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Indian Railways launches first solar-powered diesel electrical multiple unit train

The Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels (IROAF) has introduced an environment friendly train. The 1600 HP solar DEMU train is a great step towards a clean and green future and will have a positive financial impact too. 

What does this mean for the environment?

  • This will result in a a massive reduction in carbon dioxide emission per coach per annum -- about 9 tonnes
  • An annual diesel fuel saving of Rs 2 lakh per coach per annum is expected with total annual savings amounting to Rs 672 crore
  • The success of the train will ensure more such initiatives by the India Railways as they are looking for ways to convert solar energy into liquid fuel

More details about the train:

  • The train will be stationed at platform number 1 of Safdarjung Railway station in New Delhi
  • The train will travel from Sarai Rohilla station in Delhi to Garhi Harsaru Junction, Farukh Nagar in Haryana
  • It will replace the existing non-solar powered panel o­n the same route and run at a speed of 110 km per hour
  • It is a ten-coach train -- two motor coaches and eight passenger coaches
  • The total cost of the train is Rs 13.54 crore -- eight coaches of Rs 1 crore each, two motor coaches of Rs 2.5 crore each, and solar panels o­n 6 coaches of Rs 9 lakh each
  • There has been no change in the fare and the journey of the train; it will take the same o­ne-and-half hours to complete the journey

  • There will be cushioned seats, luggage rakes and a display board in each coach

How will train work?

  • There are 16 solar panels of 300 watt capacity each in a coach
  • The energy generated through the panel will be stored in batteries and can be used during night as well
  • The two passenger coaches which do not have solar panel will operate o­n diesel
  • The train has two parallel power sources -- solar power and diesel. In case of failure of either, it can switch the power modes
  • The life span of solar panels is 25 years and they will be monitored o­n a regular basis.

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