Feb. 23, 2005
First International Hydrail Conference to be held in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE – The First International Hydrail Conference, the world's first conference for advancing railway technology powered by hydrogen fuel cells, will be held May 6 at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference will provide one of the public's earliest introductions to the emerging hydrogen economy.
The conference is sponsored by the Greater Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the Mooresville/South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, the Energy Center at Appalachian State University, the Centralina Council of Governments, the North Carolina State Energy Office, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Registration cost is $150 per person. To register for the conference or for more information, visit http://www.hydrail.org/register.php.
Dr. Arnold Miller, president of Vehicle Projects LLC, will be a keynote speaker at the conference. Vehicle Projects LLC of Denver, CO, led an international consortium to successfully deploy the world's first hydrail locomotive in 2002. Dr. Keiichiro Kondo, senior researcher at Japan's Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), will also speak. RTRI recently announced that Japan will soon demonstrate the world's first commuter hydrail equipment, using Vehicle Projects LLC technology.
Other speakers include: David King, N.C. Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Ron Tober, Director, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS); Rebecca Yarbrough, Regional Initiatives Administrator and SEQL Project Administration at Centralina Council of Governments; Dr. Ted Motyka, Savanna River National Laboratory Hydrogen Lab; Dr. Max Wyman, principal scientist with Terra Genesis, Inc; Dr. Michael Kuby, University of Arizona; and Dr. Alistair Miller, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
Hydrogen rail equipment could be introduced before fuel cell cars, because it requires few refueling sites, while fuel cell car commercialization will require a widespread network of filling stations. Adaptation to commuter rail operations is likely to be the earliest commercial application of hydrail technology. Since fuel cells emit only clean water vapor, hydrail could eventually enable commuter rail lines to match the clean performance of newer, electrically powered "light rail" lines. This potential to improve air quality in metropolitan areas could be a major incentive to advance hydrail research and deployment.
In North Carolina, the commuter hydrail concept originated at the Charlotte and Mooresville chambers of commerce and has since gained government, national and international advocates. Hydrogen as an energy source is an element of the Centralina Council of Governments’ collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in leading Charlotte area towns and counties in pursuit of environmentally sustainable business development. The State of North Carolina sees a growing role for hydrogen technologies in pursuing air quality and energy independence, and is especially interested in advancing the state's leadership in attracting hydrogen economy businesses and related employment growth.
Note to media: registration fee waived for media attendees. Contact Dr. Dennis Grady (details below) for advanced conference media packet and confirmation of registration.
Dr. Dennis Grady, Energy Center at Appalachian State University, (828) 262-6827
H. Stanley Thompson, Hydrogen Economy Advancement Team ("HEAT")
Mooresville/South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, (704) 664-5486