Solar Power - Picture 1

AUSTRALIA: The use of solar powered signalling on the Inland Rail project has been approved by Australian Rail Track Corp following a trial on a passing loop at Coolleearlee in New South Wales.

This will eliminate the need to use the local power supply infrastructure or acquire easements to transmit power to 82 sites between Albury in NSW and Gowrie in Queensland. A battery back-up provides for 10 days of round-the-clock operation.

Solar Power - Picture 2

‘Using solar power rather than mains power for the signalling system will deliver an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to reliably power the signalling system. Reducing the impact to local communities, the environment and the cost of Inland Rail’, said ARTC Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering on March 8.

‘Using solar power also saved ARTC around A$300 000 in costs, mostly savings from not building a new transmission line to connect to the electricity network and a reduction in trackside infrastructure associated with mains equipment, and over A$10 000 per year in operational electricity cost savings.

‘We also use remote monitoring technology on these solar powered signalling installations, which adds further savings by reducing the requirement for maintenance visits.’