The Indian Railways has made an ambitious target for achievement of electrification work to Guwahati by January 2020 and work on the ground is rolling at a fast pace. In addition, the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has sent a offer to the Railway Board for electrification of all existing paths in the north-eastern region.
“The Katihar yard has been electrified, commissioned and electric train services have been running till there since April 2017. The Katihar-Kumedpur-Malda Town section will be commissioned by March 2018, the Katihar-New Jalpaiguri section by December 2018 and the New Jalpaiguri-Guwahati section by January 2020,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NFR told the news daily The Assam Tribune.
“All existing routes in the north-eastern region have been projected for electrification and all the proposals have been sent to the Railway Board,” he said, adding, “electrification of the Guwahati-Dibrugarh section has by now been sanctioned by the Board, while that of the Lumding-Silchar section is under its consideration.”
The Railway Ministry has endorsed an outlay totalling Rs 2,298.23 crore for the ongoing electrification work and for the projects which have been sanctioned.
In the New Jalpaiguri-Guwahati section, the venture envisages electrification of 382 km route and 687 km track, and there will be seven 220 KV and 132 KV traction substations and seven maintenance depots and sheds.
“It will be based on utilisation of 25 KV AC single phase overhead power supply lines,” said the NFR CPRO, adding that a centralised control room also to be set up for maintenance and deal with any contingency.
Sharma said that electric wiring and other work is currently going on at many places in the section. In addition, railway loco drivers and maintenance staff are being trained batch by batch to serve as per needs of the new system based on electrification.
Electrification in this region is expected to make railway services faster and more efficient and it will aid the government lessen its energy bill.
“There will also be reduction in pollution from carbon emission. More jobs will be generated with the increase in related ancillary industries,” he said.