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Boost To Rail Electrification Over High Density Network In North Eastern Region

In this series, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has successfully completed the electrification work of a total of 649 Route Kilometre (RKM)/1,294 Tonne Kilometer (TKM) of High-Density Network (HDN) from Katihar to Guwahati.

Representative Image (Source: Xinhua)

New Delhi: Indian Railways has embarked upon an ambitious plan of electrification of its complete Broad Gauge network by 2023-24, which would not only result in a better fuel energy usage resulting in increased throughput, reduced fuel expenditure but also savings in precious foreign exchange.

In this series, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has successfully completed the electrification work of a total of 649 Route Kilometre (RKM)/1,294 Tonne Kilometer (TKM) of High-Density Network (HDN) from Katihar to Guwahati. This great feat will now connect all major cities of the country with Guwahati on seamless electric traction. This is yet another effort by NFR for capital connectivity by green transportation.

As per an official statement by the Indian Railways, the final leg of HDN on NF Railway of 107 RKM/273 TKM was successfully inspected by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) NF circle from October 7 to October 9, 2021. In addition to this, passenger trains with higher speed and heavier goods trains can be run.

Apart from saving foreign exchange reserves spent on HSD Oil and providing greener transportation in the north-east, railway electrification up to Guwahati shall lead to a likely saving of foreign exchange spent on HSD Oil of about Rs 300 crore per annum. HSD Oil consumption will be reduced by about 3,400 KL per month.

Due to seamless train operation, traction change at New Jalpaiguri, New Coochbehar will now be done away with, enhancing the mobility of the trains. Running time between Guwahati to Katihar/ Malda Town is likely to reduce by up to two hours as trains can now move at a higher speed due to better acceleration/ deceleration. Line capacity enhancement of up to 10-15 per cent shall lead to a reduced level of saturation on many of the sections on the NF Railway, allowing more coaching trains to run.

With electrification, heavier goods trains can be run at a higher speed. The NF Railway has difficult terrain with a large number of graded sections, curves and bridges. Electric traction eliminates the need for multi diesel locomotives as higher HP electric engines can maintain higher speed in gradient sections. Additional Rajdhani express trains can now be introduced for NE states like Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim.

Electrification of this section shall improve operational efficiency and shall lead to large savings on fuel for power cars (about Rs 10 crores on the electrified route itself). Fifteen pairs of existing trains originating/terminating at KYQ/GHY can run with an additional passenger coach by eliminating one power car, thus improving passenger throughput. Electrification will lead to better maintenance as faster trains shall lead to more time for maintenance blocks.

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