Hydrogen for Heritage: Indian Railways Introducing Hydrogen Power Trains on Heritage Lines

At the start of the New Year 2023, Indian Railways has set a goal to modernize its heritage lines with the latest technology. To achieve this, the Ministry of Railways has announced a plan to introduce hydrogen power trains on its heritage lines in the second half of the year. This plan, called “Hydrogen for Heritage,” aims to not only update the appearance and operating system of trains, but also promote the use of green energy in public transportation.

Overview of the Plan

The hydrogen-powered trains will be implemented on both narrow gauge and meter gauge lines. Eight heritage roots have been identified for the introduction of these trains: the Matheran Hill Railway of Central Railway (length: 19.97 kilometers), the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway of North Frontier Railway (length: 88.6 kilometers), the Kalka Shimla Railway (length: 96.5 kilometers), the Kangra Valley Railway of Northern Railway (length: 164 kilometers), the Bilmora Waghai Root of Western Railway (length: 62.7 kilometers), the Mhow Patalpani Root of Western Railway (length: 58 kilometers), the Nilgiri Mountain Root of Southern Railway (length: 46 kilometers), and the Marwar Devgarh Madriya Root of North Western Railway (length: 52 kilometers).

Benefits of Hydrogen-Powered Trains

The implementation of hydrogen-powered trains on these heritage roots is expected to bring a number of benefits. Firstly, it will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and promote the use of green energy in public transportation. Secondly, the trains will be more efficient and require less maintenance compared to their fossil fuel counterparts. Finally, the introduction of these trains is expected to lead to a better travel experience for passengers, as they will be equipped with vistadome coaches for a more comfortable and immersive journey.

Details of the Implementation

To operate the hydrogen-powered trains on these heritage roots, a number of technical changes are being made. A propulsion unit will be installed in every coach to ensure smooth operation. In addition, vistadome coaches will be added to each train to enhance the travel experience for passengers. It is hoped that these hydrogen trains will eventually replace the trains designed in the 1950s and 60s currently in use in the country.



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