The entire rail network will be electrified in India which is the only country in the globe that is experimenting to convert diesel engines into electric, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said in Rajya Sabha on Nov 29. This is being done in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment towards environment protection, he said during Question Hour.
- The Minister said, “Till now 6 old diesel locomotives have been converted into three twin electric locomotives at Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi which is a production unit of Indian Railways.”
- He said, these conversions being the prototype and since a lot of existing material from discarded locomotives were reused, it is not possible to ascertain the exact cost at this stage.
- These converted prototype locomotives are under extensive field tests and trials, he said.
- The number of diesel locomotives is to be decided based upon the performance of the converted prototype locomotives, he said.
- There is no requirement for conversion of meter gauge and narrow gauge into electric as the government is closing these barring a few places in view of environment or scenic beauty, the minister also said in reply to a supplementary.