बेंगलुरू Bangalore (SBC): Electrification of the Yelahanka–Dharmavaram–Gooty railway line (306 km), which could offer faster and comfortable journey to the north from Bangalore besides saving on the fuel bill for the Railways, is likely to be completed by March 2015.
Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL), which is executing the project since 2011–12 has completed the overhead equipment (electric cables) work in two years. However, the electrified line is yet to be commissioned as power transmission companies of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are yet to execute their parts of work.
Responding to an RTI application, RVNL informed that the work on overhead equipment was complete except for a 2-km stretch on which power lines of Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd. (APTRANSCO) have passed through. Despite making payments to APTRANSCO in December 2012, the company is yet to shift the lines, it said.
At the same time, APTRANSCO and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd., (KPTCL) have to install transmission lines from grid sub-station to four traction sub-stations catering to the electrified line, RVNL said. It has made payments to the two companies. RVNL expects that shifting of lines and installation of new lines to the traction sub-stations could be completed by December this year while the mandatory inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety could be done by March 31, 2015.
It is said that the commissioning of the line could save considerable journey time as at present diesel locos hauling Rajdhani and Sampark Kranthi express trains from Bangalore are replaced with electric locos at Secunderabad. An electric loco right from Bangalore would mean saving of at least 30 minutes and reduced environment pollution, he said. An electric loco could run up to 160 km an hour and its maintenance cost is lesser than that of a diesel loco.
A senior official in the operations division of South Western Railway said they preferred electric locos to diesel ones for the former’s efficiency.