Indian Railways expects to electrify all tracks by 2024 making it the first network in the world to achieve 100% electrification. Pace of electrification is about 6,000 km per year, with 60% of network electrified so far. And, all electric locomotives will be adopting ‘regenerative braking’ to feed power back to the system in about five years.
The government has plans to spend $70 billion to upgrade railway network into an electric and digitised platform even while opening up for private companies to operate passenger trains, manufacturing coaches and locomotives, and redeveloping railway stations.
Yet, the roots of this transformation began in 2017 in South Central Railway (SCR) under the leadership of the then General Manager V.K. Yadav (now Railway Board chairman), observed Philip Zerrillo, a practice professor of marketing strategy, deputy dean-corporate and international relations, and deputy dean-Mohali campus at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.
In a feature story in Singapore Management University’s ‘Asian Management Insight’ magazine titled ‘Indian Railways: On track for transformation’, the professor said many of the initiatives taken up by SCR without the employees’ support was not possible.