Environmentally friendly means of travel are quickly becoming all the more important as the technology progresses and governments realize its importance. Not only do such measures reduce the negative impact on the environment due to existing methods, they also lead to reduce costs over the long run.
In significant step towards adopting green fuel, the railways have launched their first CNG train. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the train, run on dual fuel system — diesel and CNG — on the Rewari-Rohtak section of northern zone.
An official said introduction of CNG trains will reduce greenhouse gas emission and also cut the transporter’s fuel bill by reducing consumption of diesel.
The minister, who has opened a separate environment directorate in the railway board, has stressed on the use of alternative fuel, including use of solar and wind power, to reduce dependence on conventional energy.
The railways have modified the 1,400 HP engine to run on dual fuel – diesel and CNG – through fumigation technology.
The passenger train would consume over 20% of CNG, covering a distance of 81km in about two hours.
“Gradually, CNG usage will be increased to around 50%. Currently, test trials are being conducted for increased usage of CNG,” said an official.
A senior official said there are plans to run more such CNG trains to reduce diesel consumption.
The move is not only a significant step towards reducing the carbon footprint of the railways, but it will also provide capacity to use a cheaper alternative fuel source in future.
The train comprising of two power cars and six car coaches has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory at Chennai with the CNG conversion kit being supplied by Cummins.
Development of a CNG conversion technology, which will permit utilization of over 60% CNG, is also under way, he said, adding, “Switchover to LNG technology is also being planned as that will enable higher fuel carrying capacity.”