Ahead of polls, PM to launch railway projects with ‘Make in India’ focus


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch at least three new railway projects in the coming weeks, which were accomplished during the tenure of the present government highlighting the theme of ‘Make in India’, just before the model code of conduct kicks in.

Sources said that officials at different railway zones have also been asked to list their major achievements within a month so that they can be showcased in a “fitting manner”.

First off the mark will be flagging off of the Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express on February 15 from the New Delhi railway station. The train was manufactured in just 18 months by the Integral Coach Factor in Chennai, officials said.

India’s first engineless train, Vande Bharat Express, will travel from Delhi to Varanasi on its first run.

The second major event will be held on February 19, when the prime minister will flag off the railways’ first-ever converted-locomotive — a diesel locomotive converted into an electric one, they said.

The conversion has enhanced the power of the locomotive from 2600 horsepower (hp) to 5000 horsepower. The work on the project began on December 22, 2017 and the new locomotive was dispatched on February 28, 2018. From conceptualisation to the execution, Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi took 69 days to complete the conversion.

“The locomotive is likely to be launched by the prime minister from Varanasi and it will travel to Ludhiana,” a railway official said.

On February 27, the prime minister is slated to lay the foundation stone for the new broad gauge railway line connecting Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, which was destroyed in a cyclone in 1964 and had remained unattended since then.

The line connecting the two major pilgrim destinations will be built at a cost of Rs 208 crore. PTI