John Speller's Web Pages - Projected RailroadsHydrail
The term hydrail refers to rail transportation systems in which hydrogen is used as the fuel. It might refer to a train with an internal combustion engine or gas turbine fueled by liquid hydrogen, or a train powered by hydrogen fuel cells, or even a steam locomotive (external combustion engine) using liquid hydrogen as the fuel. The latter might become a necessity on preserved steam lines as environmental laws become more and more stringent in the future. In general hydrail systems can be used as a very cheap, environmentally friendly, alternative where the traffic density does not justify the high cost of electrification. Though liquid hydrogen may burn fiercely, it is not particularly prone to explosion and is generally speaking no more dangerous than gasoline. The term hydrolley is specifically used to refer to trolleys or streetcars that are equipped to use hydrogen as a fuel.
A hydrolley system has been suggested as a possible solution for the future of the local transportation system of Charlotte, North Carolina. The drawing by H. Stan Thompson of the Hydrogen Economy Advancement Team, Mooresville, North Carolina shows a hydrolley such as might be built in a proposed hydrolley factory to be built in Mooresville by the Proterra Corporation of Golden, Colorado