Indian Railways launches first solar-powered DEMU train

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In line with the Indian Railways ‘Solar Mission’ to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, Railways launched its first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train from Safdarjung railway station on Friday. The train has six trailer coaches, with 16 solar panels fitted in each of them. The solar panels will power all the electrical appliances inside.

Railways’ first DEMU rake with solar power hotel load system, based at Shakurbasti shed, was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Shakurbasti DEMU shed has provisioned dual fuel arrangement in 16 of the total holding of 1400 HP Driving Power Cars.

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2016-17, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced plans to generate 1000 MW solar power in the next five years.The Railways have already undertaken steps to install solar panels on rooftops of at railway stations and at level crossings across the country.

According to The Indian Express, Noida-based firm Jakson Engineers Limited (JEL) had been given the task of providing solar panels for DEMU coaches set to be used by the Railways for its pilot projects in Chennai and Amritsar.

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