Indian Railways launches first solar-powered DEMU train

Indian Railways launched its first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train from Safdarjung railway station on Friday. The train will run from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 14, 2017 7:59 pm
Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Solar-powered environment friendly DEMU train launched from Safdarjung Railway station in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

In line with the Indian Railways ‘Solar Mission’ to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, Railways launched its first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train from Safdarjung railway station on Friday. 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.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news The train has six trailer coaches, with 16 solar panels fitted in each of them. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2016-17, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced plans to generate 1000 MW solar power in the next five years.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu speaking at the occasion. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

Annually, the Railways are hoping to reduce 239 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by saving approximately 90,800 litres of diesel per rake.

The Railways have already undertaken steps to install solar panels on rooftops of at railway stations and at level crossings across the country.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Solar powered DEMU train at Safdarjung Railway station. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

Noida-based firm Jakson Engineers Limited (JEL) had been given the task of providing 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 had informed Indian Express.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Driver’s panel. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

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.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Jai Prakash, a guard in the guard room. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

Indian Railways’ first DEMU service was between Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur on October 23, 1994. The 1400 HP DEMU train services were introduced in 2002, while the 1600 HP DEMU services were introduced this year.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Passengers in the train. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

With 182 daily services covering six states including Kashmir, Northern Railway is running the highest number of DEMU trains on Indian Railways.

Solar powered train, solar train, DEMU train, solar DEMU train, Indian Railways, Indian Express news Train being flagged off. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. H
    Hari Shanker Chowbey
    Jul 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm
    well done.
    Reply
  2. H
    Hari Shanker Chowbey
    Jul 15, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    Bravo. IR has done it. Great. Congrats. Best wishes. Good times to come.
    Reply
  3. M
    Manas
    Jul 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm
    It's an incredible step towards reducing carbon emissions. It would definitely save our environment. Appreciable step Prabhu Sir. If we can find an way to utilise wind energy which may get produced through running trains, it may also give lots of dividends for us as a nation.
    Reply
  4. A
    Anumakonda Jagadeesh
    Jul 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm
    A smarter thing to do would be to put the cells on buildings/structures along the railroad tracks with energy storage devices (batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro, etc.). But to get the most out of a solar panel or solar array, it has to be pointed or “orientated” directly at the suns radiant energy because as we know, the more surface area that is exposed to direct sunlight, the more output the photovoltaic panel will produce. When the sun is lower in the sky during the winter months the solar panels orientation needs to be more vertical as the solar radiation passes through more atmosphere to reach the solar panel and therefore its intensity is reduced by the scattering and absorption effect of atmosphere and clouds. In the summer months when the sun is higher in the sky the solar radiation is more direct and therefore stronger as it has less distance to travel through the Earth’s atmosphere so the solar panel orientation is more horizontal. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
    Reply
  5. S
    SK Iyer
    Jul 15, 2017 at 7:34 am
    HEADLINE: Indian Railways launches first solar-powered DEMU train FINE PRINT: The solar panels will power all the electrical appliances inside. EXCERPTS FROM GUARDIAN 15 FEB 2017: "For instance, analysts have identified inadequate distribution and transmission infrastructure as a key obstacle to realising India’s aggressive target of 100GW of solar PV capacity by 2022. But India already has over 25,000km of electrified tracks, and an electrification target of 2,000km of new tracks every year." "Conversion of renewable DC to grid alternating current (AC) results in something like 3 of the electricity being wasted, so supplying DC power direct to trains saves that loss too. Some of these DC routes already suffer from “under-powering”, meaning train operators cannot add more passenger capacity to these routes because the grid cannot supply the extra electricity needed to power the trains. At scale, our innovation could solve this problem as well." INNOVATION???????
    Reply
  6. D
    Deep
    Jul 15, 2017 at 7:16 am
    Prices of the fairs must be decrease if we use solar energy... And we have to punish those who damage the train.
    Reply
  7. J
    J Parmar
    Jul 15, 2017 at 6:53 am
    Great idea- about time we made this progress. BUT what SHODDY workmanship on the installation of these panels on the roofs. Please get trained, certified ers to do the job. We cannot have world class service in this manner.
    Reply
  8. C
    Citizen
    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:48 pm
    Good we have ample solar energy and it should be harnessed. Industries should be encouraged by giving subsidies for installing solar power along with other govt and private ins utions and buildings. Once again Kudos to all involved in this venture and wish them good luck to improve up on these models. Jaihind
    Reply
  9. Load More Comments