Indian Railways to get its first hydrogen fuel cell-powered train

The first hydrogen-powered train service is expected to start by December 2023 between Kalka and Shimla.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced India’s first hydrogen-powered train. It will be put into service on the Kalka-Shimla historic circuit by December 2023.

According to the minister, the upcoming hydrogen-powered trains will be called 'Vande Metro'. The plan is to run these trains on historic narrow-gauge routes like the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Matheran Hill Railway, Kangra Valley, Bilmora Waghai and the Marwar-Devgarh Madriya route.

The hydrogen-powered train will be designed and manufactured locally. It will use hydrogen fuel cells, which combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electric. The byproduct of this reaction is pure water, making it highly eco-friendly. 

However, the operating cost of hydrogen fuel cells is said to be 27% higher than that of a diesel engine. Storing hydrogen is also a challenge due to its highly combustible nature.

Source: Hindustan Times

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