Railways have introduced multi-genset locomotives, a step which will help decrease carbon footprint in train operations by reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The national transporter has undertaken development of prototype multi-genset locomotives in medium horse power range with 3 gensets of 800 Horse Power (HP) each amounting to a total of 2400 HP. "The trial of first multi-genset locomotive is currently undergoing as a pilot project at Itarsi in Bhopal division", said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.
Multi-genset technology is based on necessity of power required for train operations involving two or more small engines as compared to a single large engine in conventional locomotives. Multiple small engines are used for short hauling purposes, he said. The environment-friendly, multiple small engines work only when there is higher power demand.
These locos promise to reduce fuel consumption by about 20 per cent for delivering the same power. As a result, the resultant nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions will be far less and these locos will have a smaller carbon footprint. Railways consumes 2.4 billion litres of high speed diesel annually and spends about Rs 8,000 crore to buy the same.
At present, there are over 500 multi-genset locomotives in the USA in the medium HP range and German Railways is also acquiring a good number of multi-genset locomotives.