Central Organization for Railway Electrification (CORE) has decided to take up electrification work in various sections of South Western Railway (SWR). This move is likely to push up the speed of trains by 10-15%. The plan is to electrify 1,728 route km by 2023.
The green move by SWR
Quite recently Railways Minister Piyush Goyal addressed an event called as India-Brazil Business Forum, he had announced that the Indian Railways is working to transform completely to electricity by 2024, as it is now terminating diesel locomotives slowly out of service.
“Till 2024, we expect the entire Indian Railways to be run 100 percent on electricity. It will be the first railway network in the world to be run fully on electricity. We are very mindful of our responsibility to the environment. We are beginning on rapid electrification of our rail network,” said Goyal.
Karnataka’s 1,728 route to be fully electrified
According to the sources, a specialized team that was set up for railway electrification has proposed nine more routes in SWR for electrification. Gadag – Hotgi (284Km), Chikkabanavara- Hubballi (456Km), Chikkabanavara-Hassan (166Km), Mysuru-Chamarajanagar (60km), Kadur-Chikmangaluru)(46Km), Birur-Talaguppa (161Km), Bangarapet-Yelahanka(149Km), Hospet-Swamihalli (59Km) and 347Km Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru (including Hassan-Arsikere).
Currently, there are only three electrified routes in SWR: Yelahanka-Dharmavaram, Bengaluru-Mysuru, and Bengaluru-Jolarpettai.
Under Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC), CORE is set to float tenders in big contracts to accelerate the pace of electrification and alose to reduce cost by attracting large companies.
This decision comes in after activists demanded an increase in the train speed by electrifying the railways in Karnataka. Previously, railways were giving priority to routes that had freight moments. The electrification of the railway will help Southern Railway replace Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) with Mainline Electric Multiple Unit which will help suburban passengers.
Benefits of electrification
- Electrifying the entire railway route will help to eliminate the detention of trains due to changes in traction from diesel to electric and visa versa.
- It will give higher speed which will help passengers commute faster to their destinations.
- The move will reduce fossil fuel consumption by about 2.8 billion liters per annum.
- The overall fule will be saved by Rs 13,510 crore per annum.
- Locomotive maintenance will also see a decline in expenditure.
- Electrifying will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by railway by 24%.
Previously, the railway minister had said that the Ministry is taking various energy-efficient steps to control the carbon footprint. Indian Railways is executing these measures as part of its aim to be an environment-friendly mode of transport.