Many of us already take the train because we know that it is better for the planet and for our carbon emissions than all of us taking to the roads in private cars. Nevertheless, the rail industry does still currently generate noticeable levels of carbon and other emissions (though less so than driving). This need not be a cause for concern much longer, however, as Germany has just unveiled an exciting new zero emissions train. Let's take a closer look.
The facts: a train that emits only steam
This train does have one emissions: clean water vapour which will not contribute to pollution or global warming. Steam is the only emission of this train, which can currently travel up to 87mph and for up to 500 miles per day. Whilst it does not currently match the capacities of the fossil fuel guzzling trains that we usually use to get ourselves from A to B, this 'hydrail' (as it has been dubbed) has potential to increase in speed and travel distance. If so, it truly will become the train of the future, enabling us to travel long distances with speed and convenience without having to worry about your effect on the planet. This is also a very quiet train: all that you can hear whether sitting inside or standing outside is the movement of the wheels and the sound of air resistance. This will be music to the ears of people who live close to railway lines.
Hydropower: how this new train works
This train's engine works via hydropower. That means that it uses liquid hydrogen as a fuel. When burned, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to generate energy and its only byproduct is water (hydrogen molecules are, as we all know, is formed of two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom). So, the train emits huge clouds of steam. This hydropower technology is very similar to that which NASA uses to propel its rockets into space. When a NASA rocket takes off, it may look like it is emitting a huge cloud of billowing smoke - but in fact, that is all steam, a by product of the rocket's massive hydropower engine.
Will this train be coming to a station near you soon?
This train was debuted in Lower Saxony in Germany, and more orders have already been placed for similar trains. So, it is clear that these trains are very popular with the public and with local authorities. The present train took just two years to design and develop, however now that the design has been created it is likely that new trains can be created in a much shorter space of time. That means that there is great potential for this hydropowered train scheme to be rolled out all across the globe. Would you prefer to travel in a hydropowered train if the option was made available to you?