Europe’s First Green Train Powered By Solar Tunnel

Passengers travelling via high-speed rail between Paris and Amsterdam will ride Europe’s first "green" train, after electricity from a 16,000 solar panel installation on the roof of a tunnel in Antwerp begins to flow into the rail system grid.
  
The Solar Tunnel covers an area of 50,000 square metres – or about the size of eight soccer pitches – and will generate around 3.3 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable electricity per year: enough to power 1000 homes. The system will avoid 2400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
  
The solar tunnel project is the first of its kind in Europe, according to solar energy development company Enfinity, who collaborated with Belgian rail operator Infrabel and local municipalities to design and install the thousands of solar modules needed to service both high-speed and conventional trains using the tunnel and Antwerp’s North-South Junction station. 
  
Although 3.3MW is a relatively small system compared to some of the major solar projects hitting the headlines recently, Enfinity is confident the electricity produced by the Solar Tunnel will power the railway infrastructure (signalling, lighting, heating of railway stations etc.) and also some trains using the Belgian rail network. The company says it is possible up to 4000 trains per year – equivalent to one full day of rail traffic – will run on solar power.
  
Enfinity says the Antwerp Solar Tunnel will become part of a clean energy future for Europe’s railways. 
  
"Belgian Railways will continue to invest in the use and generation of renewable energy with a view to sustainable, eco-friendly mobility. The objective is to make rail travel more environmentally friendly."
  
Founded in 2005, Enfinity is active in 20 countries. The company is currently developing, building and financing solar PV projects with a total capacity of more than 200 MW, with a further several hundred megawatts in the pipeline.