The Indian Railways has come up with an alternative to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel by equipping its Linke Hofmann Busch(LHB) coaches with ‘Head on Generation’ (HOG) system. Using this system, electricity supply for fans, lights, and other on-board equipment on coaches is powered by an electric locomotive instead of an electric generator.
The HOG system also gives the liberty of making compartments for differentially abled people and additional space for parcels. The North Central Railway zone is already using HOG technology in 16 out of total 17 primary LHB rakes and saving 75,000 liters diesel annually through the reduced running of diesel generator sets.
However, the HOG system has its own constraints.
To ensure power supply arrangement in a HOG rake from the locomotive, it is important that both the HOG system of rake and locomotive are functioning at its best without any defect. But locomotive and coaching rakes are maintained at different locations. Hence combined testing of the HOG system is possible only when the locomotive is attached to rake.
An innovative solution to this problem has been suggested by the Indian Railways’ Electric locomotive shed in Kanpur. They have come up with the provision of a ‘test switch’. This essentially bypasses the need for the rake to be attached to the locomotive. Through this innovative arrangement, now locomotive HOG system can be tested independently making sure any possible defect is rectified in time.