Serving over 8 billion passengers annually, the Indian railroad network is one of the largest and most intricate in the world. But moving billions of people over tens of thousands of kilometers of rail every year is no small feat – it requires enormous amounts of energy, even though passenger-mile emissions are much lower than vehicle traffic.
India’s transport sector contributes to 12% of the country’s GHG emissions [Biennial Update Report to UNFCCC 2018], with railways accounting for about 4 per cent of that. To reduce overall emissions from transportation, India committed... more...
to increase the amount of freight moved by Indian Railways from about 35 per cent in 2015 to 45 per cent by 2030.
The Indian Government has been working on greening the railways, with over half of the network electrified, and a target to electrify the entire network in the next 3-4 years. Electrification would introduce a more centralized, efficient power system in lieu of higher emitting diesel engines.
In July 2020, Indian Railways went even further, announcing that the national transportation system will be a net zero carbon emitter by 2030. This would mean eliminating emissions of 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year, about the same as two coal power plants.
“Due to economic development and increased consumption, there is an increasing demand on the resources,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman of the Railways Board. “We need to take care of the environmental concerns along with the economic development to ensure sustainability. Indian Railways has embarked on a mission to improve energy efficiency and replace fossil fuel sources with renewable energy sources like solar and wind to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has long supported the Indian Railways’ efforts. In July, UNEP led a capacity building programme for Indian Railways management and staff on sustainability and green economy. The training was conducted under the UNEP-led Partnership for Action on Green Economy with support of the National Academy of Indian Railways.
Over 60 participants joined the week-long training to learn how to incorporate sustainable public procurement, green buildings, waste management, and biodiversity and conservation into green initiatives at Indian Railways. Participants ranged from upper management to entry-level officials and included representatives from training institutes who will become Master Trainers. This is the first time this type of interactive virtual training programme has been deployed for an organization of this size and environmental footprint.
Atul Bagai, Head of UNEP’s India Office, said, “India’s rail network has long been an integral part of the country’s societal fabric. Greening the railways not only is vital to achieve the Government’s climate objectives but is also an important symbol of India’s environmental initiative. UNEP is proud to assist these efforts through trainings like this and other support.”
Speaking about the training, Yadav said, “Capacity building of officials across all levels is key for achieving the vision of Indian Railways. I look forward to further collaboration between Indian Railways and UNEP in this endeavor.”
With more people and more freight set to ride the rails as India’s economy grows, it will be more important than ever to ensure that the future of India’s renowned rail network is sustainable.
Emissions from power generation are only one part of the equation. Indian Railways is also looking to make stations and installations green certified. Over 100 water treatment and recycling plants have been established.
And, in a unique development, the railroad operator has fitted long-distance coaches with bio tanks to deal with human waste from passengers. In the tank, waste is digested by bacteria, which release innocuous gases and wastewater that is treated before discharge. Along with reducing effluent and providing health and hygiene benefits, a study carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) found that these bio tanks may prevent emissions of up to 155 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.
For the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Delhi-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor, tenders have been invited by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) for data collection and associated survey work. Delhi to Ahmedabad bullet train! Even as work progresses for India’s first bullet train project, Indian Railways is already planning the second high-speed rail network – this time between Delhi and Ahmedabad. Recently, for the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Delhi-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor, tenders have been invited by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) for data collection and associated survey work. The Delhi-Ahmedabad bullet train project will cover a length of around 886 kilometres and will pass through Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan.... more...
NHSRCL, which is a Joint Venture of the Indian government and participating state governments, is already working on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail corridor project. A few months ago, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav had said, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the work on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail corridor project is likely to be completed on time. The country’s first Bullet Train project has a deadline of December 2023. The ambitious project had to face various issues including, protests by landowners as well as the project’s rising cost due to the widening gap between the Indian rupee and the Japanese yen. For the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail corridor, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) is granting a 20-year loan of 80% of Rs 1 trillion, that is required to fund the project. The project’s remaining cost will be borne by the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail corridor project is the central government’s flagship collaboration with Japan. In 2017, the foundation stone for this ambitious rail project was jointly laid by PM Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The upcoming Bullet Train, with speeds of over 300 km per hour, will reduce the travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai significantly. It is being said that the rail journey time between these two cities will be reduced to just two hours.
