The 5th International Hydrail Conference that runs June 11 – 12, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina could spur as many as 200 new jobs in the high tech hydrogen industry. One of the goals of hydrail (hydrogen railway) is to build hydrolley (hydrogen trolley) streetcars to replace those powered by overhead electrical lines.
Hydrolley is inherently cheaper that building an overhead grid infrastructure for electric lines for trolleys, plus steel wheels on steel tracks, because of decreased friction, use one seventh of the hydrogen fuel as do buses that use rubber tires on pavement.
The savings of hydrolley over electrified streetcars can be as much as $4 million per mile of electrified overhead lines. The Fifth International Hydrail Conference will feature a section called “Streetcars Go Wireless” that Walter Kulyk, Director of the US DOT/Fed Transit Authority’s Office of Mobility Innovation, will be 5IHC’s Keynote Speaker.
There has been a lot of attention over the years in regarded to transit buses going hydrogen but very little attention has been paid to hydrail and hydrolley. Besides the environmental benefits of both, the numbers also work out to be cheaper modes of transportation and the time to take action is now.
I had talked about the 5th International Hydrail Conference back in January 2009. There is still time left to hop onboard the hydrogen train symposium as it hasn’t quite left the station yet.