Groundbreaking Solar-Powered Train Goes On Sonoma County Test Run, Sets Speed Record

Houston is co-inventor of a 40-foot long solar array on wheels that is the world’s first locomotive powered by the sun. It weighs 3,400 pounds and has no battery, converting sunlight directly into horsepower—10 to be exact.

So, over the weekend, Eric and co-inventor Marco Fucci di Napoli decided to see how fast it could go. And because it’s the first of its kind, “anything over zero would have been the record,” Houston said with a smile.

Despite overcast skies, the team took the STX-22, short for “solar train with 22 panels,” onto a quiet section of track and opened it up.

While it doesn’t look fast at all on video, Marco, who was driving that day, said the structure was actually shaking quite badly.

“That was kind of the little worrisome part,” di Napoli said, “hey, now I’m pushing a little bit above the limit, what we have tried before.”