Indian Railways to Inaugurate Hydrogen Powered Train

by Neha Singh, editor, Metro Rail News,

India Railways is working on the development of a hydrogen powered suburban train and has floated an official expression of interest for industry participation.

“Hydrogen will be sourced from industry in India, not by Indian Railways. The decision on deployment of hydrogen powered trains for long-distance routes will be based on the development of the technology,” rail minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply from Parliament.

To date, TATA Motors has developed seven hydrogen fuel cell buses, which comply with International Safety Standards of Hydrogen Safety. The International Standards Organization, Society of Automotive Engineers and United Nations have published stringent safety standards for use of hydrogen in transport vehicles.

“Type tests of these vehicles have shown that hydrogen as a transport fuel is safe to handle and use. Similarly, safety aspects concern for passengers shall be an integral part of the technical specifications of the hydrogen powered trains,” the minister said.

The move is part of the railway’s efforts at greening its fuel use. Indian Railways has already fitted solar panels on rooftop of diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) trains of capacity 4.5 kilowatt for catering to hotel load.

The blending of high speed diesel with 5% bio-diesel has also been started for railway locomotives. The transporter has also started pilot projects involving running DEMU trains with compressed natural gas over 18 trains.