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Asia Minute: India is moving ahead with plans for hydrogen-powered passenger trains

India World Population 8 Billion
Rafiq Maqbool
Indian commuters get off trains at the Church Gate railway station in Mumbai, India, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.

For most countries, hydrogen-powered trains are largely a dream for the future.

But in India, that future is rapidly approaching. Right now, the only hydrogen powered passenger train operates in Germany, and that feat was only achieved this summer.

The energy comes from hydrogen fuel cells, which produce water vapor and condensation.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s railway minister, says a domestically designed and built hydrogen-powered train will be rolling down domestic tracks by the end of next year.

Vaishnaw says India’s model will be able to go from zero to 60 miles an hour in less than a minute — faster than a Japanese bullet train.

He adds that the final design for the new train should be out by late spring or early summer.

Reuters reports that India’s government expects to manufacture hydrogen powered trains in mass numbers.

India has a long history with trains, most of which are now run on diesel or electricity.

Indian Railways is the government body that operates the national railroad—which has been in operation for nearly 170 years.

The organization says India has more than 42,000 miles of working train track around the country, making it the fourth largest train system in the world.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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