Indian Ministry of Railways has decided to adopt Head on Generation (HOG) technology on all Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches trains to reduce power costs.
With the HOG technology, power for the coaches will be supplied from overhead lines, which will then be distributed to the coaches for train lighting, air conditioning, lighting, fans and other equipment that runs on the electrical power supply.
Instead of generator cars, the trains will have one emergency generator and an LSLRD (LHB Second Luggage, Guard & Divyaang Compartment).
The LSLRD car has the capability to generate power from overhead lines and leave space for additional passengers and a luggage guard room.
For each unit of power, Indian Railways currently incurs a cost of Rs36 ($0.5). After the implementation of this technology, the cost per unit is expected to fall to Rs6.
The move is expected to bring in foreign exchange saving of around Rs14bn ($195.2m) due to the reduction in the use of diesel.
Already, 342 trains have been converted to HOG, with which there has been a saving of Rs8bn ($11.1m). The government plans to convert an additional 284 trains to HOG by the end of this year.
The government is also planning for the modification of the electrical system and future coaches will be compatible with HOG.
Another advantage of the HOG system is zero emissions of CO2 and NOx.
Last week, reports emerged that Indian Railways is planning to start the process of privatisation by offering more train operation services to private players.
Indian Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the first-ever private project, Tejas Express, will begin operations from October. It will cover the distance between Delhi and Lucknow.