Central Organisation for Railway Electrification

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Central Organisation for Railway Electrification
IndustryRailways, locomotives
Founded19 February 1951
Area served
Key people
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal
Board chairman V.K.Yadav
General manager Ratan Lal
ProductsRailway electrification
ParentMinistry of Railways

The Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), headquartered in Allahabad, India, is centralised agency for railway electrification of the Indian Railways network. The organisation, founded in 1961, is headed by a general manager. Project units operate in Ambala, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Bangalore, Secunderabad, Lucknow, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Danapur, and New Jalpaiguri.

CORE headquarters is assisted by electrical, signal and telecommunications (S&T), civil, store, personnel, vigilance and finance departments. Railway-electrification project offices, headed by chief project directors, operate in Ambala, Chennai, Lucknow, Jaipur Secunderabad, Danapur and New Jalpaiguri.


1500 V DC[edit]

Railway electrification in India began with the first electric train (1500 V DC), between Bombay Victoria Terminus and Kurla on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway's (GIPR) Harbour Line, on 3 February 1925. Steep grades on the Western Ghats necessitated the introduction of electric traction on the GIPR to Igatpuri on the North East Line and to Pune on the South East Line. 1500 V DC traction was introduced on the suburban section of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway between Colaba and Borivili on 5 January 1928, and between Madras Beach and Tambaram of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway on 11 May 1931, to meet growing traffic needs. The last sections of 1500 V DC in India, from Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai to Panvel and Thane to Vashi, were upgraded to 25 kV AC in April 2016.

3000 V DC[edit]

The electrification of the Howrah-Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway at 3000 V DC was completed in 1958. The first 3000 V DC EMU service began on the Howrah-Sheoraphuli section on 14 December 1957. The last section of 3000 V DC in India, from Howrah to Burdwan, was upgraded to 25 kV AC in 1968.

25 kV AC[edit]

The 25 kV AC system emerged as an economical form of electrification as a result of research and trials in Europe, particularly on French Railways (SNCF). Indian Railways decided to adopt the 25 kV AC system of electrification as a standard in 1957, with SNCF their consultant in the early stages, later taken over by the 50 c/s Group. The joint venture was founded in 1954 by several European railway manufacturers and was dedicated to the development and construction of locomotives powered by 50 Hz alternating current. It arranged the supply contracts for the WAM-1, WAG-1 and WAG-3 locomotives and its spare parts.

The first section electrified with the 25 kV AC system was Raj Kharswan–Dongoaposi, on the South Eastern Railway, on 15.12.1959 and first electric train run. The first 25 kV AC EMUs, for Kolkata suburban service, were introduced in September 1962. For system continuity, the Howrah–Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway and Madras Beach–Tambaram section of the Southern Railway were converted to 25 kV AC by 1968.


Considering the limitations of the existing DC traction system, a decision was made to convert to 25 kV AC traction in 1996-97. Conversion from DC to AC traction was completed in 2012 by Western Railway and in 2016 by Central Railway. With this, the entire electrified mainline rail network in India uses 25 kV AC; DC is used only for metros and trams.


The electrification office was established in Calcutta as Project Office for Railway Electrification (PORE) in 1951, when electrification of the Howrah–Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway was begun. A general manager headed the Railway Electrification Organisation, established in Calcutta in 1959. In 1961, the Northern Railway electrification office (headed by an engineer-in-chief) was established in Allahabad for the electrification of the MughalsaraiNew Delhi section. In accordance with the 1978 J. Raj Committee report, a number of electrification projects were included and a railway-electrification headquarters established. Since most of the electrification projects were in Central and South India, the electrification headquarters was established in Nagpur under an additional general manager from 1982 to 1984. The headquarters moved to Allahabad under the additional general manager in January 1985 and was renamed Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE). A general manager was appointed in July 1987.

