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Author Topic: Climate Change Emergency - Implications for UK Transport Strategy  (Read 11639 times)
rogerw
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« Reply #90 on: October 20, 2019, 03:04:31 pm »

I feel that new orders for diesel-only trains should be banned immediately, along with bi-modes capable of over 110mph. However ...



A very interesting discussion as a small group of us chewed over a barbie yesterday 

Not very environmentally friendly  Wink


At least we didn't cancel any trains because of it  Smiley
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #91 on: October 21, 2019, 10:31:19 am »

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Giving evidence to the Commons Transport Select Committee on Wednesday, he [Shapps] said: Im also hugely concerned about the idea that we could still have new partially diesel-run trains up to 2040.

When I look at my comments on cars, where at the moment the policy is 2040 to end the sale of petrol and diesel but I recently said that Im going to investigate (bringing this forward to) 2035, I also am of course very interested in the earlier extinction of diesel trains.
But the so-called end of petrol and diesel cars only means an end to new sales/registrations of purely petrol/diesel vehicles, it actually allows for hybrid vehicles to still be registered beyond that date, including the many "plug in" hybrids which can only manage about 30 miles before they need to use fossil fuels. And of course it only applies to cars (possibly light vans? not sure about motorcycles) not HGVs and buses or anything vaguely approaching the size of a train.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #92 on: October 21, 2019, 11:02:49 am »

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Giving evidence to the Commons Transport Select Committee on Wednesday, he [Shapps] said: Im also hugely concerned about the idea that we could still have new partially diesel-run trains up to 2040.

When I look at my comments on cars, where at the moment the policy is 2040 to end the sale of petrol and diesel but I recently said that Im going to investigate (bringing this forward to) 2035, I also am of course very interested in the earlier extinction of diesel trains.
But the so-called end of petrol and diesel cars only means an end to new sales/registrations of purely petrol/diesel vehicles, it actually allows for hybrid vehicles to still be registered beyond that date, including the many "plug in" hybrids which can only manage about 30 miles before they need to use fossil fuels. And of course it only applies to cars (possibly light vans? not sure about motorcycles) not HGVs and buses or anything vaguely approaching the size of a train.

Speaking as the owner of a plug-in hybrid car, I think the best thing you can say about this technology is that it eases the transition for people who have difficulty in embracing new ways of doing things. Our car has an electric motor to propel it around town, and a petrol engine to produce heat - something it's very good at - to demist the windows on days when we forget to pre-heat it from the mains. Newer electric vehicles have more efficient ways to heat the cabin which don't involve burning stuff, so you can get rid of the petrol engine altogether - clever, eh? Not only that, but getting rid of all the combustion plant and peripherals means more room for useful things like passengers and batteries.

In short, I don't think the short-range plug-in hybrid car has much of a future.

As to bi-mode trains: Presuming that a rolling programme of electrification happens, reducing the demand for combustion power, how hard will it be to convert these sets to pure electric? Or are the 5-car sets suitable for secondary routes which may take longer to wire?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #93 on: October 21, 2019, 11:08:09 am »

As to bi-mode trains: Presuming that a rolling programme of electrification happens, reducing the demand for combustion power, how hard will it be to convert these sets to pure electric? Or are the 5-car sets suitable for secondary routes which may take longer to wire?

Very simple to convert, though the one engine will almost certainly remain as it does on the 'Electric' sets being delivered to LNER to cover for emergencies and depot moves.  Unless by then it can be sensibly replaced by batteries.
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« Reply #94 on: October 21, 2019, 11:43:18 am »

In short, I don't think the short-range plug-in hybrid car has much of a future.
People who know more about these things and take more interest in them than I do tell me the main benefit of such cars is a tax break and many never get driven on battery at all. As such, their future is entirely in the chancellor's hands.
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« Reply #95 on: October 21, 2019, 12:57:12 pm »

I am in favour of bi mode trains (as is well known I don't think much of shorter trains and reduced facilities, but that is "new train disease" rather than being a direct result of bi mode power)

It is a simple matter to remove most of the engines from an IET when a route is electrified. And I doubt that the removed engines will even go to waste. There would probably still be enough diesel running on other routes to use the removed engines as spares.

Bi mode operation gives the option of through running from a hopefully electrified main line onto a lightly used branch.
Existing bi mode trains are IMHO a step forward on environmental grounds, though a backward step for passengers.
Had the present IETs NOT been built, the West would have had a new fleet of 100% diesel trains (shorter and with reduced facilities, remember its new train disease NOT bi-mode disease)
Or we would have had old HSTs still running until at least 2025, whilst new electric units sat in the sidings awaiting the delayed electrification.
Or electrify part of the route and change to a pacer at say Plymouth.

Bi mode also gives the option of diesel power through places like Bath where electrification is opposed. Anyone in Bath who objects to noise or pollution can be told "tough, it is what you wanted"
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #96 on: November 10, 2019, 10:41:04 am »

I feel that new orders for diesel-only trains should be banned immediately, along with bi-modes capable of over 110mph. However ...

Maybe.   But are you condemning unelectified regions such as the South West peninsular and South West Wales to running on a fleet of trains that will become progressively older?  Which are so far from any overhead electrics that their whole local of regional routes have to be covered with self-powered trains?
No, because I used Jo Johnson's weasel words "diesel-only". In other words, diesel engines would only be completely forbiden on new trains that can exceed 110mph. Slower trains could use any of the following solutions:
  • diesel-battery hybrid (like the class 230s for Wrexham-Bidston)
  • bi-mode diesel-electric (like the class 800s and Anglia FLIRTs)
  • bi-mode diesel-battery hybrid (like the class 800s but with batteries as well to reduce diesel consumption on the diesel bits)
  • IPEMU (electric with batteries for the unwired bits)
  • Hydrogen fuel cell electric multiple unit
If and when either of the last two become practical for all unwired routes then the ban could be extended  to cover diesel engines on all new trains. Northern already have enough diesel-only trains (class 195s) on order to replace the entire class 150/1 fleet if the 195s were released by a new batch of bi-modes in the next franchise, and West Midlands Railway's class 172s and 196s are probably enough to see of most if not all of the class 150/2 units if the Birmingham area gets more electrification to release DMUs.

