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by guest blogger Stan Thompson

Toronto (Ontario) Canada will be the location of the Eighth International Hydrail Conference (8IHC) on 11 and 12 June, 2013. The venue and the first of the slate of presenters will be announced shortly.

The International Hydrail Conferences are annual gatherings of academic, government and rail industry experts to expedite the powering of trains with hydrogen—rather than diesel or external electric power—in order to reduce consumption of autobon fuels for climate, air quality and job creation reasons.

The Hydrail Conference comes to Canada at the invitation of former IHC presenter Bob Stasko—CEO of Toronto’s Science Concepts International Inc.

Stasko has long worked with Ontario Centers of Excellence, an economic development arm of the Ontario Government, to help drive development of the Province’s economy by creating new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.

The Hydrail Conferences were begun in 2005 as a cooperative effort of the Mooresville South Iredell [County, NC] Chamber of Commerce and the Energy Center at Appalachian State University—the Boone Campus of the University of North Carolina.

Canada, and especially Ontario, is a particularly apt location for a hydrail-related event. Identification of rail and marine as the most effective applications of hydrogen to transportation was an Ontario development. Leading manufacturers of railway vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells are headquartered in Ontario.  The non-autobon proportion of Canada’s national energy budget is among the world’s highest.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology has led in development of mass hydrogen production by means of thermochemical water-splitting. More than five years ago, the Province of Ontario became the first government to propose manufacture and export of hydrail trains.

Previous International Hydrail Conferences have been held in Denmark, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the USA. At past IHCs, presentations have come from universities, government agencies, and corporations from sixteen countries and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

As global climate change accelerates, and as electric rail operations around the world are increasingly interrupted by thefts of copper, hydrail development and deployment has become a pressing issue. The Hydrail Conferences are convened to expedite the introduction of this new “Green” railway technology.

For information on all the International Hydrail Conferences, please visit:  

About Stan Thompson

For 33 years I worked as an engineer, planner and futurist for what is now AT&T in Charlotte and Atlanta. Though I have no engineering degree, I'm a Life Member of the IEEE. Other memberships are the World Affairs Council, the local chapter of the National Association of Business Economics and the American Institute of Archaeology. (I dig international business, so to speak.)

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    And next year we will welcome the world at the 9th International Hydrail Conference in Northern Germany.

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