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Author Topic: Network Rail decarbonisation policy  (Read 763 times)
bradshaw
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« on: September 10, 2020, 02:55:51 pm »

This is due soon and Phil Haigh has put on Twitter the map produced by Network Rail showing its proposals for the National Network.

https://twitter.com/philatrail/status/1304041945170210817?s=21

Edit 14.57 Report now available Online

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Traction-Decarbonisation-Network-Strategy-Interim-Programme-Business-Case.pdf
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 05:11:00 pm »

A very long and interesting read.   I have ordered some midnight oil.    Figure 14, and I have skewed the colours to help differntiate core and ancillary electrification.





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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 05:18:03 pm »

Diagram on P199 and subsequent table clarifies...
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 05:46:56 pm »

Any timescales? I'm particularly interested in Wales & Borders routes, great to see most of the nation in green but how long are we expected to wait for, say, Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury* electrification?

* I know this isn't in Wales, but it's a fairly important route for the Wales & Borders franchise.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 09:33:48 pm »

Having skimmed through this two things stand out-

1  - The pictogram on page 74 - anything other than "proper" electrification is second best/a poor alternative
2  - Third rail may not be dead yet - see pages 228-230.

And a new campaign slogan - "Pathway 4 now!"
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2020, 08:15:05 pm »

I  have posted on Facebook as follows and kicked a can of worms. https://www.facebook.com/graham.ellis.5055/posts/10158615006212094

Quote
Electrification of the railway through Melksham?  The suggestion made a decade ago would have been laughed out of court, but now Network Rail (the folks who would have been doing the laughing) are proposing it as part of their plans for a zero carbon railway by 2050.  Their "Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy suggests core routes to be electrified first, ancillary routes which logically follow on, and a finally other routes running in Hydrogen or batteries.  Melksham comes in the first group - a core route with electrification following on from the Great Western Electrification which has nearly reached Chippenham to Bristol, Taunton and Exeter, from Newbury via Westbury to Taunton, and from Westbury to both Bath and Chippenham.

Network Rail explain:

PASSENGERS: As well as a regional commuter service this route also acts as a diversionary route for long-distance high-speed Great Western Railway services between London and the South West and Bristol.  The West of England Combined Authority is developing the Metrowest proposals which will entail significant service enhancements for Greater Bristol, including Bristol-Bath-Westbury services which could exploit the future electrification of this route. Enhancements to the regional service are also proposed.

FREIGHT: Aggregate traffic from the quarries can utilise this route to gain access to the Great Western mainline. These trains are some of the heaviest on the network. This route can also act as a diversionary route for freight traffic from Southampton destined for the West Midlands.

A long term project - not next year or probably even this decade - but certainly not beyond the bounds of probability, and even before the main line on from Exeter to Paignton, Plymouth and Penzance.  It would bring faster journey times, cleaner and less noisy services too. And it would be a logical encouragement towards more trains too.  With the Southampton line electrified too (in the core route group), expect to see Melksham served by a regional electric train from the Solent area, via Salisbury and Trowbridge and onwards to Swindon, Oxford, and perhaps Milton Keynes and Bedford.

You may tell me I am dreaming.  But then you told me that I was dreaming when I asked for an all day, every day service a decade ago. And we have that now.  The difference is that last time everyone thought I had a crazy idea, but this time they're the ones coming up with the idea.   See pages 199 and 200 of Network Rail's report at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Traction-Decarbonisation-Network-Strategy-Interim-Programme-Business-Case.pdf , discussion at http://www.passenger.chat/24005 .

In answer ...

* It is part of an ongoing / rolling program and not instead of extending from Chippenham to Bath and Bristol

* The railways need to think well ahead ... road investment is worked out over 60 years - even longer - and what's done and planned today needs to last into the latter half of this century to make economic sense

* This planning is not being done in place of shorter term stuff.   Things are parallel not serial.

* Who told you Melksham is sleepy? 


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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2020, 10:23:22 pm »

With thanks to bradshaw for drawing this to my attention, I have posted on the FoSBR website too. My take is that we now need to persuade WECA to convince the powers that be that the Bristol area is 'low-hanging fruit'...

https://fosbr.org.uk/decarbonisation/
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TonyK
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 12:10:06 am »

A very long and interesting read.   I have ordered some midnight oil.   

I ordered some midnight hydrogen instead, which should be with me by 2060. So I used oil instead.

It is very interesting, and probably the first solid indication of the move from diesel. I remain a little sceptical about battery and hydrogen being added to the mix of technologies, but having read this, I can see the reasoning behind the choice on each route.

