In a bid to reduce its carbon footprints, the Indian Railways is adopting existing clean energy solutions such as solar energy, bio-diesel, CNG, etc. and is also planning to embrace such technologies currently under development in the future.
“Solar panels have been fitted on rooftop of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains of capacity 4.5 KWp for catering to hotel load. Blending of high-speed diesel with Biodiesel by 5% has also been started for railway locomotives. Running of DEMU trains with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has also been introduced as a pilot project over 18 trains,” stated the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Depending on the development of relevant technologies, the Ministry may also work on the deployment of hydrogen propelled trains for long-distance routes in the coming years, said Goyal. Though the Railways hasn’t planned the production of hydrogen fuel, the same would be procured from sources in India, he added.
Citing a successful example of the use of hydrogen fuel in the transportation industry, Goyal said: “In India, TATA motors has developed seven hydrogen fuel cell buses. All these vehicles are complying with International Safety Standards of Hydrogen Safety. International Standards Organisation, Society of Automotive Engineers and United Nations have published stringent safety standards for use of hydrogen in transport vehicles.
Type test of these vehicles have shown that Hydrogen as a transport fuel is safe to handle and use.”