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February 18, 2018, 03:23:55 AM *
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion on: Yesterday at 07:50:19 PM
Hitachi as proven software on the Cl. 395ís but the DfT didnít want that. They wanted a different unproven system, and guess what?!

That proves it!
2  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Gloucester to Bristol alterations and cancellations. on: Yesterday at 03:22:44 PM
Normally its an "empty coaching stock" service from St. Phillips Marsh, headcode 5G99 that then forms the Swindon via Bristol service.

Shows on RTT as "Problem at Depot" today:

Welcome indeed, manicmadman - interesting forum name.
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: "2 dead as train and car collide on crossing, Sussex" 17/02/2018. It does li on: Yesterday at 03:03:59 PM
Absolutely awful. It is half-barrier, as this photo shows:

© Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Reports say the a 72-year-old man and his 15-year-old grandson were pronounced dead at the scene. No-one on the train needed treatment, and passengers were evacuated to a nearby campsite.
4  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: February 16, 2018, 11:03:33 PM

That's easy for you to say! I make the p.e. of the system you describe to be 19620MJ, which I think translates as 5.45MWh or about two hours' output from an offshore wind turbine, by my reckoning.

I once suffered a rapid decrease in potential energy on the way home from the pub...
5  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: February 16, 2018, 10:57:31 PM
I think you mean acetylene ties less hydrogen to the same amount of carbon - one atom per atom, rather than four.

So I did! Thanks - I've corrected it.
6  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: February 14, 2018, 10:38:09 PM
Hydrogen? I don't know about that. I recently acquired some early 1930s Cycling magazines and they've filled me with a curious desire for acetylene lighting. Just to try, like.

Acetylene is being looked at as one possible end-product of the process to remove CO2 from the atmosphere in the International Space Station. The process being tested with a view to travel to Mars initially produced methane, which was vented to space. It needs hydrogen  to do this, and processing the methane to acetylene ties less hydrogen to the carbon molecules, so needing less to start the process. Simples! Your cyclists were ahead of their time, if they only knew it!
7  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: February 14, 2018, 06:46:15 PM
Not sure about those figures for offshore wind strike prices: strike prices for schemes commissioned for entry into service in 2022/3 are as low as £57.50.

Hence the rush to get them built now.
8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: The End Of Diesel Traction In The UK? on: February 14, 2018, 10:59:36 AM
A JoJo has two bogies each with 10 powered axles on each side?

I think that JoJo and BoJo will be wind-up trains.
9  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: February 13, 2018, 07:35:52 PM

Occasionally? Oc-CASionally? What, every third Wednesday after septuagesima? What fools they must be, those folks who are throwing their money away building wind and solar farms. And what fools we taxpayers must be to subsidise them - albeit at a fraction of the rate we subsidise nuclear and - yes - coal...

Alright, intermittently then, even if the 9-strong wind farm near my country home seldom has more than 6 actually turning, and frequently stands majestically still. And they're no fools - you don't think it's their own money, surely? It's our cheque book they sign ultimately. On the subject of money, I have yet to hear how £95 per MWh strike price for nuclear power equates to an "illegal subsidy", while £119 per MWh for offshore wind isn't. It drops to £114 next financial year, which is why the past few months have been a particularly good time to be a windmill builder. I shall ask Diane Abbott when I see her next. I shall also ask why on a windy February night, wind seems to be producing only a third of the 12 GW it is claimed to be capable of. Is this because more wind turbines than usual require repairs?

But I am no fan of Uranium as a fuel, even if nuclear will save the day in the long run. Fusion eludes us, but there is hope in Thorium, according to the New Scientist and other learned journals.

Thorium could be the fuel that produces hydrogen in sufficient quantities to power the rail network. (See what I did there?)

10  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: February 13, 2018, 05:54:29 PM



Oh, the humanity!

Let's do what Mr Grayling hasn't done, and think about this in slight detail.

There are, on sale now, hydrogen powered vehicles. There are 14 publicly accessible refuelling points in the UK, so for private vehicles, the infrastructure doesn't exist in a big way. If the technology is to prosper, many more plants need to be built. There are no hydrogen production facilities for railways at present, so new facilities will be needed wherever H2 trains need to be refuelled. We had, during the Bristol Green Capital epoch, a hydrogen powered ferry with its own little solar powered production plant. That vanished as soon as the circus pulled out of town to fly to the next jamboree. If the idea is to become reality, there will have to be some serious money spent on facilities before the trains are procured. The way things usually happen with new train technology, we will end up with either sidings full of H2 trains waiting for new fuel plants, or fuel plants and an army of trained technicians waiting for trains to service.

Would it be worth it? I don't think so. Hydrogen is not a fuel as such, but a means of storing energy. You can mine coal, drill for oil and gas, and even harvest the magic moonbeams from radioactive stuff or the energy from tide and occasionally wind and sun. But while hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it isn't in the UK. To make it requires a lot of energy. The process for making industrial quantities of hydrogen involves knocking methane atoms apart using superheated steam. If you are going to do that, with all the energy loss involved, you might as well send the power direct to the trains using OHLE. After all, a hydrogen cell only turns hydrogen back into electricity to power motors at the business end.

The minister's stated aim is to not have trains powered purely by diesel. He could get away with a 1 Kw solar panel on top of every HST and a lot of spin to achieve that. If Mr Grayling is serious, he will find that the easiest and most efficient way to decarbonise the railway is to copperise it.
11  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: The End Of Diesel Traction In The UK? on: February 13, 2018, 04:45:16 PM
That usage if "mine" is a puzzle - I've given that sentence a severe kicking, and it refuses to reveal any useful meaning. Perhaps it just implies that the organisers (Eventbrite) are commercially exploiting the current unease created by not knowing what counts as knowledge any more.

Who knows what counts as knowledge these days?

(This was rhetorical: please don't post the obvious answer!)

Ye gods. Who wrote that? Malcolm Tucker or Sir Humphrey?

Way too few expletives for Malcolm Tucker...  Grin

... with whom nothing rhymes...

Carbon-based lever-operative propulsion system? Worked for the Greeks!

"Row, row, row the boat
Gently down the rails
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Don't forget the sails."

I hope that BoJo never notices the railway heritage movement's continuing use of coal
Surely, you mean JoJo?

BoJo and JoJo will enter the language like BoBo and CoCo.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2018 to 2045 / Re: Forum response to Great Western Franchise Consultation on: February 11, 2018, 07:49:15 PM

Thank you for that question.  I am planning to add forum names and NOT real names - otherwise we get really caught up in permissions, confidentiality and data protection stuff.  We don't even know some real names!

You can add my real name if you like.

13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Re-aligning tracks on: February 11, 2018, 07:45:44 PM
That assumes there wasn't some maintenance backlog before the tracks were taken out!

I thought of that, but for once I decided to keep it simple.  Cheesy
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: £90bn, or cost free, to renationalise water, energy and rail? on: February 11, 2018, 03:44:02 PM
Stuvings point re: the definition of national debt is correct.

Agreed. It includes my Premium Bond.

On balance, I can see a positive benefit from nationalisation, in that I would be able to make money when the utilities are re=privatised.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Bus routes in the GW franchise? on: February 11, 2018, 03:19:45 PM
I think what the 27 routes refers to is the no of routes or destinations that GWR are obliged to put into their timetables as a bus connection from a railhead like Bodmin Parkway to Wadebridge and Padstow, The Lizard and Bude are other places. Minehead from Taunton is another  'bus link' that springs to mind.

Would that include the Bristol Airport Flyer, which also makes it into Realtime Trains?
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