New Delhi: All trains coming to Delhi will be on electric traction from December 2019, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.
The move is expected to lower fuel bills, improve safety and increase speed of the trains, officials said.
"By December 2019, all trains coming to Delhi will be on electrical traction," Goyal told reporters.
The minister said trains, which are presently running with diesel locomotives in the Delhi region, will be taken over on electric locomotives progressively in phased manner commensurate with progress of electrification over the broad gauge network.
Till now, 118 pairs of trains (39 in Phase-I, 60 in Phase-II and 19 in Phase-III) have been identified for the switch-over to electric traction.
Forty trains (20 pairs) have already been taken over on electric traction over Delhi area. Further, 98 pairs of trains have been identified for electric traction.
Around 650 trains start, end, or pass through Delhi daily, which handles around 12 lakh passengers everyday.
Sources indicated that a proposal to electrify the heritage Kalka-Shimla route was also under consideration, but as it is a UNESCO site, approval from the UN agency is required before a go-ahead can be given.
The minister is likely to write to UNESCO soon, sources said.
The cabinet in September 2018 had approved a proposal for the complete electrification of the Indian Railways in the next four years at a cost of Rs 12,134 crore, reducing dependance on imported fossil fuel and saving revenue for the national carrier.