The Railways are considering the Chennai-Bengaluru-Coimbatore-Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram corridor as one among the six railway corridors for introducing high-speed rail service as part of the green initiatives to reduce green house gas (GHG) emission. GHG emission of the Railways is much lower vis-a-vis other modes of transport.
In order to achieve the target of sourcing at least 10 per cent of electricity from renewable energy resources, the Railways have taken initiatives to tap wind energy and solar energy.
Southern Railway General Manager Vashishta Johri says the Railways have set up a target of installing 1,000-MW solar energy plants by 2020. About 170-MW windmills are currently envisaged.
Mr. Johri says that given the relative advantage of the efficiency of rail-based transport, increasing the share of rail mode, for both passenger and freight movement, is vital not only to increase overall efficiencies of the transport sector, but also to reduce GHG emissions.
Taking this fact into consideration, the Railways are planning eight important measures to achieve the goal of further bringing down its GHG emissions.
Topping the list is increasing the frequency, speed, and throughput of trains, Mr. Johri says adding this would involve capacity augmentation of routes by increasing speed and frequency of trains wherever needed.
Exclusive freight corridors are planned across the country as an important railway infrastructure.
Two such corridors have already been identified for the purpose.
Doubling of 10,000 km and gauge conversion of 3,500 km by 2020 besides construction of new lines at the rate of 400 km per annum planned up to 2020 are part of the measures to increase efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.
He says the specific fuel consumption of the Railways for diesel traction is expected to improve by 5.3 per cent by 2020 as compared to 2013-14 and by 4.23 per cent in the decade between 2020 and 2030.