The Indian Railways has embarked upon an ambition 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, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has completed the electrification work of total 649 RKM/1,294 TKM of high-density network (HDN) from Katihar to Guwahati.
This 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.
The final leg of HDN on the Northeast Frontier Railway of 107 RKM/273 TKM was successfully inspected by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) NF circle from 7 October 2021 to 9 October 2021. In addition, 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 will lead to likely saving of foreign exchange spent on HSD Oil of about Rs 300 crore per annum.
HSD Oil consumption will reduce by about 3,400 kilo ltr per month. Due to seamless train operation, traction change at New Jalpaiguri, New Coochbehar will now be done away with, enhancing mobility of the trains.
The running time between Guwahati to Katihar /Malda Town is likely to reduce by up to two hours as trains can now move at higher speed due to better acceleration/deceleration.
The line capacity enhancement of up to 10-15 percent will lead to reducing the 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 higher speed. NF Railway has difficult terrain with a large number of graded sections, curves, bridges. Electric traction will eliminate need for multi diesel locos as higher HP electric engines can maintain higher speed in gradient section.
Additional Rajdhani express trains can now be introduced for North-Eastern states like Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim.
The electrification of this section will improve operational efficiency and lead to large saving on fuel for power cars (about Rs 10 crore on the electrified route itself).
A total of 15 pairs of the existing trains originating/terminating at KYQ/GHY can run with an additional passenger coach by eliminating one power car, thus improving passenger throughput.
The electrification will lead to better maintenance as faster trains will lead to more time for maintenance blocks.