Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
 29/10/2018 - Avocet line AGM
30/10/2018 - Minehaed Rail Link Group
31/10/2018 - CCIF Applications close
06/11/2018 - Talk Oxford / 800 intro
10/11/2018 - RailFuture National Conference
13/11/2018 - PEW, Wolmar, to edge of world
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
October 23, 2018, 03:57:26 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[53] Where have I been this month
[49] Four track for Filton Bank - ongoing discussion
[41] Hotels and B&Bs near railway stations
[32] 2018 cancellation and amendment log
[14] Bristol Undergound
[13] Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since Septemb...
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 29
  Print  
Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 41222 times)
Bmblbzzz
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1554


View Profile
« on: July 21, 2017, 09:28:30 pm »

Hydrogen powered fuel cells, perhaps.
Logged

Day return to Infinity, please.
Electric train
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2993


The future is 25,000 Volts a.c.


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 09:34:30 pm »

The sad aspect of this decision, and the much more serious decision about Bristol is that if Network Rail had a 25 year commitment to electrify the whole network, then the costs would be manageable and affordable.
 

You may be right, but I think that your statement puts more faith in NR's ability than recent evidence supports. 

Network Rail has a vision and strategy for 25 years, as asked for by the DfT ................. however politicians only have a vision and strategy for 2.5 years that is two and half years after a General Election their only vision and strategy is the next election
Logged

Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
ellendune
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2990


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 10:00:16 pm »

Hydrogen powered fuel cells, perhaps.

Hydrogen remains a possibility in theory but is unlikely to be viable for reasons given above.
Expensive, bulky, awkward to handle, and somewhat dangerous.

Fuel cells do not affect the hazard from the stored hydrogen or the other issues mentioned.

Logged
Western Pathfinder
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 839



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 10:31:56 pm »

Having driven a HFC powered car on a number of occasions both at home and in the USA I find them to be the most usable alternative to the internal combustion engine.
Logged
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2175



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2017, 10:52:45 pm »

Hydrogen remains a possibility...

Hydrogen is a certainty, inasmuch as that it definitely exists. I don't think it has much of a future as a vehicle fuel though.

Yes, to be strictly accurate I should have said that hydrogen powered trains remain a possibility.
I agree that it probably has little future as a fuel for rail or indeed other vehicles. Not impossible of course but a bit unlikely.
Logged

"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2175



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 11:08:25 pm »

Hydrogen powered fuel cells, perhaps.

Hydrogen remains a possibility in theory but is unlikely to be viable for reasons given above.
Expensive, bulky, awkward to handle, and somewhat dangerous.

Fuel cells do not affect the hazard from the stored hydrogen or the other issues mentioned.


No, but in total after taking account of all the above, hydrogen seems an unlikely fuel for rail vehicles.

1) It is expensive, due to the amount of electricity used in production and the cost and complexity of the equipment needed. The hydrogen also needs to be liquefied or compressed, requiring yet more expensive plant that also consumes energy.
2) It is bulky, several times the bulk of diesel fuel for the same energy content. The ultra high pressure tanks, or super insulated tanks are costly items and cant realistically be made in the odd shapes that often make best use of space.
3) It is awkward to handle either as an ultra high pressure gas or as a super cold liquid, not like diesel that simply requires a hose and a pump.
4) It is arguably a greater fire and explosion risk than diesel fuel.
5) fuel cells in the sizes needed to power trains are very bulky and very expensive if compared to a diesel engine, cooling is also more complex.
Logged

"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 22157



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 11:25:33 pm »

And one of the other campaigners suggested that things/systems that have been around for 100 years need to be replaced with something newer. His suggestion's to scrap all buses and trains, and replace them with things like guided systems - automated or semiautomated, such as you'll see at Heathrow and in parts of Cambridgeshire.  "Nothing that's been around over 100 years should still be in use" was his view;
There's not much in transport that hasn't been around for more than 100 years, except space travel. Even electric cars were around in the late 19th century.

