In line with its consistent focus on reducing energy consumption, the Indian Railways today launched its first solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train. The train, which has a 1600 HP engine, was launched from Safdarjung railway station. There are six coaches in the train and each of these is fitted with 16 solar panels. The energy produced from the solar panels will be utilized to power all the electrical appliances inside the coaches. The solar-powered train was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. It may be recalled that in the 2016-17 railway budget, Prabhu had announced that railways will be targeting 1000 MV solar power generation in the next five years.
With increased use of solar power, the railways is targeting to save 90,800 liters of diesel per rake on an annual basis. This will also be helpful for the environment, as it will reduce around 239 tons of carbon dioxide per rake annually. Solar panels will also be installed at railway stations and at level crossings all across the country. The contract for supplying solar panels for DEMU coaches has been given to Jakson Engineers Limited (JEL).