BENGALURU: Shatabdi Express (Mysuru-Chennai) will become the first train to run on electric traction between Bengaluru and Mysure by end of this month.
The Shatabdi Express will run on the newly electrified tracks between Bengaluru Mysuru, saving a significant amount of diesel. Shatabdi will also save about 15 minutes spent on changing locomotives at Kempegowda station till now.
At least three express and three passenger trains will run on electricity by the last quarter of 2017-18, said an official.
The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) inspected the electrification of Bengaluru-Mysuru railway line on Tuesday and is expected to submit his report in two weeks.
The South Western Railways runs 13 pairs of express, 5 pairs of passenger and 7 pairs of non-daily trains between Bengaluru and Mysuru. On an average, 21 trains run on the route with the track seeing more than 42 trips every day.
SWR Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) E Vijaya said diesel locomotives will be replaced with electric in a phased manner depending on loco availability (from neighbouring railways) and incoming power availability at Yeliyur traction substation.”
Once all trains shift to electric locomotives between Bengaluru and Mysuru, it would not only go green but also save at least 27,000 litres of diesel which is at least Rs 15 lakh per day, said an official
Sources in the railways said that at the time of rising diesel prices, electrification will help them to cut fuel cost besides curbing pollution.
“Electrification will save more than 40% of the cost besides reducing emissions,” he said.
However, he said, conversion of all the trains may take time provided the output range of electric coach manufacturing factories.
“Electric trains involve input cost with each 12-coach MEMU rake with two motor coaches at each side estimated to cost over Rs 15 crore,” he added.
As per documents published by BEML, a MEMU engine costs Rs 3.18 crore each while the trailing coaches cost about Rs 78 lakh each.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had issued directions to speed up the electrification works. The ministry hopes to electrification will substantially reduce the costs from the present Rs 26,500 crore to Rs 16,000 crore in the next four-five years.