I totally agree with you.  Almost every modern society object / item / facility has routes and development that can be traced back in part for a hundred or more years - and indeed it would be very rare for an invention to be able to be described as "invented on 14th July 1927" ...

I found great comfort and great distress from my discussion with Barry.  Comfort that I'm already doing a bit better than he does at my campaigning, and that he had given me an opportunity to test my own reasoning and advocacy. Distress in that there are campaigners and members of the public around who lack reasoning, lack logic, and refuse to even acknowledge the elephants in the room that need to be addressed to make their solutions have any chance.
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
Rhydgaled
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1341


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 04:35:57 pm »

The sad aspect of this decision, and the much more serious decision about Bristol is that if Network Rail had a 25 year commitment to electrify the whole network, then the costs would be manageable and affordable.
 

You may be right, but I think that your statement puts more faith in NR's ability than recent evidence supports. 

Network Rail has a vision and strategy for 25 years, as asked for by the DfT ................. however politicians only have a vision and strategy for 2.5 years that is two and half years after a General Election their only vision and strategy is the next election
Does said 25yr Network Rail strategy include an ongoing rollout of electrification, and if so how detailed is it (ie. does it say which routes they would wire in which order, not necessarily by when)?
Logged

----------------------------
Don't DOO it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
Red Squirrel
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2162


The first town plan. An idea that had legs.


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 05:02:27 pm »

Almost every modern society object / item / facility has routes and development that can be traced back in part for a hundred or more years...

Yes, and things continue to evolve. Roads have been around since animals first started scampering around leaving tracks, but only really became a viable long-distance transport system in the latter half of the twentieth century. Rail - one of the newer transport systems - is a specialised branch of the road concept which until quite recently looked like it had had its day; now it is growing again, but that may not last. Who knows what effect shared autonomous vehicles will have? Will people still use trains or buses when they can summon a vehicle to their door, at a time of their choosing, which will whisk them to their destination in comfort?
Logged

Sir. Does this mean that Ann-Margret's not coming?
ellendune
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2990


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 05:25:57 pm »

Almost every modern society object / item / facility has routes and development that can be traced back in part for a hundred or more years...

Yes, and things continue to evolve. Roads have been around since animals first started scampering around leaving tracks, but only really became a viable long-distance transport system in the latter half of the twentieth century. Rail - one of the newer transport systems - is a specialised branch of the road concept which until quite recently looked like it had had its day; now it is growing again, but that may not last. Who knows what effect shared autonomous vehicles will have? Will people still use trains or buses when they can summon a vehicle to their door, at a time of their choosing, which will whisk them to their destination in comfort?

You assume that the autonomous self driving vehicles would release enough extra capacity on the road network to take away the traffic jams!  If they did would it simply fill up with more such vehicles to all traffic came to a halt again?
Logged
Bmblbzzz
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1554


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2017, 08:20:52 pm »

I think it's likely that AVs will increase the demand for car travel, because it will become so much easier. You'll be able to work, sleep, eat, watch TV,... at least once they're functioning reliably! And the costs, particularly if these vehicles are electric powered rather than internal combustion, will be much lower. But at the same time the total number of car-type vehicles might be reduced, because they will be able to circulate or park somewhere till summoned. They will, or will have the potential to be, more like "taxis" than "cars". Though this will only happen if we're able to break the link between vehicle use and ownership, which is as much emotional as practical. The increasing popularity in some urban areas of car clubs and car sharing schemes shows some possibility for this, but it's far from obvious that it will go mainstream.

