Tell something about Modern Railways?


There are three types of modern locomotive - electric, diesel-electric and diesel. On an electric locomotive, the wheels are moved by electric motors (normally one for each pair of wheels). The electricity usually comes from overhead cables, but sometimes from an electrified third rail. On a diesel-electric locomotive, the wheels are also driven by electric motors, but the electricity comes from a generator driven by a powerful diesel engine. On a diesel locomotive, a diesel engine drives the wheels via a mechanical transmission. Diesel locomotives are normally used only for shunting and on low-speed local trains. The fastest express trains, such as the French Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV), are normally electrically powered, with a locomotive at each end.

The TGV runs at 300 kilometres per hour - half as fast again as most express trains - and holds the world-record speed of 515 kilometres per hour. It runs on a purpose-built track, which has few bends, and uses computerized signaling.

The TGV can climb steeper slopes than other trains, allowing its purpose-built track to go straight over hills instead of around them.

Many high-speed expresses run on similar tracks, including the Japanese shinkansen or “bullet” trains, which began operating in 1965. Where purpose-built straight tracks are not possible, speeds can be increased by using tilting trains. These tilt inwards as they go round curves at high speed in the same way as motorcyclists do on the road. Other special trains include magnetic levitation (maglev) trains, which are both supported above their tracks and propelled by magnets. Maglev trains can reach very high speeds because there is no friction between the train and the track.

Picture Credit : Google

I want to be a loco pilot in the Indian Railways

I have done my HSC in Science and I want to be a loco pilot in the Indian Railways. What are the requirements to become a loco pilot in the Indian Railways? When does the notification come and what is the procedure to join them?

The basic qualification to become an Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP) in the Indian Railways is a three year diploma course in Electrical/Electronics/Mechanical/Automobile Engineering from a recognized Board or Institution like IIT. Eligibility for these courses is tenth grade. Selection is through a written test followed by an interview.

The examination is conduction by the respective Railway Recruitment Board (RRB). There are 21 RRB zones in the Indian Railways. Recently, the Indian Railways released the RRB Assistant Loco Pilot Recruitment Notification 2017 to fill approximately 23,801 vacancies.

Loco pilots assist in driving or piloting the train. The job requires continues attention and a high degree of responsiveness. Initially, candidates are appointed as Assistant Local Pilots with goods trains. After getting some experience, they are appointed to passenger trains, later to express trains, superfast trains and the Rajdhani express trains.


Picture Credit : Google

Which mountain railways of India are known for their engineering and scenic views?

The Mountain Railways of India, collectively designated as a United Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, are still fully functional and operational. Three railways form this heritage site – The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway. These mountain railways are over a hundred years old and known the world over for their engineering and scenic views. The Mountain Railways of India were first declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the first to be declared with the remaining added later.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway

This train route runs between Kalka and Shimla. This narrow-gauge railway was built in 1898 by the British to connect their summer capital of Shimla with the rest of the Indian rail system. H.S. Harington was the chief engineer of the project. At the time of its construction, nearly 107 tunnels and 864 bridges were built throughout its course.

This is a recent addition to the heritage list, after it was added by UNESCO as an extension of the Mountain Railways of India in 2008.

The Nilgiris Mountain Railway

This high-altitude railway connects Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and Mettupalayam. Its construction was first proposed in 1854, but commenced only in 1891. Construction of this 45.88 km long meter-gauge single track railway completed in 1908. It has the steepest track in Asia. The train passes through 16 tunnels, 208 curves and over 350 bridges. It scales from a height of 326m to 2,203m.

It was added to the Mountain Railways of India heritage in 2005 by UNESCO. Prior to its entry, the heritage site was known as Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

This railway was the first railway to be inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999. The other railways were added later. It is a narrow-gauge railway that connects New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. Construction commenced in 1879 and completed in 1881. It runs for a distance of nearly 88km. It travels through different elevations from 100m to 2258m.

Ghum, at 2258m is the highest station on this route and also in India.


Picture Credit : Google