Are refurbishes trains from the past helping to pave the way for solars future?

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Solar powered Train makes debut in Australia

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, and they have just completed the ultimate up-cycling solar project we’ve ever seen. The Byron Bay Railroad Company took a 1949 refurbished ‘red rattler,’ and had custom-built curved solar panels installed on it’s roof to propel it the 1.8 miles (3 km) between the city’s center and its North Beach district. With the ability to carry 100 passengers the train is equipped with a 77kWh battery which is good for a full day’s worth of trips back and forth, and will be charged both by panels on the roof of the train and a 30kW solar array at the station.

Towns in New South Wales get over 200 sunny days a year, which definitely boosts the ability of the train to power itself, and on those “off” days, the car will get a little help from the railway stations it travels between that are quipped with solar panels themselves.

The train was retrofit from a classic passenger train which used to have two diesel engines. One engine was replaced by electric motors and batteries, and the other engine was kept for balance and as an emergency backup.

“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 press statement.

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