World's First Solar Train: world record set in Australia (VIDEO)
Byron Bay, NSW, Australia -- A refurbished 70-year-old 'red rattler' is running on a three-kilometre stretch on the New South Wales North Coast, powered entirely by solar energy, setting the world record for the World's First Solar Train, according to the World Record Academy.
The world's first 100% solar-powered train is now gliding down tracks in Byron Bay, Australia.
The Byron Bay Railroad Company refurbished a three-kilometer, or almost two-mile, stretch of tracks and restored a heritage train, outfitting it with a 6.5 kilowatt (kW) solar array with flexible solar panels.
The train, which features restored vintage carriages with flexible solar panels on their roofs, will travel between its solar-charging train station and a resort property in Byron Bay.
The train rooftops have been fitted with custom-built curved solar panels to charge the onboard batteries, which also draw on a regenerative braking system said to recapture around 25 percent of energy the train uses to accelerate.
The batteries can also be charged at the platform thanks to a large rooftop solar array on the storage shed. Failing that, it can draw power from the grid, which the company says is sourced from a local green energy provider.
With enough capacity for 100 seated passengers, the train shuttles passengers between two newly constructed stations connecting the CBD of coastal town Byron Bay with a nearby arts precinct and luxury resort. Each charge of the batteries is said to provide enough juice for 12 to 15 runs. The train will be making hourly trips, with the service set to expand in January 2018.