Central Railway saves electricity, earns Rs51 crore

Eager to drive home the message of judicious use of electricity, the Central Railway (CR) has, in the previous year, managed to substantially reduce its electricity consumption by using a combination of new energy saving technologies and by applying simple energy saving tricks in its everyday operations.

According to CR’s chief spokesperson VA Malegaonkar, the overall energy consumption has been reduced by a substantial 15% in the year 2010-2011 as compared to 2009-2010. “If the CR consumed 7.63 units per gross tonne kilometre (GTK) in 2009-10, the number had come down to 6.49 units per GTK in the 2010-11,” he said. GTK is a unit of measurement representing the movement of one tonne of rail vehicle, including the weight of tractive vehicle, over a distance of one km. This reduction in consumption enabled the CR to earn about Rs51 crore in the 2010-11.

Elaborating further on the several measures that enabled the CR to save electricity, Malegaonkar said in specific sections of operations such as ghats, only single loco-engines were used even if 3 were available. Auxillary circuits, which consume high electricity, were turned on only when the train was in operation. Also, if the train was to halt at a particular location for more than 45 minutes, the loco engine, which enables the movement of the train, was turned off.

On the suburban section, the new trains purchased under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which were brought into operations, also helped save electricity as their contemporary regenerative braking technology is designed to harness the mechanical energy lost through conventional friction braking system. Regenerative braking uses the electricity generated by braking, which is transmitted to the overhead wire.


Now, a local that will will break the 100kmph speed barrier

This month, the suburban railway will break the 100kmph speed barrier for the first time in its history.

Although voices are being raised in city’s railway circles whether the train can be allowed to run at such high speed given the closeness of stations within the city limits, the first train is being readied at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai and will be brought to Mumbai by month-end.

“The 102nd train is already in Mumbai and the 105th, which is being manufactured, is likely to be the city’s first hi-speed train. While a few of its coaches are ready, the entire train should be ready and should be in city by October end or early November,” said PC Sehgal, managing director of the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC).

The new train is being procured under the Rs4,500-crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), funded by World Bank and coordinated by the MRVC.

While the train will be similar to the existing ones, its high-speed bogie (wheel sets) will make all the difference. The bogies frames and technology has been bought from Siemens Australia.

A senior railway official said, “It has taken the railways six years to study and design the new train bogie. We are making a limited number of them and city should get just four to five of such trains which will be divided between Central and Western Railways.”
Officials said the train could achieve high-speeds on longer journeys beyond Kalyan, and in a few months when they start the run to Dahanu.

Officials said it is the track condition that allows higher speeds. In today’s context, the new high-speed train can achieve a speed of 110kmph on suburban local track and a speed of 130kmph on the track beyond Virar and Kalyan.

“Once the new train arrives, it will be subjected to heavy trials and oscillation tests. We will be loading them with sacks of sand to match the weight of a crowded train,” he added.