Railways invites bids for hydrogen fuel-based technology for diesel-run trains
The Union ministry of Railways announced on Saturday it has invited bids for hydrogen fuel cell-based technology which, it said, will be used to determine whether diesel-run trains can be operated by using hydrogen instead. The technology will be tested on the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) on the Sonipat-Jind section of the Northern Railway, the ministry noted in its statement.
“The retrofitting of diesel-powered DEMU and converting it into hydrogen fuel-powered train set will not only save the cost to the tune of ₹2.3 crore per year by converting from diesel to hydrogen, but will also save carbon footprint worth 11.12 kilo tonnes per annum and particulate matter worth 0.72 kilo tonnes per annum,” the statement read. It further said that once this pilot project is implemented successfully, hydrogen fuel can be used to run all the rolling stock which is scheduled to operate on diesel fuel after electrification.
The project will initially see two DEMU rakes being converted based on hydrogen fuel cell power moment. Later, two hybrid narrow gauge locos will be converted as well. Once the conversion is done, the train will be powered by hydrogen fuel. “The bidding for hydrogen fuel cell-based DEMU will begin on September 21 and close on October 5. A pre-bid press conference will take place on August 17,” the statement informed. Hydrogen fuel, it said, is the greenest mode of transport as hydrogen can be produced by eletrolysing water from solar energy.
According to the Railways ministry, very few countries are currently using this technique. One rake is currently undergoing trials in Germany while officials in Poland, too, are separately testing this technology on a rake, the ministry said.
(With PTI inputs)