Planning of Locomotives:
The power plan indicates the daily average number of locos required and planned for freight services section-wise for each division. This bare requirement of Locos for Traffic use is calculated on the basis of the traffic turn round and an average number of trains run on each section. This represents the average number of locos needed on the Division.
Loco Outage and Loco Utilization:
Loco Outage means the average number of locos available for traffic use in a day (24 hours). Since the Diesel and Electric Locos have long extended runs and may cover many divisions in a day, the position may be maintained graphically for the entire duration (0 to 24 hours) the loco is online on the Division.
Different color graphic representation on Bar Chart can represent the time spent by each Loco to serve as a good Management Information System.
- Time is taken by running train
- Time is taken for Crew Changing
- Time for Fuelling (Diesel Locos)
- Time is taken for Loco inspection
- Time for repairs online
- Time for Light Engine running
- Time is taken for Shunting (h) time spent at terminal/ destination
- Enroute detention.
Thus, the total hours for which the various Locos were available for Traffic use divided by 24
(Number of hours in a day) would give the Loco outage.Loco outage = Engine Hours for traffic use /24
Loco outage can be prepared service-wise/shed-wise/railway-wise, traction wise etc. The actual Loco outage should generally be around the target fixed for each Division. However, it should be appreciated that while the target is based on average, the actual requirement of Locos may fluctuate due to bunching of trains, increase in traffic or due to bottlenecks on account of operational reasons, equipment failure or after effect of interruption to traffic.
Control of Operating Department in Loco running:
Electric and Diesel Locos are maintained by the respective Loco Sheds and Locos once turned out of shed are available for utilization for a number of days till prescribed maintenance/inspection schedule is due in the shed or the locos require out of course repairs.
Thus, while the operating staff has the operational control over utilization of Locos as well as the flexibility of using the Locos as per operational requirement, they have to keep in view the maintenance/inspection schedules of the Locos and send the Locos to the Shed well in time.
Overdue running of locos should be avoided by suitably planning the train running. Similarly, all-out efforts should be made to send the dead locos or locos requiring attention in the home shed. The hauling capacity of the Locos and special restrictions as jointly agreed to by the officers of operations and loco departments should also be adhered to.
While operating department has to optimize the work done by each Loco i.e. moving maximum traffic with the minimum number of Locos by adoption of operational strategies and improving the efficiency, the Shed and the Loco organization should provide optimum number of Locos in good fettle, keeping in view the traffic needs as shortage of Locos can lead to transport bottlenecks and inability to move the existing and potential traffic.
Along with the availability, reliability, safety, and predictability have to be aimed. Loco failures, Loco troubles en-route and ineffective locos should be kept to the bare minimum. Balancing of Locos is also required to be done i.e. Locos without loads may be sent to other divisions where they are required.
Reduction in terminal detentions and increasing average speed of goods trains would substantially improve engine utilization
Availability of Engine Crew and Guard:
- Running staff for Goods operations are generally booked on the principle of first in and first out,
- Balancing of Crews/Guards by sending staff spare is also required to be done in case the running of trains is not even in both directions on a section.