The 77 additional class 196s (that's what I'm calling them, because the proposals look identical to the West Midlands units) ordered by TfW should be subject to the ban; there is no justification for such a large fleet of new pure diesel trains. A battery-hybrid diesel unit should be much eaiser to convert to bi-mode than a diesel-mechanical multiple unit like the class 196 due to the battery hybrid being driven by electric motors which could get their power from OHLE instead.

As to bi-mode trains: Presuming that a rolling programme of electrification happens, reducing the demand for combustion power, how hard will it be to convert these sets to pure electric? Or are the 5-car sets suitable for secondary routes which may take longer to wire?

Very simple to convert, though the one engine will almost certainly remain as it does on the 'Electric' sets being delivered to LNER to cover for emergencies and depot moves.  Unless by then it can be sensibly replaced by batteries.
It can already be sensibly replaced by batteries, I think. I understand that First Group's order of AT300 units for their East Coast Main Line open access services will have batteries instead of the diesel engine DfT opted for on the class 801 units.

Starting (o tackling the issue) from the "other end" of heavy main line stuff. Perhaps short dead sections under bridges with trains coasting, with an emergency battery to cover the odd half mile?
A problem with that is that bridges are often located at or near stations (eg. station footbridges) where the train won't have the speed necessary to coast under the bridge. Something clever has been devised for the Cardiff Intersection Bridge - is that a short dead section or is it live? If it is live, would it be cheaper than bridge reconstructions elsewhere or was it more expensive and only done there because it carries a railway over the railway so would be harder to raise than a bridge carrying a road?

It is a simple matter to remove most of the engines from an IET when a route is electrified. And I doubt that the removed engines will even go to waste. There would probably still be enough diesel running on other routes to use the removed engines as spares.
I don't think the engines in the class 800 and class 802 units could be used in any other train for the UK. It may have been 'fake news' of course, but wasn't it claimed that the floors in the class 800/802 are higher than on other units to accomodate the rather large underfloor engines?

Bi mode operation gives the option of through running from a hopefully electrified main line onto a lightly used branch.
Existing bi mode trains are IMHO a step forward on environmental grounds
In hindsight given the delayed electrification I agree with that, although I'm not sure whether an IC125 from Paddington to Penzance would consume more or less diesel than a class 802 due to the small proportion of that route which is electrified.

However, I feel that once the bi-mode orders for the West Coast and Midland Main Lines are fulfilled there will be no further need of high-speed bi-mode trains. Further bi-mode orders would be for routes such as Cardiff-Portsmouth and most of Wales, which do not require high speeds. The need to replace the class 220/221/222 on CrossCountry in the mid-late 2030s needs to be used as an incentive to electrify the Midland Main Line, Oxford and Bristol in order to release high-speed bi-mode units for cascade to CrossCountry.
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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).
Trowres
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« Reply #97 on: December 03, 2019, 11:21:09 pm »

This thread has meandered a long way from the opening post, but most of the replies give the sense that the rail industry will continue pretty much as now in the future...no drastic changes in purpose, priorities or timescales.

Perhaps not for some of the outlying branches though:

Quote
Looe [is] expected to flood... 60 times a year in 2050

Quote
Fairbourne, a much-loved village of 461 properties, with about 700 residents, is set to be decommissioned and possibly returned to a saltmarsh because it cannot be defended against rising sea levels.

A masterplan drawn up by the Gwynedd council and Welsh government reveals that in 26 years the council will seek to relocate residents before leaving whatever remains of their homes to be washed away by the sea when the defences protecting the village stops being maintained in 2055.

See https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/01/climate-crisis-leaves-british-coastlines-inches-from-disaster
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #98 on: December 04, 2019, 06:53:00 pm »

Is "all of Cornwall and half of Devon" an outlying branch line?
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broadgage
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« Reply #99 on: December 05, 2019, 01:15:47 am »

My statement about the simplicity of removing engines from bi mode IETs to make them into electric IETs and my assertation that the removed engines "could probably be re-used on other routes that still required diesel power" was not suggesting that these engines could be retrofitted to other types of train.

It should however be possible to re-use the engines on other IETs, as spares. As stated previously, I am in favour of the principle of bi-mode operation and flexible use of electric power when available, without having to electrify throughout.
It is the reduced passenger facilities and comfort to which I object, not the PRINCIPLE of bi mode operation.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Noggin
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« Reply #100 on: December 05, 2019, 09:06:18 am »

Is "all of Cornwall and half of Devon" an outlying branch line?

I think the suggestion was not that nothing would be done, but that it would be the kind of steady progression we are seeing at the moment with recurring problems (including Dawlish) addressed as the opportunity arises rather than an "OMG" war footing where there is a blitz of preparation.

As for Devon & Cornwall, at least it's getting some rail investment, but a long-term commitment to electrification by 2030 (when the Castles and Sprinters will be well and truly worn out) would not go amiss.   
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MVR S&T
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« Reply #101 on: December 05, 2019, 09:54:24 pm »

I think we really do have a problem
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-50516797, as even Jeremy Clarkson is now admiting the climate may be changing..

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