New Delhi, Oct 5: The Raftaar project of Indian Railways, which envisages increasing the speeds of existing trains, has picked up and started yielding results, Ministry of Railways said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Under this project measures are being taken to raise average speed of both passenger carrying trains and freight carrying trains", the railway ministry said.
The Mission is being spear-headed by a cross disciplinary mobility directorate in the Railway Board. The average speed is reckoned as one of the key indicators of all the railway productivity and efficiency in operations and utilization of assets.
"Under this project the busiest Ghaziabad-Allahabad-Mughalsarai route, which was taken up on priority basis, for increasing average speed, has been successfully implemented," the statement said.
"This was achieved by replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with Main line Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) and Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) trains," it added.
MEMU/DEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment of up to 20 km per hour in comparison to loco driven passenger trains. The Ghaziabad-Allahabad-Mughalsarai section is now free from conventional trains.
The Railway Ministry is working on a target to do this kind of replacement on all identified routes.
Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah, Howrah-Chennai, Chennai-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai (Diamond Quadrilateral routes along with diagonals) are the principal routes of the railways as they carry 58 per cent of freight traffic and 52 per cent of coaching traffic with a share of only 15 per cent of the network.
"For implementing this target on the six routes, 1048 MEMU coaches and 136 DEMU coaches are required. To achieve this target in three years, an action plan has been drawn out," the statement said.