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Indian Railways creates history, first to convert diesel locomotive into electric

Think Change India
9th Dec 2018
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The electric conversion of diesel locomotives will help Indian Railways save 50 percent of its expenditure and produce more power.

In a major boost to the ambitious 100 percent electrification plan, the Indian Railways has converted one of its diesel locomotives into electric in a record 69 days.

The modification aims to cut down on the fuel expenses and its carbon footprints. The conversion, which is being done for the first time in the world, was done by Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) in Varanasi.

Railways
Electric locomotive post-conversion by Indian Railways, source Financial Express

Post electric conversion, the WDG3-class 2,600 HP diesel locomotive will deliver 5,000 HP, which is 92 percent more than the older locomotive. The electric locomotive has completed its trial and has successfully hauled 5,200 tonnes of freight from Varanasi to Ludhiana at a speed of 75 kmph, reports Financial Express.

With this, the national carrier can now deploy two-unit locomotives powering up to 10,000 HP and it can haul a whopping 5,000 tonne of weight, which is suitable for fast transit moment.

In an interview, a senior Railway Ministry official said,

Indian Railways has created history by doing the first-ever conversion of a locomotive from diesel to electric traction with almost double the power with indigenous technology under Make in India, reports NDTV.

In terms of cost, a diesel locomotive costs Rs 5-6 crore for midlife rehabilitation beyond 18 years. Whereas it takes Rs 2.5 crore to convert a diesel locomotive into electric, he added.

The ambitious project was initiated on December 22, 2017, and later the refurbished locomotive was set out on February 28, 2018

The 100 percent electrification project will help the national carrier save Rs 13,500 crore per year. It will also help generate 5.5 lakh man hours during the mission electrification, as per the official reports.

In addition to this, there are several other advantages of electric over diesel-powered trains. These include,

  • Reduced dependence on imported fossil fuels.
  • Reduction in operating costs for freight transportation.
  • Will lead to an increase in sectional capacity by about 18 percent due to higher average speeds.
  • It will also enable saving power through regenerative breaking by 20 percent in locomotives and 30 percent in electric multiple units (EMU).

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