Aiming to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the Indian Railways launched its first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train from Safdarjung railway station today. The train has six trailer coaches, with 16 solar panels fitted in each of them. The solar panels will power all the electrical appliances inside.
Railways’ first DEMU rake with solar power hotel load system, based at Shakurbasti shed, was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Shakurbasti DEMU shed has provisioned dual fuel arrangement in 16 of the total holding of 1400 HP Driving Power Cars.
Presenting the Railway Budget for 2016-17, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced plans to generate 1000 MW solar power in the next five years.
The Railways is also planning to reduce 239 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year by saving approximately 90,800 litres of diesel per rake.
Noida-based firm Jakson Engineers Limited (JEL) provided the solar panels for DEMU coaches set to be used by the Railways for its pilot projects in Chennai and Amritsar.
“We have dispatched solar panels for 30 DEMU coaches in Chennai and 50 DEMU coaches in Amritsar,” Dinesh Khanchandani of JEL said, according to an Indian Express report.
Last year, the Indian Railways conducted trial runs of the Rewari-Sitapur passenger train fitted with solar panels at a cost of Rs 3.90 lakh. Two trains plying on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar route in Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section were also equipped with solar panels on trial basis.