Azerbaijan Railways switches to alternating current power supply
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan Railways have switched to alternating current power supply, the company’s press service reported on July 29.
According to the statement, switching to alternating current will have a positive impact on increasing the volume of goods transported by rail and increasing the number of passengers through improved traction of electric locomotives. This will save energy and other resources, optimize costs, simplify operations, and increase the speed of trains as well.
First test launch of the new alternating current electric locomotive was passed successfully for the first time in the history of Azerbaijan Railways. The test was conducted at Alabashli station near Ganjam
Currently, 90 percent of Azerbaijan Railways’ locomotives are powered by electric traction, so the company is seeking to expand the use of alternating current power. For this purpose, 12 dart substations have been built and 768 km of contact network reconstructed. In addition, Alstom company has ordered 40 alternating current cargo locomotives and 10 passenger locomotives operating on dual power systems (DC and AC). Thirteen freight locomotives and 10 passenger locomotives have already been delivered to the country.
Moreover, the company is building two modern locomotive depots in Bilajari and Ganja to provide maintenance and inspection of AC locomotives in accordance with international operating standards.
It should be noted that 23 Azerbaijan Railways’ drivers successfully completed training at the simulator, organized in October 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, as part of the transition to alternating current, and received a certificate.
The initial stage of railway construction in Azerbaijan started as early as in 1878 and was completed on January 20, 1880, when Baku-Sabunchu-Surakhany railroad, which was only 20 km long, was commissioned. Presently, the total length of railroad tracks is 2,910.1 km, operational tracks are 2079.3 km long, 802.3 km of which are double tracks.
On July 20, 2009, the President signed a decree regarding the establishment of Azerbaijan Railways Closed Joint-Stock Company.
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