Source: News Bharati English17 Jul 2017 10:45:53

New Delhi, July 17:  As the nation was in talks about the ‘solar powered’ railways, Finally Indian Railways got its 1st solar powered local train which consists around the total of 16 solar panels, each producing 300 Wp in six coaches. 

This new local will run from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. Ministry of Railway Suresh Prabhu launched this local which has a better battery bank facility which ensures sufficient power even in the absence of sunlight. The entire electrical need of the coaches lights, fans and information display system will be met by energy produced by solar panels fitted on the roof of coaches of DEMU (diesel electric multiple unit) trains. 

Launching the train, Minister Suresh Prabhu said it was a "path-breaking leap" towards making Indian trains more environment-friendly. 

Here’s everything you need to know: 

  • The train now stationed at platform number 1 of Safdarjung Railway station, will travel from Sarai Rohilla station in Delhi to Garhi Harsaru Junction, Farukh Nagar in Haryana and will be operational from Saturday.
  • It is a ten coach train — with two motor coaches and eight passenger coaches.
  • The total cost of the train is Rs 13.54 crore. Eight coaches estimated at Rs 1 crore each, two motor coaches at Rs 2.5 crore each and solar panels on 6 coaches of Rs 9 lakh each, which total up to a 54 lakhs per train. These solar panels used are manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
  • The solar powered train will replace the existing non-solar powered panel on the same route and run at the speed of 110 km per hour.
  • The train has a current sitting capacity of 89 per people per coach.

The train was launched at the Safdarjung railway station in New Delhi and the first rake will be put in commercial service over the suburban railway system of Delhi division shortly. The route will be decided soon, rail officials said. 

While the 1,600 horsepower train has been manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, its solar system and panels have been developed and fitted by the Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF). Twenty-four more coaches will be fitted with this system within six months. 

Referring to the Railways commitment to using cleaner fuels, Prabhu said it was trying to increase the use of non-conventional sources of energy. The carrier has also taken several other environment-friendly measures like using bio-toilet, water-recycling, waste disposal, bio-fuel CNG and LNG, and harnessing wind energy. 

The system reduces diesel consumption and the carbon signature of these commuter trains by reducing CO2 generation by 9 tonnes per coach per year. A solar power DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 litres of diesel and thereby save costs of Rs 12 lakh every year, the Railways said.