Railway minister Piyush Goyal at a FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) event on Tuesday said that diesel-run trains will soon become history in India. Phasing out diesel locomotives and replacing them with electric engines will help the country to reduce carbon emissions. This way the railways will also save INR 10,500 crore annually.
“We don’t want to burden our passengers and freight customers by raising costs. Through bringing efficiency in the existing system, we can reduce operational costs and provide better services to our users. We’ll only use diesel locomotives for backup.” Goyal added.
The national transporter has fast-tracked the plans to electrify 100% rail network. Railways is also targeting to electrify the remaining 30,000 km of rail lines in the next 4 years, at an expected cost of INR 30,000-35,000 crore.
“The government is targeting to build a 11,000-km-long high-speed network. We have 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.” the minister said.
Goyal also added that instead of going for Chinese technology, he would like to continue with the accident-free Japanese high-speed train technology. By using renewable energy for railway operations, vacant land of railways would be turned into solar parks soon.