Indian Railways successfully operates first electric locomotive in Assam

22 February 2021 (Last Updated February 22nd, 2021 15:08)

Indian Railways has successfully conducted the trial run of an electric locomotive for the very first time in the northeastern state of Assam.

Indian Railways successfully operates first electric locomotive in Assam
The trial run was conducted by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL). Credit: Daniel Hazra on Unsplash.

Indian Railways has successfully conducted the trial run of an electric locomotive for the very first time in the northeastern state of Assam.

The new locomotive will support the Indian Railways to provide electric rail connectivity in the isolated northeastern parts of the country.

In a video shared by the Indian Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Twitter, a WAG9 electric locomotive can be seen conducting a trial in Assam for the very first time.

The trial run was conducted by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL).

RVNL said on Twitter: “RVNL completed an electric loco trial between Bongaigaon-Sorupeta on 18.02.2021. This is the first electric traction in operation in Assam changing the dynamics of train operations in the NE region with green energy, efficient and environment-friendly options.”

Full operations under electric traction are currently being implemented from the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station in West Bengal.

To transform India into a green country, the Indian Ministry of Railways is working to renovate the whole railway network, with electrification being a priority.

As of November 2020, around 66% of the track length has been electrified.

Indian Railways is aiming to complete the electrification of its entire broad-gauge network by 2023, enabling trains to run without using imported fossil fuel.

The speed of electrification has been significantly scaled up from a level of 1,176km in 2014-2015 to 5,276km in 2018-2019 and 4,378km in 2019-2020.

A cumulative 1,682 RKMs have been electrified until November 2020, despite the setback caused by the pandemic.

Once completed, Indian Railways is expected to save nearly $2bn per annum on fuel/energy bill.

Moreover, Indian Railways is also working on becoming a net-zero emitter of carbon by 2030.