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Eight Heritage Routes To Get Hydrogen-Powered Trains To Boost Tourism

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Last Updated: January 09, 2023, 15:55 IST

Going greener and more sustainable towards the environment, the Indian Railways is introducing a green revolution and starting hydrogen and electric trains on the eight heritage routes. The trains are aimed to boost tourism and will be on routes across the country by December 2023.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Railways, confirmed this recently. The ministry is to bring steam engine trains back on track but will be the modified version of them equipped with vintage sirens and green steam vapours.

Currently, under the pilot project, the railways are developing a prototype of a hydrogen fuel-based train at the Northern Railway workshop and the test run will be conducted on the Sonipat-Jind section in Haryana.

The new trains will run on the routes of Kalka-Shimla Railways, Nilgiri Mountain Railways, Darjeeling Hills, Kangra Railways, Bilimora Waghai, Mhow-Patalpani, Marwar-Devgarh-Madriya and Matheran Hill Railways in Maharashtra.

During his visit to Bengaluru, Ashwini Vaishnaw told the reporters that they will roll out the hydrogen trains on the heritage routes in December 2023. “This will mean that these heritage routes will go completely green,” he added.

Hydrogen engines have been developed by a few countries like Germany, France and China, and now India will also be a part of this, the minister added. Speaking about the modification, the railway minister shared that the coaches of the new trains will be retro-fitted induced with hydrogen-propulsion engines which will be used for commercial purposes by the end of the year.

The newly built hydrogen-powered trains are to be named Vande Metro. They will be manufactured in large numbers to replace the current set of trains that were manufactured in the 1950s and 1960s.

The hydrogen-powered train will play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions and achieving climate goals as the majority of the Indian trains are powered by diesel or electricity.

Germany began operating hydrogen-powered trains last year making it the first nation in the world to do so.

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