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Author Topic: Is rail electrification the future, or the past  (Read 1718 times)
Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2017, 11:00:58 PM »

neo-liberal?

Think sort of Marxist-Conservative.
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grahame
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« Reply #46 on: November 02, 2017, 06:17:08 AM »

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.

From Network Rail

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Changes to train services: 11 November 2017 – 25 March 2018

As part of our Great North Rail Project, we’re improving rail journeys on the Blackpool to Preston line. We are temporarily closing the line to deliver quieter and more reliable journeys from 2018, alongside investment in better journeys right across the region.

11 November 2017 – 28 January 2018: Preston to Blackpool North and South closed.
29 January 2018 – 25 March 2018: Route to Blackpool South reopens – Preston to Blackpool North remains closed.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #47 on: November 02, 2017, 10:20:34 AM »

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?
To explain the reasoning of my question, a number of people have pointed out that one of the benefits of OHLE is reducing train weight, and therefore wear on the track etc, compared to both diesel and battery-electric, because they don't need to carry fuel and electric motors tend to be lighter than ICE ones. Carrying fuel seems to partially negate that. Mind you, so does the second engine in the bimode. So to my mind it seems most sensible to ensure that what electrification is carried out is done so that an entire journey will be OHLE. So Cardiff to London makes sense (as there aren't that many trains from west of Cardiff all the way to London) but Chippenham does not, as there's nothing (AFAIK) that starts in Chippenham. It makes more sense to do one whole "journey" than two halves.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2017, 10:40:11 AM »

The weight of electric motors is a given - most trains use them for their final drive. The difference is that pure electric trains don't need a lot else in terms of heavy plant, whereas diesel-electrics (and aren't bi-modes just diesel-electrics with pantographs?) need a gert big diesel engine and a gert big generator. I am guessing that the weight of fuel is second-order compared to this hardware.
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« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2017, 11:01:26 AM »

Seems an HST carries 4,500 litres of diesel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_43_(HST) And diesel weighs 0.832kg/l https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_fuel so that makes 3744kg of diesel with full tanks. The loco weight is 70.25 tonnes from Wikip. So fuel is about 5% of that. Ok, pretty small (especially once you add a full train!). It doesn't say how much the diesel engines themselves weigh.
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« Reply #50 on: November 02, 2017, 11:17:02 AM »

According to Roger Ford, the motor-generator sets for the IET weight about eight tonnes. However, it's not clear what that includes, and it does sound rather high. The MTU engine itself - "dry" - is only two tonnes. As to fuel, Wikipedia is now saying* that all bimode trains will have the larger tanks, which are 1.55 m3 (1290 kg of fuel) instead of 1.35 m3 (1123 kg). The weight of the tanks would be on top of that; presumably one per engine. I imagine that that eight tonne figure includes everything including fuel tanks.

The big weight you add with 25 kV OHLE is the step-down transformer, with one or two per train. These have been getting lighter over the years, due to applied cleverness, but still come in at about 5-8 tonnes. To that you can add the pantograph itself and the switchgear plus associated gubbins. Hence the pan, transformer, etc. usually goes on a carriage with nothing else that's at all heavy, not even a traction motor, to keep within a common axle loading.

* Mind you, the same page also says that traction is 120 kW per axle, so gospel it ain't.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2017, 11:45:19 AM »

So possibly not much in it weight-wise diesel v electric. Until you add both to the same train!
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2017, 12:18:47 PM »

According to Roger Ford, the motor-generator sets for the IET weight about eight tonnes. However, it's not clear what that includes, and it does sound rather high. The MTU engine itself - "dry" - is only two tonnes. As to fuel, Wikipedia is now saying* that all bimode trains will have the larger tanks, which are 1.55 m3 (1290 kg of fuel) instead of 1.35 m3 (1123 kg). The weight of the tanks would be on top of that; presumably one per engine. I imagine that that eight tonne figure includes everything including fuel tanks.

The big weight you add with 25 kV OHLE is the step-down transformer, with one or two per train. These have been getting lighter over the years, due to applied cleverness, but still come in at about 5-8 tonnes. To that you can add the pantograph itself and the switchgear plus associated gubbins. Hence the pan, transformer, etc. usually goes on a carriage with nothing else that's at all heavy, not even a traction motor, to keep within a common axle loading.

* Mind you, the same page also says that traction is 120 kW per axle, so gospel in ain't.

This has caused me to recalibrate my understanding (not for the first time on this forum, which is one of the things I like about being here!). I thought that one of the big advantages of pure electric trains was their lighter weight, but if a motor-generator set weighs broadly the same as a step-down transformer then where is the weight saving?
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Tim
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« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2017, 01:50:35 PM »

neo-liberal?

Sshh. Dirty word around here apparently.  Lips sealed

put "neo-" in front of a word to make it seem scary.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #54 on: November 02, 2017, 02:01:56 PM »

neo-liberal?

Sshh. Dirty word around here apparently.  Lips sealed

put "neo-" in front of a word to make it seem scary.

Mmm:

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stuving
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« Reply #55 on: November 02, 2017, 02:21:58 PM »

This has caused me to recalibrate my understanding (not for the first time on this forum, which is one of the things I like about being here!). I thought that one of the big advantages of pure electric trains was their lighter weight, but if a motor-generator set weighs broadly the same as a step-down transformer then where is the weight saving?