25 kV OHLE will be the base, and I would imagine that the major routes with electric at both ends would be the priority. This would mean finishing the job between Thingley Junction and Bristol, and Temple Mead to not only Parkway, but to Birmingham. That would knock other schemes down the order, and Severn Beach would have to wait, despite being, as RS points out, the low hanging fruit.

Then I got to page 242, where the recognition of the potential for a government change of mind gets a mention. It is shown as only a medium risk, which I think is a little charitable.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 12:00:34 pm by TonyK » Logged

Now, please!
bradshaw
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2020, 08:31:25 am »

Longer term it might make sense to do Southampton to Reading via Salisbury for the freight traffic at 25kv, then to Salisbury and infill Romsey to Bathampton also at 25kv.

Longer term might be Salisbury to Exeter at 25kv, determined by use as diversion route. If so, it would seem sensible to add Yeovil Jn to Castle Cary for the same reason.

However see attached image from this month?s Railway Magazine!
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2020, 09:16:10 am »

Although this is a very large document that has been published; it actually only represents a proportion of the feasibility work going on.

One of the challenges is to ensure that the move to renewable / sustainable has an equal or better "green footprint" in terms of its whole life compared to the current hydrocarbon based systems.

The rare earth metals for example used in batteries the impact that has on the extracting and processing and ultimate recycle / disposal.  The whole life environmental cost of GWEP is been studied for example.  All these issues need some understanding in comparison to current technology; or we may leave future generations with the Nuclear Power Station decommissioning type problems ie great while it working but now how do we get rid of it!

I am a great advocate of electrification over fossil fuel powered traction, always have been in my 40 + year railway career, i believe traction units should have an onboard energy source to a) infill where there is no electrification, b) when the electrification is deenergised, c) depot movements.  This can be achieved by on train batteries utilising energy capture from re-gen braking, this would also act as a pump - storage system for station starts etc
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2020, 12:05:10 pm »


...

25 kV OHLE will be the base, and I would imagine that the major routes with electric at both ends would be the priority. This would mean finishing the job between Thingley Junction and Bristol, and Temple Mead to not only Parkway, but to Birmingham. That would knock other schemes down the order, and Severn Beach would have to wait, despite being, as RS points out, the low hanging fruit.


To be clear, it's the unfinished bit from Chippenham - Temple Meads - Parkway that I was referring to as low-hanging fruit. I can see that including the Birmingham route would make sense.

I understand the ambivalence about the Severn Beach line, though given that the report errs towards 25kV rather than battery it might make sense to cover the Severnside lines (and possibly Portishead?) as part of the same project. Presumably that would work out cheaper than making passive provision and then coming back years later. A push from WECA might help.


...

The rare earth metals for example used in batteries the impact that has on the extracting and processing and ultimate recycle / disposal.  The whole life environmental cost of GWEP is been studied for example.  All these issues need some understanding in comparison to current technology; or we may leave future generations with the Nuclear Power Station decommissioning type problems ie great while it working but now how do we get rid of it!


Li-ion batteries are recyclable, but a lot of work needs to be done to make this normal and avoid them ending up in landfill. We have to hope that as the automotive sector ramps up its use of these batteries, the economics of recycling will improve.
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ellendune
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2020, 12:48:38 pm »

I am aware that there is ongoing development on an Aluminium Ion battery as am alternative to the Lithium Ion battery which IIUI still needs Manganese and some Lithium. 

In my opinion the increased demand for batteries and the resource shortage is likely to spur development of those and other alternatives to the Lithium-Ion battery.  However as in all these things success is not guaranteed. 
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eightonedee
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2020, 10:22:43 pm »

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However see attached image from this month?s Railway Magazine!

I think only Melksham has been achieved - we need more Grahames!

I also see that Railway Magazine's sub editor is more familiar with the works of Noel Coward than the towns of the Northumberland coast........
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2020, 03:35:34 pm »

Am I imagining that I remember NR announcing a year or so back a long-term plan to end all diesel operation by 2040? Or it could have been 2050.
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ellendune
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 08:44:14 pm »

Quote
However see attached image from this month?s Railway Magazine!

I think only Melksham has been achieved - we need more Grahames!

I also see that Railway Magazine's sub editor is more familiar with the works of Noel Coward than the towns of the Northumberland coast........

But I though Melksham Station reopened in 1985.  That article was in 2000 before the services were cut in 2006?
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