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An electric locomotive is a locomotive powered by electricity from an external source.

Sources include overhead lines, third rail, or an on-board electricity storage device such as
a battery, fly wheel system, or fuel cell.

One advantage of electrification is the lack of pollution from the locomotives

themselves. Electrification also results in higher performance, lower maintenance costs,
and lower energy costs for electric locomotives.

Power plants, even if they burn fossil fuels, are far cleaner than mobile sources such
as locomotive engines. Also the power for electric locomotives can come from clean and/or
renewable sources, including geothermal power, hydroelectric power, nuclear power, solar
power, and wind turbines. Electric locomotives are also quiet compared to diesel
locomotives since there is no engine and exhaust noise and less mechanical noise. The lack
of reciprocating parts means that electric locomotives are easier on the track, reducing
track maintenance.

Power plant capacity is far greater than what any individual locomotive uses, so
electric locomotives can have a higher power output than diesel locomotives and they can
produce even higher short-term surge power for fast acceleration. Electric locomotives are
ideal for commuter rail service with frequent stops. They are used on high-speed lines,
such as ICE in Germany, Acelain the US, Shinkansenin Japan and TGV in France. Electric
locomotives are also used on freight routes that have a consistently high traffic volume, or
in areas with advanced rail networks.

Electric locomotives benefit from the high efficiency of electric motors, often above
90%. Additional efficiency can be gained from regenerative braking, which allows kinetic
energy to be recovered during braking to put some power back on the line. Newer electric
locomotives use AC motor-inverter drive systems that provide for regenerative braking.


A driving force that causes propulsion of a vehicle is referred to as a traction system. The
meaning of a traction system is very simple i.e. pulling something. In other words it is a
system or arrangement to pull something or to move something from one place to another
place. It is essentially a system on wheels to move things. A train is very common example
of traction system. It is called locomotive.

Ideal Traction System

There is nothing called ideal but when we say ideal it means something that the best thing
may have in a system. An ideal traction system must have the following properties:

High Starting Torque : An ideal traction system must have high starting torque. It means
it should develop high starting force as a train have high load during starting period.

Ease of Operating : The equipment used in the system must have ability to run without
any change on different routes.

Overloading capabilities : The equipments must have abilities to run with overload for a
short duration as traction load is not very certain.

Minimum Track Distortion : The traction system should not effect the track where it is
running. It should have as small as possible distortion on the track.

Low Cost : The cost of the device should be minimum.

Efficient Braking : The braking arrangement should be eeficient for proper control and
easy operation.


A traction system may be classified into two categories:

 Electric Traction System

 Non Electric Traction System

Non-Electric Traction System

The traction system that doesn’t use electricity at any stage of a vehicle movement is
referred to as a non-electric traction system. Such a traction system is used in steam
locomotives, IC engines.

Electric Traction System

The traction system that uses electricity in all stages or some stages of a vehicle
movement is referred to as an electric traction system.


In an electric traction system the driving force to pull a train is generated by the
traction motors. The electric traction system can be broadly divided into two groups: one
is self-powered and the other one is third-rail system.

The self-powered systems include diesel electric drives and battery electric
drives that can generate their own power to pull the train; whereas, the third-rail or
overhead-wire systems use the power from an external distribution network or grids, and
the examples include tramways, trolley buses and locomotives driven from overhead
electric lines.

Advantage of Electric Traction System

Electrical transmission, which is usually applied to high power units, has following

 It has smooth starting without shocks.

 Full driving torque is available from standstill.
 Engine can be run at its most suitable speed range. This given higher efficiency
 Characteristics of traction motor and generator are so chosen that the speed of the
traction unit automatically adjusts according to the load and gradient so as to
maintain constant output and not to overload the diesel engine.
 Electrical transmission docs not only work as torque converter but also works as
reversion gear.


The track electrification refers to the type of source supply system that is used while
powering the electric locomotive systems. It can be AC or DC or a composite supply.

Selecting the type of electrification depends on several factors like availability of

supply, type of an application area, or on the services like urban, suburban and main line
services, etc.

The three main types of electric traction systems that exist are as follows:

 Direct Current (DC) electrification system

 Alternating Current (AC) electrification system
 Composite system.

Direct Current (DC) Electrification System

The choice of selecting DC electrification system encompasses many advantages, such as

space and weight considerations, rapid acceleration and braking of DC electric motors,
less cost compared to AC systems, less energy consumption and so on.

In this type of system, three-phase power received from the power grids is de-
escalated to low voltage and converted into DC by the rectifiers and power-electronic

This type of DC supply is supplied to the vehicle through two different ways: the
first way is through the 3rd rail system (side running and under running electrified track
and providing return path through running rails), and the second way is through the
overhead line DC system. This DC is fed to the traction motor like the DC series or
compound motors to drive the locomotive, as shown in the above figure.

