Solar Powered Trains?

Imperial College have apparently released a report detailing how British railways could be powered by solar panels.

The Renewable Traction Power project will plug track-side solar panels into trackside substations, where trains can directly use the generated electricity. The saving is estimated at £4.5 million annually.

The proposal is apparently that the solar panels are alongside the tracks, rather than on the roofs of the trains. At least this should mean that the trains don’t grind to a halt when they enter Polhill tunnel!

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Driverless cars for Sevenoaks?

This week the Sevenoaks Society talk will be on “The impact of driverless cars on Sevenoaks”.

For rail travellers there could be a number of impacts including:

  • how much car parking would be required at the station if cars could drive themselves home after dropping off commuters?
  • would Southeastern try to recover lost income from car parking by raising fares?
  • whould Network Rail be allowed to keep the “development gain” through being able to use Car Park 4 for housing – or another supermarket?
  • could “shared mobility” reduce the amount of traffic around the railway station?
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