ICF, Chennai developing hydrogen-powered train

10 Feb 2024

ICF, Chennai developing hydrogen-powered train

The Indian Railways has designed a train which will run on hydrogen fuel cell and the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai has taken up a project for development of a train using hydrogen fuel cell, on a pilot basis, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday.

Vaishnaw was responding to questions raised by BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar on the advancement made on the government’s proposal for development of technology that uses alternative fuels for running trains that currently use diesel.

"A project for development of Hydrogen power train using Hydrogen Fuel Cell has been taken up as a pilot project. The power train of this project has been designed," the minister said.

"This innovative project is designed to showcase the utilisation of hydrogen technology in rail transportation," he added.

The hydrogen-powered train project signifies a notable advancement in the realm of sustainable transportation solutions and underscores the Indian Railways’ commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology for a greener future, Vaishnaw said.

The minister had earlier announced in the Lok Sabha that Indian Railways has made significant strides in developing a train powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The Indian Railways has committed to achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030 and has implemented a series of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. Among these efforts, the Railways is embracing energy-efficient technologies, such as transitioning to three-phase electric locomotives with regenerative capabilities and adopting Head-On Generation (HOG) technology. 

The number of operational Vande Bharat Express trains, with speed reaching 160 km/h on key routes, has gone up to 82 trains, Vaishnaw said.

Besides, he said, Railways is shifting to use of LED lighting in buildings and coaches, and to use of star-rated appliances to enhance energy efficiency. Furthermore, the Railways is implementing water conservation and management practices and actively participating in afforestation initiatives to mitigate its environmental impact.

Vaishnav also informed the House that the Railways, under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme, has identified 1,318 stations for redevelopment.

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