ELECTRIFICATION OF RAILWAYS
22/02/2021

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CONTEXT:
  • Railway Minister has said that railways will be fully electrified in three years in West Bengal and all ongoing projects in the state will be completed at the earliest.
  • ABOUT: 
    The newly electrified section from New Jalpaiguri to New Coochbehar is part of the ongoing electrification work of 126 kilometers. This section is vital for train movement towards northeastern states.
  • The Haldibari station bordering Bangladesh has been constructed considering the need of future economic development of this area.
Why it is needed?
  • For plugging missing links and last mile connectivity.
  • For managing seamless operation of rail traffic across the network,
  • To remove bottlenecks created by the need to change traction.
  • To enhance the line capacity
  • To improve the average speed of trains
  • To improve operational efficiency
  • To improve Railway Finances.
  • To reduce environmental impact of Railways
Benefits of Electrification:
  • Electric traction is much cheaper and efficient compared with diesel traction as running trains on electric traction is 50% cheaper than diesel.
  • Enhancing line capacity due to higher speed and higher haulage capacity of electric locomotives.
  • Reduce fossil fuel consumption and also give a subsequent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.
  • Improved signaling system will lead to enhanced safety in train operations.
  • Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) are ideal for suburban services, which require higher acceleration and braking features for frequent starts and stops.
  • Savings in fuel bill as maintenance of electric locomotive is low as compared to diesel locomotive.
  • Direct employment during the construction phase for electrification will significantly boost the employment.
  • Reduced carbon footprint as environmental cost per tonne Km for electric traction is less as compared to diesel traction.
  • Provide seamless train operation by eliminating detention of trains due to change in traction (action of drawing or pulling something over a surface) from diesel to electric and vice versa.
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