Srinagar: In its endeavour for electrification of the 137-kilometer Banihal- Baramulla rail link, the Northern Railways on Monday held a trial run of the electric train between Budgam to Baramulla.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday took to Twitter and posted a video of the trial run. “Successful trial of electric train between Budgam- Baramulla section in J&K. MissionElectrification,” Vaishnaw Tweeted.
It may be mentioned that the overhead electrification, for which some work was started in June 2019, had a completion period of two years till June 2021. Tenders for the project were released three years ago but full-fledged work started only last year.
“The total route length for electrification is 137.73 kilometers with three main substations of Qazigund, Budgam and Baramulla from where power will be supplied to the overhead equipment of the rail line,” an official said. He said there would be ten power switching stations in the Banihal- Baramulla section.
“ The overhead equipment of the rail line will be supplied with a 25 KV power supply. Besides, the transmission sub-station will be fed by a 132 KV supply from different power grids across J&K,” the official said.
The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) “to monitor the traction power distribution” will be based at Budgam station, he said. As per officials, the Railways had approached J&K administration and central government for power supply for electrification of the rail link.
“ Electrification will be more economical and is 40 per cent lower than when compared to running the railways on diesel” the official.
He said the electric poles would be erected after every 400-420 meters and it would be more eco-friendly compared to running railways on fuel.
As per officials, in the first phase, a total number of 1271 electric poles were erected between Budgam and Baramulla stations. Of these, the highest number of 305 poles were erected between Sopore and Baramulla.
Besides, poles were erected between Budgam to Mazhom, Mazhom to Pattan, Pattan to Hamre and Hamre to Sopore, officials said. It may be recalled that in 2013, Kashmir got its first train service when it was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.