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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Railways to implement provisions of 750V power supply to LHB rakes

The Indian Railways will implement the provision of 750V power supply for maintenance of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) rakes at washing/sick lines, South Western Railway officials said in Hubballi on Sunday.

In November 2016, the Railway Board took a policy decision to switch over 100% of its production to LHB coaches from April 2018. An energy review undertaken at the Railway Board showed that at 2021-22 base the diesel consumption on testing and maintenance of LHB rakes at washing and pit lines was about 1.84 lakh litres per day amounting to an annual recurring expense of approximately ₹668+ crore which was projected to increase at over 20% per annum, being a combined function of diesel prices and LHB fleet induction. Comparatively, grid electrical energy is 70% to 80% cheaper. This issue is typical to LHB and does not arise in ICF coaches, and therefore, infrastructure and capacity creation at washing/pit lines by providing 750V power supply for testing & maintenance of LHB rakes was important.

With this aim, capital works for 411 washing/pit lines on Indian Railways (IR) were sanctioned at a total capital cost of approx. ₹210 crore. It was a thrust area monitored by the Railway Board in a span of less than one year. Capital works were sanctioned and works awarded for infra creation at 411 washing/pit lines, covering entire IR and by end of July 2023, works at 316 washing/pit lines were completed. The rest are targeted for completion by Q2 of 2023.

The infrastructure so created, by investing a capital of ₹210 crore in infra capacity creation at washing/pit lines, would yield a net savings of ₹500+ crore every year in Ordinary Working Expenses. Coupled with the target of HOG compliant locomotive fleet on IR, savings shall be much higher. This is a part of IR’s efforts to improve operational viability of passenger services, particularly Mail / Express segment through non-tariff measures by reducing costs and improving efficiency with optimisation.

IR is deeply committed to cutting fossil fuel dependence and reducing its carbon footprint in the economy to achieve Net Zero by 2030. The Hon’ble PM had laid down this in the National Statement at COP 26. This work is a step towards IR’s low carbon transition pathways to adopt a carbon neutral growth strategy.

The above showcases IR’s relentless pursuit in identifying works and areas that fetch discernible benefits - in terms of safety, cost economies, carbon footprint and HR efficiency.

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