The Mission Raftaar project of the Indian Railways has now picked up and started yielding results.
Under this project measures are being taken to raise average speed of both passenger carrying trains and freight carrying trains.
The Mission is being spearheaded by a cross disciplinary mobility Directorate in the Railway Board. The average speed is reckoned as one of the key indicators of all the railway productivity and efficiency in operations and utilization of assets.
Under this project the busiest Ghaziabad – Allahabad – Mughalsarai route which was taken up on priority basis, for increasing average speed which now has been successfully implemented.
This was achieved by replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with Main line Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) and Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) trains has been undertaken.
MEMU / DEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment upto 20 kmph in comparison to loco driven passenger trains. The Ghaziabad – Allahabad – Mughalsarai section is now free from conventional trains.
The Railway Ministry is working on a target to do this kind of replacement on all identified routes viz., Delhi – Mumbai, Delhi –Howrah, Howrah-Chennai, Chennai – Mumbai, Delhi – Chennai and Howrah – Mumbai (Diamond Quadrilateral routes along with diagonals). These are the principal routes of the railways as they carry 58% of freight traffic and 52 of coaching traffic with a share of only 15 of the network.
For implementing this target on the above six routes, 1048 MEMU coaches and 136 DEMU coaches are required. To achieve this target in three years, action plan has been drawn out to ramp up the production of MEMU to 400-500 per annum in next three years as against the present level 190 per year at present.
Maximum speed of coaching trains has increased up to 130 kmph/160 kmph, but the average speed is hovering around 45 kmph. Maximum speed of freight trains has increased up to 75 kmph/100 kmph, but the average speed is hovering around 24 kmph.
Average coaching train speeds have declined by 1 kmph in last 5 years. Average freight train speeds have declined by 2 kmph in last 5 years.
Progress and Road Map:
A cross disciplinary, Mobility directorate has been set up in April 2016 to spearhead the mission.
For a focused action, Golden Quadrilateral routes along with diagonals (Delhi – Mumbai, Delhi – Howrah, Howrah- Chennai, Chennai – Mumbai, Delhi – Chennai and Howrah – Mumbai) have been taken up for initial emphasis.
These are the principal routes of the railways as they carry 58% of freight traffic and 52% of coaching traffic with a share of only 15% of the network.
Multi-pronged strategy has been developed to overcome the existing impediments due to fixed infrastructure, movable infrastructure, operational practices and institutional mechanisms.