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Indian Railways to Introduce New Technology to Generate Power; Aims to Add 4 Lakh Berths

"Once the power cars are removed, they will be replaced with two additional AC-3 tier coaches, adding 130 berths," the official said

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"By adopting the HOG technology we will make way for more coaches," the official said, adding that it will also save Rs 6,000 crore in fuel bills annually," said the official. Wikimedia Commons

The Indian Railways which carries over 12 lakh passengers every day, aims to provide four lakh more berths for passengers every day from October when it will adopt the technology to generate power from the locomotives instead of the two power cars, railway officials said on Wednesday.

A senior Railway Ministry official related to the development told IANS: “Currently there are one or two power cars attached to the train with diesel generators to supply electricity connection to run the air conditioning units, fans and lights in the train coaches.”

The power cars are also called as End on Generation (EOG). The official said that from October onwards, the railways will introduce the new technology known as “Head on Generation” (HOG), which is currently used worldwide to generate power for the AC units, fans and lights in train coaches.

The official said with the HOG technology, the power to provide electric supply to the AC units, fans, lights from the overhead power lines and then is distributed to train coaches. According to the railway ministry officials, by October 2019, over 5,000 coaches of the Indian Railways will operate on the new technology.

indian railways
“Once the power cars are removed, they will be replaced with two additional AC-3 tier coaches, adding 130 berths,” the official said. Wikimedia Commons

“By adopting the HOG technology we will make way for more coaches,” the official said, adding that it will also save Rs 6,000 crore in fuel bills annually,” said the official.

He pointed out that a power car needs about 40 litres of diesel per hour per non-AC coach while an AC coach needs 65-70 litres of diesel per hour. The official also said the new system is eco-friendly as no air or noise pollution will be there and it will help in reducing carbon emissions by 700 MT per year per train.

The official said by removing one power car from the train, the railways can add a passenger coach in the train thus increasing the number of berths in the train without increasing the train length.

Giving the example of Rajdhani Express, the official said the Rajdhanis are currently hauled by a single locomotive with two diesel-powered generator cars at the rear to provide air conditioning and lighting within the train.

“After carrying out extensive tests, we have decided to remove the power cars. Power, obtained from the overhead cables through the pantograph of the lead engine, will be converted for providing air conditioning and lighting. This will be done through what in technical parlance is known as a hotel load converter,” he said.

“By doing so we can attach two more AC-3 tier coaches to the train,” he said. Rajdhani Express trains currently have 22 coaches with over 1,200 berths of various categories. “Once the power cars are removed, they will be replaced with two additional AC-3 tier coaches, adding 130 berths,” the official said.

Indian Railways
The official said by removing one power car from the train, the railways can add a passenger coach in the train thus increasing the number of berths in the train without increasing the train length. Wikimedia Commons

He said that once all LHB coaches are on this system, there will be an increase of more than four lakh berths everyday and thus additional revenue as well. The railways earlier this year tried to increase the speed and number of berths in Hazrat Nizamuddin-Mumbai Rajdhani Express by hauling it with two locomotives, one from front and the other at the rear.

The official said the trial run was approved on Feb 7 by the Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO). The pilot project led to the saving of over 105 minutes of travel time between New Delhi and Mumbai as it covered the 1,543 km in about than 17 hours from the previous 19 hours.

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The official pointed out that the push-and-pull technology, being tried out, is successfully adopted globally. This not only increases a train’s hauling capacity but also reduces jerks when the brakes are applied as the load gets equally distributed through all the coaches,” the official said.

A senior railway ministry official said the railways has last year experimented with twin-locomotives on the Rajdhani, with both engines in front. However, it was found that this did not make for a smooth ride. (IANS)

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Indian Railways To Generate 1,000 MW Solar Power By The Coming Year: Report

By 2030, we will generate 5 GW of solar power and in next financial year, we will be able to achieve 1,000 MW of solar power target

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Railways
Presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, Sitharaman said: "About Indian Railways, there are five measures that I wish to highlight. Setting up a large solar power capacity alongside the rail tracks on the land owned by railways. A proposal is under consideration". Wikimedia Commons

With the emphasis on zero emission, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday stressed on setting up a large solar power capacity along railway tracks, which the Indian Railways said will be able to generate 1,000 MW by 2021-22 and it will achieve the capacity of 5 gigawatt (GW)by 2030.

Presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, Sitharaman said: “About Indian Railways, there are five measures that I wish to highlight. Setting up a large solar power capacity alongside the rail tracks on the land owned by railways. A proposal is under consideration.”

Addressing a press conference at the Rail Bhawan here, Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said: “The railways has planned to tap solar power to lower its expenses. The railways plans to become self sufficient in solar power by 2030.”

He said this will be in line with the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the International Paris Agreement on Climate change, 2015, where India has pledged a reduction of 33-35 per cent in emission intensity by 2030 from 2005 levels.

He said that the Railways will also contribute towards National Solar Mission. It will also fulfill in meeting renewable purchase obligations of Indian Railways as a deemed licensee. Stressing on the need for zero emission, he said that the national transporter will go green by 2024 as its entire network will be electrified.

Yadav said the Railways has identified its land pool, which can be used for solar power generation. He said about 51,000 hectare of land is available with it which is fit for the solar power generation and railways requires about 5 GW power for its usage.

“So by 2030, we will generate 5 GW of solar power and in next financial year, we will be able to achieve 1,000 MW of solar power target,” he said. The Railways will adopt the solar power generation in a phased manner as the 50,000 hectare land pool is able to generate 10 GW of power.

Raiways
With the emphasis on zero emission, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday stressed on setting up a large solar power capacity along railway tracks, which the Indian Railways said will be able to generate 1,000 MW by 2021-22 and it will achieve the capacity of 5 gigawatt (GW)by 2030. Wikimedia Commons

He also said that as there are limitations with solar power, where the power is generated only during day. “We are in talks with states for power banking engagement, where the surplus power will be shared with the states during the day and in night, we can use their power,” Yadav said.

On the REailways’ solar plans, he said: “As a part of this plan, Indian Railways has planned to set up 1,000 MW solar power plant and about 200 MW of wind power plants by 2021-22 across zonal railways and production units.”

Noting that the Railways, till date has installed 100.99 MW solar and 103.4 MW wind power across railway installations, the Chairman said that Railways primarily uses electricity and diesel for its traction applications. “In 2018-19, Indian Railways consumed about 18 billion units of electricity, which is around 1.27 per cent of the country’s total power consumption, and 3,069.30 tonne kilo litres of diesel in 2018-19 for its traction needs. With 100 per cent electrification and rail traffic projected to grow, it is estimated that railways will be consuming around 28-30 billion units for its traction requirement.

“The requirement is expected to increase further with commissioning of dedicated freight corridor routes and decongestion of railway routes.”

With Modi’s ambitious plan to install 175 GW of solar power by 2022-23, and to reduce fuel burden of railways, it has been endeavoured to install land-based solar plants across the Rrailways network.

The Chairman said that the solar power generated will be fed to CTU/STU grid or directly to 25 kV AC traction system. A proof of concept of feeding solar power directly to 25 kV AC traction system of 5 kVA capacity is already demonstrated. Further, to scale up 2 pilot projects of 2 MW at Diwana in Haryana and 1.7 MW at Bina in Madhya Pradesh are already under different stages of execution and likely to be commissioned by March 2020.

The Railways is also setting up a 50 MW land solar power plant at Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, which is likely to be commissioned by January 2021. He said railways has also tied up for 400 MW solar power for its traction energy need through Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd (RUMSL), a Joint Venture of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (MPUVNL) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

Railways
Railways will also contribute towards National Solar Mission. It will also fulfill in meeting renewable purchase obligations of Indian Railways as a deemed licensee. Wikimedia Commons

“Tender for this is likely to be opened in month of June, 2020. Railway is also installing rooftop solar plants at various railway installations for which solar plants works of 245 MW are under different stages of execution,” Yadav said.

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The Chairman further said that for meeting requirement of 30 billion units of power, it has been to utilize vacant unused railways land for installing solar plants of 2 GW. “Initial survey of about 4,500 acre land is already carried out and is under different stage of processing. This land is capable of installing 1 GW of solar plants. Survey for another 4,400 acre of land is currently under way which will install another 1 GW of solar plants on Railway land,” he added. (IANS)