Monsoon Express chugs with Double Low

Weather Update

Those who travel by trains may be aware of Double Headed Engines where two engines are attached together for increased power & Traction. The Rajdhanis, legendary Tamil Nadu Express all were at some point of time hauled by Double Diesel Locomotives before the much more powerful Electric Locos started making inroads into the Indian Railways. As a matter of fact the very famous Vaigai Express started as a double YDM4 hauled train, a very rare thing for a Meter Gauge train. But a less know arrangement that Indian Railways follow for trains that run on the Ghat section is attaching Banker Locos. A single or multiple locos are attached to the rear of trains that climb / descend Ghats. This is done to give extra safety net as a form of keeping the train under control while ascending / descending the Ghats by reducing the pressure on coupling & also provide for additional braking assistance.

The video above gives a wonderful visual of the banker locos along the very famous Castle Rock – Kulem section in the backdrop of the mighty Dudhsagar Falls One must be wondering why such a long note on the banking arrangement. If one looks at the Wind / Satellite image it will be easy to relate on why this explanation about Banker locos. Two low pressure systems on either side of the Monsoon Trough has now pretty much created a situation where the Monsoon trough is now safely protected on either sides by the two Low Pressure creating an extremely active phase of Monsoon for the next couple of weeks. Just like how the locos on either side safely navigate the train through the Ghats, the Two lows are now going to safely ensure Monsoon compensates for the poor August.

The downside to it though is parts of Central India & states like Gujarat & Rajasthan may see incidents of flooding episodes due to one pseudo stationary low & the other which will eventually reach the same place as the current one’s location in a few days time. But the good news is places like Odisha which was seeing extreme deficit could claw back most of the deficit & end up with a normal year before the Monsoon season ends. While over the other end even Gujarat which is reeling under a 32% deficit is likely to face a flooding episode over the next few days.

Meanwhile down south we could see some increase in rains over the West Coast of India due to the support provided by the Low & increasing strength of Westerlies. This could mean heavy rains are likely over few places in the Ghats of Karnataka. The fate of Kerala which is still in a deficit stage remains a worry & looking ahead though the rest of the Southwest Monsoon season may not offer much hope but a good Northeast Monsoon may mitigate the situation to some extent.