Union minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that the Indian Railways has decided to phase out diesel engines over the next five years and switch to electric ones, IANS reported.
By making all trains electricity-driven, the Railways will save about Rs 11,500 crore annually, Goyal said at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry event. “The diesel locomotives will be used for back-up purposes in the yards.”
He said the Railways does not want to burden the passengers and freight customers by raising costs, according to The Economic Times. “Through bringing efficiency in the existing system, we can reduce operational costs and provide better services to our users,” he said. It will also help carbon emissions.
Goyal also said that he had told railway officials to increase the production of Linke-Hofmann-Busch coaches. “We are promoting Linke-Hofmann-Busch coaches as they are safer than Integrated Coach Factory coaches,” he added.
“I have asked the rail coach factories to develop the Linke-Hofmann-Busch coaches and also double up their production at Rae Bareli coach factory, which currently manufacturers 1,000 coaches annually,” Goyal said. He added that the ministry had approached the Uttar Pradesh government, and sought 200 acres more land to expand the Rae Bareli factory.