Indian Railways Advances Natural Gas Locomotives

| India, New Delhi

IROAF CNG-converted DEMU

State-owned Indian Railways, through its Indian Railway Organisation for Alternate Fuels (IROAF), has issued a tender for conversion of 30 Diesel Power Cars (DPCs) to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). IROAF is charged with the task of seeking alternate energy modes, hence the drive toward gas-felled locomotives, and its primary objective is reduce Rail’s vast energy bill while also cutting emissions.

According to RailNews, that energy bill is around Rs 30,000 crore (USD 4.8 billion) per annum. The organisation’s goal is to save Rs 41,000 crore (USD >6.5 billion) on energy use over the next decade.

The tender calls for the conversion of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) DPCs. These are mini locomotives of around 1,400 HP.

Ravinder Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer, IROAF told RailNews the railways currently has 17 functional DPCs converted to CNG. “In these systems, 20 per cent high speed diesel is substituted by CNG. In actual running conditions we have saved about 8 per cent on fuel costs. As a next step, we are trying to bring in the technology for giving us substitution of up to 40 per cent,” Gupta said.

Indian Railways began the use of CNG as a fuel in Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) in September 2014 That DPC was equipped with a driver’s cabin, engine room, radiator room and passenger compartment, like any other power car, but with the addition of a 40-cylinder CNG cascade room at the rear. Each cylinder had capacity to store 15 kg of CNG at 255 bar pressure. It went into service between Rohtak and Rewari in northern India.

Indian Railways is also trialling LNG.

(Source: RailNews, India)

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