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World's first 100% solar-powered train launches in Australia

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Sit long enough by the trackside in Bryon Bay Australia and you’ll eventually catch a glimpse of the world’s first 100% solar-powered train.
The train is a refurbished 1949 'red rattler'.
(Image via the Byron Bay Railroad Company).

The Byron Bay Railroad Company has refurbished a three-kilometre (nearly 2 mile) stretch of tracks and refurbished a vintage, 1949 ‘red rattler’ train with a 6.5 kilowatt (kW) solar array with flexible solar panels. 

At present only a limited service is in operation, but by January a full service is expected commence.

The $4 million project is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Brian Flannery:

“Hopefully it attracts people to Byron Bay. I think international tourists will come here to have a look at the world’s first solar train,” he commented to a local news outlet.
The $4 million project is the brainchild of a local entrepreneur.
(Image via the Byron Bay Railroad Company).

Byron Bay, New South Wales, in eastern Australia is well-known as a surfer and backpacker’s paradise and is home to a population of approximately 5,000. The new train service runs between the city’s centre and its North Beach district.

With towns in New South Wales typically receiving around 200 sunny days a year, this is clearly an ideal location for an entirely solar-powered train.

Should the sun fail to shine though, the train is fitted with a number of back-up energy sources. On-board batteries mean it can acquire charge via local green energy sources, and a small diesel engine is also fitted as a last-resort.

To find out how Fircroft can help your rail company with our range of workforce solutions, speak to us today.
Tags: Engineering
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World's first 100% solar-powered train launches in Australia - Time to read 2 min
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