Recently, the Minister of Railways has inaugurated the newly electrified Dhigawara- Bandikui section of North Western Railway and flagged off the first train on this electrified route from Dhigawara station in Alwar District, Rajasthan.


  1. 1832: The first railway proposals for India were made in Madras.
  2. 1837: The country got its first train in the form of Red Hill Railway, which was built with the sole purpose of transporting granite for road building.
  3. 1853: In April, India’s first passenger train, operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway ran between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane.
  4. 1925: In February, the first electric passenger train ran between Victoria Terminus and Kurla (Mumbai).
  5. 1951: Indian Railways was nationalised.


  • Indian Railways has set a target to complete Electrification of its Broad gauge network by December 2023.
  • More than 66% of the Broad gauge route has already been electrified. With 18065 km of electrification, Railways recorded a 371% increase in electrification during 2014-20 period as compared to 2009-2014.


  • 100% electrification will provide seamless train operation by eliminating detention of trains due to change in traction (action of drawing or pulling something over a surface) from diesel to electric and vice versa.
  • It will help Railways in enhancing line capacity due to higher speed and higher haulage capacity of electric locomotives.
  • Improved signaling system will lead to enhanced safety in train operations.
  • Electric traction is much cheaper and efficient compared with diesel traction as running trains on electric traction is 50% cheaper than diesel.
  • Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) are ideal for suburban services, which require higher acceleration and braking features for frequent starts and stops.
  • Direct employment during the construction phase for electrification will translate to about 20.4 crore man days, which will significantly boost the employment.
  • Total shift to electric traction will reduce fossil fuel consumption of about 2.83 billion liters per annum and also give a subsequent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.
  • GHG emission for electric traction falls below diesel traction, making it an environmentally friendly option.
  • It provides savings of Rs. 13,510 crore per annum in fuel bill as maintenance of electric locomotive is low as compared to diesel locomotive.
  • Regeneration facilities of electric locomotives will save 15-20% energy and also there is a reduced overall requirement of electric locomotives due to their higher horsepower.
  • Reduced carbon footprint as environmental cost per tonne Km for electric traction is less as compared to diesel traction.


  1. In line with the commitment made by India in Conference of Parties (COP) 21 (Paris) total shift to electric traction will reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO ) emission of Railways by 24% till 2027-28.
  2. Carbon footprint can be defined as the total amount of GHG produced directly and indirectly to support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of CO .
  3. In July 2020, Indian Railways decided to be self-reliant for its energy needs by utilizing its vacant lands for Renewable Energy (RE) projects.
  4. It will utilize solar energy for meeting its traction power requirements.


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