Probably the largest impact of AVs in the long run will be on freight; lorry drivers and van drivers will be a thing of the past, costs of road haulage will fall due to no longer paying drivers' wages, maintenance costs and associated downtime and insurance premiums are likely to fall, there will be no drivers' hours regs to adhere to, and "platooning" lorries on motorways will make big fuel savings. So railfreight is going to suffer.
Logged

Day return to Infinity, please.
ellendune
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2990


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 08:40:17 pm »

I think it's likely that AVs will increase the demand for car travel, because it will become so much easier. You'll be able to work, sleep, eat, watch TV,... at least once they're functioning reliably! And the costs, particularly if these vehicles are electric powered rather than internal combustion, will be much lower. But at the same time the total number of car-type vehicles might be reduced, because they will be able to circulate or park somewhere till summoned. They will, or will have the potential to be, more like "taxis" than "cars". Though this will only happen if we're able to break the link between vehicle use and ownership, which is as much emotional as practical. The increasing popularity in some urban areas of car clubs and car sharing schemes shows some possibility for this, but it's far from obvious that it will go mainstream.

Probably the largest impact of AVs in the long run will be on freight; lorry drivers and van drivers will be a thing of the past, costs of road haulage will fall due to no longer paying drivers' wages, maintenance costs and associated downtime and insurance premiums are likely to fall, there will be no drivers' hours regs to adhere to, and "platooning" lorries on motorways will make big fuel savings. So railfreight is going to suffer.


There are some sweeping assumptions here:

1) You say that "the costs, particularly if these vehicles are electric powered rather than internal combustion, will be much lower. " I see no evidence for this.  Yes the cost of fuelling electric cars is currently less, but battery costs are very high.  Sound like the same wishful thinking that have plagued a number of such ideas in the past - like the electrification train!

2) "Probably the largest impact of AVs in the long run will be on freight; lorry drivers and van drivers will be a thing of the past" I think the idea of a driverless lorry on a mixed traffic road is fantasy! 

3) You also assume that there will be enough road space for all these vehicles. 
Logged
Bmblbzzz
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1554


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 09:01:35 pm »

That was meant to be speculation not prediction. As for costs, I was thinking that costs would be lower not only due to electric traction but mainly due to AVs not being privately owned. So the costs of maintenance, insurance, tax and so on would be born by many people for each vehicle, in a similar way to a car club. Costs per mile might be higher but overall cost of usage would be lower because you'd only be paying for the vehicle while actually using it, which obviously is a tiny minority of its life. Of course this depends on breaking the personal ownership habit, which might not happen.

Autonomous HGVs have already been tested on public roads in the USA and I think in Sweden. There are problems to be overcome before they can use urban roads particularly the steering was found to be crude on tight corners but they've functioned well on the relatively empty highways there. It's only a matter of time before they can be used everywhere. It might take 20 years but I expect that when the technology is ready, they will take off fast and have an enormous impact on everything from employment to shopping.

As for space for more vehicles, I'm certainly not assuming that. It's possible, as I said, that AVs will break the link between driving and owning, which could lead to fewer vehicles with more usage. If that doesn't happen, I don't see anything yet to suggest we'll change the course which has proved so successful* the world over, ie building more roads, bigger junctions, larger car parks, bypasses around ring roads, etc.

*Just in case it's not clear, this is ironic. But AVs are on the way, sometime not terribly far in the future, to a road near you. Impacts awaited.
Logged

Day return to Infinity, please.
Red Squirrel
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2162


The first town plan. An idea that had legs.


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 09:22:44 pm »

Having driven a HFC powered car on a number of occasions both at home and in the USA I find them to be the most usable alternative to the internal combustion engine.

Out of interest, have you tried a pure BEV?

Almost every modern society object / item / facility has routes and development that can be traced back in part for a hundred or more years...

Yes, and things continue to evolve. Roads have been around since animals first started scampering around leaving tracks, but only really became a viable long-distance transport system in the latter half of the twentieth century. Rail - one of the newer transport systems - is a specialised branch of the road concept which until quite recently looked like it had had its day; now it is growing again, but that may not last. Who knows what effect shared autonomous vehicles will have? Will people still use trains or buses when they can summon a vehicle to their door, at a time of their choosing, which will whisk them to their destination in comfort?

