Mumbai: The historic milestone has been achieved by Central Railway with the conversion from 1500 Volt d.c. to 25000 Volt a.c. traction system over Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) to Thane (exclusive) via 5th & 6th line & Thane (exclusive) to Kalyam. This smooth and major transition has been achieved without traffic block and without any disruption or inconvenience to the travelling public. Out of total project cost of Rs. 1299.91 crore, the cost of this portion of conversion work is Rs. 147.70 crore.
The major benefits of this conversion includes seamless operation on 25000 Volt electric traction services for 43 pairs of mail/express trains (including non-daily), coming/going from lgatpuri side to LTT and vice versa. This will release 20 WCAM3 (AC/DC Locomotives) thereby leading to saving towards lease charges of Rs. 14.5 crore per annum. Due to energy efficiency associated with AC traction system, energy savings of Rs. 51 crore per annum would be achieved, besides staff savings of Rs. 3.5 crore per annum.
Another major benefit of this work is that incoming traction power supply has been shifted from Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) to TATA which is cheaper by Rs. 2.05 per unit, thereby resulting into annual saving to the tune of Rs. 12crore/annum.
Therefore, total recurring annual savings would be about Rs. 81 crore. In addition, there will be other benefits which includes elimination of technical halt of 15 minutes at lgatpuri for 43 pairs of Mail/Express trains as Kalyan-Kasara-lgatpuri section has already been converted on 25000 Volt a.c. system, increased traffic flows, improvement in speed and sectional capacity, reduced cost of operation and substantially higher reliability. Trial run on a.c. traction services ahs been started on this section since 12.01.2014.
To cater to the ever increased traffic requirement in Mumbai area and for better reliability to sub-urban services, the work of 1500 V d.c. to 25000 a.c. conversion was sanctioned in 1996-97 on Central Railway. The project cost is Rs. 1299.91 crore. The A.C. system has added advantage of substantial higher reliability, more than 30 per cent energy saving and substantial reduction in maintenance cost.
Mumbai sub-urban section (Mumbai V.T. to Kalyan) was electrified in 1925 at 1500 D.C. traction system which was the only modern traction system available at that time. Since, then this system was catering to the sub-urban commuter services over the years. For any increase in services (increased frequency and longer trains), additional power is required. Over the years, 1500 V d.c. system was not able to handle any further additional power requirement on account of steep fall in reliability and increased propensity to fire hazards. Space availability for additional sub-stations also posed a serious limitation.
History has been created by executing this challenging work of very complex nature in the busiest network of Indian Railways, without any disruption to sensitive commuter traffic. D.C. to A.C. conversion work has already been completed in Vasai-Diva-Jasai, Panvel-Karjat, lgatpuri-Kasara & Pune–Kalyan section.