More engines than transformers. You would only expect one transformer and pantograph for a 4 or 5 car EMU, and two for eight or more cars. 5-car IETs are a bit different, as they have rules for pantograph spacing when running in a pair, so need a pantograph each end. But I think they have just one transformer, and a 25 kV link cable along the roof to the other end.

I have to admit the data I have for all electrical components (motors and alternators as well as transformers) are rather sketchy. There is also the question of whether you would size these to be overloaded for short periods of acceleration, given that in principle they should be OK with that for a few minutes. Note, however, that 200 km/hr running is likely to call for full power, so in that case there's no recovery period from a short overload. So I suspect that trick was used in the past, but is now less common.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 04:52:00 PM by stuving » Logged
onthecushions
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« Reply #56 on: November 02, 2017, 02:26:47 PM »

This has caused me to recalibrate my understanding (not for the first time on this forum, which is one of the things I like about being here!). I thought that one of the big advantages of pure electric trains was their lighter weight, but if a motor-generator set weighs broadly the same as a step-down transformer then where is the weight saving?

....but the MTU mg set produces 700kW, perhaps 560kW at rail, whereas  the transformer and inverter will produce ten times that, roundly. A 9 car 802 probably has a mass of c400t, so the diesels probably add c10% to that. Power used at higher speeds is more related to turbulence than weight related rolling resistance, so I don't think that the engines will be noticed.

The IEP's will enjoy greater success the more OHLE that they use. Without the wires they will be as under-performing, expensive and  high maintenance as other diesels, needing constant ecs trips to refuelling points.

OTC
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« Reply #57 on: November 02, 2017, 03:34:17 PM »

. Without the wires they will be as under-performing, expensive and  high maintenance as other diesels, needing constant ecs trips to refuelling points.


That is my sincere hope.  There needs to be a continuing incentive to keep putting the wires up. 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2017, 04:19:45 PM »

Further to hydrogen power, or rather at a tangent from that, some of Bristol's food waste is now collected by a lorry itself powered by (methane produced from) food waste.
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Meet the Bio-Bee

Our distinctive new truck is collecting food waste and creating a buzz on the streets of Bristol.

The Bio-Bee is the UK’s first vehicle to both collect and run on commercial food waste and is operated from our base in Avonmouth.

With Bristol among 40 places in the UK that consistently exceeds air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide, the Bio-Bee demonstrates a real alternative to diesel RCVs and HGVs by running on clean biomethane.

It also offers a cost-effective and more sustainable way for food waste to be collected and recycled, and it follows in the footsteps of the Bio-Bus – or ‘poo bus’ – which ran on human waste and was trialled in Bristol in 2015.

Boston Tea Party and St Monica Trust care homes are among the first companies to use the service, and it is hoped the Bio-Bee will increase food waste recycling levels in the city.

Charlotte Stamper, project manager at GENeco, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer customers a UK first – collecting their food waste using a vehicle running from their food waste.

“This clean fuel helps to improve Bristol’s air quality and creates a sustainable circular economy for the client’s operations.

“Bees are renowned for the good work they do for the environment, and their daily routine involves collecting valuable natural resources and then bringing them back to a hive to make renewable and nutritious products.

“The Bio-Bee operates the same way. It runs on biomethane that has been produced by the anaerobic digestion of food waste and sewage from houses in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area.

“In turn, its total carbon footprint is around 90% lower than a diesel equivalent and it is quieter than standard diesel models.

“The Bio-Bee is also intended to be fun and engage youngsters in the topics of food waste, recycling and air quality.”

Waste

Every year each person in the UK throws away enough food to power the Bio-Bee for 25 miles.

If Bristol recycled all the food waste generated by the city’s residents in a year the Bio-Bee could run every day until the year 3,000.

Food waste is collected in the Bio-Bee and brought back to GENeco’s anaerobic digestion plant in Bristol. The waste is depackaged – and plastic is removed – and is then used to produce sustainable electricity for homes and communities.

The remaining food waste undergoes a pasteurisation process before being fed into the anaerobic digesters, where micro-organisms break down the waste in the absence of oxygen and produce methane-rich biogas.

This biogas is either used to produce renewable electricity or it is converted in our gas-to-grid plant to enriched biomethane, which is injected into the gas grid. At this stage it can be used as fuel in the Bio-Bee and other vehicles or to supply local homes.

The solid by-product of the anaerobic digestion process is used as a nutrient-rich and sustainable biofertiliser for farms.

Jesse Scharf, Green Gas Certification Scheme manager at Renewable Energy Assurance, said: “GENeco is playing an important role in the growing UK biomethane industry by continuing to innovate and show that, with creative thinking, we can find solutions to the challenges we face around waste, energy, carbon and air quality.”

Shelley Wadey, finance director at Boston Tea Party, has been working with us on the Bio-Bee project from the start.

She said: “Although we have been recycling our food waste from our six Bristol cafes for three years through GENeco, this is another step forward to make things better by generating a sustainable circular economy.

“Through this partnership we hope to inspire other food operators to follow our lead, demonstrating it is possible to be greener and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”
http://www.geneco.uk.com/Meet_the_Bio_Bee.aspx
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2017, 05:32:22 PM »

Further to hydrogen power...

Couldn't be much further from hydrogen, could it? I mean, it's a gas, but so is Jumpin' Jack Flash...

I love the circular economy though. The older I get, the more I come to think that economics is just a system to add delays and accelerations to the routing of clean and dirty washing.
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