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Indian Railways is working in mission mode to become the largest Green Railways in the world and is moving towards becoming a “net zero carbon emitter” before 2030.
- Railways is guided by a holistic 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.
- 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 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. This also resulted in capacity enhancement of 33% as 9-car services were converted to 12-car services on the suburban section.
- Mumbai Division was fully electrified with 555.5 route km in 2019. This has helped to change the lifestyle of people of Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The last section i.e. Panvel-Pen-Roha electrified on Mumbai have benefited for better connectivity of Raigad and Alibag Districts with Mumbai Metropolitan City. The section Panvel-Pen-Roha is also Gateway to connect Western ghat and Konkan Railway network.
- During the year 2022-23, 77 pairs of mail/express trains changed to electric traction. The important trains run on electric traction on Mumbai Division are Rajdhani Express, Vande Bharat Express, Deccan Queen, Punjab Mail, Tejas Express, Vidarbha Express, Duronto Express etc.
- In fact, Rajdhani Express is the only train which runs in push-pull mode daily. 22107/22108 Mumbai-Latur Express switched over electric traction recently in February 2023 and 22143/22144 Mumbai-Bidar Express will be switched over electric traction soon.
- This will significantly reduce the fuel bill of Mumbai Division which is 5156.75 kilo litre per month on an average and earn 1.64 lakh ton carbon footprints annually.
- Pace of Railway Electrification, which is environment friendly and reduces pollution, has increased at 9X speed since 2014. Railways has planned electrification of BG routes which will facilitate elimination of diesel traction resulting in significant reduction in its carbon footprint and environmental pollution.
Electrification offers advantages like:
- Environmental-friendly mode of transport
- Reduced dependence on imported diesel fuel, thereby saving precious foreign currency and reduced carbon footprints
- Reduced operating cost
- Haulage of heavier freight trains and longer passenger trains with high haulage capacity of Electric Locomotives leading to increased throughput
- Increased sectional capacity by eliminating detention on account of traction change.
Source: Central Railway- Press Release | Image Credit (representational): South Central Railway
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