Economies of T RACTION D IESEL V S E LECTRIC How Competitive are the Diesels ? Is there a need for further Electrification in Indian Railways ? R ailway E lectrification is j ustified on various Grounds Modernization Energy Efficiency Depleting Oil Reserves Savings in Foreign Exchange
How true is the above ?
After many decades of satisfactory performance, the steam engines were to give way to more modern locomotives. The year 1881 saw the birth of the first electric Railway run by a German Engineer Werner Van Siemens using both the rails to carry the current. Finding this a little too dangerous, Siemens soon adopted the overhead electric wires. Electric locomotives today raun on Rail roads in many countries.
The diesel engine was invented in the year 1893, by a young German Engineer, called Rudolf Diesel. But it was only nineteen years later, that the first Diesel locomotive came into existence.
Since then, diesel traction has grown from strength to strength. Over 89,000 Diesel locomotives have been built in the world so far, the General Motors, USA alone contributing to as many as 56,000 Locomotives.
Diesel Traction is thus a far more recent technology, as compared to Electric traction. One reason why there are more diesels in the world than electric locos and why more and more are produced year after year.
Railways in Europe and some other advanced countries had started Electrification many years before the modern Diesels came on the scene.
In fact, Railways in modern economies like US, Australia, etc. are de-electrifying including Suburban services.
Diesel locomotive is in fact an Electric Locomotive carrying its own powerhouse. Today’s modern Diesel locomotives with 6 KMs of Electrical wiring is much more Electric than an Electric locomotive with 4 KMs of wire.
Electric locomotive provides an easy means of drawing larger units of power from the OHE for the same axle load.
Development of Technology for Low weight energy efficient engine and its controls delayed the advent of modern diesel locomotives.
Today, technological development in both tractions has levelled of.
Diesel locos with Electric transmission have all the benefits of modern technology such as AC-AC transmission.
And for the same weight, Diesel traction has 10% or higher load hauling capability.
It is conceded that technology of high speed Passenger operation beyond 220 Kmph has advanced on Electric traction, but this is perhaps quite irrelevant to us today.
Source : Rail Business Report, 1999
It is often said that
Electrification on IR is hardly 24.5% of total network.
The truth is
Population of Diesel Locos in the World is 3.2 times that of the Electric locomotives (Source: World Bank Railway Database 2000)
(For example, in production of Electricity in Power houses and Transmission and Distribution)
Source :The Economics of Railway Traction by
Dr. J. Majumdar (Mcgraw Hill & Co.)
2. Theoretical efficiency of Diesel Cycle (for a volumetric compression ratio of 1:16)
3. Boiler efficiency (in electric operation: efficiency of steam power plant)
4. Indicated efficiency
5. Mechanical efficiency of diesel engine (auxiliaries included)
6. Efficiency of power transmission to axles
7. Theoretical efficiency of cycle in electric operation
8. Indicated efficiency and mechanical and electrical efficiency of the entire turbo-a.c. converter (auxiliaries included)
9. Efficiency of power transmission from power plant to substation
10. Efficiency of converter and of power transmission from substation input to current collector, return current losses included
11.Electro-mechanical efficiency of locomotive at the driving wheels, allowing for feed-water heating to 100 deg. C by exhaust stem.
AUTHORITY : CEA Figures
The table proves that Electric traction as energy efficient is a myth
Will there be any Oil after 30 years ? ? ?
per 100 Sq. Km
The Government is investing Rs.54 400 Crores in connecting the Golden Quadrilateral and diagonals by Super Highways.
Almost every Automobile / Light Motor Vehicle Manufacturer continues to expand their production capacities.
As given by Dr.D.K.TULI, Chief Research Manager - IOC on 21-08-2002
Raw Materials Used
Scale : 100 g to 60 Kg batch
Indian Oil as Partner in technology development
The Railway Minister said that Railway Ministry and Indian Oil Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding for a pilot project for production of eco-friendly biodiesel for the Railways.
Courtesy : The Hindu dt. 13th Feb.2003
* Taking into account the Locomotive, Transmission and Distribution Losses.
It is quite obvious that
Electrification of Railways
is leading to:
Dieselisation of the Industry,
Agriculture and Domestic Sector
Increased Fossil Fuel Consumption
and not Reduction
Higher Outflow of Foreign Exchange
and not savings for the Nation
The Nation pays dearly by spending our scarce Capital to create this vast infrastructure and to sustain it.
On the Diesel traction, a modest engine is all that we require.
The Operational Line Haul Costs for Diesel and Electric Traction are expressed in terms of the Line Haul Costs per 1000 GTKMs of Traffic carried. It has the following components.
-Costs of Fuel, Stores, etc.
-Repair, Maintenance and Operating Expenses.
(Applicable 7% Dividend)
(Example-WR/43 Crore, SR/69.9 Crore since 1987, CR/120).
* Source : 2001-02 (BE) Figure as per Budget Documents Explanatory Memorandum 2001-02
Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating !!
Diesel Line Haul Cost on
Non-electrified Railways (NE & NF) are significantly lower than that of
NE 46.48 65% Lower than IR Ave.
NF 62.10 24% Lower than IR Ave.
In any case,
the Average Line Haul Cost
derived from the High Density Electrified Routes cannot obviously be Extrapolated to justify the Electrification of Low Density Routes.
The ONLY Recommendation followed is
to Do Away with Breakeven,
due to obvious reasons.
DELHI - AMBALA - ROR
Projected : 14.5%
Actual : (-) 10.25%
BINA - KATNI
Full Diesel Operation Cost : 68.9 Crore
Full Electric Operation Cost : 110.79 Crore
Rate of Return (-) ve
Railways have made no provision for energy meters in locomotives either to monitor the electric energy consumption or to work out the electricity consumed for electric traction of different classes of traffic.
Electrification of the main routes picked up momentum in 1970s. By March 1999, 14,050 route kilometres were electrified at the cost of Rs.4,008.55 crores.
Electrified Route 15,398 KMs
Current Cost 10,000 Crores
Interest Cost @ 16% 1,601 Crores
The interest cost alone can finance CIF value of the Total HSD consumed by IR
The Capital Investment in Electrification can buy 2734 Diesel locos almost the same number that we have today
*@ Average Current Price Rs.63 Lakhs per KM
= 16 Tonnes of coal Ash per day
One Electric Loco of 5000 HP requires 4.2 MW of Power.
One MW of Power requires 10 Tonnes of Coal per day
And at 40% Ash content, generates 4 Tonnes of Coal Ash per day.
Source: Central Electricity Authority Annual Report 1998-99
* Authority : Board’s rate contract dt.12.1.2001
Railway Traction needs immune power, with no cuts, warranting duplication of Transmission and Distribution systems, which obviously comes at a Premium.
Unlike HSD, Electricity is subsidised by waiving off Sales Tax and Excise, though it is an Economic Good manufactured and sold.