According to YaleEnvironment360 (3/17/2023), a Swiss start-up, Sun-Ways, will install solar panels on a railway in western Switzerland, pending approval from transportation officials.
The pilot project on a roughly 300-foot stretch of railway is expected to demonstrate how its system could save space and cut down on labor costs. The company estimates that if panels were installed on every mile of the Swiss rail network, they could meet around 2 percent of Switzerland’s power demand.
A mechanized system lays down solar panels. The panels are outfitted with clamps that fix them into place, and if the tracks need maintenance, the panels can be removed using the same system. Electricity generated by the panels can be used to power nearby train stations or fed into the grid.