The railways has invited bids for hydrogen fuel cell-based technology by retrofitting on the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) in 89 km Sonipat-Jind section of the Northern Railway, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
This is an attempt by the national transporter to explore whether existing diesel-run trains can be retrofitted to use hydrogen instead. "The retrofitting of diesel-powered DEMU and converting it into hydrogen fuel-powered train set will not only save the cost to the tune of Rs 2.3 crore annually by converting from diesel to hydrogen, but also save the carbon footprint (NO2) of 11.12 kilo tons per annum and particulate matter of 0.72 kilo tonnes per annum," the statement said.
It also said that after successful implementation of this pilot project, all the rolling stock which will operate on diesel fuel after electrification can be planned to run on hydrogen fuel. Initially, two DEMU rakes will be converted, and later two hybrid narrow gauge locos will be converted based on hydrogen fuel cell power movement.
After conversion, the train will run on hydrogen fuel, the greenest mode of transport as hydrogen can be generated by electrolysing the water from solar energy, the statement added. Presently, very few countries are using this method.
The trial of one rake is being done in Germany and the trial of the other in Poland, it said. The bidding date for hydrogen fuel cell-based DEMU rake will start from September 21, 2021 and the closing date will be October 5, 2021 A pre-bid conference will be held on August 17.