UBCO professor researches electric passenger light rail for Okanagan Valley

Seniors Daily Exercise

A conceptional illustration of the Okanagan Valley Electric Regional Passenger Rail shows the tram running alongside Okanagan Lake.

Photo credit: Andrew Halfhide.

Anyone who has ever been stuck in gridlock while driving over Kelowna’s William R. Bennett Bridge or any Okanagan community can appreciate the thought that there has to be a better alternative than Highway 97 to navigate the busy corridor.

And a UBC Okanagan professor says there is.

Dr. Gordon Lovegrove, who teaches in UBCO’s School of Engineering, has studied the feasibility of an affordable passenger train patterned after a similar concept started in Karlsruhe, Germany 40 years ago.

“Hydrail tram-trains—powered by a hydrogen fuel cell/battery—is a passenger rail that acts like a tram in cities and like a train between communities. This is a new concept to North America,” explains Dr. Lovegrove. “They are self-powered, low-floor and a zero-emission technology, which differs from typical heavy-rail, high-floor, locomotive-pulled passenger cars. This gives hydrail the advantage of being able to climb hills and more affordable than highway widening.”

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News