The supply systems of DC electrification include 300-500V supply for the special
systems like battery systems (600-1200V) for urban railways like tramways and light
metros, and the 1500-3000V for suburban and mainline services like light metros and
heavy metro trains. The 3rd (conductor rail) and 4th rail systems operate at low voltages
(600-1200V) and high currents, whereas the overhead rail systems use high voltages
(1500-3000V) and low currents.


Due to high starting torque and moderate speed control, the DC series motors are
extensively employed in the DC traction systems. They provide high torque at low speeds
and low torque at high speeds.

An electric motor speed controller is used by varying the voltage applied to it. The
Special drive systems that are used to control these electric motors include tap changer,
thyristor control, chopper control and micro processor control drives.
The disadvantages of this system include difficulty in interruption of currents at
high voltages when fault condition is raised, and the need for locating DC substations
between short distances.

Alternating Current (AC) Electrification System

An AC traction system has become very popular nowadays, and it is more often used in
most of the traction systems due to several advantages, such as quick availability and
generation of AC that can be easily stepped up or down, easy controlling of AC motors,
less number of substations requirement, and the presence of light overhead catenaries that
transfer low currents at high voltages, and so on.

The supply systems of AC electrification include single, three phase, and

composite systems. The Single phase systems consist of 11 to 15 KV supply at 16.7Hz,
and 25Hz to facilitate variable speed to AC commutation motors. It uses step down
transformer and frequency converters to convert from the high voltages and fixed
industrial frequency.

The Single phase 25KV at 50Hz is the most commonly used configuration for AC
electrification. It is used for heavy haul systems and main line services since it doesn’t
require frequency conversion. This is one of the widely used types of composite systems
where in the supply is converted to DC to drive DC traction motors.


Three phase system uses three phase induction motor to drive the locomotive, and
it is rated at 3.3.KV, 16.7Hz. The high-voltage distribution system at 50 Hz supply is
converted to this electric motor rating by transformers and frequency converters. This
system employs two overhead lines, and the track rail forms another phase, but this raises
many problems at crossings and junctions.

The above figure shows AC electric locomotive operation wherein the catenary
system receives single-phase power from the overhead system. The supply is stepped up
by the transformer, and then converted to DC by a rectifier. A smoothening reactor or a
DC link, filters and smoothens DC to reduce the ripples, and then the DC is converted to
AC by an inverter that varies frequency to get variable speed of the traction motor.

Composite System

This system incorporates the advantages of both DC and AC systems. These systems are
of mainly two types: a single phase to three phases or Kando system, and the other single
phase to DC system.


In a Kando system, a single overhead line carries the single-phase supply of

16KV, 50Hz. This high voltage is stepped down and converted to three-phase supply of
same frequency in the locomotive itself through the transformer and converters.

This three-phase supply is further supplied to the three-phase induction motor that
drives the locomotive. Since the two-overhead line system of the three-phase system is
replaced by a single overhead line by this system, it is economical.

As we have already discussed in the AC electrification that a single-phase to DC

system is highly popular, it is the most economical way of single overhead line and has
wide variety of DC series motor characteristics. In this particular system, a single-phase
25KV, 50Hz supply of overhead line system is stepped down by transformer inside the
locomotive, and then converted to DC by rectifiers. The DC is fed to the DC-drive system
to drive the series motor and to control its speed and braking systems.

This is all about the electric locomotive systems. And, we hope that we have
given you ample and relevant information about the various supply systems used in the
traction systems.

We encourage you to write your suggestions, comments, and feedback about this
article orproject ideas in the comment section given below, and also expect your
suggestions to reduce the short circuits accidents in the traction systems.


A traction substation or traction current converter plant is an electrical substation that

converts electric power from the form provided by the electrical power
industry for public utility service to an appropriate voltage,current type and frequency to
supply railways, trams or trolleybuses with traction current.

There are two types of traction sub station :

 Direct Current Sub Station – for tramways and trolly Buses.
 Alternating Sub Station – for single phase railways.


The 132/25 kv Traction Sub Station S.E.RLY Raigarh is Situated in Bangla Para
Railway Colony Raigarh (C.G.), Which is approx 1-1.5km. from Raigarh railway
They controles and maintens 25kv traction lines between Jharsuguda and
Champa. There 132kv two phase 50Hz AC power supply line comes from Raigarh Grid.


The transmission line first parallel connected with lightning arrester to diverge
surge, followed by PT connected parallel. PT measures voltage and steeps down in A.C.
for control panel.
A current transformer is connected in series with line which measure current and
step down current for control panel. Switchgear equipment is provided, which is the
combination of a circuit breaker having an isolator at each end. A single phase 132/25 kv
step down transformers is connected to feeder and bus bar. The main bus has 25kv supply,
which is distributed between Jharsuguda and Champa.


