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16  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Alstom and Eversholt to hydrogenate class 321s on: January 08, 2019, 10:42:46 pm
It is also worth remembering that batteries are still improving, and that a battery train or a 25Kv/battery hybrid train built today can be retrofitted with improved batteries in years to come.

Hydrogen storage by contrast is unlikely to improve.
High pressure gas tanks and cylinders are a mature and well understood technology, it seems unlikely that much improvement will occur.

We might find cheaper ways to manufacture hydrogen, but it is always going to cost more than the electricity or other energy used as the input.
17  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Alstom and Eversholt to hydrogenate class 321s on: January 08, 2019, 12:15:05 am
I suspect that hydrogen powered trains wont be routinely allowed through long tunnels, due to the small but real risk of accident.
"one off" journeys with the other line blocked and no passengers on board MIGHT be allowed.

As stated elsewhere on these forums I am very doubtful indeed as to the viability of hydrogen powered trains, however the risks seem manageable if out in the open or in short and well ventilated tunnels.
My concerns are due to the costs involved, hydrogen is expensive to produce, expensive to transport, problematic to store, and very expensive to utilise in fuel cells.

The future IMHO is largely 25KV AC electric, with some use of batteries, diesel power, and even steam for heritage routes.
Batteries are available right now that can power trains on non electrified branches, or for hard to electrify sections of generally electrified routes.

Also as stated elsewhere on these forums, I don't much like the IETs, but this is due to the downgraded passenger experience. On strictly engineering grounds, I support the idea of bi mode trains, with gradual electrification steadily reducing diesel operation, which remains available for use when needed.

Hydrogen power is IMO, a solution looking for a problem.
18  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Railway bridges struck by road vehicles - merged topic, ongoing discussion on: January 07, 2019, 05:23:36 pm
No need to measure the vehicle height, they need to simply read and understand the notice exhibited by law in all HGV cabs.
19  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Train of Lights on: January 06, 2019, 03:48:56 pm
Very impressive, Hopefully other heritage lines might manage something similar?
Better still in the snow.

AFAIK, this is the only comparable train in the UK.

In the USA something a bit similar but on a larger scale is offered, by a major train company, as a public relations opportunity and to collect donations of money and groceries for the less fortunate in society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wxtmIUHRPU
20  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2019 to 2045 / Re: Plans from Network Rail - radical station redesign to reduce suicides? on: January 01, 2019, 04:50:16 pm
Allowing my natural cynicism to shine, this sounds like a good excuse to remove toilets and waiting rooms that are "part way along platforms"  best to remove any at platform ends as well to be sure.

And also to remove seats that face the track, best perhaps to remove all seating to be sure, since most likely locations for seats would give some view of the track.
21  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: December 28, 2018, 06:28:48 pm
"circulate via XYZ" seems to be the favoured term these days, it has the merits of being vague and not promising anything in particular.
Alternatives that give specific advice or instructions need too much thought.

"Change at ABC for local buses" has the drawback that ABC might not be served by buses at the relevant time, or that tickets might not be accepted.
"Change at DEF for London underground" has the drawback that the underground might be closed or on strike.
"Change at west Worzleshire for cross country trains" looks a bit silly if west Worzleshire is not in fact served by cross country.

But a simple "circulate via" avoids any such doubts, and can include walking, or giving up and going back to where you started, or doing something else instead.
22  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Drones cause Gatwick chaos. 20/12/2018, ongoing. on: December 24, 2018, 02:10:32 pm
I suspect that some of the initial reported sightings were real, but that the situation then degenerated into hysteria, with most subsequent reports being mistaken.
I also consider it possible that a large drone, or even a manned glider or microlight was flown at a permitted distance from the airport, and was mistaken for a smaller craft much nearer.

If the initial drone flights WERE a deliberate attempt to cause disruption, then those responsible are probably very impressed with the results.
23  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Drones cause Gatwick chaos. 20/12/2018, ongoing. on: December 23, 2018, 01:57:41 pm
If the police DID confiscate the drone from the two former suspects, then this has presumably been returned as the former suspects are no longer suspects and have been released without charge.

Drones cost from under 100 up to many thousands of pounds, depending on size and sophistication.
24  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Drones cause Gatwick chaos. 20/12/2018, ongoing. on: December 21, 2018, 06:27:01 pm
Except it has just been closed again... (17:25 Friday)  Sad

This will be a recurring problem IMHO.
Even if the perpetrators had been caught, which AFAIK they have not, the drone flying was a great success from the point of view of those organising it.
Whatever the motive was, I foresee copycat efforts.

I also perceive significant risks of false alarms and consequent closures because someone THINKS that they have seen a drone.

25  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: December 21, 2018, 11:49:38 am
Lots of short formations stacking up, 5 instead of 9/10, mainly affecting London to Bristol/Wales services, really poor on what will probably be the busiest Christmas getaway day.

Yes, very poor.
SOME of the short formations are now reinstated as full length, still a significant number of half length trains though.
Welcome to the future !
26  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: 17th December 2018 - the start of toll free Severn Bridges on: December 21, 2018, 03:05:45 am
Another example of road transport getting cheaper or better, whilst trains become more expensive, and in many cases less satisfactory.

Think of all that extra traffic and all the fuel burnt, and climate changing emissions therefrom.
27  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Drones cause Gatwick chaos. 20/12/2018, ongoing. on: December 21, 2018, 02:58:48 am
As well reported in various media, Gatwick airport has been closed for over 24 hours due to illegal flying of drones near the runway.
The disruption is substantial and is likely to continue until Christmas, due to the backlog even if the airport reopens soon.
The armed forces have been called out to assist.

The motives of those behind this are unclear, the local police have stated that it is NOT terror related, but IS deliberate.

I suspect either anti-airport protesters or "deep green" protesters who are opposed to air travel.
28  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Western handles on: December 17, 2018, 11:16:30 pm
I rather like the idea of "WESTERN CYNIC" But am not actually thinking of changing my username.

"broadgage" is sort of western related anyway, should have kept the old Brunel gauge  Smiley

Changing trains to go to places where there is no broad gauge track a small price to pay for...... .....what?

No no, young sir, the rest of the country should have changed to Brunel gauge, greater stability at speed, improved passenger capacity and room for more freight.
3+3 seating in standard class, 2+2 in first, and 2+1 in Pullman.
29  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Western handles on: December 17, 2018, 07:42:51 pm
I rather like the idea of "WESTERN CYNIC" But am not actually thinking of changing my username.

"broadgage" is sort of western related anyway, should have kept the old Brunel gauge  Smiley
30  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: XC Dawlish cancellations now beyond a joke! on: December 17, 2018, 07:37:19 pm
Having a keen interest in these things, I can't conclude that there has been such a dramatic rise in sea level in just 16 years. In support I would direct observers to this data-rich site from the NTSLF at Newlyn

I agree, see levels are rising but not that fast. Very roughly 1mm a year has been the average for the last century or so.
Many experts are however forecasting a faster increase in years to come as polar ice melts, and as ocean water becomes warmer and therefore expands.
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