Union minister for railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that India is set to launch its very own hydrogen-powered trains by August 15, 2023. The first of its kind train will be thoroughly designed, developed and manufactured indigenously.
“In recent times India has built trains which are among the best in the world and the next big thing will be the hydrogen-powered train which will be rolled out by the next Independence Day in 2023,” said Vaishnaw.
So far only Germany has been able to start hydrogen-powered trains when it inaugurated the world’s first train of such nature last month. The Germans added 14 trains with hydrogen fuel cell drive at a cost of around $92 million to their railway fleet. With that prominent economies across the globe have started their own quest of bringing hydrogen-powered trains into the mainstream since the gas used is an environment-friendly fuel and supports the zero-carbon goal.
Speaking of Indian railway’s improved expertise and capabilities to build state-of-the-art trains that are competitive with some of the best trains in the world, Vaishnaw cited the example of Vande Bharat Express train which is built indigenously from scratch. He said, during recent trials, the train took only 52 seconds to achieve a speed of 100 km per hour from zero while the famous Bullet train of Japan took 55 seconds for the same.
The railway boss also mentioned, that a train built at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai was recently found to be among the best five trains in the world. While analyzing the train on multiple parameters it was found to be better than many world-class trains on multiple parameters. For instance, a glass of water kept in the driver’s cabin stayed undisturbed even when the train moves at a maximum speed as high as 180 km per hour indicating its stability.
Just like the improvement in national highways, the railways have also been seeing an upward graph in terms of improvement and overall experience. Indian trains which were famous for getting delayed, have now achieved a rate of 89 percent on the punctuality scale.
Earlier, Nitin Gadkari had also started a pilot project for running cars on green hydrogen and since the railways have improved a lot of late, the addition of trains that run on a clean energy source will surely be a boon.