Testing the Brake Power of an Electric Loco

by Zubin Dotivala, March 2004

Disclaimer: The information presented here is neither complete nor accurate. Complete details on the topics here are available only from Indian Railways and other official organizations. The material here is not a substitute for the official documentation or official training procedures, which are provided to duly authorized personnel. Do not use the information here to design, build, operate, repair, or maintain any equipment.

Whenever a driver takes charge of a light locomotive, the locomotive brakes are tested to ensure their effectiveness. The method for testing the locomotive brake power is given below.

1. Ensuring proper position of the cocks

The isolating cocks of the locomotive should be put in their proper positions. (This is part of the general loco checks always performed when starting to use a loco.)

2. Checking brake pressure

After closing the DJ, all the auxiliaries should be started with the help of the BL switches. The locomotive brake should be applied by moving the locomotive brake handle to the application position. It should be ensured that brake cylinder pressure is about 3 to 3.5 kg/cm^2 and brake blocks are applied on the locomotive wheels.

After this, following should be done to ensure the adequacy of brake power.

3. Traction test

Successive notches should be taken in such a way that the traction motor current rises to about 650A. This is generally obtained by taking three to four notches. At this point, the locomotive should not move. This will indicate that brake power is sufficient. If the brake power is found to be inadequate, this should be reported to the TLC/PCOR for further action.