Indian Railways is on a continuous growth path and ranks as the world’s 4th biggest railway network, along with this, the Vandhe Bharat Express is a game-changer for Indian Railways as it aims to modernize Indian Railways by improving connectivity, security, sanitation and speed.

But it doesn’t stop there! These trains are not just fuel efficient but also help reduce carbon emissions, making them eco-friendly and promoting sustainable transportation.

Over the last 9 years, Indian Railways has saved about $1 billion in fuel costs. In 2020-21, diesel consumption was cut by more than 50% compared to the previous year.

In 2018–2019, diesel consumption stood at 2.64 lakh kiloliters, and this decreased by 10.44% in 2019–2020, further dropping by 50.29% to 11.75 lakh kL in 2020–21.

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And when it comes to fuel bills, in 2018–2019, they were Rs 18,587.14 crore, which was reduced to Rs 16,377.60 crore in 2019–2020 and further dropped to Rs 11,438.70 crore in 2020–2021.

Going back to 5 years, only 40% of the railway tracks were electrified, but now that number has risen to 85%. As a result, the annual fuel expenses for Indian Railways have dropped by about 40%.

Now, Indian Railways is planning to achieve 100% electrification by 2024 to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

But what’s the purpose behind electrifying railway tracks?

This move towards complete electrification will bring several benefits, including lower costs for transporting goods, increased capacity for carrying heavier loads, improved track capacity, reduced expenses for maintaining and operating electric loco, and a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. It will also reduce the reliance on imported crude oil, leading to savings in foreign exchange.

This push for electrification will save Indian Railways a lot of money on its fuel bill of over ₹15,000 crore annually.

As of June 30, electrification work is finished for routes in 14 states and Union territories, while it’s more than 90% complete in six other states and 75% in five other UTs and states.

Indian Railways has a goal to save fuel of about 2 lakh litres of diesel every day by electrifying the entire network of pit lines. These pit lines are crucial spots where train coaches get their electrical equipment checked, like lights, fans, and mobile charging points, before setting off on their journeys.

Electric trains are super-efficient, about 3x better than diesel or hydrogen trains, and between 40% and 300% more dependable than diesel trains, which lowers energy requirements.

When the entire railway network is electrified, diesel locomotive-hauled trains will be phased out, helping reduce pollution and India’s dependence on imported fuel.

The annual savings of $1 billion on fuel expenses are set to bring about a massive financial change for Railways. This will help reduce debt and make it possible to invest in improving trains and stations.

Plus, as more green energy is used, the bills will decrease even more. So, India’s railway system is undergoing a huge transformation, and it’s not just about Vande Bharat trains; it’s much bigger than that.

Written By Shivani Singh

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