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Author Topic: Is rail electrification the future, or the past  (Read 2521 times)
Oberon
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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2017, 09:36:32 PM »

British governments don't believe in long term planning. In a sane world at the conclusion of GWR planned electrification things would move seamlessly to the next line to be wired.

Then to the next, then the next.

In my dreams..
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sikejsudjek3
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« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2017, 09:27:58 AM »

Unfortunately as long as we have neoliberal governments who put the needs of capital first, then I doubt there will be any changes or longer term planning. Indeed the idea of planning to neoliberals who are obsessed with the free market is a dirty word. They are there to maximise profit for private capital - unless a proposal achieves that they are unlikely to be interested in it.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2017, 10:47:20 PM »

Unfortunately as long as we have neoliberal governments who put the needs of capital first, then I doubt there will be any changes or longer term planning. Indeed the idea of planning to neoliberals who are obsessed with the free market is a dirty word. They are there to maximise profit for private capital - unless a proposal achieves that they are unlikely to be interested in it.

I think the GWR electrification into Bristol Temple Meads has been cancelled twice by Conservative governments, once by Labour.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2017, 10:07:17 AM »

What were the dates of the first two? It's probably fair to say that there's been a more-or-less neoliberal consensus since 1979...
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broadgage
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« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2017, 11:18:41 AM »

Leaving politics aside, it seems to me that electric power is the future, not JUST for railway purposes but for almost all energy requirements.
Electricity may be produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, by wind, by sunlight, by hydroelectric power and from tidal flows, or by nuclear fission. All these are proven and readily available technologies.

Liquid fuels by contrast are only available from crude oil, or from crops grown for the purpose. Crude oil exists in fundamentally limited volumes, production may have already peaked, and new oil discoveries peaked decades ago.
Liquid fuels from crops show some promise, but due to constraints on land availability are unlikely to be available on a large scale.

Hydrogen is even more limited, the only proven industrial scale sources are electrolysis of water or deriving it from natural gas. Hydrogen from electrolysis is a well understood technology but introduces substantial losses in both production and use, more efficient to use the electricity directly, in most cases.
Hydrogen is also expensive and problematic to distribute, we already a national grid to distribute electricity.
Hydrogen from natural gas is pointless, simply burn the natural gas instead and thereby eliminate several steps in the process.

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grahame
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« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2017, 02:35:44 PM »

Leaving politics aside, it seems to me that electric power is the future ...

Liquid fuels by contrast ...

But you are not comparing like for like - you're comparing a transmission and storage system with a generation system. My understanding is that IET always runs on electricity - be it from the overhead system, or generated on board from liquid fuel.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2017, 03:00:34 PM »

Once the wires are up and full of voles from Paddington to Chippenham, how much fuel will the bimodes be carrying for each trip? Just enough to cover the non-electrified sections, or is it simply a case of filling up the tanks to the brim and forgetting about them till they reach a minimum level?
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jdw.wor
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« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2017, 03:06:20 PM »

I hope they will carry more than the minimum required as can you see the reaction if there are power issues with the overhead wires and the train could not run on to its destination because it did not have any fuel.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2017, 03:25:01 PM »

Once the wires are up and full of voles from Paddington to Chippenham, how much fuel will the bimodes be carrying for each trip? Just enough to cover the non-electrified sections, or is it simply a case of filling up the tanks to the brim and forgetting about them till they reach a minimum level?

Voles? I thought it was a volatile mix of shrews and....red squirrels...
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2017, 03:28:38 PM »

Once the wires are up and full of voles from Paddington to Chippenham, how much fuel will the bimodes be carrying for each trip? Just enough to cover the non-electrified sections, or is it simply a case of filling up the tanks to the brim and forgetting about them till they reach a minimum level?

Voles? I thought it was a volatile mix of shrews and....red squirrels...
Just keep them off the Carling Black Label!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2017, 03:30:18 PM »

I hope they will carry more than the minimum required as can you see the reaction if there are power issues with the overhead wires and the train could not run on to its destination because it did not have any fuel.
Obviously they have to have a contingency. Enough to cover the distance expected to be with OHLE + a reserve = minimum. Will they carry just that or, say, a full tank?
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2017, 06:39:41 PM »

What were the dates of the first two? It's probably fair to say that there's been a more-or-less neoliberal consensus since 1979...

A description of Mrs Thatcher I hadn't heard before!

One cancellation was certainly on her watch. In the early 1980s, I recall an area manager saying that the then-planned electrification would definitely go ahead, "you mark my words!". If only I could find the piece, from the local news, on the interweb.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2017, 10:16:03 PM »


A description of Mrs Thatcher I hadn't heard before!

One cancellation was certainly on her watch. In the early 1980s, I recall an area manager saying that the then-planned electrification would definitely go ahead, "you mark my words!". If only I could find the piece, from the local news, on the interweb.

I think that it is worth remembering the dates when UK electrification has been approved, before judging politicians/parties (I think they're all alley cats, by the way).

The Eastern Region AC, Glasgow suburban and the Euston- Manchester AC started in 1957.

Weaver Junction - Glasgow was approved in March 1970

Merseyrail (Loop and Link) 1972

Kings Cross suburban, Bedpan 1976

Anglia (east) 1981

Ayrshire, Hastings  1983

Anglia (West), ECML, Romford, Southminster, N London AC 1984

East Grinstead, Largs, Snow Hill (Thameslink), Canonbury, Graham Rd. 1985

Weymouth 1986

North Leeds 1994

EOE

You can add the dates of the parties in government.

Maggie may not have been keen on trains but she appointed Nicholas Ridley (Civil Engineer) as transport secretary with David Mitchel as railways minister. They laid the golden eggs, based on (neo-liberal?) economic data and a competent railway.

OTC

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« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2017, 10:46:25 PM »

It might not be the future at lowly downtrodden Bristol, but in that vibrant economic Shangri-La they call Blackpool, work continues apace, as this picture at Poulton-le-Fylde shows:



The line to Blackpool North closes for 4 months next week, as the electrification work is finished, and work to Kirkham and Wesham. Poulton-le-Fylde and Blackpool North stations is done. And I mean major work! Plus that semaphore signal will be gone.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2017, 10:47:55 PM »

neo-liberal?

Sshh. Dirty word around here apparently.  Lips sealed
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