The Central Railways (CR) has achieved a significant milestone with 100 per cent electrification of its entire Broad Gauge Network (3,825 kilometres), according to an official statement on Friday.
“The Central Railways saves 5.204 lakh tons of carbon footprints annually. The last non-electrified section of Central Railway, that is, Ausa Road- Latur Road (52 route kilometres) on Solapur Division was electrified on February 23, 2023,” reads the statement. Reportedly, Indian Railways is working in mission mode to become the largest Green Railway in the world and is moving towards becoming a “net zero carbon emitter” before 2030.
As per the statement, “Central Railway which is now fully electrified on all Broad Gauge routes, has helped in reducing carbon footprints of 5.204 lakh tons every year and also saves Rs 1670 crores annually.”
According to the reports, the Pace of Railway Electrification, which is environment-friendly and reduces pollution, has increased at 9X speed since 2014. Railways have planned the electrification of Broad Gauge routes, which will facilitate the elimination of diesel traction resulting in a significant reduction in its carbon footprint and environmental pollution.
The first electric train ran in India between the then Bombay Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) and Kurla on Harbour line on 03.02.1925. The section was electrified on 1500 Volt DC.
The conversion of DC traction on the Mumbai Division of Central Railway to AC traction began in 2001 and progressively, without significant disturbance to the lifeline of the nation, i.e. suburban services, was completed in 2016. It has overcome the challenges of conversion of DC-AC Traction, Ghat sections, etc. over the years.
Central Railway is strategically located in the middle part of India and it connects most of the Indian cities and other locations with the major cities in its jurisdiction like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nasik, Solapur, Kolhapur etc.
The Punjab Mail Express, Howrah Mail, CSMT-H, Nizamuddin Rajdhani Exp, Deccan Queen, Vande Bharat, Tejas Express, Konkan Kanya Exp, Pushpak Express, Mahanagari Express, Udyan Express, Shatabdi Express, Hussain Sagar Express, Siddeshwar Express etc., are the major prestigious trains run over Central Railway network. CR also runs suburban local trains i.e., the lifeline of Mumbai on electric traction.
Shri Naresh Lalwani, General Manager, Central Railway said that “Railway is guided by a historical vision of being an environment-friendly, efficient, cost-effective, punctual and a modern carrier of passengers as well as the freight in order to serve the growing needs of New India. This will also significantly reduce the fuel bill and earn carbon footprints”.
Electrification offers advantages like an environment-friendly mode of transport, and reduced dependence on imported diesel fuel, thereby saving precious foreign currency and reducing carbon footprints, reducing operating cost, haulage of heavier freight trains and longer passenger trains with high haulage capacity of Electric
Locomotives leading to increased throughput and increased sectional capacity by eliminating detention on account of traction change.