Indian Railways’ green fuel vertical Indian Railways Organisation of Alternate Fuel (IROAF) has launched bids for the development of hydrogen fuel cell-based train on Indian Railways network.

This project is expected to promote the concept of hydrogen mobility in India.

IROAF has initially invited bids for an 89km Sonipat-Jind section of Northern Railway.

As part of the project, two diesel–electric multiple units (DEMU) rakes will be transformed.

Two hybrid locos will subsequently be converted on the basis of hydrogen fuel cell power movement, with no change in the driving console.

Indian Railways said in a statement: “Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Batteries and National Hydrogen Mission are two flagship programmes of Government of India so as to meet out the targets of reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emission under Paris Climate Agreement 2015 and ‘Mission Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’ by 2030.

“Accordingly, there has been recent budgetary pronouncement to kick off the concept of Hydrogen Mobility in the country.”

The rail operator noted that the project could help save around $309,643.94 (INR23m) per annum.

This project will involve the allocation of nearly $1.07m (INR80m) during the current year.

Last month, Indian Railways completed a trial run on a new 35km-long newly-gauge converted section between Jaynagar in the Indian state of Bihar and Kurtha in the neighbouring country of Nepal.

The section is part of the Jaynagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas railway project between India and Nepal.