As a part of Indian Railways’ ambitious plan of harnessing solar energy to run trains, the ministry has taken an initial step by introducing the first solar-powered train in India. Trial of the solar train will be conducted by the end of this month in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of the coaches, and the energy it will get from the sun will be used for operating fans and lights inside the coaches. According to the railway sources, the train will run as a passenger train and route of the same will be decided after trial run.
Though the train will be pulled by conventional diesel-run engines, yet solar panels will be provided for internal electricity needs. In the meantime, Indian Railways is also focusing on alternative use of fuels. Trials are already on to use other sources of energy like CNG, biodiesel and natural gas.
Studies prove that a train running on solar power can reduce diesel consumption by up to an estimated 90,000 litres every year. At the same time, it can reduce carbon dioxide emission by nearly 200 tonnes. Implication of solar power is expected to bring down diesel consumption and make train operation a cost effective affair.