Northern and Southern Railways), 573 diesel locos were detained for 2812 engine days after POH. This resulted in loss of earning capacity of Rs.35.10 crore.
Railway wise position revealed that on Northern Railway, the delay was upto 105 days during 2001-02.
Similarly, on electric sides, in 3 workshops (one each on Central, Northern and Southern Railways), detention of 4942 engine days resulted in loss of earning capacity of Rs.24.66 crore.
Railway wise position revealed that detention was upto 116 days during 1998-99 on Central Railway, upto 49 days in 1997-98 and 68 days in 1998-99 and 66 days in 2001-02 on Southern Railway.
Frequent failures of locos within short time gaps from the date of POH not only indicate low reliability but also inefficiency of maintenance of locos in workshops. Frequent failures of locos within 6 months of their POH reflects badly on workmanship in maintenance of locos in workshops. The Railway wise position of failures is given in Annexure XXVII.
It would be seen therefrom that out of 2302 diesel locos of 15 diesel sheds of Central Railway (4 sheds), Eastern (3 sheds), Northern and North Eastern (1 shed each), Southern (3 sheds) and South Eastern Railways (3 sheds) overhauled during 1997-98 to 2001-02, 969 locos (42.09 per cent) failed within a period of 180 days. Of these, 483 locos (20.98 per cent) failed within a short period of 60 days.
In Central Railway, the percentage of diesel locos failing within 180 days of POH was 52 per cent and those failing within 60 days was 27.25 per cent.
The life of a locomotive is prescribed as 36 years for diesel and 35 years for electric locomotives as fixed by Indian Railways. During the mid - life of a locomotive i.e. after 18-21 years, instead of normal POH, complete rebuilding/ recabling is resorted to on completion of which the locomotive is expected to function efficiently as a new locomotive for the remaining residual life. The cost of rebuilding is about 2 ˝ times the cost of normal over haul and renewal. The rebuilding of Diesel locos is carried out by Diesel Component Works.
As per component replacement schedule issued by DCW, Patiala in May 1990, locos in the age group of 18-21 years should be recommended for rebuilding and those locomotives which have already crossed 21 years of age should be given POH in the normal course. It was termed as mid-life concept and loco when turned out after re-building must have a residual life.
Test check of records of DCW, Patiala revealed frequent failures of loco on line after rebuilding and these locos were again brought to workshop for repair. During period of review, 41 rebuilt locos were again received back in workshop for repair and remained ineffective for 7536 hours resulting in loss of earning capacity amounting to Rs.3.19 crore.
Review of position on Zonal Railways revealed that on South Eastern Railway, one diesel locomotive pertaining to holding of Waltair Diesel shed commissioned on 18 March 1982 was rebuilt on 23 October, 1999 but deleted from holding in March 2000. This premature condemnation well before scheduled date of condemnation resulted in an infructuous expenditure of Rs.0.36 crore being the standard cost incurred towards rebuilding.
In Railway organisation, loco is the main work horse and should, therefore, be well managed. A loco fleet with an adverse age profile requires frequent maintenance and repairs which involve high cost. Apart from being repair and maintenance cost intensive, old locos impede or retard the fluidity of movement of trains. The codal life of a loco is about 35 years. While maintaining locos of high age group if say 30 years and above, it may be worth examining to see whether financially it is more beneficial to maintain it frequently at high cost or to replace it.
A review of age profile of locos on Zonal Railways revealed that out of 3640 diesel locos as on 31 March 2002, 873 locos (24 per cent) were in the age group of 26-40 years. Out of these, 203 locos (about 6 per cent) had already completed their codal life of 35 years. The number of such locos was high on South Eastern (81), Central (61) and South Central (28).
On electric side, out of 2719 electric locos, 198 locos (7 per cent) were in the age group of 31-35 years.
It was further seen that on diesel side, 495 locos comprising old types viz. WDM2, WDS4, WDS5 etc. were in the age group of 31-40 years. Financial justification for further retention of such types of locos apart from being maintenance intensive, affects adversely the availability and reliability indices of Railways needs to be reviewed periodically.
11.17 Indian Railways Corporate Plan (1985-2000) suggested the following measures for improving efficiency and fluidity in maintenance sphere for greater availability of locomotives:
No serious steps to move in this direction have been taken by Indian Railways.
11.18 Despite rapid advancement in Engineering, Information Technology and Diagnostic techniques, the Indian Railways’ maintenance system is based on the concept of periodic overhauls rather than actual condition of the loco. Even, high power state of the art locos which need maintenance after comparatively longer period are being maintained more or less on the same time based concept. It points to the need to the Indian Railways to work towards evolving a condition based system (rather than traditional time based system) to enhance loco availability and reduce maintenance cost.
