The average running speeds of trains on railway systems depend upon various factors, such as, type of track structure, signalling systems, motive power, type of rolling stock, network congestion, etc. Some of the international railway systems, such as the Shinkansen in Japan and the TGV system in France, have dedicated networks of high speed railway lines with maximum speeds over 300 kmph. The average running speeds of all categories of trains across different railway systems abroad are not compiled.
- Indian Railways has a heterogeneous system with freight trains and passenger carrying trains being operated on common tracks, with a very high level of capacity utilization.
- During the financial year 2019-20, the average speed of premium trains (Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and Vande Bharat) was above 70 kmph, Superfast trains was above 55 kmph, Express services was above 50 kmph and that of freight trains was 24 kmph.
- However, during the current financial year, i.e. 2020-21, the average speed of freight trains has increased to 46.71 kmph.
- With a view to increasing the speeds of trains and ensuring timely running of trains including goods trains, Indian Railways has initiated several measures for upgrading the infrastructure, modernizing the rolling stock and for streamlining operations.
The blueprint for increasing the speeds of trains on Indian Railways include the following:
- Increasing the track speeds on trunk routes to 130 Kmph.
- Enhancing the speed potential of Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonal to 160 Kmph. Accordingly, 160 Kmph projects on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sectors are already sanctioned.
- Discontinuance of manufacturing of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) design coaches with Maximum Permissible Speed of 110 kmph and enhanced manufacture of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches with Maximum Permissible Speed of 160 Kmph.
- Introduction of modern signaling system such as Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), etc.
- Accelerated removal of Permanent Speed Restrictions, construction of Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges to eliminate level crossing gates.
- Replacement of conventional trains with Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMUs).
- Right powering of trains especially freight trains.
- Zero Based Time Tabling to remove inefficiencies in the time table, uniform allocation of maintenance and traffic allowances, compaction of train running and creation of separate freight corridors to increase the speed of Freight trains.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on 18 Sep 2020.
Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit: Northern Railway