All Dutch electric trains are now powered by wind energy, the national railway company NS has said.
“Since 1 January, 100% of our trains are running on wind energy,” said NS spokesman, Ton Boon. …
“We in fact reached our goal a year earlier than planned,” said Boon, adding that an increase in the number of wind farms across the country and off the coast of the Netherlands had helped NS achieve its aim.
“[Dutch electricity company Eneco] and NS said on a joint website that around 600,000 passengers daily are ‘the first in the world’ to travel thanks to wind energy. NS operates about 5,500 train trips a day.
“One windmill running for an hour can power a train for 120 miles, the companies said. They hope to reduce the energy used per passenger by a further 35% by 2020 compared with 2005.” More at the Guardian, here.
Meanwhile in London, researchers are looking into solar-powered trains.
As Michael Holder said in BusinessGreen, part of the Guardian Environment Network, “Imperial College London has partnered with the climate change charity 10:10 to investigate the use of track-side solar panels to power trains. …
“The renewable traction power project will see university researchers look at connecting solar panels directly to the lines that provide power to trains, a move that would bypass the electricity grid in order to more efficiently manage power demand from trains.” More.
I wonder what sounds solar- and wind-powered trains make. Can we still say choo-choo-choo and whoo-oo-OO with our grandchildren? And who will update Thomas the Train?
Photo: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images
Intercity train arriving at Leiden Central railway station, Netherlands.