In a country which considers CNG as its alternative fuel of choice, it doesn’t come as a surprise when Indian Railways, one of the largest organizations in the world feigns some interest in the environment friendly gas for propulsion. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the very first CNG powered train in India, yesterday, on the 81 Km long Rewari-Rohtak section of the Northern zone.
Applied to a passenger train with a 1,400 HP engine, the rake has been modified to run on dual fuels – diesel and CNG. 20% of its fuel consumption will be CNG, with the daily train (Sunday excluded) completing the journey in about 2 hours. With six coaches in tow, all of them manufactured by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) through fumigation technology, the train has a capacity to carry 770 passengers. But being India, expect that to beat the 1000 mark.
With the switch to CNG, the trains will now emit fewer toxic, carcinogenic pollutants and zero particulate matter, a welcome respite from the black smoke spewing diesel electric locomotives that haul people and goods all over India. It helps cut down carbon monoxide emissions by 90%, carbon dioxide by 25%, nitrogen oxide by 35% and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions by 50%. In addition to this, the use of CNG can bring down the operating cost of the locomotive by a commendable 50%!
Hats off to the concerned authorities for the initiative, but it remains to be seen if this move is popularized all over the country. Furthermore, we hear that even solar and wind powered propulsion for trains are being considered by the Indian Railways.
Source: The Better India