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Railway electrification in India began with the first electric train (1500 V DC), between Bombay Victoria Terminus and Kurla on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway’s (GIPR) Harbour Line, on 3 February 1925. Steep grades on the Western Ghats necessitated the introduction of electric traction on the GIPR to Igatpuri on the North East Line and to Pune on the South East Line. 1500 V DC traction was introduced on the suburban section of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway between Colaba and Borivili on 5 January 1928, and between Madras Beach and Tambaram of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway on 11 May 1931, to meet growing traffic needs. The last sections of 1500 V DC in India, from Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai to Panvel and Thane to Vashi, were upgraded to 25 kV AC in April 2016. 3000 V DC [ edit ]

The electrification of the Howrah- Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway at 3000 V DC was completed in 1958. The first 3000 V DC EMU service began on the Howrah- Sheoraphuli section on 14 December 1957. The last section of 3000 V DC in India, from Howrah to Burdwan, was upgraded to 25 kV AC in 1968. 25 kV AC [ edit ]

The 25 kV AC system emerged as an economical form of electrification as a result of research and trials in Europe, particularly on French Railways ( SNCF). Indian Railways decided to adopt the 25 kV AC system of electrification as a standard in 1957, with SNCF their consultant in the early stages.

The first section electrified with the 25 kV AC system was Raj Kharswan–Dongoaposi, on the South Eastern Railway, on 15.12.1959 and first electric train run. The first 25 kV AC EMUs, for Kolkata suburban service, were introduced in September 1962. For system continuity, the Howrah–Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway and Madras Beach–Tambaram section of the Southern Railway were converted to 25 kV AC by 1968. Conversion [ edit ]

Considering the limitations of the existing DC traction system, a decision was made to convert to 25 kV AC traction in 1996-97. Conversion from DC to AC traction was completed in 2012 by Western Railway and in 2016 by Central Railway. With this, the entire electrified mainline rail network in India uses 25 kV AC; DC is used only for metros and trams. Organisation [ edit ]

The electrification office was established in Calcutta as Project Office for Railway Electrification (PORE) in 1951, when electrification of the Howrah–Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway was begun. A general manager headed the Railway Electrification Organisation, established in Calcutta in 1959. In 1961, the Northern Railway electrification office (headed by an engineer-in-chief) was established in Allahabad for the electrification of the Mughalsarai– New Delhi section. In accordance with the 1978 J. Raj Committee report, a number of electrification projects were included and a railway-electrification headquarters established. Since most of the electrification projects were in Central and South India, the electrification headquarters was established in Nagpur under an additional general manager from 1982 to 1984. The headquarters moved to Allahabad under the additional general manager in January 1985 and was renamed Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE). A general manager was appointed in July 1987. Electrification progress [ edit ]

In the wake of industrial development in the eastern region, electrification and dieselisation were introduced during the first Five-Year Plan in the late 1950s [ clarify] to cope with increased traffic. After the completion of the second Five-Year Plan, Indian Railways had electrified 216 route-kilometres (rkm) with 25 kV AC. During the Third Plan (along with indigenisation, electrification was extended another 1,678 rkm. The pace of electrification then slowed until the 1970s energy crisis. The 1979 energy crisis, in particular, emphasised the need for a long-term electrification policy to reduce rail dependence on petroleum-based energy. In a general shift from petroleum-based energy in the transport sector, the Secretaries’ Committee on Energy (headed by the Cabinet Secretary) decided in July 1980 to electrify the railways at an annual pace of 1,000 rkm. Indian Railways electrified 2,812 rkm during the Seventh Plan, 2,708 rkm during the Eighth Plan and 2,484 rkm during Ninth Plan for a total of 16,001 rkm. In the 10th Plan, Electrification of 1,810 rkm was achieved in the Tenth Plan, exceeding the target of 1,800 rkm. In the Eleventh Plan (2007–12), 4,556 rkm were electrified (exceeding the target of 4,500 rkm). [1]

A total of 27,999 rkm was electrified by 31 March 2016 (primarily on high-density routes), 42.42 percent of the total rail network. About 51.2% of passenger traffic and 65.2% of freight traffic is operated by electric traction. The Twelfth-Plan target for electrification is 6,500 rkm; the 2012-13 and 2013-14 targets were 2,667 rkm, and the 2014-15 target was 1,089 rkm. The 2015-16 target was 1,190 rkm. [2] Six major routes (Delhi–Mumbai, Delhi–Kolkata, Delhi–Chennai, Mumbai–Howrah and Howrah–Chennai) have been fully electrified, and electrification of the remaining Mumbai–Chennai route (from Wadi Junction to Daund Junction) is in progress. Plan summary [ edit ] Plan

On 31 March 2012, the number of electric locomotives was 4,309. [6] As part of its modernisation plan, Indian Railways imported eighteen 6,000-horsepower thyristor locomotives with technology transfer; they are now produced at the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW). Indian Railways have developed chopper technology for DC electric multiple units in collaboration with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and 20 motor coaches with chopper technology will be placed in service. In addition to being less maintenance-intensive, chopper technology is expected to have an energy savings of 30 to 34 percent in suburban service. Equipment [ edit ]

To reduce maintenance costs and improve the reliability of power-supply systems, CORE has adopted state-of-the-art technology: cast resin transformers, SF 6 circuit breakers or vacuum switchgear, long-creepage solid-core insulators and PTFE-neutral sections. Eight-wheeled, self-propelled OHE inspection cars have been introduced to improve maintenance, and an OHE recording car has been requested to monitor the performance of overhead equipment. Signalling [ edit ]

Signalling systems are also being upgraded, with the semaphore signalling system being replaced by a coloured-light signalling system. Colour light signals are more visible to train drivers, improving safety and efficiency. The interlocking system is being changed to panel or relay interlocking. SCADA [ edit ]

The 220-132-25 kV power-supply network for electrification extends along the track for about 200 to 300 kilometres (120 to 190 mi). It is remotely controlled from the division control centre to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the track overhead equipment. In electrification projects, a microprocessor-based supervisory control and data acquisition control system is replacing the earlier electro-mechanical Strowger system of remote-control equipment. SCADA can telemeter voltage, current, maximum demand and power factor on a real-time basis, enabling control of maximum demand and electrical cost. The system also provides automatic troubleshooting and isolation of faulty sections. Telecommunication [ edit ]