100% Electrification of railways in India can bring cleaner air

EV industry Oct 13, 2021

Hello people. This article is about how electrification of railways in India can bring cleaner air. Choosing an EV can help reduce harmful air pollution from exhaust emissions. An EV has zero exhaust emissions. Better for the environment.

Electrical propulsion has been the preferred way to move trains since almost 100 years. The idea of moving them longer distances via battery is one that’s just now being in the plans of government. 100% railway electrification will reduce Indian Railways' fuel bill by 13,510 crore/year and improve safety, capacity and speed.

In Germany, where already 40 percent of track is electrified, the trains are already cleaning the air along their routes. In them, a lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the floor of the train and is charged while it moves along via overhead lines, using them to both power the train and charge the battery. When the train reaches a stretch of rail with no overhead lines, the battery takes over.

Electrification of railways in India can bring cleaner air

Germany and France are two markets that have started investing in battery-electric trains.  Top speed of these  electric trains vary depending on the version, ranges from 87 to 124 mph.

In the U.S., GE Transportation is working on a battery-electric locomotive, in partnership with BNSF potentially going hundreds of miles on battery power.

Holland remains the leader for rail electrification; it powers 100 percent of its trains on sustainable energy which is almost entirely wind power, buffered by energy storage systems.

The Indian Union cabinet has approved a proposal for the complete electrification of Indian Railways in the next four years, reducing dependance on imported fossil fuel and saving revenue for the nation.

This is a great thing not only for those who live near high-traffic train tracks but also for those who travel by train, because in addition to reducing the reliance on oil, there are some indications it can have a big positive effect on health.

Indian Railways is one of the largest rail networks in the world with 67,368km of tracks and 22,550 trains that carry 22.24 million passengers and 3.04 million tonnes of freight every day.

As of now, Indian trains primarily run on electricity or diesel. Currently, around two-third of freight and more than half of passenger traffic in Indian Railways are ferried by electric traction (engines). However, electric traction accounts for just 37% of the total energy expenses of Indian Railways.

A Danish study last year found that traveling on a diesel train can expose you to higher levels of harmful ultrafine particulates than standing next to a busy highway.

Researchers found six times the levels of black carbon and 35 times the levels of ultrafine particulates inside passenger trains pulled by diesel locomotives versus electric ones.

If we want to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, we will need investment in affordable, reliable public transport that runs with electric trains and buses, and provide cleaner air for public.

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