Speaking at the Institute of Railway Electrical Engineers, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal emphasised on the need for transformation and change in the work culture of Indian Railways. In his speech, he also mentioned that no diesel locomotives will be allowed in Delhi/NCR after March 2019, indicating that Railways is on track to completely phase out such locomotives by 2022.
“The Member Traction, Railway Board, has said that by March 2019, no diesel loco hauled train would be permitted in Delhi area…railways will be completely LED lit in the next eight months,” he stated. Goyal also said that as of January 31, 2018, 279 electric locomotives have been built. “Now, let’s worry about how to convert this 279 into 1,000. We don’t have the luxury of time…Let’s see if we can make it by 2019, let us start with that,” he affirmed.
He also urged Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction, Railway Board, to reduce the cost of electrification by using automation and modern technologies.
The railway ministry has set a target of 2022 to switch to electric locomotives completely by phasing out their diesel counterparts with a focus on increasing speed all around the country. Railways will save approx. Rs. 11,500 crore annually through this switch, officials said.