Information published on 14 June 2011 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 242.

First green train in Belgium thanks to solar tunnel

  • News from UIC members

Infrabel, the Belgian rail operator, together with Enfinity, Solar Power Systems and the municipalities of Brasschaat and Schoten, have completed a 3.4 km solar panel installation in Antwerp: 16,000 solar panels installed on the roof of the Antwerp-Amsterdam high speed line railway tunnel with a surface area of 50,000 m2, almost the size of eight football fields.

The solar power installation not only serves to power the rail infrastructure (signalling, lighting, heating of stations, etc.) but also the high speed and classical trains running on the Belgian rail network. The solar panels will produce 3,300 MWh on an annual basis which equals the average electricity consumption of 950 households and provide an annual reduction in CO2 emissions by 2,400 tonnes. The train ride will thus be even more environmentally-friendly. Every year, some 4,000 trains will run entirely on solar power, equivalent to a full day of train traffic per year.