100% Electrification of Railways Current Affairs - 2020

GoI new Target: Indian Railways to run 100% on electricity by 2024

On January 27, 2020, the Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced that Indian Railways will run 100% on electricity by 2024. In such case, Indian Railways will be the first Railways to run 100% on electricity. Also, the Indian Railways has planned to make the network zero-emission network by 2030.

Electrification Project

Previously in 2019, the target to run 100% electrified Railways was set to be achieved by 2023. So far, till 2017-18, 4,087 km route had already been electrified. Upon success, the fuel bill will reduce by Rs 13,510 crores.

Current Scenario

Today Indian trains run on diesel or electricity. Around two-third of the freight movement in India is through Indian Railways. At present, Electric traction accounts to 57.91% of energy expenses of Indian Railways (as per November 2019)

Electrification of Railways is also Government’s plan to create 500 GW of renewable energy by 2028.

Need

According to NITI Aayog, the carbon emission from the Indian Railways is around 6.84 million tonnes (2014).

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A new Head on Generation technology introduced in Indian Railways

The Indian Railways has introduced an environment friendly and energy efficient solution in passenger trains to address noise and air pollution. The technology changes the locomotives and coaches and makes them suitable for Head On Generation. The Railways has developed and improvised converter that are to be fitted in electric locomotives. These converters can replace diesel generators as well. The converters make the locomotives suitable to run-on head-on generation technology.

Head On Generation – Benefits

Between April 2018 and November 2019 around 436 trains have been converted into HOG compliant. The technology reduces noise level, reduces emission of carbon dioxide, diesel consumption.

Head on Generation Technology

In Head on Generation technology, the power will be drawn from overhead Electric supply. Huge noise making fume emitting power generators will be replaced by silent generators. It was first introduced in India in 1996 when India signed an agreement with Germany. Germany transferred the technology to the Indian Coach Factories. Rajdhani, Samprak Kranti, Duronto, Shatabdi and Hamsafar are some of the trains where the technology was first implemented.

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