The Indian Railways launched the first 1600 HP solar powered Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train on Friday. This first of its kind unit was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The launch happened at Safdarjung Railway station in New Delhi.
The Indian Express reported that this development happened due to the solar mission to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The solar power loaded unit was at the Shakurbasti shed. The shed has provisioned a dual fuel system in 16 of 1400 HP driving power cars. Prabhu in his Railway Budget this year mentioned about the plan to generate 1000 megawatts solar power in the next five years. Jackson Engineers Limited, a Noida based firm has been entrusted the responsibility to provide solar panels for such coaches to be used for the pilot projects in Chennai and Amritsar.
The Economic Times informs that the train is scheduled to journey from Sarai Rohila in New Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. The train has a total of 16 solar panels. These panels produce 300 watts of power individually and are fitted on six coaches. These panels cost Rs 54 lakh and are manufactured through the “Make in India” initiative. It can travel for 72 hours with the help of its power back-up battery.