Indian Railways today launched first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. A total of 16 solar panels, each producing 300 Wp, are fitted in six coaches.
The cost of these solar panels, manufactured under 'Make in India' initiative, is Rs 54 lakh. This is the first time in the world that solar panels are being used as grid in railways.
The train has a power back-up and can run on battery for at least 72 hours.
In last year's railway budget, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced that railways would generate 1,000 MW of solar energy in the next five years. Solar-powered DEMU trains are part of this plan. "Indian Railways is committed to promote clean and renewable energy," Prabhu said during the launch of the train.
Ravindra Gupta, Member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board, said solar power would be introduced first in urban trains and later in long-distance trains as well.
The railways are planning to introduce nearly 50 more such coaches in the coming days.
Nearly Rs 700 crore will be saved by Indian Railways annually once the full project is implemented, according to Ravinder Gupta, the CEO of Indian Railways Organisation for Alternative fuel.
He said that railways could save 5.25 lakh litres of diesel per such a train in 25 years. The railways will be able to save Rs 3 crore per train in the same period. The solar power will help in reducing 1,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per train in 25 years.