A another 25kv/240v step down transformer also called STATION

TRANSFORMER is connected to control panel to provide supply to the equipments of the
substation. Capacitor bank is connected to main bus which is provided to improve power
factor & voltage profile. There is many single and double pole isolaters are connected.
There two dry type series reators are also connected for filteression of current. There also
110volt battery bank as a backup supply for control panel.


Various equipments are used at substations. These are as follows :-

 Lightning Arrester
 Transformers
 Isolators
 Circuit Breakers
 Bus Bar
 Capacitor Bank
 Relay
 Battery Bank & Charger
 Dry Type Air Core Reactor
 Control Panel


Lightning arresters are protective devices for limiting surge voltages due to lightning
strikes or equipment faults or other events, to prevent damage to equipment and disruption
of service. Also called surge arresters.

Lightning arresters are installed on many different pieces of equipment such as

power poles and towers, power transformers, circuit breakers, bus structures, and steel
superstructures in substations.

The lightning arrestor protects the structure from damage by intercepting flashes of
lightning and transmitting their current to the ground. Since lightning strikes tend to strike
the highest object in the vicinity, the rod is placed at the apex of a tall structure. It
is connected to the ground by low-resistance cables. In the case of a building, the soil is
used as the ground, and on a ship, water is used.A lightning rod provides a cone of
protection, which has a ground radius approximately, equal to its height above the ground.


Transformer is a static machine, which transforms the potential of alternating current at
same frequency. It means the transformer transforms the low voltage into high voltage &
high voltage to low voltage at same frequency. It works on the principle of static induction

When the energy is transformed into a higher voltage, the transformer is called step
up transformer but in case of other is known as step down transformer.


Power Transformer - It is used for the transmission purpose at heavy load, high voltage
greater than 33 KV & 100% efficiency. It also having a big in size as compare to
distribution transformer, it used in generating station and Transmission substation at high
insulation level.

They can be of two types:

 Single Phase Transformers
 Multi Phase Transformers


Instument Transformer - These transformers are used for the measurement purposes at
that points where standard voltmeters and ammeters cannot be used.

They are of two types:-

 Current Transformer
 Potential Transformer

Current Transformer - A current transformer is used for measurement of alternating

electric currents. When current in a circuit is too high to apply directly to measuring
instruments, a current transformer produces a reduced current accurately proportional to
the current in the circuit, which can be conveniently connected to measuring and recording
instruments. A current transformer isolates the measuring instruments from what may be
very high voltage in the monitored circuit.

Potential Transformer - Potential transformers are a parallel connected type of instrument

transformer, used for metering and protection in high-voltage circuits or phasor phase shift
isolation. They are designed to present negligible load to the supply being measured and to
have an accurate voltage ratio to enable accurate metering. A potential transformer may
have several secondary windings on the same core as a primary winding, for use in
different metering or protection circuits.

There are three primary types of potential transformers –

 Electromagnetic Potential Transformer

 Capacitor Potential Transformer
 Optical Potential Transformer


In electrical engineering, a disconnector, disconnect switch or isolator switch is used to
ensure that an electrical circuit is completely de-energized for service or maintenance.
Such switches are often found in electrical distribution and industrial applications, where
machinery must have its source of driving power removed for adjustment or repair. High-
voltage isolation switches are used in electrical substations to allow isolation of apparatus
such as circuit breakers, transformers, and transmission lines, for maintenance. The
disconnector is usually not intended for normal control of the circuit, but only for safety
isolation. Disconnector can be operated either manually or automatically.



A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect
an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to
detect a fault condition and interrupt current flow. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and
then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to
resume normal operation. Circuit breakers are made in varying sizes, from small devices
that protect an individual household appliance up to large switchgear designed to
protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city.

There are different types of circuit breakers which are:-

 Low Voltage Circuit Breaker

 Magnetic Circuit Breaker
 Thermal Magnetic Circuit Breaker
 Common Trip Circuit Breaker
 Air Circuit Breaker
 Vaccum Circuit Breaker
 Oil Circuit Breaker
 Sulfur Hexafluoride Circuit Breaker
Vaccum Circuit Breaker - Vacuum circuit breakers are circuit breakers which are used to
protect medium and high voltage circuits from dangerous electrical situations. Like other
types of circuit breakers, vacuum circuit breakers literally break the circuit so that energy
cannot continue flowing through it, thereby preventing fires, power surges, and other
problems which may emerge. These devices have been utilized since the 1920s, and
several companies have introduced refinements to make them even safer and more


Sulfur Hexafluoride Circuit Breaker - A sulfur hexafluoride circuit breaker uses contacts
surrounded by sulfur hexafluoride gas to quench the arc. They are most often used for
transmission-level voltages and may be incorporated into compact gas-insulated


3.1.5 BUS BAR
When numbers of feeders operating at the same voltage have to be directly connected
electrically, bus bar is used as the common electrical component. Bus bars are made up of
copper rods operate at constant voltage.

