High speed rail will help cut down on environmental pollution

There could be a welcome spin-off to introducing the High Speed Rail between Bangalore and Mysore. It may cut down carbon dioxide emission by 31.32 % according to experts from the Indian Institute of Science following a recent survey.

The experts found that a large chunk of carbon emissions currently comes from private mode users (cars and two-wheelers) as their emission rate is high. “The policy-makers should look at ways to make rail-based mode of transport more attractive. Instead of investing in highway corridors, improvement can be done in the HSR corridor and movement within the city can be improved,” said Ashish Verma, assistant professor, department of civil engineering, Indian Institute of Science. Varun Raturi, along with Verma, did this survey.

The Indian government is looking at HSR as a possible mode of transport. Many feasibility studies have been undertaken and the state government too has done many infrastructure projects, one of which is the HSR link. However, given that HSR has not yet been implemented in India, there are few studies. asWe have undertaken this study to largely look at the practicality of introducing HSR in the state. “We will submit it to state government officials,” said Verma.

Data collection

* Data collected through surveys at bus-stands, railway stations, onboard trains between Bangalore and Mysore and National Highway 17 and restaurants

* Provided information about socio-economic status and travel behaviour of sample population and their willingness to shift to HSR. Bangalore-Mysore corridor taken as study area

* Target population were passengers travelling from Bangalore to Mysore with 290 interviews

* Each individual given six choice situations, thus making a total of 1740 observations

Emission calculation

* Daily passenger kilometres of travel: Derived by multiplying daily number of passengers with distance of trip i.e. 144km.

* Calculating total emission from vehicle travelled during a year: Determined by multiplying annual passenger kilometre with standard value of vehicle emissions for different modes

WR saves 4 cr every month after AC switch

The switchover to the alternating current (AC) from the direct current (DC) system on Western Railway added an extra Rs 4 crore to its kitty last month.

The savings are also because the AC system is more energy efficient and the transmission and distribution losses are less compared to the DC format. The WR runs 1,250 suburban services. The savings are substantial although the number of services has increased from 1,210 in December 2011.
“In 2011-12, WR was able to save Rs 53 crore after the conversion to the AC system,” said Sharat Chandrayan, WR’s chief public relations officer.

“The savings are bound to be substantial even though there may be an increase in services on WR’s suburban system in the future,” he added. WR has 77 AC-DC compatible rakes on its network.

WR has also registered the project with the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change. “Each rake has the potential to earn 35,000 units of carbon credits. It is estimated that these rakes will reduce overall carbon emissions,” he said. After the Mumbai division switched to the AC system this year, three phase locomotives with regenerative-brakes, which have the potential to save 15 to 17 % energy, have been introduced.

Super Saver

• Savings : 4cr in April

• AC-DC rakes on WR : 77

• Energy savings : 30%

•Savings (2011-12) : 53cr