Electrification progress[edit]

In the wake of industrial development in the eastern region, electrification and dieselisation were introduced during the first Five-Year Plan in the late 1950s[clarify] to cope with increased traffic. After the completion of the second Five-Year Plan, Indian Railways had electrified 216 route-kilometres (rkm) with 25 kV AC. During the Third Plan (along with indigenisation, electrification was extended another 1,678 rkm. The pace of electrification then slowed until the 1970s energy crisis. The 1979 energy crisis, in particular, emphasised the need for a long-term electrification policy to reduce rail dependence on petroleum-based energy. In a general shift from petroleum-based energy in the transport sector, the Secretaries' Committee on Energy (headed by the Cabinet Secretary) decided in July 1980 to electrify the railways at an annual pace of 1,000 rkm. Indian Railways electrified 2,812 rkm during the Seventh Plan, 2,708 rkm during the Eighth Plan and 2,484 rkm during Ninth Plan for a total of 16,001 rkm. In the 10th Plan, Electrification of 1,810 rkm was achieved in the Tenth Plan, exceeding the target of 1,800 rkm. In the Eleventh Plan (2007–12), 4,556 rkm were electrified (exceeding the target of 4,500 rkm).[1]

A total of 30,212 rkm was electrified by 31 March 2018 (primarily on high-density routes), 48.98 percent of the total rail network. About 54.0% of passenger traffic and 65.0% of freight traffic is operated by electric traction.[2] The Twelfth-Plan target for electrification is 6,500 rkm; the 2012–13 and 2013-14 targets were 2,667 rkm, and the 2014-15 target was 1,089 rkm. The 2015-16 target was 1,190 rkm.[3] Six major routes (Delhi–Mumbai, Delhi–Kolkata, Delhi–Chennai, Mumbai–Howrah and Howrah–Chennai) have been fully electrified, and electrification of the remaining Mumbai–Chennai route (from Wadi Junction to Daund Junction) is in progress.

Plan summary[edit]

Plan Before 1951 1st 2nd 3rd Annual plans 4th 5th Interplan 6th 7th Interplan 8th
Period 1925-51 1951-56 1956-61 1961-66 1966-69 1969-74 1974-78 1978-80 1980-85 1985-90 1990-92 1992-97
Electrified (rkm) 388 529 216 1,678 814 953 533 195 1,522 2,812 1,557 2,708
Cumulative (rkm) 388 529 745 2,423 3,237 4,190 4,723 4,918 6,440 9,252 10,809 13,517
Plan 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th
Period 1997–2002 2002-07 2007-12 2012-17 2017-22
Electrified (rkm) 2,484 1,810 4,556 7,785 3155 (up to 2018)
Cumulative (rkm) 16,001 17,811 22,224 30,012 33,167

State Wise Position of Route KM (Broad Gauge only)[edit]

As of 1st April 2018.

This list is sortable. Click on the Sort both.gif icon in the column header to change sort key and sort order.

Sr. No. State Total Route KM Route KM Elect. % Elect.
1 Andhra Pradesh 3817 2749 72.02
2 Bihar 3405 1659 48.72
3 Chhattisgarh 1126 882 78.33
4 Delhi 183 158 86.34
5 Gujarat 3506 937 26.73
6 Haryana 1707 879 51.49
7 Himachal Pradesh 50 39 78.00
8 Jammu & Kashmir 298 91 30.54
9 Jharkhand 2455 1677 68.31
10 Karnataka 3424 585 17.09
11 Kerala 1024 855 83.50
12 Madhya Pradesh 4319 2681 62.60
13 Maharashtra 5219 2859 54.78
14 Odisha 2598 2033 78.25
15 Punjab 2258 823 36.45
16 Pondicherry 22 11 50.00
17 Rajasthan 5273 1131 21.45
18 Telengana 1823 1134 62.21
19 Tamil Nadu 3669 2034 55.44
20 Uttar Pradesh 8453 4151 49.11
21 Uttarakhand 303 120 39.60
22 West Bengal 3973 2708 68.16
23 Chandigarh 16 16 100.0
24 Other States 2759 0 0.0
Total (BG) 61680 30212 48.98

