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Functioning of Air Brake System and Its Components in a Diesel- Electric Locomotive: A Theoretical Study

Tushar Rajan Bora, Abhinav Bora


The locomotives in India currently consist mostly of electric and diesel locomotives. A diesel locomotive is a type of railway locomotive which is powered by a diesel engine whereas in electric locomotive the prime mover is electricity which is obtained from overhead lines or onboard energy storage such as a battery or fuel cell. A Brake is an essential feature of any vehicle. The vacuum brake was used for many years before the air brake was introduced in the Indian railways. In this paper, an attempt has been made to understand and investigate how braking system in a diesel-electric locomotive work. A brief comparison is made between vacuum and air brake system. The functioning of different components in an air brake system is also discussed. Furthermore, after studying the existing system, failure analysis was conducted for the possible causes of the failure and remedial actions in the form of policies are suggested for the minimization of the failure.

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