In large stations it is important that break downs and maintenance should interfere as
little as possible with continuity of supply to achieve this, duplicate bus bar system is used.
Such a system consists of two bus bars, a main bus bar and a spare bus bar with the help of
bus coupler, which consist of the circuit breaker and isolator.

Fig.3.8 BUS BAR


The load on the power system is varying being high during morning and evening which
increases the magnetization current. This result in the decreased power factor. The low
power factor is mainly due to the fact most of the power loads are inductive and therefore
take lagging currents. The low power factor is highly undesirable as it causes increases in
current, resulting in additional losses. So in order to ensure most favorable conditions for a
supply system from engineering and economic stand point it is important to have power
factor as close to unity as possible. In order to improve the power factor come device
taking leading power should be connected in parallel with the load. One of such device can
be capacitor bank. The capacitors draw a leading current and partly or completely
neutralize the lagging reactive component of load current.

Main functions of Capacitor Bank are:-

 Supply Reactive Power

 Improve Terminal Voltage
 Improve Power Factor

3.1.7 RELAY
In a power system it is inevitable that immediately or later some failure does occur
somewhere in the system. When a failure occurs on any part of the system, it must be
quickly detected and disconnected from the system. Rapid disconnection of faulted
apparatus limits the amount of damage to it and prevents the effects of fault from spreading
into the system. For high voltage circuits relays are employed to serve the desired function
of automatic protective gear. The relays detect the fault and supply the information to the
circuit breaker.

The electrical quantities which may change under fault condition are voltage,
frequency, current, phase angle. When a short circuit occurs at any point on the
transmission line the current flowing in the line increases to the enormous value. This
result in a heavy current flow through the relay coil, causing the relay to operate by closing
its contacts. This in turn closes the trip circuit of the breaker making the circuit breaker
open and isolating the faulty section from the rest of the system. In this way, the relay
ensures the safety of the circuit equipment from the damage and normal working of the
healthy portion of the system.

Differants types of relays :-

 Differential Relay
 Over Current Relay
 Earth Fault Relay
 Tripping Relay
 Auxiliary Relay


A differential relay is one that operates when vector difference of the two or more
electrical quantities exceeds a predetermined value. If this differential quantity is equal or
greater than the pickup value, the relay will operate and open the circuit breaker to isolate
the faulty section.



This type of relay works when current in the circuit exceeds the predetermined value. The
actuating source is the current in the circuit supplied to the relay from a current
transformer. These relay are used on A.C. circuit only and can operate for fault flow in the
either direction. This relay operates when phase to phase fault occurs.



This type of relay sense the fault between the lines and the earth. It checks the vector sum
of all the line currents. If it is not equal to zero, it trips.



This type of relay is in the conjunction with main relay. When main relay sense any fault in
the system, it immediately operates the trip relay to disconnect the faulty section from the



A battery bank is combination of batteries used for backup or uninterruptible power
systems. Battery banks in sub station to provide standby power to computing equipment in
datacenters. Batteries provide direct current (DC) electricity, which may be used directly
by some types of equipment, or which may be converted to alternating current (AC)
by uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment. The batteries may provide power for
minutes, hours or days depending on the electrical system design, although most
commonly the batteries power the UPS during brief electric utility outages lasting only

A battery charger or recharger is a device used to put energy into a secondary cell
or rechargeable battery by forcing an electric current through it.



Dry type air core reactors have traditionally been used for current limiting applications due
to their inherent linearity of inductance vs. current. For this application, impregnated
construction usually become the design of choice because its improves mechanical
characteristics enabled the reactors to withstand higher fault currents.
They are employed over the full range of distribution and transmission voltages, including
EHV (high voltage series reactors) and (filter reactors, smoothing reactors) HVDC. This
method of construction is extremely robust. It can limit high harmonic of A.C power
system effectively, limit surge current when closing and operating over voltage, it is
helpful for safe operation of capacitor and quality improvement of electric net.



Control panel is a cabinet which contains electrical components to control the motors and
equipments. It is a flat, often vertical, area where control or monitoring instruments are
displayed. They are found in factories to monitor and control machines or production lines
and in places such as nuclear power plants, ships, aircraft and mainframe computers. Older
control panels are most often equipped with push buttons and analog instruments, whereas
nowadays in many cases touchscreens are used for monitoring and control purposes.



Now from this report one can conclude that electricity plays an important role in our life.
At the end of the visit, I came to know about the various parts of traction substations and
how they are operated. Also I learnt about how traction system is done in various areas of

As evident from the report, a substation plays a very important role in the traction
system. That’s why various protective measures are taken to protect the substations from
various faults and its smooth functioning.





Thank You!