Monday, December 5, 2011



Aqil Khan 
Pakistan railway executives have become technologically so advance that they  took the decision to re-use  the dirty lube oil/ filters to the extent  and bypass the manufacturers standard norms or SOPs for interval/ periodic changing of lube oil, oil filters and air filters ,resulted in destruction of diesel electric locomotives and caused heavy loses to Pakistan Railway. The delinquency has been probed in by the inquiry committee and which has also been highlighted in the media reports, few are as under:

 Every engine needs oil between its moving parts not only to reduce friction but also to carry away heat. Oil is the primary means by which the connecting rods and main bearings are cooled, as well as the pistons. So any reduction in oil flow may cause these parts to run hot, gall and seize.

 While the engine runs, the crankshaft is spinning and each connecting rod throwing oil onto the respective cylinders to lube the moving pistons and rings and help seal combustion.
Coating metal parts with oil also keeps them from being exposed to oxygen, inhibiting oxidation at elevated operating temperatures preventing rust or corrosion.

 Rubbing of metal engine parts inevitably produces some microscopic metallic particles from the wearing of the surfaces. Such particles circulate in the oil and grind against moving parts, causing wear. This increases fuel consumption, decreases power output, leads to lower efficiency and degradation of the engine. An average life of diesel locomotive engine is 25years if it is operated as per SOP and after that these engines are rebuild for another 20years.

 In engines, there is inevitably some exposure of the oil to products of internal combustion, and microscopic coke particles from black smoke accumulate in the circulating oil during operation. Because particles accumulate in the oil, it is typically circulated through an oil filter to remove harmful particle

If the engine oil is not changed according to the recommended intervals, the oil starts to turn to solid material instead of liquid and the Engine starts slugging up. Here is an example of slugged car engine.

The oil filter removes many of the particles and sludge, but eventually the oil filter can become clogged, if used for extremely long periods. The motor oil and especially the additives also undergo thermal and mechanical degradation. For these reasons the oil and the oil filter need to be periodically replaced as per recommendations of manufacturer
 In diesel engines the top rings can expose the oil to temperatures over 600 °F (315 °C).  High performance engines like used in locomotives place increased bearing load on the oiling system especially while on high rpm and if the oiling is not up to the task, it causes very premature engine failure.

Damages have been done and now two steps action is to be taken immediately:

1) Suo Moto action from supreme court is requested against the culprits responsible for these heavy loses to the national asset.

2) An inquiry commission has already been made which may be extended to include further honest retired railway officers, empowered to assess the damages and actions to recover from this national crisis economically.

  • Kamran Baloch
    Pakistan Railways provides a cheapest and safe mode of transportation in the farthest corners of the country and forms the life line of the country. It is needed for large scale movement of people and freight. It not only contributes to its... economic growth but also promotes national integration.

    As stated by the minister of Pakistan railways in the press conference Islamabad:

    Is there any comparison of the transportation needs of oil producing Saudi Arab or tribal Afghanistan with thickly populated/developing Pakistan?

    The minister of railways has totally failed to control the corruption, going on under his chair.

    He always talks to buy new locomotives to get his share in commission and never talks by himself about repair of exiting out of order locomotives and action against the culprits, responsible for the above heavy losses. Can we expect any good from him.