Minister re-iterates plan to fully electrify railway network.
Indian Railways (IR) expects to become a net zero emitter of carbon by the year 2030, according to Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways. The minister made these remarks while addressing Rail Contact 2018 conference at New Delhi earlier today.
According to Mr. Goyal, plans for 100% electrification of the IR network combined with the use of renewables will take IR towards this goal. Adding a caveat, he said that the plan will need a team to work collectively to achieve this target. He didn’t clarify what team was being referred to in this context. “Industry participation is as much important in our mission as to make Indian Railways the newest, finest and safest Railways in the world”, he said.
Since Mr. Goyal has taken over as Minister of Railways, several ambitious plans to increase capacity, safety and speed have been announced. These include complete electrification of the railway network, upgradation of the network to latest signalling technologies with the ETCS2 platform, as well as large scale changes to rolling stock to be used on the network.
However, heavy capital expenditures involved in such upgrades have reportedly raised doubts within the government, thus making the fate of these plans unclear. With the minister re-iterating his intent to electrify the network fully, though with a significantly longer timeline than the three to five years envisaged earlier, the plan may be back on track again.