Indian Railway Electrification: New record

The Indian Railways has achieved the highest ever electrification of sections during 2020-21. It has covered 6,015 kilo metres of electrification in a single year. This is 37% higher than that achieved in 2019-20.

About the achievements

  • The Broad-Gauge network of Indian Railway currently stand at 63,949 kilo metres. Of this 71% has been electrified.
  • In the last seven years, the electrification of Indian Railways has increased by seven times.
  • Totally 45,881 kilometres has been electrified. Of this 34% were electrified in the last three years.
  • The Indian Railways has also commissioned a record of 56 Traction Substations in 2020-21. In 2019-20, this was 42. Thus, the traction sub stations have increased by 33%.
  • Some of the major routes electrified in 2020-21 are Delhi-Darbhanga-Jaynagar, Mumbai-Howrah, Gorakhpur-Varanasi, Chennai-Trichy and Jabalpur-Nainpur-Gondia-Ballarshah.

What is a Traction Substation?

A Traction Substation is an electrical substation. It converts electric power provided by the electric power industry to a suitable power to be used in electric trains.

Electric Rail Transport in India

  • India uses 25 KV 50 Hz AC traction on its electrified tracks. DC traction is used for metros.
  • The first railway electrification in India began between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kurla in 1925.
  • In 2017, Indian Railways announced that the entire rail network in the country is to be electrified by 2022. The deadline has been extended to 2024.

Central Organisation for Railway Electrification

The CORE is the centralised agency for railway electrification of Indian Railways. It was founded in 1961. The headquarters of CORE is located in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.

Benefits of Railway Electrification

  • 100% Electrification provides seamless train operation. This is because it will eliminate the need to change the traction from diesel to electric and vice versa.
  • The line capacity shall be enhanced due to higher haulage capacity and higher speed.
  • The safety of the trains increase as the signalling system in electric traction is better.
  • The electric traction is much cheaper than diesel traction.
  • The electric trains are ideal for suburban services as they require higher acceleration and braking features.

Electric Locomotive manufacturing units in India

Electric Locomotives are mainly manufactured in Chittaranjan Locomotive Works located in West Bengal. It was founded in 1950. It is the largest locomotive manufacturer in the world. In 2019-20, it produced 431 locomotives.

The Madhepura Electric Locomotive Factory is located in Bihar. It is a joint venture between Alstom and Ministry of Railway. It was established in 2015.




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