Railway transformers

Indian Railways have a goal to improve passenger experience and freight handling, reduce carbon emissions from diesel locomotives and save on fuel costs

byWritten by Sanjay SAXENA, Ilario SCIAN, Valter PORCELLATO, Puneet ARORA


Transformers to power Indian Railways

Indian Railways has ambitious electrification targets and has found that ABB’s comprehensive range of transformers provides an ideal and eco-efficient means not only to power trains, trackside and stations but also to boost rolling stock speed and performance.

With approximately 200,000 employees and a rail network that encompasses over 64,000 km of routes, Indian Railways is one of the biggest public-sector enterprises in the world. Of this 64,000 km, around 60 percent is not yet electrified. Indian Railways have a goal to electrify the entire network, at an average rate of around 10 km per day (5,000 km is the 2018-19 target), in order to improve passenger experience and freight handling, reduce carbon emissions from diesel locomotives and save on fuel costs, Figures 1 and 2. The company also looks to employ equipment that reduces overall carbon footprint and improves energy efficiency.

To meet electrification goals, Indian Railways will have to acquire more rolling stock and more of the trackside transformers that supply the 25 kV overhead lines. ABB already supplies locomotive transformers to Indian Railways’ original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) and Diesel Locomotive works (DLW). In fact, 40 percent of Indian Railways’ high-speed trains, like the “Rajdhani” and “Shatabdi” passenger trains, are powered by ABB traction transformers. ABB’s 30.24 MVA, trackside transformers, with a low-loss design, are also helping Indian Railways and their engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) partners in their mission, Figures 3 and 4.

The traction transformer market is also driven by measures being taken to combat the rapid urbanization taking place in India, where metro cities and other B-class cities are facing serious traffic jams and vehicle pollution. The Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has approved a policy to commission environmentally friendly metro railways in cities having a population of more than one million. This will help to decongest and reduce pollution levels in cities and make commuting easier. In support of the Ministry’s vision, ABB electric multiple unit (EMU) technology for traction transformers are helping to develop the Metro network in cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Kochi and Mumbai. ABB traction transformers produced in India are suitable for local conditions and are well accepted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), a central agency for approval of metro equipment.

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