Indian Railways chugs on green track with switch to CNG

by Dave

Financial Express

Crude oil prices in the international markets may have cooled considerably in recent months. But concerned about the earlier record increase in prices and in an effort to go green, Indian Railways is developing technology to run trains on compressed natural gas. In fact, it has set up the Indian Railways Institute of Alternate Fuels to devise technology to tap into compressed natural gas and biofuel.

Two research projects have already been commissioned by the railway ministry for using compressed natural gas to not only run suburban trains, but also to haul trains over long distances. Some 200 diesel multiple units fitted with compressed natural gas engines have already begun trial runs. “If the pilot project is successful, we will launch it commercially soon,” a railway ministry official said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Railways’ research and design arm, the Rail Design & Standards Organisation (RDSO) is also working to modify the existing diesel locomotive engines and adapt them to run on compressed natural gas. “Our plan is to have loco engines that have a retrofit kit, which will allow them to run on compressed natural gas, like it is done for cars,” the official said.

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