Addressing the National Executive Council members of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced the plan to phase out diesel engines from the railways in the next five years. The primary reasons for the move being cutting costs and reducing emissions. With this move, the railways is set to save an additional Rs. 11,500 crore annually.
He also said that the plans to have a 100 per cent electrified rail network were now being fast-tracked, aiming to electrify the remaining 30,000 km railway tracks within the next four years.
With an emphasis on passenger safety, the railways will be transitioning to Linke-Hofman-Busch (LHB) coaches from Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches, he said. The production capacity at the Rae Bareli Coach Factory will also be doubled from the current 1,000 coaches annually. The coach factory is set to be expanded by 200 acres, for which Goyal is in talks with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
He also communicated the government’s plan to convert 11,000 km of the rail network, that sees the most traffic, to high-speed corridors. High-speed movement on these routes will bring down time and costs of goods movement, and bring in more revenue for the railways too.
He also stressed on the Japanese bullet train technology being accident-free, and conveyed the resolve to continue with it over Chinese technology.