Total (BG + MG + NG) RKM in IR: 67,680

Total Electrified % : 44.85

Zone Wise Electrification (Broad gauge only)[edit]

as of 01/04/2018
Zone Total Route KM Electrified Percentage (BG to BG)
CR 3803 2495 65.61
ER 2633 1790 67.98
ECR 3678 2369 64.41
ECoR 2745 2189 79.74
NR 7040 3510 49.86
NCR 3223 2013 62.46
NER 3144 759 24.14
NF 4011 113 2.82
NWR 4958 609 12.28
SR 4699 3005 63.95
SCR 5992 3204 53.47
SER 2712 2350 86.65
SECR 1878 1565 83.33
SWR 3522 551 15.64
WR 4617 1970 38.77
WCR 2998 1873 62.47
Kolkata Metro 27 27 100
Total 61680 30212 48.98


  • Annual fuel savings after full electrification: 10,000 crore (US$1 billion).[4][5]
  • Target date for full electrification: Fiscal year 2022-2023[5]
  • Completed by the end of FY2017-2018: 42 percent (28,000 km)[6][6][5]
  • Completed during FY2018-2019: 7,500 km target, 31,500 km remaining[5]
  • Completed during FY2019-2020: 10,500 km target, 20,000 km remaining[6]


Railway electrification has spurred technological upgrades on Indian Railways.

Rolling stock[edit]

On 31 March 2012, the number of electric locomotives was 4,309.[7] As part of its modernisation plan, Indian Railways imported eighteen 6,000-horsepower thyristor locomotives with technology transfer; they are now produced at the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW). Indian Railways have developed chopper technology for DC electric multiple units in collaboration with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and 20 motor coaches with chopper technology will be placed in service. In addition to being less maintenance-intensive, chopper technology is expected to have an energy savings of 30 to 34 percent in suburban service.


To reduce maintenance costs and improve the reliability of power-supply systems, CORE has adopted state-of-the-art technology: cast resin transformers, SF6 circuit breakers or vacuum switchgear, long-creepage solid-core insulators and PTFE-neutral sections. Eight-wheeled, self-propelled OHE inspection cars have been introduced to improve maintenance, and an OHE recording car has been requested to monitor the performance of overhead equipment.


Signalling systems are also being upgraded, with the semaphore signalling system being replaced by a coloured-light signalling system. Colour light signals are more visible to train drivers, improving safety and efficiency. The interlocking system is being changed to panel or relay interlocking.


The 220-132-25 kV power-supply network for electrification extends along the track for about 200 to 300 kilometres (120 to 190 mi). It is remotely controlled from the division control centre to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the track overhead equipment. In electrification projects, a microprocessor-based supervisory control and data acquisition control system is replacing the earlier electro-mechanical Strowger system of remote-control equipment. SCADA can telemeter voltage, current, maximum demand and power factor on a real-time basis, enabling control of maximum demand and electrical cost. The system also provides automatic troubleshooting and isolation of faulty sections.


Optical fibre communications[edit]

Indian Railways have implemented communications technology using optical fibre cable. On 31 March 2012, 40,332 rkm of optical fibre cable had been commissioned. Railway-control communications, essential for train operations, are also being transferred to OFC. Control communications on 37,389 rkm have been shifted to OFC.[8]

Train radio[edit]

Optical-fibre technology has also aided mobile telephony from moving trains. With this technology, the driver and guard can talk to each other (and to the control centre) from a moving train; this would be especially useful in an emergency.

Other organisations[edit]

Some electrification projects have been entrusted to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, a public sector undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Railways. Rail Vikas Nigam does engineering work as required by Indian Railways, and small electrification projects are carried out by zonal railways.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Electrification work of Itarsi-Jabalpur—Manikpur also taken at CORE conference". ehitavada.com. 7 April 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  2. ^ http://www.core.indianrailways.gov.in/index.jsp?lang=0
  3. ^ "CORE current status". Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  4. ^ "Mission Electrification to save railways power bill by Rs. 10k crore". The New Indian Express. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Railways set to electrify 38,000 km route in next five years, Economic Times, 15 Dec 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Electrification of Delhi-Jaipur rail route to be completed by December 2018: Railway Board Chairman, Economic Times, 23 Dec 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]