The Northeast Frontier Railway has started the much-awaited electric locomotive-hauled passenger carrying trains to New Jalpaiguri on January 9th, 2020. Initially, four pairs of trains will run on electric traction.
The first long-distance train up to New Jalpaiguri with electric locomotive is 12343 Sealdah – New Jalpaiguri Darjeeling Mail. However, more trains will run by an electric locomotive in the near future, press communiqué stated.
The following trains have been planned to run with electric locomotives as of now:
- 12343 Darjeeling Mail – from Sealdah to New Jalpaiguri (W.E.F. 09.01.2020)
- 12344 Darjeeling Mail – from New Jalpaiguri to Sealdah (W.E.F. 10.01.2020)
- 12041 Shatabdi Express – from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri (W.E.F. 10.01.2020)
- 12042 Shatabdi Express – from New Jalpaiguri to Howrah (W.E.F. 11.01.2020)
- 22309 AC Express – from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri (W.E.F. 14.01.2020)
- 22310 AC Express – from New Jalpaiguri to Howrah (W.E.F. 15.01.2020)
- 55711 passenger – from Malda Town to New Jalpaiguri (W.E.F. 10.01.2020)
- 55712 passenger – from New Jalpaiguri to Malda Town (W.E.F. 11.01.2020)
It may be mentioned that at present many prestigious and long-distance diesel engine hauled train from Northeast region are replaced with the electric engine at Katihar and Malda Town stations. Electric passenger trains are also running in Katihar – Kumedpur – Old Malda – Malda Court section.
The Commissioner of Railway Safety, who works under Ministry of Civil Aviation, recently inspected the electrification work in Gunjaria – New Jalpaiguri section (160 km) to check various parameters to ensure safety. The approximate cost involved for electrification of this portion is about Rs 165.68 crore. It may be mentioned that the entire portion of track including branch lines in NFR was sanctioned for cent per cent electrification in the budget of 2017-18. The total cost of the entire electrification work in NFR is Rs 2,542.62 crore approximately.
The entire mainline of NFR was segregated into different sections for speedy implementation of work. Works are being implemented by CORE (Centre for Railway Electrification) and RVNL (Railway Vikas Nigam Limited). Section from Mukuria to Raninagar Jalpaiguri including New Jalpaiguri yard (597 track km) are being done by CORE. Work of New Bongaigaon – Jogighopa and Guwahati – Narengi portion will also to be done by CORE. From Raninagar Jalpaiguri to Sarupeta (259 track km) works are being done by RVNL.
The introduction of electric trains will lead to better connectivity of NFR to rest part of India. It will also be a great boost for the environment as conventional engines use fossil fuel to produce energy which causes pollution.