Green rakes to net WR 2cr per year in carbon credits

Western Railway’s (WR) move to switch its network from 1,500V Direct Current (DC) to 25,000V Alternating Current (AC) will net it carbon credits worth Rs 2 crore per annum. This is because WR is now going to utilize rakes with regenerative braking features compatible with both DC and AC systems on its network, which will help it save energy.

The decision to switch from DC to AC necessitated the use of rakes that were compatible with the new power system. As aresult, WR had to phase out all the DC-compatible rakes in favour of those that can ply on dual AC-DC system. As of now, 83 (77 Siemens and 6 Alstom) AC-DC Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes are in operation.
Of these, 66 rakes have been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR said, “It is estimated that these rakes will reduce overall emission of CO2by 10,278 tonne. Carbon credits accrued to WR every year due to this will be approximately Rs 2 crore. Eleven more rakes are proposed to be registered under the UNFCCC, and their benefits on the carbon credits front will accrue proportionately in future.” The DC-AC rakes are energy-efficient as they have regenerative braking, where on application of brakes, the traction motor works like a generator and converts kinetic energy into electrical energy. The generated energy is fed back to the overhead equipment and used by other trains running on the section.

Lower electricity consumption will mean reduced fuel consumption in power plants and will automatically lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. DC-AC EMU rakes consume 30% less energy than conventional DC rakes.
Chandrayan said, “In the last one year, WR has increased 12-car services by 25%. In spite of the 10% increase in traction tariff by power suppliers,we have saved Rs 12.75 crore in the last 10 months on the traction energy bill.”