Solar-Powered Rail Tunnel Connects Paris to Amsterdam

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Paris to Amsterdam Train Solar-Powered

DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images

Europe's first high-speed international trains to use solar panel generated electricity were introduced Monday. The trains link the cities of Paris and Amsterdam.

Solar power is used in a 3.6 kilometer (about 2 mile) stretch of tunnel crossing Antwerp, Belgium. 16,000 solar panels were installed on the tunnel's roof and cover an area of 50,000 square meters (about 12 acres.)

The project costs about $22.8 million.

The panels produce 3,300 megawatts per hour of electricity, or the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 families, reports Agence France Presse.

They will not only power the high-speed rail, but also support inter-city trains while providing enough electricity to charge the train station, according to The Daily Mail.

The electricity produced feeds into the line's infrastructure, for lighting, signals and in-train power points, Frederic Sacre, spokesman for Infrabel, which runs the rail network, told AFP.

47.3 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions are expected to be eliminated by the project over the next 20 years.

The first "green train" left Antwerp on Monday for the Dutch border.

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