Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw speaks at a press meet on the Budget 2023-24, in New Delhi, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday informed Rajya Sabha that Indian Railways (IR) has envisaged running 35 Hydrogen trains under "Hydrogen for Heritage" at an estimated cost of Rs 80 crores per train and ground infrastructure of Rs 70 crores per route on various heritage and hill routes.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the Minister said, "Indian Railways has also awarded a pilot project for retro fitment of Hydrogen Fuel cell on existing Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) rake along with ground infrastructure at the cost of Rs 111.83 crores which are planned to be run on Jind-Sonipat section of Northern Railway."
Vaishnaw further informed that field trials of the first prototype on the Jind-Sonipat section of Northern Railway are expected to commence in 2023-2024.
The minister said that the running cost of Hydrogen fuel-based trains is not established in the Indian Railway scenario. It is estimated that the initial running cost of the Hydrogen fuel train set will be higher which will subsequently reduce with the number of trains. Further, using Hydrogen as fuel provides more significant benefits in the direction of green transportation technology to support zero carbon emission goals as a clean energy source.