In­dia’s age­ing trains get green makeover with so­lar pan­els

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

New Delhi, In­dia - In­dia has added so­lar pan­els to the roof of a train in a na­tional first as it tries to re­duce its mas­sive car­bon foot­print and mod­ernise its vast colo­nial-era rail net­work.

The light­ing, fans and in­for­ma­tion dis­plays in­side the train - once pow­ered by diesel - will run off the Sun’s en­ergy af­ter the pan­els were fit­ted to the car­riage.

The train has be­gun jour­neys around the cap­i­tal New Delhi, help­ing move just some of the 23mn pas­sen­gers who use In­dia’s rail net­work every day.

“We will be in­duct­ing at least four other so­lar-pow­ered trains in the next six months,” Anil Ku­mar Saxena, In­dian rail­ways spokesper­son, told AFP on Wed­nes­day. Bat­ter­ies charged by the so­lar pan­els dur­ing the day take over if there is no sun­light, Saxena added. Only as a last re­sort, if the bat­ter­ies per­ish, would diesel be used.

Each train draw­ing on this green en­ergy is ex­pected to save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year, help­ing re­duce In­dia’s enor­mous re­liance on fos­sil fu­els and huge out­put of car­bon emis­sions.

Built by In­dia’s former Bri­tish colo­nial rulers, the rail­way sys- tem is one of the world’s largest and is still the main means of long-dis­tance travel in the huge coun­try.

But years of fi­nan­cial ne­glect and a pop­ulist pol­icy of sub­si­dis­ing fares have hit the net­work hard. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi vowed to re­vive it af­ter com­ing to power in May 2014.

Each train draw­ing on this green en­ergy is ex­pected to save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year

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