CSMT, the headquarters of India's Central Railway, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indian Railways will spend over Rs 1,600 crore to redevelop Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) while retaining its iconic heritage design. The platform space for the suburban network will be increased, and a new terminal will constructed for long-distance trains, along with a new entry point according to an ANI report. "The... more...
redevelopment plan of the station will cost approximately Rs 1,642 crore. As per our plan, we will restore the 1930s look without touching the yard and the commercial development also will be done taking the heritage aspect into consideration," S K Lohia, Managing Director - Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), told the news agency. CSMT, the headquarters of India's Central Railway, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the station, formerly called Victoria Terminus, was completed in 1887. Lohia added that the plan is to complete the redevelopment in two phases during four years.
RANCHI: The New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express, which remained stranded at Daltonganj Station for several hours on Thursday, due to the ongoing agitation of Tana Bhagats at Tori Junction, reached Ranchi early on Friday with a lone woman passenger. The remaining 930 passengers on board the Rajdhani Express were ferried from Daltonganj Station to Ranchi by bus but railway officials could not convince the woman, Ananya, to take an alternative mode of transport arranged by the district administration. She was not ready to travel by bus as she had paid money for the train... more...
journey. Finally, rail authorities had to bow down before the tenacity of this law student and the train was diverted via Gomoh and Bokaro, covering a distance of 535 kilometres, which is 225 kilometres more than its normal route. “I was pressurized to travel by bus or taxi, but I was not ready for it as I had already paid for the train journey. Finally, when I informed Indian Railways through Twitter, they sent me to Ranchi by train,” Ananya was quoted as saying. The daughter of a retired official of the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), she is currently pursuing an LLB degree at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Railway authorities said buses were arranged by the district administration due to the uncertainty over the ongoing agitation of Tana Bhagats at Tori junction. “Since, it is the responsibility of Indian Railways that every passenger on board reaches his or her destination on time, arrangement of buses was done to ferry them to Ranchi. But due to some reasons, the girl was reluctant to board a bus or taxi arranged by the district administration,” said Senior Divisional Commercial Manager Avnish. Finally, the train departed from Daltonganj in the evening on the diverted route and reached Ranchi at 1:45 am on Friday morning, late by more than 15 hours, he added. More than 250 Tana Bhagats, both male and female, are agitating at Tori Junction performing puja, singing bhajans and cooking food on the railway tracks, affecting movement of several goods trains as well as the New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express.
New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS): Union Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday held a meeting with top courier service agencies to facilitate robust partnership with Railways' freight and parcel service.
According to railway ministry officials, during the meeting it was informed that the national transporter was set to offer reliable, fast, affordable and easy to handle parcel services for logistics or courier agencies. The official said that the meeting was called to discuss and explore the possibilities of expanding the business of private parcel services through Indian Railways. ... more...
In order to quickly work out the best guidelines and ease of doing business, a joint working group is going to be formed consisting of Railway officials and representatives of logistics/courier providers.
Speaking on the occasion Goyal said "win win solutions" needed to be there to ensure a sustainable business development for all. He said that it may also be noted that a of total 5,292 parcel trains were run by Indian Railways from March 22 till September 2 out of which 5,139 have been time-tabled trains.
"Total 3,18,453 tonnes of consignments have been loaded in these trains and the earnings have been Rs 116.19 crore," Goyal said. Railway Ministry officials said that Indian Railways freight loading for the month of August this year with total 94.33 million tonnes surpassed last year's loading for the same month.
The official said that a total of 1,41,049 rakes with 451.38 million tonnes of freight were loaded by Indian Railways from March 25 to September 1 this year. The Indian Railways is also giving a number of concessions or discounts to make Railways freight movement attractive.
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