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Author Topic: UK government's Transport decarbonisation plan  (Read 5201 times)
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #75 on: July 20, 2021, 10:07:22 am »

The Sharpness & Gloucester canal was the world's widest and deepest canal when it was built in 1827.
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Waiting at Pilning for the midnight sleeper to Prague.
CyclingSid
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« Reply #76 on: July 23, 2021, 08:03:49 am »

Looking slightly wider than the railways. I see the government can carry on building roads despite decarbonisation plans:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57935608
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Many scientists say no new infrastructure should be built unless it is low-carbon.

I found more interesting "Standing Still" from the RAC Foundation https://www.racfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/standing-still-Nagler-June-2021.pdf.
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personal cars and light vans each year spent, on average, 96% of their time parked.
So for 4% of time on the road they make a lot of noise about LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhood) (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) and cycle lanes. But does come back to batteries and the charging of them.
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froome
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« Reply #77 on: July 23, 2021, 08:26:14 am »

Well, most inland waterways are narrow in important places - like locks. The wide bits, like rivers, don't go very far on one level.

Some narrower than others.

There are also some wider waterways such as the Aire and Calder Navigation and the Manchester Shop Canal.  The Thames in London might also be useful. 

Is that Manchester's answer to Oxford Street? The ship canal, of course, could still be carrying huge amounts of goods if we wanted it to (ie the economics allowed it), but these days it is also becoming a wonderful peaceful location for wildlfe, though a compromise between the two should be possible.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #78 on: July 24, 2021, 10:31:09 pm »

Note that those light green "ancillary electrification" lines are identified as requiring electrification, but given lower priority as no suitable method has been defined (yet).
In the case of Exeter to Plymouth/Penzance, it may well be that the sea wall section would make any scheme prohibitively expensive but the one that really seems to stand out is Worcester to Hereford.  Is there anything on this route which would make electrification difficult?
My understanding of "ancillary electrification" was not that "no suitable method has been defined" but that the business/financial case for electrification wasn't great but that nevertheless electrification was considered to be the best (or only) way of decarbonising such routes. If I'm correct on that, a route that is straightforward and relatively cheap to electrify could still be categorised as "ancillary electrification" simply because it doesn't see sufficient traffic to deliver a large enough financial return. I suspect some routes with infrequent services are earmarked for 'ancillary' electrification only because they carry freight traffic which cannot run on battery or hydrogen, and others (with infrequent services and no freight) simply because they would require a micro-fleet of battery or hydrogen units with no suitable depot facility nearby.

Ledbury tunnel might pose a significant challenge.  Colwall tunnel and Worcester Viaduct might also give some headaches.

Not familiar with those places, but they sound like candidates for limited battery power to traverse short sections of the line that cant be affordably electrified.
ALL new electric trains should IMHO (in my humble opinion) have either a battery or a small diesel engine for when the wires come down, and limited use of same should be considered for short sections that cant be electrified affordably.
I don't agree with the installation of a diesel engine for this purpose (as has been done on the class 801 units) unless this is massively lighter than the battery alternative because it adds alot more complexity/expense/moving-parts making maintainance more complicated (and requiring fuelling facilities on depots) - one of the benefits of electrification is of course supposed to be simplified train maintainance (reducing rolling stock costs).

I would however agree with the installation of batteries on new electric stock to provide 'hotel' power (HVAC, toilets etc.) for several hours in the event of a electrification system failure. I am less certain of the usefulness of batteries to actually move the train (except on the routes where the TDNS (Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy) does NOT recommend electrification) since, in the event of a power failure, there is likely to be an older train without traction batteries in the section ahead preventing movement anyway. Admittedly we would eventually get to a point where there are no such old trains, but even then a dewirement episode is likely to mean the train that has OHLE tangled in its pantograph is not going anywhere meaning any trains behind it are similarly stuck. I would therefore not want to increase the weight or cost of a train by installing more battery capacity than is necessary to provide 'hotel' power for several hours - however if the same quantity of batteries can (with minimal extra cost or complication) be used to move a short distance to the nearest station (at the cost of reducing the 'hotel' power from hours to minutes in the event that the batteries are used for traction) feel free to build that in.

