AWARD: Development Director Jeremy Holmes and Rail Safety Manager Geoff Clark with Danny Broad.
AWARD: Development Director Jeremy Holmes and Rail Safety Manager Geoff Clark with Danny Broad. Contributed

Solar train goes on winning way

BYRON'S world renown solar train has won another sustainability award taking out the Rail Sustainability Award at the Australasian Rail Association Awards at Melbourne's Crown Casino.

"It is fantastic to see the Byron Bay Railroad Company receive this Award for converting a 1949 heritage diesel rail car into the world's first solar powered conventional train” said Danny Broad, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association. "This is leading the way in the use of sustainable energy resources in the rail industry”.

The solar train project was a collaborative effort delivered in conjunction with Lithgow Railway Workshop, Nickel Energy and ELMOFO.

"A lot of different people have been involved and it was a hard fought battle” said development director Jeremy Holmes. "So it's nice to be recognised by the rail industry for what we have achieved in firstly delivering a heritage railway service and secondly showcasing where sustainability can have an impact in the rail industry.”

The Byron Bay Train was launched on 16 December 2017 and operates daily services on the 3km coastal track between the North Beach Station and the Byron Beach Platform in Byron town centre. The two carriage train seats 92 passengers with room for bicycles, luggage and surfboards.

"We truly are sustainable in that we are generating more energy than we are using” said Rail Safety Manager Geoff Clark, who has guided the project for the past five years. "We have focused on reuse of old rail assets as opposed to new build. People said it couldn't happen and it wouldn't work.

Yet it does. It's quiet, environmentally friendly and sustainable”.

This award follows two recent wins at the Good Design Awards as a Gold Winner in the Product Design category and a Good Design Award Winner in the Engineering category.

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