Saturday, August 10, 2013

To cut power bill, CR pushes for traction conversion

A CRS inspection is tentatively planned for August 17 and 18, said railway sources, adding that the CR has been trying to get a nod for the conversion since May this year.
CR is in the process of converting the suburban section between Kalyan and Thane from 1500-volt Direct Current (DC) to 25,000-volt Alternate Current (AC) and the same on the 5th and 6th lines between Kalyan and LTT. The section between Thane and CST will take at least a year to be completed.
Mukesh Nigam, divisional railway manager, CR, said: "The conversion will take place as soon as the CRS inspection is undertaken. There is no fixed date for the conversion yet."
A primary reason for the delay is a set of crossovers at Vidyavihar, Vikhroli and Mulund, which are presently used by mail/express trains to cross over from 5th and 6th lines to Up and Down suburban fast lines in emergencies.
It is learnt that Chetan Bakshi, the CRS (central zone), has expressed apprehensions about trains crossing over after the conversion work is complete. His reservations stem from an incident that took place at Reay Road in December last year. During an inquiry, it was found that the AC switch of the AC-DC local was mistakenly switched on the DC section, causing damage to equipment and resulting in fire in the train.
Railway officials said CRS has asked CR to commit that the crossovers in the DC section will not be used by mail/express trains until beyond Thane.
When asked about the condition put on CR, Bakshi said, "All issues have been sorted now. However an official word from CR is awaited."
Expressing doubt about the commitment asked for, a senior railway official requesting anonymity said, "There will be repercussions if the crossovers are made non-functional. There could be instances where the trains have to be diverted on fast lines between LTT and Thane. An assessment of the implications of such a commitment will have to be made before the administration goes ahead with the conversion."


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