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Railways hopes to save 200k litres diesel a day by electrifying pit lines, ET Infra

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The Indian Railways hopes to save around 200,000 litres of diesel per day by electrifying all pit lines on its network.

A pit line is where train coaches are checked for any electrical faults in equipment such as lights, fans and mobile charging points, before charting for their next journey.

This move is in line with the national transporter’s steps towards its goal of becoming a net zero carbon emitter by 2030.

“The railways will substitute fossil fuels with grid electrification at all 411 maintenance pits by December 2023. Of these, electrification of 302 pits has been completed,” a senior government official told ET.

An internal energy and cost efficiency review conducted in 2022 found that 184,000 litres of diesel was being used on maintenance of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) rakes at pit lines every day.

This was because these coaches required diesel generators to remain running while electrical faults were being rectified, due to absence of power supply at pit lines.

“To cut down on diesel use, setting up of 750 V of power supply through grids was sanctioned for all LHB maintenance pits across the Indian Railways,” the official added.

Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in March 2023 that the Indian Railways aimed for net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

This goal was reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he laid the foundation stone for 508 ‘Amrit Bharat’ stations earlier this week. The railways’ electrification of pit lines, which consumed a significant amount of diesel, is part of this effort.

According to official estimates, electrification of pit lines will also cut costs by 70-80% as compared with existing head-on-generation (HOG-compliant) LHB rakes. The move is expected to rake in over Rs 450 crore annually.

The diesel-powered rakes were estimated to have an annual recurring expenditure of over Rs 668 crore, which was further estimated to grow at 20% owing to diesel inflation and increase in LHB fleet size, necessitating the shift.

  • Published On Aug 11, 2023 at 11:51 AM IST

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