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Author Topic: "Greening heritage lines"  (Read 1550 times)
broadgage
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« on: May 20, 2019, 03:41:55 pm »

Elsewhere on these fora we have discussed the growing concerns about climate change and the relevance to main line railways.

But what about heritage lines ?

Here are a few suggestions regarding motive power.

Steam locos burn a fair bit of coal simply when raising steam and warming up, before a train can be hauled. Consider fitting electric immersion heaters to the boiler to assist in warming up. The intention is not to actually raise significant steam pressure, but to gently warm the boiler by means of off peak electricity in the early morning. Steam may raised rapidly and with less coal if starting with boiler already full of hot water.
IIRC this has already been done by a narrow gauge line but not on a full size steamer.

Heritage diesels could be usefully fitted with a mains input to assist starting. This could fully charge the starter batteries, and also preheat the oil and the coolant.
Quick and reliable starting, longer life from the expensive starter batteries, and less wear and tear.
A mains power supply able to produce say 100 amps at 100 volts would greatly reduce the load on the battery and might permit of another season or two seasons use from marginal batteries.

For works trains and shunting, consider a battery locomotive.

If out of season commuter trains are to be run, consider a battery train.

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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.
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 06:54:43 pm »

I agree with the greener heritage lines and operations where that's practical. 

A discussion recently, "heritage" v "preservation" and the operational lines, realistically are not preservation, except perhaps preservation of the right of way - all track will need replacing in time, as will all the other elements.  Trigger's Broom at best, nearest equivalent at worst to conform to modern safety standards. And, yes, those changes should be clean as well as safe and efficient.

However, heritage lines only make up - say - 10% of the UK mileage (that's a hideous guess) and even making them zero carbon would only make a limited difference.   And I'll admit to worrying about the ability for them all to carry on as set up for many decades ahead; sadly, we might see mileage reduced (no, I am not going to speculate where). Lines that were steam have been moving towards diesel - still not carbon neutral but more efficient that burning coal or oil to boil water.

What we are missing (!) is a heritage electric line ....what's going to be the first?
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 07:32:34 pm »

My vote for the first line would be The Bluebell , checks to see whether Lee Has returned with my Tin Hat, don't think it will happen any time soon though.
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MVR S&T, was justdarkbeer
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 08:03:51 pm »

Electrifacation of the Bluebell, of course refers to the Ardingly line, not from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park.
Though a link to Lewes could be of more national significance in the 22nd century perhaps.
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Lee
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 08:06:21 pm »

My vote for the first line would be The Bluebell , checks to see whether Lee Has returned with my Tin Hat, don't think it will happen any time soon though.

Still need the tin hat - I've been chased by angry Bedwyn line IET commuters all the way from Newbury, and I'm just heading towards Hungerford now. I didnt stop at Kintbury, but that only seemed to make things worse...

On a serious note, I was also thinking Bluebell, but not the current line - Rather, as with MVR S&T's post, the planned future extension from Horsted Keynes to Ardingly (trackbed already owned or leased by the Bluebell Railway) and beyond from Ardingly to Haywards Heath (currently in use for freight).

Before passenger service withdrawal in 1963, the Haywards Heath-Horsted Keynes line had been electrified in the 1930s, and reopening as an electrified heritage line has not been ruled out. More info in the links below:

https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/extend.html

http://www.rail.co.uk/rail-news/2015/bluebell-railway-planning-to-head-west/
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Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 08:21:41 pm »

As was I ,should have made it clear in my earlier post , oh and Lee hang on to the Hat I've got a spare one in the shed 😎
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2019, 07:27:40 am »

Land Rover used to do a "glow plug" for their old diesel engines. Plug into the mains overnight for easy starting in cold weather.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 08:55:01 am »

Land Rover used to do a "glow plug" for their old diesel engines. Plug into the mains overnight for easy starting in cold weather.
[/quote

It's not quite a glow plug ,it was in fact an cooling system heater element to maintain temperature in The engines block ,versions of which are to be found in many Fire engines today.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 01:20:37 pm »

We have an electric train on our railway but there's a bit of a gap in the third rail - about 40 miles, I reckon  Cheesy
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