Indian Railways to Phase Out Diesel-Run Trains, to Replace Them With Fully Electric Trains
New Delhi, November 22: Diesel locomotives will soon become history as they will be replaced with fully electric locomotives in the next five years. In a bid to increase speed and enhance passenger amenities, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the Indian Railways will completely phase out diesel locomotives in the next five years and will switch to electric locomotives. While addressing the National Executive Council members of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Goyal said that the government has planned to switch all trains to be electric-driven in the next five years.
By phasing out diesel locomotives, the Railways will save about Rs. 11,500 crore annually. The diesel locomotives will be used for back up purposes in the yards if need be. During the conference, Goyal defined his tenure in the last 77 days as the Railways Minister as a “good learning experience”. He further added saying that he got a chance to take a number of policy decisions. He said he has taken upward 600 policy decisions on policy matters of the Railways.
Emphasizing on the safety of passengers, the Minister said that he has directed the railway officials to speed up the production of the Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB) coaches instead of relying on the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) coaches. “For the safety of passengers also we have approved 372 escalators in Mumbai suburban alone and we will have close to 3,000 escalators being set up in the Railways across the country,” Goyal said. The Minister said that the government is targeting to build an 11,000-km-long high-speed network. He said the Ministry of Railways has identified routes where most of the traffic moves. “We’ll work on a plan to convert these routes into high speed. Because of the large scale of the projects, the cost of construction of bullet-train corridors will also reduce,” he said.