In an environment friendly move, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has just flagged off the very first CNG train in India.
The route selected for this landmark move is the Rewari-Rohtak section of the Northern zone.
Currently, the fuels in use by the Railways are diesel and electricity. With the frequent fluctuations in the prices of both, natural gas emerges as the ideal alternative. Also, it is extremely eco-friendly in comparison.
Experts say that the CNG engine emits fewer toxic, carcinogenic pollutants and zero particulate matter.
It helps cut down carbon monoxide emissions by 90%, carbon dioxide by 25%, nitrogen oxide by 35% and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions by 50%. In addition to this, the use of CNG can bring down the operating cost of the locomotive by a whopping 50%!
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The Rewari passenger train has a 1,400 HP engine, which has been modified to run on dual fuels – diesel and CNG. It has now replaced 20% of its fuel consumption to CNG, covering the 81 km distance in about 2 hours.
The daily (except Sundays) train between Rewari and Rohtak has six coaches with a capacity to carry 770 passengers, and has been manufactured by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) through fumigation technology.
The train sets a milestone in the adoption of green fuels in India, and will reduce the consumption of diesel and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with it. It also marks the first step taken by the humongous railway network in reducing its dependence on conventional fuels and shifting to alternative energy sources. The next proposed steps in this direction are solar and wind power.