In order to achieve mobility of goods trains over the division, a major Electric Loco Shed was established in the year 1982 at Visakhapatnam in Waltair Division. These locos were primarily meant for traffic requirements on the Kottaalasa-Kirandul line and then for main line, for both goods and coaching services. Electric Loco Shed commenced with 30, locos now holds 314 locos to meet ever increasing needs of the Division.
For tapping the natural resource of the richest iron ore reserve of Bailadilla, train operations on K.K.Line, known for its engineering marvel in very typical terrain, began in 1966- 67. With the Electrification of this single line broad gauge section in 1980s, construction of Electric Loco Shed, Visakhapatnam was simultaneously taken up. The shed finally commissioned in December 1982.
In early period , a fleet of 18 locomotives of 6000 HP having a number of special improved features with state-of-the-art technology were imported from Sweden (6 locomotives/ABB make) and from Japan(12 locomotives/Hitachi make) to add to the fleet of indigenous make WAG-5 locomotives.
With Electrification of mainline Visakhapatnam-Bhubaneswar-Kharagpur, shed has started homing coaching locomotives since 2005 by receiving WAM4 locos from other sheds. Later 21 new ‘WAP4’ locos were received from Chittaranjan Locomotive Works in 2014 to cater to the mail express coaching services.
Further, Electric Loco Shed started homing of 3-phase locos from 2014 with ‘WAG9H’ locos and from 2017 with’ WAP7’ locos for high potential train operations. To avoid banking power that occurs in steep gradients, on KK line, the first ‘WAG9H consist’ on Indian Railway was introduced by the Shed in 2019.
With increase in loco holding, the need for “in house wheel repair and re-discing of Wheels” arose. Subsequently, “Wheel shop” was commissioned in the Shed in the year 2013-14. Electric Loco Shed, Visakhapatnam is the only ELS on Indian Railways, which is maintaining both “Electric Locos maintenance and wheel shop activities”.
Electric Loco Shed is gearing up for meeting infrastructure requirement for maintenance of future generation locomotives. In 2018-19 Rs 15.91 Crores sanctioned for the Electric Loco Shed augmentation works to accommodate 225 locos. The work is in progress.
Besides regular maintenance and system improvement measures, the team of ELS/VSKP has done several excellent innovations to improve the maintenance, save the time, increasing performance and saving maintenance cost. ELS have been acknowledged for its innovative steps adopted, with Prime Minister’s Shram Seva award for development of electronic control of starting circuit of phase converter in 2003, that enabled to replace imported phase converter by the indigenous one resulting into the saving of foreign exchange to the tune of Rs. 2.43 Crores.
The team of ELS/Visakhapatnam is consistently putting their untiring efforts for improving maintenance practices with innovative thoughts over and above the stipulated maintenance instructions within its available resources.
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