Feb. 23, 2012. BOONE — In partnership with Appalachian State University’s Energy Center, the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education will host the 7th International Hydrail Conference July 3-4 in Birmingham, U.K. The event is dedicated to facilitating the transition to hydrogen-powered railways. The increasing price of diesel fuel, the need to reduce carbon emissions, and the high cost for railway electrification require alternatives to diesel and electric trains. The long-term solution to these challenges is the development of hydrogen-based propulsion system for railways.