Types of Traction

There are three types of traction on Indian Railways.

(a) Steam traction by steam locomotives

(b) Diesel traction by diesel locomotives

(c) Electric traction by electric locomotives

Diesel and electric locomotives are comparatively more efficient than steam locomotives. They have greater hauling capacity, permit better acceleration and deceleration, and are capable of carrying heavy loads at higher speeds. In view of these factors, diesel and electric locomotives are fast replacing steam locomotives, as can be seen from Table 24.1.

Table 24.1 Different types of locomotives on Indian Railways

Year Number of locomotives Average tractive effort

per locomotive (kg)

Steam

Diesel

Electric

Total

BG

MG

1950-51

8120

17

72

8209

12,801

7497

1960-61

10,312

181

131

10,624

14,733

8201

1970-71

9837

1169

602

11,158

17,303

9607

(contd )

Year

Steam

Number of Diesel

locomotives

Electric

Total

Average tr per locom

BG

active effort lotive (kg)

MG

1980-81

7469

2403

1036

10,908

19,848

10,429

1990-91

2915

3759

1743

8417

21,088

12,438

1994-95

347

4259

2302

6908

21,960

12,627

2003-04

45

4769

3003

7817

29,978

18,603

It may be noted here that though the total holdings of locomotives on Indian Railways have been decreasing since the last 25 years, the average tractive effort has increased progressively due to the provision of more efficient diesel as well as electric traction in place of steam traction.

Locomotives and Other Rolling Stock | RAILWAY ENGINEERING | Nomenclature of Steam Locomotives