Starting a WDP-2

by Poochi Venkat

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.

The WDP-2 diesel locomotive has an alternator connected to the prime mover. There is also an auxiliary generator and an exciter, which are the components that initially crank the prime mover to get it moving. There are batteries connected to these two smaller units, which then act as motors and rotate the crankshaft of the prime mover through the gearing.

Below is described the procedure for starting a WDP-2 locomotive, after the customary external and internal visual inspection, checking of fuel and other fluids, etc., is done.

  • Switch on the cab lights; visually inspect controls.
  • Switch on all circuit breakers.
  • Set 'Engine Run' handle to IDLE position.
  • Set Main Field switch to the off position.
  • Switch on the fuel pump.
  • Wait for the fuel oil pressure gauge to read approximately 4.5kg/cm2.
  • Depress the red 'START' button.
  • The prime mover is now cranked by the auxiliary generator and exciter working as motors. The audible indications are a low hum at first followed by a pulsing boof-boof-boof sound as the prime mover is cranked. It may take around 15 seconds before the engine catches and starts its -- much louder -- growl and deep throbbing noise. During the cranking stage the cabin and panel lights may dim considerably.
  • At this point as the prime mover comes alive various gauges and dials on the control panel start registering their indications.
  • At this point if the loco is to move, the procedure would be to move the Engine Run handle out of the IDLE position to the RUN position, and to move to higher notches while releasing the loco and train brakes.
  • To shut down the locomotive after it is at a halt, the notch lever is to be kept at notch 0, and the green 'STOP' button is to be depressed. The button should be depressed until the prime mover stops completely (necessary for locos with Woodward governors).