Western Railway (WR) has been a pioneer in commissioning of electrification of railway routes. During the last financial year 2019-20, WR has achieved the highest electrification of 664 Route Km (RKM), the highest among all Zonal Railways.
In a bid to retain its top position during current financial year also, Shri Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Railway has reviewed various electrification projects under progress over WR along with Shri Y. P. Singh- General Manager of Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE) and Western Railway field unit officials involved in completion of these projects, through a webinar meeting held recently.
- As per a release issued by Shri Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, so far 53% of WR’s routes has been electrified and balance 2650 RKM are yet to be electrified.
- While addressing the stake holders, Shri Kansal informed that to keep up with the Ministry of Railways Mission 100% Electrification, WR has set ambitious plan to execute electrification of balance 2650 RKM by March 2022.
- He said that all assistance would be provided to CORE for meeting set targets, however he stressed, safety and quality should always be top priority.
- Further, he added that timely approval of designs and plans is the key to successful project work.
- Shri Bhakar informed that the major routes that are planned to be completed during current financial year are:
- Surendranagar-Rajkot-Okha on Rajkot division
- Botad-Pipavav section on Bhavnagar division
- These routes are major source of revenue for Railway as major ports of the country are in this region.
- There has been serious set back to the progress of Railway Electrification projects during first quarter due to country wide lockdown to prevent spread of Corona virus but with lifting of lockdown, work has started in full swing on these projects.
- Shri Bhakar further stated that Electric traction train services in newly electrified sections of Palanpur-Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad-Viramgam, Palanpur–Viramgam, Viramgam–Surendranagar and Surendranagar–Botad have already commenced during this month.
- In spite of lockdown, WR has achieved a feat of commissioning high rise OHE in these sections, which has contact wire height of 7.57 metre and is the first in the world to successfully run double stack containers in electrified territory with such high contact wire on 10th June 2020.
- Principal Chief Electrical Engineer of WR, Shri Sanjiv Bhutani informed that about 15 goods train services are now running on electric traction in high rise territory resulting in net savings of Rs. 15 lakh in fuel expenditure during last week, apart from saving 25KL diesel oil and has also helps in maintaining clean & green environment.
- Further, Western railway is also planning to introduce electric traction on Indore – Ratlam – Chittorgarh section by August, 2020.
To keep up with the pace of electrification in WR, infrastructure facility and training of existing Diesel maintenance man-power has already been started for maintenance of electric locomotives in existing Diesel Locomotive Sheds at Ratlam and Vatva. These sheds will maintain about 100 electric locomotives each to meet the increased electric loco demand.
Source: WR-Press Release