Hydrogen For Heritage

Policy brief explores the viability of hydrogen-powered trains in India

CSTEP recently explored the feasibility of incorporating green hydrogen into the Indian Railways. The findings from the technical assessment study were published in a policy brief. The study was done in the background of the announcement by the Indian Railways to completely electrify its railway system by 2024. The Government of India is also exploring the feasibility of hydrogen-powered trains along eight heritage routes — called the Hydrogen or Heritage Initiative.

According to the study, hydrogen-powered trains can lead to an annual emission reduction of 892 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In contrast to existing diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains offer an overall lifetime savings of approximately INR 18–33 crore, although the capital expenditure may be higher.

CSTEP also studied the feasibility of using hydrogen-powered trains in an industrial shunting yard and found that significant emissions reduction was possible (~77 tonnes of CO2e). It can offer an overall lifetime savings of INR 26 crore.

The policy brief also highlighted the challenges with hydrogen-powered trains, such as the need for additional safety requirements and the initial high upfront costs due to low adoption rates. The complete policy brief can be read here.

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Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy

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