Electric engines to whistle into North Bengal
Senior officials of the Eastern Railway (ER) informed the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) on Wednesday that they intended to start running electric engines in north Bengal as track electrification till New Jalpaiguri was likely to be completed by the end of November.
Unlike most other railway zones in the country, trains are still hauled by diesel locos in the NFR’s territory.
“Track electrification was a longstanding demand of north Bengal residents. That is why the project to electrify the tracks till Guwahati was taken up. Electrification up to NJP is nearing completion. Once diesel locos are introduced, it would improve the speed of trains and reduce energy costs,” said a senior NFR official.
“For trains plying beyond NJP, the engine can be changed to a diesel one and vice-versa,” a source said.
In the letter, the principal chief electrical engineer has also mentioned that once the electrified tracks are commissioned till NJP, the ER wants to run 28 pairs of trains with electric engines.
While trains like the Shatabdi Express and the Darjeeling Mail will run on electric engines along the entire route, some other long-distance trains to the Northeast and south India will have their locos changed at NJP.