Indian Railways launches first solar-powered 'Diesel Electric Multiple Unit' train

Solar-powered DEMU trains at the Safdarjung railway station in New Delhi on Friday

Solar-powered DEMU trains at the Safdarjung railway station in New Delhi on Friday

The train will depart from Delhi's Sarai Rohilla station and its last station will be Haryana's Farukh Nagar.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu after flagging off the train congratulated the nation with the first solar-powered train. There are six coaches in the train and each of these is fitted with 16 solar panels.

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Going ahead with its green initiatives, Railways launched first Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) coaches equipped with solar-power where fan and lighting in coaches will be through solar energy.

"We have dispatched solar panels for 30 DEMU coaches in Chennai and 50 DEMU coaches in Amritsar", Dinesh Khanchandani of JEL said, according to an Indian Express report.

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The Indian Railways is one of the largest train networks in the world, criss-crossing the country. "Indian Railways is committed to promote clean and renewable energy,". The IROAF has developed this system with a smart inverter which optimises power generation on a moving train to cater to full load even during night hours with the help of a battery bank which ensures sufficient electricity. Solar-powered DEMU trains are part of this plan.

The railways are planning to introduce almost 50 more such coaches in the coming days.

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He said that railways could save 5.25 lakh litres of diesel per such a train in 25 years. The total cost of the train is Rs 13.54 crore with the passenger coaches costing around Rs 1 crore each and the two motor coaches costing Rs 2.5 each. This will also be helpful for the environment, as it will reduce around 239 tons of carbon dioxide per rake annually.

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