You NOW can ride on the world’s first solar-powered train in Byron Bay.
Have you ever thought about taking a relaxing, sunny trip on an amazing zero emission train service, passing through littoral rainforest, endangered coastal wetlands and over the stunning tea tree Belongil Creek, part of Cape Byron Marine Park.
NOW YOU CAN featuring flexible solar panels from PV pioneer Zhengrong Shi’s new venture and a considerable amount of battery storage.
The Byron Bay Railroad Co – a not-for-profit company owned by former coal baron Brian Flannery linking his Elements of Byron resort north-west of Byron with the town centre. The Byron Bay solar-powered train is the first and only 100% electric, 100% solar-powered train in the world.
Our very own Nickel Energy Director – Nick Lake, and one of the key consultants to the project says the train runs entirely on solar power. The 20-minute wait scheduled into each hour of the timetable will be time enough to inject another 13kWh on each occasion into the battery storage, and the flexible solar panels will also charge the batteries.
“There was a fair bit of community resistance to the idea of a diesel train,” Lake told RenewEconomy. “So we started exploring what the options were. We looked at how much power was needed, noted it was a flat run, and that helped size the electric motors.
“Once we knew the size of motors, we could work out energy demand and we came to realise we could have enough solar to match that.”
“The train has a capacity for 96 seated passengers, additional standing passengers and luggage room for bikes, prams and surfboards, carried free of charge. This is net carbon positive travel, Byron style. According to their website byronbaytrain.com.au.