Indian Railways to launch hydrogen-fuel powered train as pilot project

Naomi Pandya Posted on: 2022-06-01 09:05:00 Viewer: 7,146 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

Indian Railways to launch hydrogen-fuel powered train as pilot project

New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): In a move to fulfill the Govt. of India's commitment to achieving zero carbon footprint by 2070, the national transporter Indian Railways (IR) has planned to introduce hydrogen-fuel powered trains in the IR network. 

Indian Railways has recently awarded a contract worth Rs 70 crore to Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives Private Limited for conversion of diesel power mode to hydrogen fuel as retrofitment of one Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) rakes on Sonipat-Jind section.

Apart from this, Railways is also working on a plan for introducing hydrogen fuel cell-based technology for narrow gauge locomotives in the Kalka-Shimla section.

"Medha has been awarded the contract to develop hydrogen fuel cell-based technology that can be used to upgrade existing diesel-powered trains at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 70 crore," said officials. About Rs 70 crore investment in the hydrogen fuel cell project would be recovered in less than two years as the cost of the hydrogen is less than diesel, it has been said.

According to the Railways, the retrofitting of diesel-powered DEMU and converting it into a hydrogen fuel-powered train set will not only save the cost to the tune of Rs 2.3 crore annually by converting from diesel to hydrogen but also save the carbon footprint (NO2) of 11.12 kilotones per annum and particulate matter of 0.72 kilotonnes per annum.

According to the plan, the conversion project entails retrofitting DEMU in the 89 km Sonipat-Jind section. After this, two-hybrid narrow gauge locomotives will be retrofitted with hydrogen fuel cell power movement.

Under this plan, equipment includes a diesel engine, alternator, radiators, auxiliary generator, fuel tank water piping, batteries, and inverters to be removed from DEMU. Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier. Hydrogen produces no tailpipe emissions when used as fuel in vehicles.

Using hydrogen-fuel cells in the Railways will be a major step toward reducing pollution from trains as the gas is known to be the greenest transport fuel. Hydrogen can be generated easily by electrolyzing the water from solar energy.

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