Railway Ministry opens electrification project unit in Bengaluru

It is expected to hasten electrification of 2,457 km lines in SWR, adjoining zones

July 31, 2019 12:04 am | Updated 12:04 am IST - Mangaluru

Karnataka Mangaluru    29/07/2019   An electric locomotive stationed at the Mangaluru Junction Yard in Mangaluru.
(to go with railway electrification story)
Photo: Anil Kumar Sastry

Karnataka Mangaluru 29/07/2019 An electric locomotive stationed at the Mangaluru Junction Yard in Mangaluru.
(to go with railway electrification story)
Photo: Anil Kumar Sastry

The Railway Ministry has established Railway Electrification Project unit of Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE) in Bengaluru to hasten electrification process of lines thereby almost covering the Railway network in the State, recently.

Headed by a Chief Project Director, the unit is mandated to electrify 2,457 km lines under the South Western Railway by 2022, said an official communiqué from SWR. Of the total 2,457-km target given for completion before 2022, 466 km within SWR would have to be completed within this financial year.

The SWR has 3,522 route km network of lines, of which around 700 km is already electrified. The electrified lines include Bengaluru-Jolarpettai, Bengaluru-Mysuru, and Bengaluru-Dharmavaram.

R.A. Chaudhary, a 1989 batch Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, has been posted as the Chief Project Director of the unit. Mr. Chaudhary has worked as Chief Electrical Distribution Engineer, East Coast Railway, Chief Project Director, Railway Electrification, Bhubaneshwar and other posts. He is a graduate of NIT, Jamshedpur.

The routes proposed to be electrified include Kadur-Chikkamagaluru 46 km; Birur-Talaguppa 161 km; Hosapete-Swamihalli 59 km; Bangarpet-Yelahanka 149 km; Chikkabanavar-Hassan 166 km; Mysuru-Chamarajanagar 61 km; Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru including Hassan-Arsikere 347 km; Mirja-Kurdwadi Latur (Central Railway) 377 km; Gadag-Hotgi 284 km; Chikkabanavar-Hubballi 456 km, Dharmavaram-Pakala 228 km (South Central Railway) and Nandyal-Yerraguntla (SCR) 123 km.

SWR said the project unit at Bengaluru is bound to expedite execution of the Railway Electrification Projects by facilitating better coordination with offices of the Railway and State government concerned. The unit would also speed up field works as focused attention could now be given to the projects.

The SWR will get its first electric loco shed at Krishnarajapuram in Bengaluru next year when the existing diesel loco shed will be converted to handle both electric and diesel locos, according to SWR officials. The Ministry has already decided to transfer five electric locos from Royapuram to Krishnarajapuram.

SWR was lagging behind in railway electrification and had been operating predominantly with diesel locomotives. Opening of the CORE project unit as well as upgrading Krishnarajapuram loco shed to maintain electric lLocos will accelerate electrification process in Karnataka, railfans believe.

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