WITH the completion of electrification of the 52km line connecting Ausa Road to Latur Road on February 23, Indian Railways’ (IR) Central Railway (CR) became IR's seventh zone to have achieved 100% electrification on its entire broad-gauge network of 3825km.

With complete electrification, CR’s general manager, Mr Naresh Lalwani, expects to reduce CR’s carbon footprint by 500,000 tonnes of CO2 and save Rs 16.7bn ($US 202m) annually.

CR is located in the centre of India and includes the cities of Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nasik, Solapur and Kolhapur. It operates the busy Mumbai suburban rail network, which was already electrified.

Rail electrification has gathered pace in India since the National Democratic Alliance government headed by prime minister Mr Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. During the last eight years, 30,446km has been electrified compared with the 3874km achieved between 2007 and 2014.

Up to March 2022, IR had electrified 52,247km, which was approximately 80% of IR's total broad-gauge network of 65,141km.

IR plans to complete electrification of its entire broad-gauge network by the end of this year in pursuit of its goal to become a net zero carbon emitter and the world's largest green railway network.