Lallaguda Loco Shed
by Shashanka Nanda and PVS
Last Saturday, members of the HYB/SC chapter visited the Lallaguda Electric Shed. The trip was possible due to the efforts of PVS. The visiting party consisted of Lakshman, PVS & myself as other HYB gangmen weere stuck up somewhere else. I met PVS at SC station's Bhoiguda entrance, but before that I was able to catch the arrival of Palnadu Exp from GNT behind WDP4 #20007. Its brother Baaz #11 was also making the rounds of the yard. Apart from that, it was the usual collection of KZJ/MLY WDM2s. GY WDM3As & BZA/LGD electrics.
We drove down to the shed gates which are just next to the SC-KZJ mainline and were met by Lakshman. Entering the shed premisis, we saw 2 cute little OHE (ERU class) maintenance cars standing on the sidings belonging to the SSE/OHE Aler & Manikgarh respectively. The MAGH ERU was the same as the one I picturised sometime back http://www.irfca.org/users/shanky/general/eru-magh.jpg
We first paid visit to the Sr DEE of the shed Mr. Vishnu Kant who warmly received us and we gave him a bit of a background on IRFCA. He was pleasantly surprised to hear of a group of 'RAILWAY'enthusiasts, and was on the verge of shock when he discovered that there were some other people on this planet who knew the difference between a TAO69 and a HS-15250 motors!! At present all of SCRs TAO powered locos (WAG5D/E, WAM4) are stabled at BZA, while all Hitachi machines are at LGD (WAG5, WAG7 & WAP4).
Anyway, from him we learnt that LGD will get a total of 8 new WAP4s as the load on LGD shed has been increased with the introduction of new trains (KSK for eg) and change in loco links (SBC Raj for eg). 4 locos have already been delivered, 22581 (transferred from ED), 22589, 591 & 592. The rest of the 4 should be joining in the next quarter. In addition we also learnt that the Dakshin Express will soon be converted to AB. As a result, the 4 WAM4s at BZA which do duty on the Dakshin will be suitable modified to AB/DB operations and also they would be converted to 6P configuration. As of now these are the only 4 locos at BZA to run in 2S-3P mode. The modification will be done at BZA, LGD, Perambur & Dahod respectively.
We also learnt that the upcoming KZJ shed would feature WAG7 locos, most of which would be sent from LGD only. At present LGD's strength stands at 58 WAG7, 36 WAP4 & 46 WAG5H locos totalling at 140. Curiously none of LGDs WAG5 carry the 'H' suffix though.LGD locos currently are sent to Perambur (freight only) & Bhusaval (passenger & freight both) for their POH. We also learnt the IOH, AOH & POH schedules of various locos, and were told that RDSO has recently recommended increased in the intervals between these overhauls. For eg, AOH which used to stand for Annual Overhaul has now actually been extended to 18 months!!
Soon we were taken for a round of the shed itself. The shed is built on the site of the former steam shed but has been suitably expanded. Some of the old syeam shed structures have been retained. However, the modern expansion has resulted in the admin block being sandwiched between the loco holding / inspection area and ther workshops. As a result, the staff gets hammered by trumpet blasts from all sides!! In the workshops, there were 2 WAP4s (#22203 & 22205), 2 WAG7s and a ER class OHE inspection car. http://www.irfca.org/users/shanky/general/ohemly.jpg The 2 WAG7s and #22205 were undergoing heavy repairs.
We noticed a curious thing about one of the WAG7s, it belonged to the 275XX series and had waist mounted headlamps. Closely inspecting it form the side, we saw that the cab profile was not like regular WAG7s which is straight, but slightly slanted towards the back by about 6 inches.... We couldn't take pics, unfortunately.
(Original ASCII-art graphic deleted.)
Ofcourse the slant angle wasn't as steep as it looks in the graphic but still it was very prominent and decidedly ugly. The engineer accompanying us said that all 275XX WAG7s with waist headlamps have this profile, Will try and photograph one these soon.
The shed was neatly laid out with distinct sections for tarction motor repair, spring repair, bogie maintenance etc. We were told that the upcoming KZJ elec shed though was laid out very haphazardly due to space constarints and it would be a nightmare transporting various parts from one side to the other. The inspection area had a bunch of WAG5 (H) and a WAP4 waiting, while a BRC WAP4E (#22209) which had come with the BKN-SC Express. We were also told that BRC WAP4s were also coming with the SC Raj once in a while as the missing WAP5s were creating a hole in loco links from Delhi. Also, there is no plan for giving any WAP5/7 for the southern sheds.
Added by PVS
With that, concluded our visit to the shed which was an education in itself. On our wau out, we saw that the ingenious shed staff had utliised disused springs for making flower pot stands lining up the driveway:o) Big thanks to PVS for arranging the visit
Just putting in a couple of points:
A couple of WAG7s from LGD(27343 and others) have been earmarked for passenger duties. We were under the impression that, to haul passenger traffic, the G7s had a change in the gear -ratio. Well actually, nothing like that happens; G7s haul passenger trains with the same gear -ratio; some extra instruments on the drivers's console were added. 22237 was undergoing repars. And the SrDEE was very pleased to note that Lakshman has been keeping an eagle - eye on the development of the shed ever since its inception! One of his AEE's took us around the shop floor. It looked like a miniature CLW! The approach road to the shed is rather narrow!