South Central Railway to mechanise electrification process for 780 km between Manmad and Dhone

SECUNDERABAD: South Central Railway (SCR) will be breaking new ground in Indian Railway history by going in for complete mechanisation of the electrification programme between Manmad (Maharashtra) and Dhone (Andhra Pradesh) for a distance of 780 km, costing about Rs. 865 crore.

The project to be taken up under the new project management paradigm cleared by Railway Board to fast track works saw complete survey, detailed project report and tenders done in double-quick time, so much so that a two year pre-work schedule has been cut down.

Test case

“This is the first major work being taken up under the new process and will be a test case for the entire railway network. Electrification of the route will be done with help of a German machine and through pre-fabricated piers and foundations, we expect to compress the entire work to three years,” says SCR General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav. The work is part of 1,261 km sanctioned for electrification at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,172 crore for 2018-19.

In an exclusive interaction, Mr. Yadav said doing all the electrical works like stringing the cables and related works will be machine-controlled for the first time in the country. “It will reduce our time block period (when the trains are not allowed to run for maintenance work for a specific period of time) by one-fourth, helping us avoid any major disruption in train services,” he explains.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Railway Board Chairman Ashwini Lohani have been very clear about changing the way the projects are conceived and implemented. Hence, it was decided to complete the detailed project report along with detailed drawings and estimates for any work before sending it for final approval, without having to wait for the ensuing financial year.

“We need not even wait for the work to be published in the ‘Pink Book’ which details all the works of the year,” he says.

Actually, Mr. Yadav has been part of the three-member team which recommended this step. The scale and speed which will be attempted from next month can be gauged by the fact that till now railways used to take upto six years to complete any electrification of upto 100 km!

Fast track to light

  • SCR, which went ahead with a record 609 km of electrification last year, the best by any railway zone, will also have the distinction of being completely electrified for its entire 3,000 km, save for the recently launched new Bidar-Gulbarga line, within four years with Railway Board giving necessary sanctions
  • Capacity augmentation of 113 km of high density routes where more than 100% capacity trains are being run and 300 km of track renewals are to be taken up this year