Resources

Background Information for

Rail & Energy Transition

AMERICAN SOLAR RAIL (ASR)

CHANGE – AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

The following material is meant to help readers understand where American Solar Rail – a high-speed, solar-powered rail network — has its foundation in technologies and solutions whose time has come. We will be constantly updating this Resources section with background material for those interested in taking a more in-depth look….

Ever since steel wheels met steel rails to transport passengers and freight, there has been a non-stop desire to ‘go faster.’ What passengers really sought was to arrive at their destination quicker, and of course, safely. Going faster was one of two ways to accomplish this task. A ‘second way’ to lower the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) has been understood since the first experiments were conducted in 1858. The 19th century term describing this railroad was Continuous Railway System (CRS).

Since the mid-nineteenth century, it has been understood that 25 – 35% of the value of a high-top speed can easily be lost via the time a train spends in a depot exchanging passengers. However, if the train has a way to couple and decouple a powered passenger rail car to allow passenger access and egress while moving, only 5 – 10% of the value of the top speed is lost and the preservation of the average speed approaches 90+ %.

By WWI, the UK had perfected the decoupling and was performing such motions at 200/day. One railroad recorded saving 12,000 engine km’s in one year. However, no coupling procedure was safely developed. The eventual adoption of diesel-electric locomotives ended the decoupling of the rail cars due to the power and speed of the locomotive. The decoupling practice was then forgotten until the modern-day needs of High-Speed Rail required another solution for the passenger exchange other than stopping/starting a train from 200 mph.

By 2000, the implications of the ‘second way’ were calculated by Robert Green software to offer broad and effective impacts in the cost of the rail infrastructure, namely the cost of the trains to achieve High-Speed Rail (HSR). This reduction usually exceeded 30%. The second way — today’s Continuous Railway System (involving both decoupling and coupling) as offered by American Solar Rail — positively impacts the operating ratio of the entire railroad.

The worldwide demand for High Speed Rail has reawakened the resurgence of interest in perfecting CRS. Robert Green, ASR’s CEO and Founder, recognized this turn of events and had software written in 1999 to evaluate the average speed impact of an effective CRS on local routes inside Florida and Georgia. This included analysis of the total savings created by the CRS.

However, in the early 2000s, the final and most important addition to creating the most dramatic drop in operating costs had not yet come of age. Solar energy and its storage would not be useful enough to replace diesel power for another 20 years.

By 2020, solar equipment, storage batteries and the emergence of green hydrogen as a plausible new fuel began to be capable of replacing diesel/electric locomotives with all electric drives for the locomotives. This one event removed a historical 20 – 30% operating expense, impacting the current liabilities of almost every railroad in America. ASR replaces that expense element with a capital purchase of solar farms, batteries and electrolysis equipment that will stabilize the cost of the operating energy of the railroad at a very low rate — in perpetuity. That is energy that emerges from ASR’s own equipment and resources.

The second event is that solar electricity will deliver an increase of the yield of work over diesel by as much as 3X.

The result is, for certain applications, solar-generated electricity that is, by far, a less expensive and more powerful choice.

Current Activities

Having determined early on that the Continuous Railway System, CRS, was important and feasible, in August 2021 ASR proceeded with the development of the new rail car that would enable the Embarkation/ Disembarkation of passengers on the fly. The car is named the EMDI™.

ASR is currently in contracts with a national rail lab in America for the 3 Development Phases — from concept to design and then implementation. The Concept Feasibility study is finished, and the design of all elements of the new rail car are underway. All Federal Railway Administration’s (FRA) approvals and regulations are being met. Any new rules or regulations needed for the new car will be handled prior to the EMDI going into service. The timeframe until completion is estimated at two years.

The timeframe to build a new solar railroad between Charlotte/Atlanta is three to four years. We expect the EMDI to be ready well in advance of the High Speed Rail’s construction being completed.

Of note, the EU is currently very busy trying to solve for a Continuous Railway System in rail programs that are considered “the most important rail R&I initiative ever.” (https://www.railway-technology.com/news/europes-rail-officially/).

Since the mid-19th century, it has taken 166 years for the first fully capable HSR Continuous Railway System to be in production. It will take 3-4 years for HSR/CRS to be attached to a carbon-free, 21st Century solar energy supply that will carry it into the 22nd Century and beyond. That is what the crew here at ASR refer to as “Change – at the Speed of Light!”

Patents

As of today, ASR has one patent granted by the USPTO and two pending. We estimate there will be at least three more patents filed in the near future. All the patents deal with the operation and design of the rail equipment that will allow efficient operations and profitably drive ASR’s eventual rail fleet.

The Title of Invention granted is a RAIL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. It was allowed on October 13, 2022. This patent covered the propulsion system and the methodology of its use to propel our trains. We believe this patent will prove protective of the most overall efficient and desirable way to propel a CRS.

Conclusion: Embarking on a Journey of Sustainable Innovation

American Solar Rail is not just revolutionizing the concept of solar powered trains; it is leading the charge in sustainable transportation. With its innovative approach to high-speed rail funding and technology, ASR sets new standards in the High Speed train United States sector.

American Solar Rail is a beacon of progress and efficiency as we embrace renewable energy in transportation. Join us in this journey towards a sustainable future. Embrace the revolution of solar powered trains and be a part of the change.

Reach out to our experts to learn more about our rail and energy transition.