8th International Hydrail Conference

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Join Us in Toronto, June 11-12, 2013


Get on board the hydrogen train and learn from an impressive lineup of expert speakers about the promise of wireless rail electrification using hydrogen, fuel cells and advanced battery technologies. Click Here to see the speakers list, sponsors and updates as the conference program is finalized.

Converting Diesel Rail Corridors to Electric can be very costly.  But using on-board energy storage via Fuel Cells, Electrolytic Hydrogen, and Advanced Batteries can avoid the major costs of  overhead wire infrastructure. It can also utilize ‘greener’ off-peak electricity thereby reducing CO2 and NOx emissions while improving urban air quality and operational flexibility.

Provisional Program:   Click here to Download

Opening Speaker: The Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure


Come and hear the latest about ‘greening’ public transit from the Minister
and from an impressive list of experts and international participants.

For full bio click here

Why a Hydrail Conference ?

The challenges and opportunities converge here and now!

  • Ontario is planning to electrify key commuter rail corridors in order to reduce GHG emissions, to avoid the cost of diesel fuel, to improve traction performance, to make use of local electricity resources and to improve urban air quality.
  • This transformation might be achieved faster and cheaper if conventional ‘wired’ electrification is replaced by on-board fuel cells, electrolytic hydrogen, ultra capacitors and Li-ion batteries
  • Using stored electricity as hydrogen or in advanced batteries allows the harvesting of inexpensive off-peak electricity with a low or zero emission profile
  • Renewable energy generated when there is  a surplus power capacity (at night) can be re-directed to rail transportation needs during the day
  • Ontario hosts a growing sector of new technology developers, integrators and entrepreneurs that are driving the commercialization and deployment of energy storage, smart grid and green energy transportation technologies
  • Want to know more about energy storage technology? Click here for Background and downloads from a recent conference on this topic.

Our Venue: Ryerson University Campus – Pitman Hall

The conference this year will be held in downtown Toronto on the Ryerson University Campus.  Lodgings and places of interest are all within easy walking distance.   eMap and Directions

The International Living & Learning Centre (ILLC) on the Ryerson Campus used to be an actual hotel, was bought by the university and is normally an upscale residence during the school year – but Ryerson runs this facility as a proper hotel from May to September.  Since it is located in the same complex as the conference venue we recommend this option – and 8IHC attendees get the special conference rate of $85 CND per night (plus tax) which includes full queen bed plus a sofa pull-out, private bath, TV, AC, breakfast and free internet. 

reservation-buttonTIP: Review online availabilities to choose your dates and use the promo code 8ihc to get the low rate.

NOTE: For those who would prefer not to stay in a campus facility, but would rather stay in a  recognized hotel chain (within short walking distance) we have made special arrangements with the Hilton Garden Inn


 Conference attendees will have a discounted rate of $139 CND (plus tax) per night using this custom link:


Program Agenda for June 11/12 Hydrail Conference

Program Agenda:

DAY ONE – June 11th – 8:15 to 8:45 – Registration & Continental Breakfast


Welcome and introduction

  • Representing Host CUE/Ryerson (Dr. Dan McGillivray)  “Welcome”
  • Robert Stasko (SCI) Conference Themes and intro to Opening Speaker


Morning  Opening Speaker

  • Daryl Wilson, CEO Hydrogenics Inc. “Canada’s Past and Future Lead in Hydrogen”


Panel 1:  Canada, the US and the Birth of Hydrail

(Moderator: Stan Thompson)

  • Dr. Alistair Miller, AECL “Electricity, Hydrogen and Near-Zero Carbon Emissions”
  • Robert Stasko, SCI “The Ontario Advantage – and The Closing Window of Opportunity”
  • Stan Thompson, “Lessons Learned on the Track Toward Hydrail”
  • Q&A




Panel  2:  Overview of R&DD Progress in Hydrogen and Transportation

(Moderator: Balinder Rai, OCE)

  • Dr. Mike Fowler, University of Waterloo “The Energy Hub and Transportation”
  • Dr. Forest Wang, UOIT “The Hydrogen Lab and Rail Transportation Applications”
  • Dr. Joseph Chow, Ryerson Engineering “Sustainable Rail Transportation”
  • Q&A


Panel 3:  Pioneering Projects: Reports from the Early Movers

(Moderator: Stan Thompson)

  • Stan Thompson, “Hydrail: The Word Made Steel – TIG/m and the World’s First Hydrogen Streetcar”
  • Bill Thunberg, Lake Norman Transportation Commission “Realizing Transit: Clearing the Funding Hurdle”
  • Dr. Shen-En Chen, University of North Carolina at Charlotte “UNC Charlotte’s Hydrail Initiatives ”
  • Q&A


LUNCH – BUFFET STYLE – Served in adjacent to conference area


Keynote Speaker

  • Detlef Matthiessen, Member of Parliament, Schleswig-Holstein FRG


Panel 4: Global Forum – Project Reports from the International Community – Hydrogen and Rail
(Moderator: Stan Thompson)

  • Andreas Hoffrichter, U of Birmingham “Demonstration Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Rail System”
  • Dr. Holger Busche, “Schienenfplieger Hydrail Project”, Germany
  • Dr. Dmitry Grigorovich, Scientific Research Centre for Railway Transport, “H2 Power Car”
  • Q&A




Panel 5: Future Electrification of Light Rail Transportation in Ontario

(Moderator: Andy Hoffer, Ontario Power Generation)

  • Karen Pitre, Electrification Project Lead, Metrolinx “The Electrification Plan for GO Transit”
  • Tim Dickson, R&DD Lead, Bombardier Transportation “PRIMOVE – wireless electrification”
  • Q&A


Closing Remarks – Day One

  • Jason Hoyle,  Energy Centre,  Appalachian State University

5:00 – 7:00


DAY TWO – June 12th – 8:30 to 9:00 – Light Breakfast and Networking


Morning Opening Speaker

  • The Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure



Panel 6: City Building and the Impact of New Transportation Technologies on the GTA

(Moderator, Sean Conway – Adjunct Professor – Ryerson)

  • Linda Weichel, VP Partnerships, CivicAction
  • John Brodhead, Executive Director, Evergreen CityWorks
  • Q&A



10:45 -11:15 Special Invited speaker

  • Prof. Weirong Chen, SW Jiaotong University, China “System Integration of China’s First Hydrogen Locomotive”


Panel 7: Electricity Grid Panel – Convergence of Smart Grid, Energy Storage and Transportation

(Moderator: Dr. Dan McGillivray, Director Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy)

  • Jon Dogterom, Cleantech Lead, MaRs Energy Institute “Clean Public Transportation”
  • Ioan Agavriloai, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) “Operational Outlook”
  • Jason Hoyle, Senior Energy Analyst, Energy Centre, Appalachian State University “Impact of Negative Marginal Cost of Electricity”
  • Ravi Seethapathy, Manager System Innovation and Advanced Grid Development
    HydroOne “Challenges and Opportunities arising from Surplus Base Load”
  • Q&A

12:15 -12:30

Closing Remarks

  • Stan Thompson/Robert Stasko
  • Summary of conference highlights, findings and possible next steps

12:30 -12:40



Afternoon Tour

  • Hydrogenics Inc. fuel cell plant tour  – 220 Admiral Boulevard, Mississauga Ontario





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