Locomotive or running sheds are meant for the maintenance and servicing of locomotives. The location and design of a locomotive shed depends on the volume
and pattern of traffic, the layout of the terminal station and the marshalling yard, and other allied factors. Locomotive sheds are normally spaced at about 250 to 300 km apart in order to avoid the idle movement of locomotives and crew. Locomotive sheds are basically of two types.
Homing sheds These are provided to house locomotives and attend to their maintenance and servicing. Equal stress is laid on the servicing and maintenance of locomotives in these sheds. These sheds are normally designed to house about 80 to 100 locomotives.
Turn round sheds These are provided for servicing locomotives and bringing them back to the homing sheds. They may also be provided for attending to certain minor repairs. These sheds are normally designed to hold about 30 to 50 locomotives.
27.7.1 Layout of Locomotive Sheds
The layout of locomotive sheds is normally of three different types, namely, round house type, rectangular type, and mixed type.
Round house locomotive shed
The round house shed (Fig. 27.2) consists of a number of locomotive repair and stabling lines radiating from a turntable in the centre. The shed is normally in the shape of a circle or a polygon. The incoming engine is taken to the turntable and transferred to a particular line for repair. The provision of a turntable eliminates the need for shunting.
Fig. 27.2 Round house locomotive shed
The locomotive enters and leaves from the same end and, therefore, in the event of the turntable becoming inoperative, the movement of all the locomotives is discontinued until the turntable is repaired. This type of shed layout is not recommended for Indian Railways.
Rectangular-type locomotives shed
These sheds (Fig 27.3) are rectangular in shape and are most commonly used on Indian Railways. A rectangular-type shed can be a blind shed, a through shed, or a mixed-type shed. In the blind type of shed, all the repair bays terminate at dead ends and locomotives can enter and exit from one end only, thus leading to conflicts
in the movement of the locomotives. However, these types of sheds are cheap because they save on the amount of space needed for tracks and turnouts at the rear end. Such rectangular sheds can be planned for small locomotive holdings.
In a through rectangular shed, the locomotives move from one end to the other in the correct sequence of the operations that are to be performed for servicing. Such a shed offers considerable scope for future expansion and tenders the maximum flexibility in shed operations.
A mixed-type shed has the characteristics of both a blind and a through type. These sheds are suitable for locations that require expansion in the near future but lack the requisite.
27.7.2 Essentials of a Well Laid Out Locomotive Shed
A locomotives shed should satisfy the following conditions.
(a) As far as possible, the design of the shed should allow the engines to move only in one direction. The multidirectional movement of the engine, apart from creating unsafe conditions, would invariably slow the engine down and cause them to be unduly detained.
(b) The design should be such that the time taken by the engine in passing through the shed is reduced to the minimum.
(c) The layout should be such that it is possible to skip one or more stages of servicing, as all engines do not require the entire cycle of servicing.
(d) There should be adequate stabling accommodation, both covered and open, for all engines.
(e) There should be adequate facilities for the servicing and repairs of engines.
(f) There should be a separate shed for carrying out heavy repairs involving the lifting of engines or dropping of wheels.
(g) It should be provided with an adequate water supply for the servicing of locomotives as well as for domestic use.
(h) There should be provision for stores and a tool room for general maintenance and repair work. Adequate office accommodation should also be made available for the supervisors and the staff.
(i) The sequence of operations normally followed in locomotive sheds is as follows: inspection ® cooling ® turning ® fire cleaning ® placement ® repairs ® outgoing inspection ® departure to traffic yard.