Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said he has been informed by the railway board that no diesel locomotives will be allowed in the Delhi area after March 2019, indicating that the national transporter was on track to completely phase out such locomotives by 2022.
Speaking at the Institute of Railway Electrical Engineers, Goyal emphasised the need for transformation and change in the work culture of the Railways.
“The Member Traction, Railway Board, has said that by March 2019, no diesel loco hauled train would be permitted in Delhi area…railways will be completely LED lit in the next eight months,” he said.
Goyal also said that as of January 31, 2018, 279 electric locomotives have been built. “Now, let’s worry about how to convert this 279 into 1,000. We don’t have the luxury of time…Let’s see if we can make it by 2019, let us start with that,” he said.
He also urged Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction, Railway Board, to reduce the cost of electrification by using automation and modern technologies.
During the event, he also released the news bulletin ’GARVITA’ and launched a mobile app for public transparency.
The railway ministry has set a target of 2022 to switch to electric locomotives completely by phasing out their diesel counterparts with a focus on increasing speed.
The Railways will save about Rs. 11,500 crore annually through such a move, officials said.