All Passenger Trains in the Netherlands Now Run Entirely on Wind Energy

Dutch rail train
Image Source: 24oranges.nl, CC BY-SA 2.0

People in the Netherlands can now travel by train that is entirely powered by wind energy, according to the national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS).

In its announcement, NS stated that all of its passenger trains are already powered by such a renewable energy source since the start of the year. Ton Boon, the company’s spokesman, said:

“Since 1 January, 100% of our trains are running on wind energy.”

The project started with the Dutch electricity company, Eneco, winning a tender that was offered by NS in 2015, which resulted in a 10-year deal that sets January 2018 as the date by which all the trains should run on such a power source. However, the project has moved well ahead of schedule, actually reaching its goal a year earlier than its original plan. According to Boon, this great achievement was made possible with the sufficient number of wind farms across the country and off its coast.

On a joint website, NS and Eneco stated that being able to transport around 600,000 passengers daily on trains that are powered by wind energy is a “world’s first”. Also, they revealed another plan to reduce the energy used by each passenger by around 35% by 2020 compared with the energy usage in 2005.

While there are train operators that still run small fleets of diesel trains, Boon said that these models will be phased out by the end of this year.