In a very unique and useful effort, engineers of Indian Railways have pioneered solar lighting system in the heritage toy train that runs on the narrow gauge from Kalka to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
This initiative of solar electrification is taken up with an aim to provide clean and pollution free environment to the passengers and tourists, and also to save fuel.
Railway officials said that the solar panels have lessened the electricity load and have been successful in reduction of the fuel bill. Right now ,Railways has only tried this technology in narrow gauge system and that has rendered good results as electricity loads have reduced by 500 kilogram in each coach. In all there are seven coaches and in six coaches this system has successfully reduced the total fuel load by about three tones. On a rough estimate, the solar lights would save 4.5 lakh rupees annually.
In 2008, the Kalka-Shimla Railway was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the World Heritage Site Mountain Railways of India.