ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS
ELCTRICAL TRACTION IN RAILWAYS
• WHAT IS ELECTRIC TRACTION?
• WORKING OF ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE
• TYPES OF ELECTRIC TRACTION SYSTEMS
• TRACK CIRCUIT
• RECENT ADVANCEMENT IN INDIAN RAILWAYS
• ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
What is electric traction?
Electric traction is meant for locomotion in which the driving (tractive) force is
obtained from electric motors (called as traction motors).
It involves utilization of electric power for traction systems i.e., for railways,
trams, trolleys etc.
For traction purposes mostly 3-Phase IM and DC series motors are used.
Electric traction was introduced on Indian Railways in year 1925 on 1.5 KV DC
and the first electric train ran between Bombay's Victoria Terminus and Kurla, a
distance of 9.5 miles.
Types of electric traction system
DC traction units use direct current drawn from either a third rail or an overhead line.
The most popular line voltages for overhead wire supply systems –1500V DC and 3000V DC.
600V DC–750V DC volt range used for third rail systems.
AC Traction units draw alternating current from an overhead line. Typical Voltages Used are
15 kV AC, 16⅔ Hz (16.7 Hz)
25 kV AC, 50 Hz
kando system : in this system, 16 kV, 50 Hz single phase overhead supply is converted into 3- ⱷ
supply by means of phase converter equipment carried on stations.
s-ⱷ ac to dc system : in this system, the s-ⱷ, 25 kV overhead supply is stepped down by a
transformer in the locomotive and then converted into dc which is fed to the traction motors.
Track circuit is simple electrical device used to detect the
Presence/Absence of train on the rails.
The basic principle behind the track circuit lies in the
connection of the two rails by the wheels and axle
of locomotive to short out an electrical circuit.
Components of track circuit
Insulated rail joints
Recent advancement in Indian railways
Indian Railways creates history! Converts diesel loco to ‘Make in India’
10,000 HP electric locomotive
According to Indian Railways, two diesel locomotives
have been converted to one “permanently coupled 12-axle,
electric locomotive” of 10,000 HP.
The two older diesel locomotive of 5000 HP, coupled to
yield an 10000 HP electrical locomotive.
In this project traction motors, bogies and chassis of the
older diesel engine is retained. A roof and sidewalls of a dead
electric locomotive were used.
The project was led by the first woman GM of DLW (Diesel Locomotive Works ), Rashmi
Goyel, the project is introducing new age technology in Indian Railways.
ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRICAL TRACTION
• Cleanliness. It is free from smoke and flue gasses
• Maintenance cost. Maintenance and repair cost is less compared to steam traction system.
• High starting torque. This system uses of d.c. & a.c. series motors, which has a very high
• Saving in high grade coal. No coal is required for electric traction.
DISADVANTAGES OF ELECTRICAL TRACTION
• High initial expenditure.
• Failure of supply is a problem
Now a days for signaling purposes, trains are monitored automatically by means of track
circuit. Track circuit play important role in stop accidents, traffic. Also subsequent amount
of saving is obtained in consumption of coal which is depleting at a rapid rate, leading to
energy conservation. Electrical traction is environment friendly system as it is free from
smoke and flue gasses.
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