The first solar-powered rake with a battery back-up for its power requirement during night was inducted in the railways today. The move is aimed at reducing the railways' energy bill.

The 1,600 horse power rake has been conceptualised by Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels (IROAF) using flexible solar panels and Lithium-Ion batteries. IROAF has developed this system with a smart inverter which can cater to power requirement during the night.

The rail ministry said 24 such coaches will be fitted with the solar system at Shakurbasti in Delhi within six months. The railways aims to save around Rs 21,000 litres of diesel through these rakes and also aims at cost saving of Rs 12 lakh every year.

“Indian Railways is committed to environment conservation and use of cleaner fuels. Indian Railways is trying to increase use of non-conventional sources of energy. More solar-powered trains may be inducted in future,” said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

This first rake has been commissioned and based at Shakurbasti DEMU shed in Delhi of Northern Railway. The first rake will be put in the commercial service over the suburban railway system of Delhi division of Northern Railway.