Bookmark and Share

Solar Trains in India to make an entry very soon but how will they run on rainy and foggy days?

0 Comment

Solar powered Trains in India

India’s love affair with solar power is reaching absurd levels with the Railways Minister announcing that Indian trains will run on solar power. With a guard van running on solar power (for lights, fans etc.), the Minister has said that trains in the future will be powered by solar power. I don’t know how that will work given that trains work during nights as well as in all seasons such as winter and rains, when sunlight is not present in some Indian locations for days altogether. Putting solar panels on trains for some small uses may be fine but for heavy uses like pulling coaches is absurd. I am also not sure how easy it will be to maintain the solar panel on top of the trains and how much power you could generate from the limited roof area found on top of the coaches and engines.


Also read Can Solar Energy power Pod Taxis in India?

The Indian Railways has announced plans to reduce its power bill by procuring power from solar plants which makes sense, however using distributed solar systems to run trains is a stupid idea. Putting solar panel on station roofs is also quite sane given that most of the functions in stations is not mission critical and is also backed up by the electricity gird lines in cases of failure. However, trains need enormous amounts of energy which the current panel efficiency cannot provide except for limited functions.

Read Solar Power from MP to drive New Delhi Metro Trains

It is good that the Indian government is pushing solar power through all means and ministries, however putting solar everywhere does not make sense. It much be economic and it should be put in places where the functions are not mission critical. If they are, then there must be a backup like energy storage or grid lines. Installing energy storage on trains will take up too much space and in case using lithium batteries could also cause fire hazards. Is it really that important to run trains using solar power? Can’t you just buy solar power from large cheap utility scale plants and offset the energy/electricity for running the trains?


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!