LAHORE: Failure of a new locomotive resulted in around four-hour stoppage of Lahore-bound Shalimar Express near Daharki on Monday, causing hardships for the passengers.

A source in the Pakistan Railways headquarters, Lahore, said since no other locomotive of 2000 HP capacity was available in Karachi, the authorities dispatched two locomotives of 1500 HP capacity which reached Daharki after three hours and 50 minutes. The 'substitute' locomotives (Nos 4901 and 4914) took six extra hours to bring the train to Lahore.

A mechanical engineer of railways told Dawn that during initial operation, problems did surface.

"Any new locomotive introduced for the first time in broad gauge network of the Pakistan Railways, where heat and dust become very prominent in summer, do get some teething troubles that need adjustments.

There had been much more teething problems whenever new locomotives were introduced on the PR network; the General Motors (USA) and Hanshel (Germany) crankshaft was broken, for GE (USA) cylinder piston were burst and for Hitachi (Japan) locomotives bogies were bent out," recalled the engineer.

A railways spokesman in its headquarters in Lahore said the Chinese locomotive developed a minor electric fault on the fourth day of its induction into the Pakistan Railways fleet.

"The locomotives are under warranty and Chinese engineers will remove the electric fault," said the spokesman.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2014

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