The Mission Raftaar project of the Indian Railways has now picked up and started yielding results. Under this project measures are being taken to raise average speed of both passenger carrying trains and freight carrying trains. The Mission is being spearheaded 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 which now has been successfully implemented. This was achieved by replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with Main line Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) and Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) trains has been undertaken. MEMU / DEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment upto 20 kmph 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 viz., Delhi – Mumbai, Delhi –Howrah, Howrah-Chennai, Chennai – Mumbai, Delhi – Chennai and Howrah – Mumbai (Diamond Quadrilateral routes along with diagonals). These are the principal routes of the railways as they carry 58% of freight traffic and 52 of coaching traffic with a share of only 15 of the network.
For implementing this target on the above six routes, 1048 MEMU coaches and 136 DEMU coaches are required. To achieve this target in three years, action plan has been drawn out to ramp up the production of MEMU to 400-500 per annum in next three years as against the present level 190 per year at present.