The first solar-powered local DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train was launched in India on Friday, 14th July, 2017. The train is the first of its kind, and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu called it a ‘path-breaking leap’ towards making Indian trains environment-friendly and sustainable. The train was launched at the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi by the Railway Minister.

DEMU trains normally provide power for fans, lights for the passengers from a diesel-driven generator, but the new train will be using solar panels to generate the electricity. The train is also fitted with a power bank facility that will be able to store power in the absence of sunlight.

The train has other environment-friendly measures like using bio-toilets, water-recycling, waste disposal. The train is also going to harness wind energy to generate power for its functionalities.

The train, which is about six coaches will save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year. This means that the railway industry will not just be saving the environment, but they will also be saving about 12 lakh rupees a year.

The 1600 horsepower train was manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. The solar panels have been developed and fitted by the Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF).

With 182 daily routes in six states, including Kashmir, Northern Railway is running the highest number of DEMU trains on Indian Railways. The new solar-powered train is in line with the Indian Railway’s ‘Solar Mission‘ to reduce dependencies on fossil fuels.

Pic credits: The Hindu

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