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Friday, January 27, 2023

India to run Hydrogen powered Trains says Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

According to Indian Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Ministry of Railways will start running hydrogen trains along eight historic routes. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, he said the aim is to start running hydrogen powered trains in the next two years.

Heritage routes such as Kalka Shimla Railway and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway have narrow gauge (less than 1,435 mm) railway tracks. Similarly, Niligiri Mountain Railways and Marwar-Devgarh Madriya routes have meter gauge (1,000 mm) tracks.

These destinations are highly sought after by tourists due to their historical significance and charm. However, these narrow gauge and meter gauge tracks are not compatible with modern trains, which are designed for India’s predominantly broad gauge (1,676 mm) routes.

“Heritage routes will lose their charm if we convert them to broad gauge,” Vaishnaw said, adding that there are now plans to introduce hydrogen-powered trains that will retain the look and feel of these routes while running on the clean fuel.

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“These hydrogen trains will be tailored for each route and will be introduced over the next two years,” he said.

Matheran Hill, Kangra Valley, Bilmora-Waghai, Mhow-Patalpani heritage routes have also been earmarked for running hydrogen trains.

According to Vaishnaw, Indian Railways is also preparing to run the country’s first hydrogen-powered train and hopes to start operations by the end of December 2023. “It will run on green hydrogen. The trials of the train will take place in Haryana where supply of clean fuel has been ensured,” he said.

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources is categorized as green hydrogen.

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