Earlier this year, the Indian Railways had talked about adopting an environment-friendly attitude and was mulling over combating energy crisis. It had then announced plans to set up a solar energy producing plants and self-sustaining hydro-electric plants at vacant railway lands in the country.
In February the railways had introduced a new energy efficient electric locomotive ‘WAP 7′, a high speed engine indigenously developed by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, which is capable of hauling trains at speeds ranging between 140-160 km per hour.
During the Rail budget, it was declared that Indian Railways was planning to go green by setting up renewable energy generation capacities, such as wind power, solar energy and bio-diesel plants for its own use.
There are various services where clean energy means and energy efficient technologies have already been in use. More than 150 of the Unreserved Ticketing System machines employed in Railways are run on solar energy. Solar energy has also been employed for heating water in running rooms, and few offices also employ solar panels for electricity usage. The policy guidelines on renewable energy source use on the Railways includes solar energy for signalling, UTS centers, PRS centers, emergency lighting load at railway stations and for solar water heaters.
Since, according to reports, railway minister of state K H Muniyappa, said as part of their green initiative, Indian Railways will be providing bio toilets in as many as 2500 passenger coaches and over 1000 manned level crossing across India will be lit with solar energy lamps in this fiscal year.