Why 100% of the Netherlands’ electric trains now use electricity generated by wind power
A more environmentally friendly electric railway: A VIRM double decker train seen on the Netherlands Railways’ regional services, powered by wind power. Image by T.W. van Urk (via Shutterstock).
Whilst Britain sits in the bus lane as far as electrified railways are concerned, the Netherlands’ railways have found a new power source for their electric trains. The Dutch Railways’ electric services are now powered by wind power. Of the Dutch Railways’ 3,223km of permanent way, 2,231km of it is electrified. Most of which is energised at 1.5kV D.C. with a small number of lines electrified to 25kV A.C. (like Britain’s rail network).
In partnership with Eneco, they use their wind turbines to power the NS rail network, making for a carbon neutral commute. Originally, Eneco and NS proposed a 2018 deadline. Instead, the conversion to wind power was completed this month: a year ahead of schedule.
Holland’s electric trains consume 1.2 billion kWh of wind powered electricity. Three strokes of an Eneco turbine are enough to power a Dutch electric train for a kilometre. 600,000 passengers are now benefiting from a carbon neutral commute from Groningen to Maastricht.
A spokesperson from Eneco said: “Trains run exclusively on electricity from new renewable energy sources.
“To make that possible, Eneco has invested in new wind farms and other green energy production with NS to make climate-neutral travel a reality.”