Western Railway has been a pioneer in commissioning of electrification of railway routes and has achieved highest electrification of 664 RKM, the highest among all Zonal Railways during last financial year 2019-20.
In a bid to retain its top position during current financial year also, Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Railway has reviewed various electrification projects under progress over WR.
He reviewed along with Y. P. Singh- General Manager of Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE) and Western Railway field unit officials involved in completion of these projects, through a webinar meeting held recently.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, so far 53% of W. Rly’s routes has been electrified and balance 2650 Route Km (RKM) are yet to be electrified. While addressing the stake holders, Kansal informed, to keep up with the Ministry of Railways Mission 100% Electrification, WR has set ambitious plan to execute electrification of balance 2650 Route Km by March 2022. He said that all assistance would be provided to CORE for meeting set targets, however he stressed, safety and quality should always be top priority.
Kansal stated that Safety should be given topmost priority in RE working. All safety rules as laid down in GR/SR and ACTM shall be religiously followed. Safety of work site and running lines shall be ensured. The safety precautions during block working shall be ensured by all concerned.
Similarly, Ladder trolley /other erection items shall not be left near track but kept at appropriate location under custody of a responsible staff. In no case, IRSOD shall be violated.
Further, he added that timely approval of designs and plans is the key to successful project work. There should be close & frequent interaction between RE and open line officers. At the same time, there shall not be any complaint regarding quality of work. RE contractors shall be sensitized in this regards and made accountable for quality related issues. It shall be ensured that site Engineers deployed by Contractors are having requisite qualification. This shall be ensured by frequent visits to sites and have quality check by RE officers.
Bhakar informed that the major routes that are planned to be completed during current financial year are Surendranagar- Rajkot- Okha on Rajkot division and Botad- Pipavav sections on Bhavnagar division of WR. These routes are major source of revenue for Railway as major ports of the country are in this region.
There has been serious set back to the progress of Railway Electrification projects during first quarter due to country wide lockdown to prevent spread of Corona virus but with lifting of lockdown, work has started in full swing on these projects.
Bhakar further stated that Electric traction train services in newly electrified sections of Palanpur – Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad – Viramgam, Palanpur – Viramgam, Viramgam – Surendranagar and Surendranagar – Botad have already commenced during this month.
In spite of lockdown and difficulties of social distancing & labour shortage during this period, WR has achieved a feat of commissioning high rise OHE in these sections, which has contact wire height of 7.57 metre and is the first in the world to successfully run double stack containers in electrified territory with such high contact wire on 10th June 2020. Double stack container trains on electric traction carry double the load of train with better efficiency and less operating cost as well as it is environment friendly.
Principal Chief Electrical Engineer of W. Rly, Sanjiv Bhutani informed that about 15 goods train services are now running on electric traction in high rise territory resulting in net savings of Rs.15 lakh in fuel expenditure during last week, apart from saving 25KL diesel oil and has also helps in maintaining clean & green environment.
Further, Western railway is also planning to introduce electric traction on Indore – Ratlam – Chittorgarh section by Aug.’2020. To keep up with the pace of electrification in WR, infrastructure facility and training of existing Diesel maintenance man-power has already been started for maintenance of electric locomotives in existing Diesel Locomotive Sheds at Ratlam and Vatva. These sheds will maintain about 100 electric locomotives each to meet the increased electric loco demand.