By December 2023, India will begin running trains on historic routes that are propelled by hydrogen.
Indian Railways wants to introduce hydrogen-powered trains on its narrow-gauge historic routes by December, making them “fully green,” along the lines of hydrogen trains operating in China and Germany. The Northern Railway workshop is now working on a hydrogen fuel-powered train prototype that will undergo testing on the Haryana stretch between Sonipat and Jind.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway, Matheran Hill Railway, Kangra Valley, Bilmora Waghai, and Marwar-Devgarh Madriya are some of Indian Railways’ historic routes that largely use diesel. These are all narrow-gauge routes.
“Starting in December 2023, the hydrogen trains will be introduced on the historic routes. This would result in these historic lines becoming entirely green “said Ashwini Vaishnaw, minister of railways for the union.
The proposal followed the minister’s announcement from last month that the Indian Railways would launch its first hydrogen-powered train by December 2023. During a visit to Bengaluru, a city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, Ashwini Vaishnaw told reporters, “We are designing and the design should be out anywhere by May or June.”
The brand-new, hydrogen-powered Vande Metro trains will be produced in large quantities to replace the current fleet of trains, which were produced in the 1950s and 1960s.
In India today, diesel or electricity are used to power the majority of the trains. In order to reduce carbon emissions and meet climate targets, the hydrogen-powered train will be essential. Multiple stakeholders are expressing interest in hydrogen-powered technology, which has the potential to be developed into a sustainable transportation option, all over the world.
Germany became the first country in the world to run hydrogen-powered trains in July of this year. The train’s manufacturer calls it “a true alternative to diesel power,” and it is expected to cost $86 million in total. The train, which has been tested in Germany since 2018, can travel 1000 kilometres at a speed of 140 kilometres per hour.
Asia’s first hydrogen-powered train with a 600 km range on a single tank has also just been launched in China. The hydrogen-powered train’s top speed, according to reports, is 160 kph.