The world's first fully solar-powered train just left the station
Dec 28, 2017
<h5>The world's first solar power train has gone on its inaugural run. It doesn't go very far but the Australian Byron Bay Railroad will begin making regular solar-powered journeys in January 2018.<br/></h5>
<p style="text-align: left;">FUTURISM -- Byron Bay, New South Wales, is located in eastern Australia and is known as a surfer and backpacker's paradise with a population of around 5,000. The new train service covers 1.8 miles (3 km) between the city's center and its North Beach district. It's part of a longer 82 mile (132 km) line connecting Australia's Northern Rivers region north of the capital Sydney.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><br/></p><p style="text-align: left;">What the solar powered lacks in distance it makes for in style. A 1949 <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2017/12/06/uk-sleeper-trains-2018-revamp/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">refurbished</a> ‘red rattler,’ the train uses custom-built curved solar panels on its roof and can carry 100 passengers.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><br/></p><p style="text-align: left;">“We searched the country and found a dilapidated vintage train, restored it, and are now powering it with a 4.6 billion-year-old power source,” says Jeremy Holmes, Byron Bay Railroad Company’s development director in a <a href="https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/a-3-train-ride-run-totally-by-the-sun/3288526/" target="_blank">press statement</a>. </p><p></p><p style="text-align: left;"><br/></p><p></p><p style="text-align: left;">Towns in New South Wales <a href="https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Australia/Cities/sunshine-annual-average.php" target="_blank">get over 200 sunny days a year</a>, but when the sun isn't out it can charge in a special shed.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><br/></p><p style="text-align: left;">On the chance of prolonged cloudy weather, the train has on-board batteries that it charges with local green energy sources. And in case of prolonged lousy weather and an electrical failure, the train also a diesel engine on board as a last-case scenario. &#34;Due to the fact that the track is level with only one small curve, the train can run on a minimal amount of energy with the engine idle most of the time,&#34; the train's website <a href="http://byronbaytrain.com.au/sustainability/" target="_blank">states</a>.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><br/></p><p style="text-align: left;">The <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a24357/solar-power-cheapest-energy/" target="_blank">world's cheapest energy source</a>, solar energy is being used in vastly different ways around the globe. From <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a14501022/rohingya-solar-panels/" target="_blank">refugees</a> to vintage trains, <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/news/a28503/solar-energy-growing-faster-energy-sources/" target="_blank">expect to see a lot more of it</a> in the near future.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><br/></p><h5 style="text-align: left;">Thank you to our friends at <i>Futurism</i> for providing the original article below:</h5>

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