Hydrogen trains in India: Indian Railways plans to introduce hydrogen-fueled trains, likely in December 2023. The trains will be indigenously designed and built, reports said.
New hydrogen-powered trains are being designed as Vande Bharat by Indian engineers, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said.
“The design process is already underway and we could deploy the first hydrogen train in the country by December 2023,” he added.
Apart from the hydrogen trains, the Railways is manufacturing the ‘Vande Metro’ train which will replace the ones designed in the 1950s and 60s, Vaishnaw said on Sunday.
“We are designing and the design should be there by May or June anywhere – We are designing a World Class Vande Metro, which will be a great leap forward,” Vaishnaw told reporters in an interaction.
Vande Metro trains to cater to the middle class, the poor
“These Vande Metro trains will be manufactured in such large numbers that all over the country, they will replace all trains with designs from the 1950s and 1960s,” he added.
Insisting that these Vande Metros will cater to the middle class and the poor, the Union Minister said that the focus is not on the high class customer.
“The rich can always take care of themselves. The central government, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, focuses on the middle and lower class people who cannot afford it,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister wants the railways to make a very big transformative change in the lives of every Indian, Vaishnaw said.
Vaishnaw ruled out privatization of railways saying, “Railways is a strategic sector and it will be left to the government.”
Railways working on Vande Bharat-3 design
The Union minister said that the Railways is working on the design of Vande Bharat-3, which will also have a sleeper class. These trains would also be used for long journeys.
Currently, the Railways is taking up the construction of 12 km of railway lines per day, which was just four km per day during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government from 2004 to 2014.
Next year, the railways would manage to lay 16 to 17 kilometers of railways per day, although the prime minister has set a target of laying 20 kilometers of railways per day, the minister said.
Vaishnaw blamed Congress and JD(S) for not doing much for Karnataka.
According to him, during the UPA rule, the State received an allocation of 835 crores, and today, 6,091 crores.
Talking about acquiring new technologies, the Union Minister said that the Railways have started a new startup initiative.
“About 800 startups were submitted and more than 50 of them qualified. Now we will support these startups from the idea to the product stage.
Once the product is successful, we will fund them for four years and keep them in order for four years so that we can really stabilize and use these products in the railways first, and then they should be able to take these products globally,” he added.
On the construction of the bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, he said it is progressing at full speed.
The technology behind bullet train operations is very complex considering the vibration it will create, but Indian engineers have mastered the technology, Vaishnaw said.
Railways will take up 11 to 12 more corridors in the country after the successful completion of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.
(With inputs from PTI)
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