In a first, Indian Railways would be operating 10-coach passenger trains on hydrogen, a green initiative of the national transporter to achieve zero carbon emission.
Giving an impetus to hydrogen-based technology and mobility, the Railways has floated a tender to launch the demonstrative project at an estimated cost of about Rs 80 crore.
As per the plan, the train would be running through a push-pull method using two motor coaches being retrofitted with hydrogen kits. Already in use in Germany and Poland, the hydrogen fuel cell technology is part of the national hydrogen energy mission.
As a pilot project, the hydrogen-powered passenger train would be operational in the Northern zone. According to a senior railway official, for the first time, two motor coaches with 1,400 horsepower (HP) each would haul the 10-coach hydrogen-powered passenger train in the country.
Railways floated the tender in the last week of July and the bids would be opened on October 5 this year. There would be a pre-bid meeting with the interested bidders in August to address queries on the project.
The hydrogen-powered train is expected to be used during power shutdown and also used for disaster management. The technology will also be used as a standby arrangement for the emergency.
First, steam-based technology was used to haul the train, followed by diesel and then electricity. While electrification is going on at full speed, the Railways is also using wind and solar energy as alternative power to reduce emissions.