World-First Solar Train Left the Platform in Byron Bay, Australia

Saturday, December 23, 2017 - 16:13

The world's first train powered entirely by solar power has been now up and running in Byron Bay, Australia.

A refurbished "red rattler" from the 1940s, made its three kilometer maiden voyage between Byron Bay's business district and town Center earlier this week, with 100 passengers on board, BusinessGreen reports.

Although other railways, most notably in India, use solar power to fuel part of a train or on-board services such as air conditioning, it is thought this is the first train to be solely powered by the sun, via PV panels on the train and its storage shed.

A 77kWh backup battery ensures the train keeps running even on cloudy days.

Its developers, the Byron Bay Railroad Company (BBRC), explained that a team of volunteers refurbished the train, stations and track, which have been out of use for more than a decade.

"The train operates on energy from the sun," it said on its website. "Solar panels on the train and train storage shed will generate the equivalent amount of energy required to operate the train daily, charging the on-board battery bank. This is a world-first truly solar train and BBRC is proud to bring this technology and solution to Byron Bay."

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