You assume that the autonomous self driving vehicles would release enough extra capacity on the road network to take away the traffic jams!  If they did would it simply fill up with more such vehicles to all traffic came to a halt again?

I made no such assumption; I asked a question.

I do, as it happens, think it is fair to assume that CAVs will free up some of the resources tied up by private non-autonomous vehicles, because they will most likely be stored and recharged away from the places where they are used. But evidence suggests that, as you say, any capacity released will soon be filled by hitherto unfulfilled demand.

That was meant to be speculation not prediction. As for costs, I was thinking that costs would be lower not only due to electric traction but mainly due to AVs not being privately owned. So the costs of maintenance, insurance, tax and so on would be born by many people for each vehicle, in a similar way to a car club. Costs per mile might be higher but overall cost of usage would be lower because you'd only be paying for the vehicle while actually using it, which obviously is a tiny minority of its life. Of course this depends on breaking the personal ownership habit, which might not happen.

Autonomous HGVs have already been tested on public roads in the USA and I think in Sweden. There are problems to be overcome before they can use urban roads particularly the steering was found to be crude on tight corners but they've functioned well on the relatively empty highways there. It's only a matter of time before they can be used everywhere. It might take 20 years but I expect that when the technology is ready, they will take off fast and have an enormous impact on everything from employment to shopping.

As for space for more vehicles, I'm certainly not assuming that. It's possible, as I said, that AVs will break the link between driving and owning, which could lead to fewer vehicles with more usage. If that doesn't happen, I don't see anything yet to suggest we'll change the course which has proved so successful* the world over, ie building more roads, bigger junctions, larger car parks, bypasses around ring roads, etc.

*Just in case it's not clear, this is ironic. But AVs are on the way, sometime not terribly far in the future, to a road near you. Impacts awaited.

The full impact of Level 5 CAVs is, like all disruptive technology, hard to assess - what becomes of driving jobs? The insurance industry? Will humans be allowed to drive when machines can do it much more safely?
Logged

Sir. Does this mean that Ann-Margret's not coming?
ellendune
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2990


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 10:36:05 pm »

That was meant to be speculation not prediction. As for costs, I was thinking that costs would be lower not only due to electric traction but mainly due to AVs not being privately owned. So the costs of maintenance, insurance, tax and so on would be born by many people for each vehicle, in a similar way to a car club. Costs per mile might be higher but overall cost of usage would be lower because you'd only be paying for the vehicle while actually using it, which obviously is a tiny minority of its life. Of course this depends on breaking the personal ownership habit, which might not happen.

So you are assuming car clubs will suddenly become more popular.  That is a major cultural change. 

Autonomous HGVs have already been tested on public roads in the USA and I think in Sweden. There are problems to be overcome before they can use urban roads particularly the steering was found to be crude on tight corners but they've functioned well on the relatively empty highways there. It's only a matter of time before they can be used everywhere. It might take 20 years but I expect that when the technology is ready, they will take off fast and have an enormous impact on everything from employment to shopping.

Yes but there is a big difference between an AV with someone who could take control if it all went badly and an AV with no on in it.  Again you are assuming a major cultural change.  I would not want to be anywhere near an HGV AV without a real person in it.

As for space for more vehicles, I'm certainly not assuming that. It's possible, as I said, that AVs will break the link between driving and owning, which could lead to fewer vehicles with more usage. If that doesn't happen, I don't see anything yet to suggest we'll change the course which has proved so successful* the world over, ie building more roads, bigger junctions, larger car parks, bypasses around ring roads, etc.

*Just in case it's not clear, this is ironic. But AVs are on the way, sometime not terribly far in the future, to a road near you. Impacts awaited.

You may be ironic but I saw an article the other day from some nutter who said that HS2 would be unnecessary because of AVs and that it should be replaced with a new motorway was would take up far less space because it would only need two lanes!  (He needs to go and look at Yeadon Way in Blackpool to see what road you can build on the line of a two-track railway!
Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 29
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants