ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Decarbonisation and the Indian Railways

Indian Railways is the world’s fourth largest railway network in terms of size and one of the largest electricity consumers in the country consuming approximately 18,410 million units (MU) for traction loads (trains) and 2,338 MU for non-traction loads (office, railway stations, etc) in 2020. Indian Railways transports 24 million passengers every day across the subcontinent on 13,000 trains covering approximately 67,956 kilometres. Moreover, 3.3 million tonnes of freight per day is transported. Hence, the fuel requirements of Indian Railways are massive.

Indian Railways is the world’s fourth largest railway network in terms of size and one of the largest electricity consumers in the country consuming approximately 18,410 million units (MU) for traction loads (trains) and 2,338 MU for non-traction loads (office, railway stations, etc) in 2020. Indian Railways transports 24 million passengers every day across the subcontinent on 13,000 trains covering approximately 67,956 kilometres. Moreover, 3.3 million tonnes of freight per day is transported. Hence, the fuel requirements of Indian Railways are massive. At the same time, Indian Railways accounts for about 4% of India’s total carbon emissions.

Indian Railways is taking a multipronged approach to go green and decarbonise—from increasing its sourcing of renewable energy to electrifying its traction network and reducing its energy consumption. Its goal is to become a “net-zero” carbon emitter by 2030. And it has ambitious plans to accomplish this goal. Its current emphasis is on its share of freight and passenger transport on economic as well as environmental considerations. It has also formulated an ambitious investment programme that primarily focuses on network capacity enhancement and advancement of core assets, including tracks, network, and station redevelopment, and upgrading signalling and locomotives. It plans to electrify the entire broad gauge network by December 2023 to achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. It is expected that our reliance on fossil fuel-based power for Indian Railways will be significantly reduced by 2030.

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Updated On : 27th Oct, 2022
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