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Thursday, December 27, 2012



The world's second solar train, Shivalik Express was officially launched on Friday. Just like the Himalayan Queen, WHICH WAS THE WORLDS FIRST SOLAR TRAIN, this train is also equipped with solar panels.

Shivalik Express had been running between Kalka and Shimla for the past some years. The Northern Railways thought of converting it into a solar-powered train recently.

A lot of effort has gone into its making. R K Gupta, senior divisional electrical engineer at Ambala division of Northern Railways who claims it to his brainchild, said that he has been working on it for the past two months.

All lights in the new train have been replaced by LEDs and the illumination level has also been increased from 20 to 42 lux in all the seven coaches of the train.

Solar-powered sockets have been installed so that passengers can recharge their mobiles and cameras with ease, said Gupta, a passout of IIT Delhi.

Gupta, who recently got the president's medal for energy conservation, said converting the train into solar power required Rs 2.25 lakh but the benefit far outweighs the cost incurred.

He said that by turning the train solar, he has been able to reduce 435kg of weight from each of the seven coaches. By reducing the weight, the train will save diesel worth around Rs 1.50 lakh per annum, he pointed out.

The total savings would come to Rs 12.35 lakh per year as it includes the savings of wear and tear, maintenance, spare parts and manpower, Gupta averred.

The train departs daily from Kalka station in the morning at 5.30.

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