Indian Railways to transform holistically into Electrical engines informs Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal recently at an executive meeting announced that soon Indian Railways will be phasing out old diesel engines in the coming five years and will introduce and switch electrical engines fully.


By removing diesel locomotives, the National Transporter will save around Rs 11,000 crore annually, Goyal said this during the meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) which is considered to be the industry lobby.


“We are planning to switch all trains to electric driven engines”, Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday. “Diesel locomotives will be used for backup purposes in the yard”.


“We don't want to burden our passengers and freight customers by raising costs. Through bringing efficiency in the existing system, we can reduce operational costs and provide better services to our users," he said adding to the news.  


This statement has raised questions on General Electric’s Marhaura diesel locomotive project in Bihar.  Where the company is already setting up a factory with an estimated cost of Rs 2,052.58 crore. Under the original project, GE had to supply 1,000 diesel locomotives of 4,500 and 6,000 horsepower.   


On September 7, this year Goyal had asked the Indian Railways to review the  GE’s Bihar project as per the given plans of complete electrification of the network by 2022. This led GE to say a strong statement informing that scrapping of this project would lead to “serious impact on job creation and skills development and cause the government to incur substantial costs”.


Further, in October, Goyal then informed about GE’s project’s on track position and added that if required the manufacturing diesel unit can be upgraded into electric locomotives. He also added that if the Indian Railways required any changes, GE will be informed about it.


Adding to the Railway safety, Goyal in the meeting also informed that the production of German based LHB (Linke- Haufmann- Busch) coaches have also increased.  These coaches were recommended, as they have better security and safety features, by a high-level safety review committee of 2012.


He also said that Uttar Pradesh government has also been approached for the Rae Bareli factory’s expansion. “ I have asked the rail coach factories to develop the LHB coaches and also double up their production at Rae Bareli coach factory, which currently manufactures 1,000 coaches annually,”, added Goyal.  



Feature writer

Life is merely an illusion