Indian Railways Agra Cantonment station (Photo: Michael Lashley/Pixabay)

INDIA: Indian Railways’ Organisation of Alternative Fuels has invited bids to supply fuel cells and refuelling equipment for the conversion of two diesel-electric multiple units to hydrogen power.

Last year Indian Railways completed the design of a 140 km/h fuel cell and battery hybrid trainset which Diesel Loco Modernisation Works at Patiala is due to produce by rebuilding an existing DEMU. Modification of an existing trainset was favoured in order to speed up development and minimise the manufacturing cost. The first unit is due to be completed by the end of this year

Trials are to be undertaken on Northern Railway’s 89 km Sonipat – Jind line northwest of Delhi.

IROAF envisages that the 300 kW fuel cell power plant would need to be imported, but suggests that the hydrogen storage system and lead acid battery packs could be supplied by Indian manufacturers. Pre-bidding conferences are to be held on August 17 and September 9, with bids to be submitted for opening on October 5.

The two multiple-units are expected to be followed by the conversion of two locomotives to hybrid operation using fuel cells.