IROAF invites bids for Hydrogen Fuel Cell based Train on Indian Railways Network

“Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Batteries” and “National Hydrogen Mission” are two flagship programs of Government of India so as to meet out the targets of reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emission under Paris Climate Agreement 2015 and “Mission Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway” by 2030. 

  • Accordingly, there has been a recent budgetary pronouncement to kick off the concept of Hydrogen Mobility in the Country. 
  • Accepting it as a challenge, Indian Railways Organization of Alternate Fuel (IROAF), Green Fuel vertical of Indian Railways, has invited the bids for Hydrogen Fuel Cell based Train on Railways Network. 
  • The project shall commence in the 89km Sonipat-Jind section of Northern Railway.
  • Initially, 2 DEMU rakes will be converted and later, 2 Hybrid locos will be converted based on Hydrogen Fuel cell power movement. 
  • There will be no change in the driving console. 
  • Also, the project will lead to savings of Rs.2.3 Cr. annually.

Details of the Project:

  • Sanctioned Work:
    • Provision of Fuel Cell powered Hybrid Traction System for train application on 2 DEMU rakes
    • Current Pink Book item No. 723 of 2021-22
    • Allocation during current year Rs. 8 crore
  • Brief Scope of Work:
    • On-board equipment as per RDSO specification no. R2/347/Fuel Cell-1 of july’2021
    • Stationary (on ground) hydrogen storage and filling station at site as per RDSO specification no. R2/347/Fuel Cell-1 of july’ 2021
  • Tender processing:
    • Two pre-bid conferences scheduled on 17/08/2021 and 09/09/2021
    • Start of submission of offer since 21/09/2021
    • Date of tender opening is 05/10/2021

Industry Update:

  • In India, TATA motors had developed seven hydrogen fuel cell buses.
  • All these vehicles are complying with International Safety Standards of Hydrogen Safety.
  • International Standards Organisation, Society of Automotive Engineers and United Nations have published stringent safety standards for use of hydrogen in transport vehicles.
  • Type test of these vehicles have shown that Hydrogen as a transport fuel is safe to handle and use.
  • Similarly, safety aspects concern for passengers shall be an integral part of the technical specifications of the hydrogen powered trains.

Other Green Initiatives of Indian Railways:

  • Solar panels have been fitted on the rooftop of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains of capacity 4.5 KWp for catering to hotel load.
  • Blending of high speed diesel with Bio-diesel by 5% has also been started for railway locomotives.
  • Running of DEMU trains with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has also been introduced as a pilot project over 18 trains.

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational):MoR