Improving Energy Efficiency in the Indian Railways System

What the Project is About

What is the Project AboutPhoto: Wong Mei Lin

In partnership with the Ministry of Railways, Government of India, funded by Global Environment Facility, the project supports efforts to improve energy efficiency in the Indian Railways, which accounts for roughly 2.5 percent of the total electricity consumption in India. The focus is on institutional capacity development, technical training, implementation of energy-efficient technologies and sharing knowledge on best practices.


Since 2011, the project has crossed several milestones:

  • The institutional capacity of Indian Railways has been strengthened by the establishment of a Centre of Excellence on energy efficiency technologies and solutions at Indian Railway Institute of Electrical Engineering (IRIEEN), Nasik, Maharashtra. Under this project, IRIEEN has set up training and testing facilities for pumps, motors, and the solar cum wind hybrid system; performance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, compressor systems and an energy auditing instruments laboratory. IREEN has also developed computer based training (CBT) module on improving the energy efficiency of electrical appliances and equipment. The testing facilities at IREEN will be used for energy efficiency courses, for practical energy performance training and the CBT module will be used for providing training on improving the energy efficiency of appliances.
  • Technical training was provided to 791 railway officers and supervisors at IRIEEN and the National Academy of Indian Railways, Vadodara, Gujarat on improving energy  efficiency of electrical appliances and equipment.
  • Energy audit guidelines, manuals, and procedures were developed for energy intensive railways operations, including production units, traction substations, workshops, production units, maintenance depots and buildings. Energy audit was undertaken for 15 facilities including railway stations, workshops, hospitals and buildings across the Indian Railways system.
  • Gap analysis was carried out to identify opportunities for improving energy efficiency and to define areas for implementation of energy efficient technologies and measures.
  • A Technology Information Resource and Facilitation Desk was set up at the Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO) Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Electrical lights in 150 compartments of passenger trains were replaced with energy efficient LED lights resulting in a decline in maintenance costs and better quality of light saving over 4 million kiloWatt hours (kWh).
  • The Dadar station, Mumbai has been selected for the implementation of a new energy efficient, building management system, which is a real-time, online monitoring tool that monitors consumption patterns, promptly diagnoses problems in electrical power usage, and takes immediate action.
  • An online system,, was developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), it provides updated energy data across 16 zones of the Indian Railways. The analysis of data collected will facilitate in shaping the future strategies of the Indian Railways.
  • CRIS has also designed and developed the IRGREENERI website which was launched by the Minister of Railways. It will act as a knowledge sharing platform on railways’ green initiatives and best practices.
  • To assess the replicability of the latest energy efficiency technologies in Indian Railways, 47 railway officials visited United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Spain. Also, several national and international seminars and workshops were organized which provided a platform to share and learn from the experiences of international and national experts and industry leaders on energy efficient technologies, solutions and best practices in railways.
  • Key pilot projects adopted in the Indian Railways are:
    1. At Delhi Division - Optimal light control system, provision of 200 super energy efficient fans and solar pumps; demonstration of energy efficient technology on IT platform through 500 AMR meters including supply, fixing, testing and commissioning of LED lights in 150 non-AC second class three tier sleeper coaches of the Train Lighting depot.
    2. At Baroda House, New Delhi - Smart sensors and smart grid system set-up at the office of Indian Railways.
    3. At Dadar Station, Central Railways - Building management systems installed at stations and railway offices for implementing energy efficiency measures.
    4. Northern Railways - Bay lighting in workshops and loco sheds; automation of pumping arrangement at Ghaziabad and variable voltage variable frequency drives in lifts, installed;
    5. North Western Railways- pumping arrangement automated at Jaipur Division.

Funding Support by

Donor Name Amount Contributed
Global Environment Facility (GEF) US$ 5.2 million
Government and others US$ 20 million
In-kind US$ 1.0 million

Expenditure in Previous Fiscal Years

Year Amount
2016 US$ 892,179
2015 US$ 1,777,156.82
2014 US$ 1,711,849
2013 US$ 44,199
2012 US$ 492,071
2011 NIL


Photo Essays

Energy Smart: The Indian Railways Powers Ahead

Energy Smart: The Indian Railways Powers Ahead
The Indian Railways, one of the world’s largest railway networks, is  adopting a range of energy efficient technologies that can support the vision of an environment-friendly rail network for India.


Showcasing Solutions in Energy Efficiency: Indian Railways Summit Supported by UNDP

Showcasing Solutions in Energy Efficiency: Indian Railways Summit Supported by UNDP 
An International Summit in New Delhi on 6 November brought together policymakers, experts from around the world and technology providers, to deliberate on energy efficiency strategies that can enable the Railways to build a sustainable future ahead. Participants discussed important advances being made in the design and delivery of technologies and solutions in railways sectors across the world. The Summit “Energy Efficient Technologies in the Railways” was organized by the Ministry of Railways, Government of India in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Institution of Railway Electrical Engineers. 

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