New Delhi, 4th June 2021: Indian Railways (IR) is in mission mode to become the largest Green Railways in the world and is moving towards becoming a “net zero carbon emitter”. Railways are guided by a holistic vision of being an environmentally friendly, efficient, cost-effective, punctual and modern carrier of passengers as well as freight in order to serve the growing needs of New India.

IR is looking at helping the environment from its biggest to the smallest steps ranging from massive electrification, day to day water & paper conservation to saving animals from being injured on Railway tracks. The following measures showcase how IR has adopted Environment Conservation in its daily work:


Railway Electrification: Pace of Railway Electrification, which is environment friendly and reduces pollution. With a view to transform Indian Railways into “Green Railways” and to capture the economic benefits of electric traction in an accelerated manner, Railways has planned to electrify balanced Broad Gauge (BG) routes by December 2023 to achieve 100% electrification of BG routes. This will facilitate the elimination of diesel traction resulting in a significant reduction in its carbon footprint and environmental pollution.

Head on Generation (HOG): IR is also introducing Head on Generation (HOG) system, whereby electrical power is fed to the coaches directly from the Over Head Equipment (OHE) through the Locomotive. It eliminates the need for separate power cars in trains and thus reduces the need for pulling extra coaches and increases efficiency. On Indian Railway, 1280 trains have already been converted to HOG. There will be a reduction in Carbon footprint by 31,88,929 Ton per annum. There will also be a saving in fuel costs to the tune of Rs 2,300 crore due to the elimination of power cars on the Indian Railway.


Improving Cleanliness Through Bio Toilets: As a part of the “Swachh Bharat Mission”, Indian Railways has completed the installation of Bio Toilets on its entire fleet. This has ensured that no human waste is discharged from coaches on track. With this effort, nearly 2,74,000 litres per day of excreta on tracks is being avoided. Additionally, human waste led to corrosion of rails and fittings costing Rs. 400 crore per annum is also avoided. 73,078 coaches have been fitted with 2,58,906 Bio Toilets on Indian Railway.

Installation of Solar Plants over Rooftops of Railway Buildings To Harness Clean Energy: Committed to promoting clean and green energy, Indian Railways is promoting the use of renewable energy like wind and solar energy. IR has installed about 114 MW of solar rooftop plants in over 1,000 stations and 400 service buildings. IR plans to be a Zero Net Carbon Emitter by 2030.

 LED Lighting to Save Electricity: LED replacement done at Railway stations, installations, buildings & residential quarters to save electricity.

Plastic Bottle Crushing Machine at Stations: IR has taken various initiatives to reduce, recycle and dispose of plastic waste generated in stations in an eco-friendly manner. A total of 585 PBCM machines have already been installed at more than 400 railway stations and more are in process.

Reducing Pollution by Shifting from Diesel Locos to Electric Locos: With increasing electrification, the production of electric locomotives has been stepped up significantly in the last few years. A total of 3279 electric locomotives are being utilized for train operation and an equivalent number of diesel locomotives are being withdrawn from service on Indian Railway.

Increasing Freight Train Throughput Resulting in Improved Efficiency: With a view to increasing the cargo carried in one freight train, Indian Railways has been working on increasing the load-carrying capacity of its wagons. In this direction, IR has introduced more than 35 different types of wagons. This gives additional loading capacity compared to earlier wagons. Thus extra cargo could be carried, resulting in cost savings as well as a reduction in emissions per Ton of cargo carried.

Integrated Mechanised Cleaning At Stations: In order to keep the Station environment clean, Mechanized cleaning contracts have been provided at various stations. Separate dust bins for wet and dry waste have been provided at all major stations for the segregation of waste at the source. The use of CCTVs has been intensified for monitoring cleanliness activities. These measures have improved cleaning standards at the stations and passenger’s perception.

Mechanised Cleaning of Coaches to improve cleanliness and reduce water wastage: Mechanised Cleaning of Coaches is being carried out through around 160 coaching depots. To clean the interior of coaches, Machines like high-pressure jet cleaners, floor scrubbers, wet and dry vacuum cleaners, handheld buffing machines, etc. are deployed, while Exterior cleaning of coaches is done mainly by high-pressure jet cleaning machines and large brushes on washing lines (pit line) at coaching depots.

Installation Of Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) to Save Water: To provide infrastructure for major coaching depots for exterior cleaning of trains with a substantial reduction in water consumption and saving in manpower. Automatic Coach Washing Plants (ACWP) are now being installed at major depots. ACWPs not only clean the exterior of coaches more effectively and efficiently, but they also reduce the direct water requirement by avoiding wastage. These also come with water recycling facilities thereby further reducing water requirements.

Rainwater Harvesting to Conserve Water: To promote water conservation, 6,112 Rain Water Harvesting systems have been installed in Railways up to March 2021


E-tendering to reduce the use of paper: E-tendering has been implemented on Indian Railways & thereafter, its processes including bills have been digitized. All activities related to procurement, supply chain and vendor approval have also been digitized and made paperless. The complete digitization has enabled huge saving on the usage of paper on tendering & procurement on Indian Railways. Earlier all this work involved huge usage of papers.

Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) Now Use Handheld Devices To Save Paper: To reduce the usage of paper and to encourage user-friendly digitization, Indian Railways introduced HHTs (Hand Held Terminals) in a phased manner and also providing Portable POS machines for digital transactions. Earlier, from 1st September 2018, the pasting of reservation charts outside the reserved coaches also discontinued replaced with an electronic chart display facility.

Hospital and colony waste management for a cleaner environment: Biomedical waste management is an important responsibility of hospitals in order to eliminate or reduce the risk of infections produced from the waste products generated during patient care in hospitals. Especially the infectious waste which contains sharps/human blood or body fluid/body parts/used disposables. Hospital wastages i.e the Bio-medical waste are segregated at the point of generation as per the Central Pollution Control Board policy and Biomedical Waste Rules which is collected by the biomedical waste disposal agency. Indian Railways follow biomedical waste management in all its 128 Hospitals and 586 health units.

Green Certifications and implementation of Environment Management System: MoU signed between IR and in July 2016 for facilitation of Green initiatives on IR. Confederation of Indian Industry has conferred 39 Workshops, 7 Production Units, 8 Loco Sheds and one Stores depot have been certified with ‘GreenCo’ for Green initiative on IR.  19 Railway Stations and 27 Railway Buildings have also achieved Green Certification. Green certification mainly covers the assessment of parameters having a direct bearing on the environment, such as energy conservation measures, use of renewable energy, Green House Gas emission reduction, water conservation, waste management, material conservation, recycling etc.

In addition, over 600 Railway Stations have been certified for implementation of the Environment Management System to ISO: 14001 in the last two years. A total of 718 stations have been identified for ISO: 14001 certifications.