Central Railway conversion plan almost complete, claims railway

Central Railway conversion plan almost complete, claims railway :One of the railway’s most important projects — to change its obsolete electricity systems which started way back in 1996 — is finally reaching the business end of things. Top railway officials said that the conversion of CR’s electric traction between Thane and CST is ’99 per cent’ complete and should be over by the December 31 deadline.

The project was one of those listed as important and in urgent need of completion in the list made to commemorate 100 days of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. While the 100-day commemoration was in August, railway officials said the project, despite not being completed by then, got a major fillip after being included in the list.

“It is the work that took place at breakneck speed between July and August which has now given us this 99 per cent complete status. Now permissions from the railway board, the Commissioner of Railway Safety and the Research Design Standards Organisation (RDSO) are left and that should take a couple of months more. We are well within the December 31 deadline,” said a top railway official.

The other big issue, the need for rakes that can run on AC traction after the conversion, is also in control with CR officials saying that around 10 such rakes would be needed to service the CST-Thane section.

“We use around 75 rakes to service the CST-Thane section every day. Some 52 are Siemens, around 9 are BHEL ones and some 8 rakes are retrofitted ones. We would require about 10 AC traction rakes which should not be a problem,” said an official.

The project would allow CR to deploy Alternating Current suburban locals which could run at 100 kilometres per hour, thus allowing train-runners to squeeze in more trains into the timetable. It will also give almost 33 per cent energy savings and power bill savings of anything between Rs50-80 crore annually, said officials.

At a cost of Rs1,299 crore, the plan was to change the lines from DC to AC from Igatpuri and Pune towards CST. The project has progressed till Thane at a cost of Rs910 crore and on the 5th and 6th lines — used by long-distance trains-between Thane and Kurla LTT. The lines left to be converted from DC to AC are Thane to CST and the Harbour line. The deadline to complete all these lines — except Harbour line — was March 2014 which was then pushed back first to August and then to December.

Central Railway conversion plan almost complete, claims railway

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