Merinos hydrail fund sparks Green railway collaboration in Europe
MOORESVILLE, N.C., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Hydrail Travel Fund created earlier this year by Merinos Home Furnishings of Mooresville is helping to expedite the development of hydrogen fuel cell railway technology in Europe. The fund has sparked a German-UK-US Green railroad collaboration through networking. The UK’s first hydrail locomotive, introduced at the 7th International Hydrail Conference (7IHC) in July, will help promote hydrogen railroad technology in Hannover, Germany, later this month.
The Travel Fund helped convene 7IHC by enabling Appalachian State University’s participation. Administered by the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, the Fund enabled ASU Research Analyst and 7IHC organizer, Jason W. Hoyle, to travel to the Centre for Railway Research and Education in Birmingham.
Andreas Hoffrichter, the German Ph.D. student at the University of Birmingham who invited 7IHC to England, is a member of the design team that built the UK’s first hydrail locomotive. He will help demonstrate it in Hannover.
Another German presenter at 7IHC was Dr. Holger Busche, organizer of Europe’s first wind-to-hydrogen passenger train project, now being planned for Lower Saxony. To familiarize Germans with hydrail, Dr. Busche arranged for the UK locomotive to be demonstrated at the H2Moves Scandinavia road tour of hydrogen vehicles on September 17, when it stops in Hannover. Birmingham’s hydrail locomotive will be the first non-road hydrogen vehicle ever to be demonstrated as part of the H2Moves European Road Tours.
Also attending the Hannover event, courtesy of the Fund, is Mooresville Chamber volunteer, Stan Thompson. A gift from Dr. Busche to the Fund will enable Thompson to promote hydrail technology in Hannover, Kiel, and Berlin during September.
Per Thompson, “This Germany-UK-USA collaboration is exactly what Mooresville and Appalachian had in mind when we initiated the International Hydrail Conferences back in 2005.” To date, government, university and industry representatives from 15 countries, as well as the European Commission and the United Nations (UNIDO-ICHET), have presented at the IHC conferences. Mooresville has made invited hydrail presentations in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
The Turkish trip made Merinos owner and Chamber member Michael Bay (born in Turkey) aware of hydrail technology’s environmental and climate importance. This led to Merinos’ establishing the Chamber’s Hydrail Travel Fund.
The Mooresville Chamber hopes to see the Norfolk Southern Railway track, from Charlotte and passing through Mooresville, become the site of the first American hydrail commuter line.
SOURCE Merinos Home Furnishings