Now, I’ve talked about hydrogen trains or hydrail a number of times over the past. But, one area that I haven’t mentioned yet are hydrogen trolleys or hydrolley as they are calling it.
Streetcars in general have made a resurgence over the years and not just in San Francisco, but in many other large and medium metropolitan cities across the U. S. as well. Trolleys are thought by the populace to be more upscale than other forms of public transportation and enjoy a higher percentage of riders.
But, hydrogen streetcars won’t need overhead electrification like regular trolleys do. And, so they will be much less expensive than spending the $2 million or so per mile for overhead electrification.
Overhead electrification creates problems with interference such as cranes that need to move about freely and shock hazards to maintenance personnel. The downside of fuel cell streetcars is that they will require occasional refueling like hydrogen buses.
There is a good PowerPoint presentation on this page that shows the benefits of hydrolley. In addition, it talks about proposed hydrolley applications in Charlotte, North Carolina.