A train running in the Himalayan foothills is the first in India to have fully solar-powered lighting. Every coach on the Himalayan Queen has been provided with a 100-watt solar panel that powers LED lights within the train.

The system can function for two days without sunshine. Along with providing lighting for the train, the solar panels also provide power for outlets within the coaches. Because of the train’s mountainside location, it doesn’t require air conditioners or fans, which made the switch to solar power easier.

Officials decided to transition the train to solar power when the previous power system became expensive to maintain. Solar power will require less maintenance, and will provide power at a lower cost. The equipment is also less heavy, helping reduce energy needed to run the train. It will also help generate carbon credits for the railway.

The train was fully fitted with solar panels after smaller trial runs. After testing the new system with the Himalayan Queen, officials hope to extend solar lighting to other trains in the area.

Main photo credit: mkosut/Flickr