The completion of Electrification project(s) depends on various factors. Speeding up of trains is a constant endeavour and a continuous process on Indian Railways (IR). As on 01.08.2023, a total 59,524 km length of Broad Gauge (BG) rail line has been electrified.
- Electrification offers benefits like:
- Reduced operating cost.
- Haulage of heavier freight trains and longer passenger trains due to higher haulage capacity of Electric Locomotives, leading to increased throughput.
- Increased sectional capacity by eliminating detention on account of traction change.
- Environment friendly mode of transport.
- Reduced dependence on imported crude oil thereby saving precious foreign currency.
- The completion of Electrification project(s) depends on various factors like forest clearances by officials of forest department, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law & order situation in the area of project(s) site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions etc.
- All these factors affect the completion time of the project(s). As such the confirmed time frame for completion of project(s) cannot be ascertained at this stage.
- One of the objectives of rationalisation of the time table, undertaken by IR in a scientific manner with the assistance of IIT-Bombay, has been speeding up train services by converting passenger trains to Express services and Express services to Superfast services.
- Conversion of trains operating with conventional coaches with MEMUs is also aimed at providing faster services to the passengers. Further, Indian Railways are introducing Vande Bharat trains, which have higher speed potential. Till 3rd August, 2023, 50 Vande Bharat services have been introduced on the IR network.
Steps taken to increase the speed of the trains are:
- Sectional speed has been raised to 130 kmph over 10,400 route km covering the Golden Quadrilateral & diagonal routes and other important B routes of the IR network.
- Works for raising of sectional speed to 160 kmph on existing New Delhi-Mumbai (incl. Vadodara-Ahmedabad) and New Delhi-Howrah (incl Kanpur-Lucknow) routes have been sanctioned costing Rs.6806 Cr. and Rs. 6685 Cr. respectively.
Indian Railways continuously intends to modernise the existing signalling system as under:
- Provision of Electrical/Electronic Interlocking System with centralised operation of points and signals in place of old mechanical signalling. These systems have been provided at 6443 stations as on 30.06.2023.
- Complete Track Circuiting of stations to enhance safety for verification of track occupancy by electrical means has been provided at 6381 stations up to 30.06.23.
- Interlocking of Level Crossing Gates (LC) has been provided at 11102 Level Crossing Gates up to 30.06.2023 for enhancing safety at LC Gate.
- Axle counters for automatic clearance of Block Section, BPAC (Block Proving Axle Counter) are provided to ensure complete arrival of trains without manual intervention before granting line clearance to receive next train and to reduce human element. These systems have been provided on 6412 Block Sections up to 30.06.2023.
- Automatic Block Signalling (ABS) has been provided at 3946 Route Km up to 30.06.2023.
- RailTel maintains OFC, which provides backbone network for the control communication circuits (for control) and various other requirements such as FOIS etc. for Indian Railways. Wi-Fi facility has been provided at 6108 stations.
- This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Source: PIB- Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR