In a bid to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, Indian Railways on Friday launched its first 1600 HHP solar diesel multiple unit (DEMU) train from Safdarjung railway station.

The train consists of six trailer coaches with 16 solar panels fitted in each of them. All the electrical appliances inside the train will be powered by solar panels. 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. The train has a power back-up and can run on battery for at least 72 hours. 

Speaking at the launch at the Safdarjung railway station, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu commented it was a “path-breaking leap” towards making trains more environment-friendly.

The train will travel from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Haryana’s Garhi Harsaru Junction and will replace a non-solar powered rake on the same route.

The step will help reduce carbon dioxide of almost nine tonnes per coach, per annum. It is also likely to save Rs 2 lakh worth of diesel per coach, per annum.