An Australian rail company has restored a disused train to be 100 percent powered by solar energy- a world first for the transportation sector.
The Byron Bay Railroad Company has refurbished a 70-year-old stretch of track, 3 kilometers between the town of Byron Bay- a beachside town in the northeast of the state of New South Wales, and the Elements of Byron Bay resort.
The train features a 6.5 kilowatt (kW) custom curved solar array located on the roofs of the carriages which feeds the on-board 77 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery storage system- a capacity same as that in a Tesla Model S, able to provide sufficient storage for 12-15 trips.
A 30 kW solar PV array, a battery storage system and a charging station have been installed at the end of the route to recharge the train when needed.
The restored vintage carriages can carry 100 seated passengers, with additional room for standing passengers, luggage, bikes, and surfboards. The train embarked on its inaugural trip on Saturday and is currently running on a pilot timetable.
The $4 million project was funded by the multi-millionaire businessman Brian Flannery, the owner of the Elements of Byron Bay resort.