High level of locomotive reliability is the key factor to maximise availability, utilisation and productivity. The main purpose of attending an item in a particular schedule is to ensure efficient functioning during service without failure. Hence, from a focal point of view, reliability of a locomotive in service assumes paramount importance. Reliability of locomotives helps to improve several indices of performance like availability, punctuality of passenger trains and speed of goods train etc.
Reliability of a loco is measured in terms of number of failures to total kilometres run by it during a particular period. The reliability of locomotives as assessed in terms of failure over Zonal Railways during the period 1998-1999 to 2001-2002 is shown in Annexure XXVIII.
Further scrutiny revealed underreporting of failures by Zonal Railways to Railway Board as shown below:
The position regarding loco failures per million engine kilometres over Zonal Railways disclosed that there was a decreasing trend of failures per loco per million engine kilometres.
The Railway wise position revealed that on North Eastern and South Eastern Railways although there was a decreasing trend, the percentage of failures per million EKMs was very high.
There are two categories of engine failures:
An engine failure falls under statistical failure when it is unable to work its booked train with prescribed load from start or causes a delay in arrival at destination of 30 minutes or more.
It constitutes all failures other than statistical ones.
A review of the position of Statistical/Non-statistical failures and average engine KMs. per statistical failure revealed that:
Railway wise position revealed that the percentage of statistical failures was very high on Central Railway (64.46 per cent in respect of diesel and 59.96 per cent in respect of electric), Northern (55.19 per cent in respect of diesel), Southern (71.04 and 71.80 per cent in respect of diesel and electric locos respectively), South Central (72.41 per cent in respect of diesel locos) and Western Railway (69.43 per cent in respect of diesel locos).
12.3.1 Cause wise
Among various factors contributing to failure of locomotives, defective materials, bad workmanship in sheds and workshops and defective design/manufacture are generally the main causes of loco failures. A test check of 26 diesel and 16 electric sheds revealed that:
In 18 diesel sheds (4 each on Central, Eastern, South Central and 3 each on Southern and South Eastern), out of 15085 loco failures, 7263 failures (48.15 percent) were on account of defective material used in maintenance during all the five years.
In 3 diesel sheds on Northern Railway, out of 3115 failures, 484 failures (15.54 percent) were on account of bad workmanship (1997-98 and 2000-2001) and 705 failures (22.63 per cent) on account of defective material during 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2001-2002.
In two diesel sheds on Western Railway, the failures were on account of miscellaneous causes.
In three diesel sheds (1 on North Eastern and 2 on Northeast Frontier Railways), this information was not available for 1997-98 and 1998-99 on North Eastern Railway and for 1997-98 on Northeast Frontier Railway.
In 16 electric sheds (2 each on Eastern, Northern, Southern, South Central and Western Railways, 3 each on Central and South Eastern Railways), out of 8147 loco failures, 2921 failures (35.85 per cent) were attributable to defective material.
12.3.2 System wise
While reviewing the system-wise failures of Diesel and Electric locomotives, it was noticed that the systems contributing to the failures were mainly Electric Control Circuits (ECC), Lube Oil System, Traction Motors, Auxiliary Motors, Heat Exchangers etc. as given in Annexure XXXI.
It would be seen from the Annexure that on Indian Railways, out of total failures of 29922 (diesel and electric) during the period under review, 6544 (21.87 per cent) failures were attributable to the failures of the above mentioned systems. Out of 6544 system failures (5275-diesel, 1269-electric), Electric Control Circuit alone accounted for 2382 failures (36.40 per cent).
Railway wise position revealed that on South Eastern Railway in case of diesel locomotives, the percentage of failures due to electric control circuit system (1794), accounted for 29.73 per cent of the total failures on this Railway (6035).
Indian Railways embarked upon computerised information system for freight operation in the early eighties. FOIS is an online system for management and control of freight movement, through instant access to information regarding the current status of any consignment in transit. The objective of introducing this system was to bring about improvement in the utilisation of rolling stock by 15 per cent in wagons and 5 per cent in locomotives. With the latest position being available to the officers, they will be able to react to any situation in the field quickly, and guide and direct operation better, resulting in overall improved performance.
13.1.1 Present status of the System: 233 locations were to be covered over Zonal Railways by June 2001 for Rake Management System (RMS). This system, inter alia, seeks to analyse detention to stock to minimise detention. Out of the target of networking 233 locations by June 2001, FOIS project was implemented only on 90 locations over Zonal Railways as on 31 March 2002. This indicates that the progress of the project (90 locations) was well behind the target (233 locations).
Locomotive module of the FOIS project has not been implemented so far (August 2002).