Indian Railway Just Stepped Up Their Game By Switching Gears From Diesel To Electric Locomotive

The railway network is deeply ingrained in the core fabric of Indian culture. From the trains flying down the tracks, or peeking outside to see the landscape speed by from that much-fought-over window seat, a train is not just a transport but rather an experience that stays with people. Along with the crowd-pleasing aspect of this mode of commute, there are matters of horror that are to be dealt with every day, ranging from social to political debates. But these matters often bears little to no relation to one very important topic - sustainability. 

What’s easy is to run things the way they have been, but getting up to the next level of advancement, is a tough shell to crack. Despite being aware of the harmful effects of diesel engines, the issue was more talked about that worked about. But recently, Indian Railways took the first step towards addressing this problem by turning a diesel locomotive into an electric one. In a record time of 69 days, Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) in Varanasi conducted the conversion during a mid-life locomotive rehabilitation, saving 50% of the costs. 

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According to the railway officials, the cost of rehabilitating an engine is around 5 to 6 crore whereas the conversion only billed them with 2.5 crores. In December 2017, they choose a WDG3-class diesel locomotive for the purpose and started working on it around February 2018. Along with cutting a huge slack to the environment, the overall output of the locomotive jumped from 2600 HP to 5000 HP i.e. 92 percent more than before. 

With twice as efficiency and a huge save in carbon footprint, this is a huge milestone for Indian Railways and the nation’s development. Alongside contributing towards nature by leaps and bounds, we can hope that soon the entire train network will run on an electrified network and sustain the ecological balance better than ever. 

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