In a bid to promote environment-friendly system, Indian Railways on Friday launched first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi.
According to the Ministry of Railways, a solar-powered DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 litres of diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs 12 lakh per year. The DEMU train with prototype solar based hotel load system has been manufactured by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.
The newly launched DEMU will be a ten-coach train -two motor coaches and eight passenger coaches- with the capacity of 89 people per coach. It will start operation from tomorrow (Saturday). It will run from Delhi's Sarai Rohilla to Garhi Harsaru Junction in Haryana.
The total cost of first Solar-powered train is Rs 13.54 crore with the passenger coaches costing around Rs 1 crore each and the two motor coaches costing Rs 2.5 each. The solar panels on the rooftop of six coaches cost Rs 9 lakh each.
Last year in October, Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off a newly manufactured Guard Van of Goods (Freight) Train which was equipped with solar powered light, fan, mobile charging point along with the facility of zero discharge bio toilet.
5/ A solar power DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 Litres of Diesel & thereby bring cost saving of Rs.12 Lac/ year pic.twitter.com/BIgI0QKS7R— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) July 14, 2017
While launching the train, Suresh Prabhu said that these facilities would improve the working conditions and functioning of the guards. He also said that powering fans and lights through solar panels would help in reducing the carbon footprint of Railways.
6/The first DEMU Train with prototype solar based hotel load system has been manufactured by ICF,Chennai & fitted with Solar panels by IROAF pic.twitter.com/rgEF0rc2yJ— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) July 14, 2017
Earlier in 2015, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had laid down its plan to encourage the installation of solar power systems particularly on rooftops all over the country including on railway stations and airports as well. Ministry of Railways had set a target for setting up of 1,000 MWp solar power plants on railway/private land and railway buildings in next 5 years.