The Indian Railways’ ambitious plan to electrify its entire network by 2023-24 is almost complete. The national transport company has successfully completed electrification of 81% of its track, Ashwini Vaishnav, Minister of Railways informed via a tweet. This step will help cut down on the consumption of fossil fuels and save the country hundreds of millions of dollars annually. It is also working on a mission mode to achieve zero carbon emissions. In June 2021, Railways stated that the number of trains that were electric had increased by over 10 times since 2014.
The national transporter is marching towards the mission 100 per cent electrification by the year 2023-24.
Some of the major railway sections electrified by the Indian Railways over the last few years include Mumbai – Howrah via Jabalpur, Delhi – Darbhanga – Jaynagar, Gorakhpur – Varanasi via Aunrihar, Chennai – Trichy, Indore – Guna – Gwalior – Amritsar, Jabalpur – Nainpur – Gondia – Ballarshah, Delhi – Jaipur – Udaipur, New Delhi – New Coochbehar – Srirampur Assam via Patna and Katihar, Ajmer – Howrah, Mumbai – Marwar, and Delhi – Moradabad – Tanakpur.
The Konkan Railway Corporation recently completed the electrification of its entire 741-km route between Thokur and Rora in Karnataka. The line connects Mumbai with the city of Mangalore. In addition, South Central Railway recently announced the complete electrification of various railway lines in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
South Central Railway recently announced that it would be launching an electric rail route between Washim and Hingoli city. This route is expected to provide seamless rail connectivity between Vidarbha and Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
Despite the challenges faced by the Covid-19 project, the Indian Railways was able to successfully complete the electrification of 6,015 kilometers of railway track in 2020-21. As of April 3, the country’s total railway network had been expanded by over 32,000 kilometers. During the past three years, the railways have been able to complete the electrification of 34% of the route.
In order to ensure that the railway network is fully equipped with modern technology, the Indian Railways recently decided to only use 2 KV traction systems for the electrification of the entire network. This type of system is commonly used in countries such as China, France, and Japan to operate high-speed trains.
Although the majority of the country’s railway tracks will be completely electrified using 2 KV traction, the work on previously-electrified lines may still be carried out in phases.
The addition of more power lines is expected to ensure that the operations of newer trains, such as the semi-high speed passenger train known as the Vande Bharat Express, will be smooth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier announced that 75 such trains would be run on various routes by 2023.