The burning of any individual tree can not release more carbon dioxide than was absorbed by the tree when growing
That may be true, but remember that plants respire. The amount of CO2 absorbed while the tree was growing could well be less that the total amount of CO2 released over the lifetime of the tree (including the emissions from the tree being burt). Also, as you correctly pointed out later in your post, the idea that harvesting trees is carbon neutral ignores fuel used by chainsaws, vehicles, timber mills etc. Being really pedantic, I could also point out that my heavy breathing from swinging the axe around to split logs for the fires that help heat the house that I call home will have increased my CO2 emissions slightly!

If a new forest is established in an area not previously forested, then extra carbon is absorbed from the air by the new tree growth. After a few decades to a few centuries, the new forest will stop absorbing any new carbon. Trees will be harvested by man, or allowed to die and decompose naturally, and this will release carbon similar to that absorbed by the growing of the new trees.
Intuitively, this seems correct; a young tree (increasing its volume and therefore carbon stored relatively quickly) should to my mind absorb CO2 at a faster rate than a mature tree. However, to my surprise a few months ago I heard someone say (on a TV programme about climate change) that a study on the particular forest they were looking at found that the young forest was absorbing less CO2 (and possibly even emitting more than it absorbed) than an area of mature woodland. I mentioned this to my mother (who is growing a forest garden) who backed this up by saying that saplings of large trees are poor absorbers (and/or emmit more CO2 than they absorb) and only become benifical in reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the air once they are 10 years old or more. If true, it has implications for the idea that growing such trees for firewood and felling them at a relatively young age.

If trees are harvested not for fuel but for furniture manufacture or building, then the carbon is locked up, not forever but until the furniture or building is destroyed by fire, or decomposes naturally.
Wooden furniture lasts on average from 5 years to a hundred years, but when disposed of returns the carbon to the air.
Wood used for construction lasts on average from a hundred years up to several hundred years, and carbon in the construction timber returns to the air when the building burns down or is knocked down.

When wooden furniture or the timber parts of a building are no longer needed for the original purpose, they should be burnt as fuel when possible. This produces no more carbon than than burning on a bonfire or dumping in landfill. A home may be heated thereby, perhaps displacing oil, gas, or coal.
That seems to make alot of sense. If the wood is waste and is going to be burnt or decompose anyway you might as well use it to heat a house or generate electricity. The amount of waste wood available is probably not going be sufficient to make much of a difference, but I cannot think of any reason to object to the burning of genuinely waste wood as a fuel, except perhaps the emissions from transporting it somewhere to be burnt (rather than just leaving it where it is to decompose).
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Don't DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
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« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2021, 12:12:10 am »

Here's someone else at pains to say how really wasted their waste-as-feedstock is. It's also what Grant's other man Chris Heaton-Harris has been up to today. From DB» (Deutsche Bahn - German State Railway - about) cargo:
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DB Cargo UK (United Kingdom) and Maritime Intermodal conduct trials of HVO fuel

DB Cargo UK and Maritime Intermodal have announced they are to conduct trials of 100% renewable Hydro-Treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) on their rail freight services from the Port of Felixstowe to East Midlands Gateway this month.

Maritime is the first of DB Cargo UK’s intermodal customers to trial the use of the environmentally-friendly fuel on its services.

Throughout May, two Class 66 locomotives (66085 and 66077) will haul a total of 19 services back and forth between the port and Maritime’s new facility in the East Midlands.

HVO – Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil – is marketed as ‘one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels.’

It’s synthetically made through the hydro-treatment process from vegetable oils or animal fats which significantly reduces harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions when used in diesel vehicles and machinery. Supplied by Crown Oil, the HVO is responsibly sourced. It is derived from 100% waste products and no virgin products are used in its manufacture.

Then they came up with another PR (Public Relations) stunt contribution to decarbonisation, and repainted a further class 66 (66004) with the slogan "I am a climate hero":
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DB Cargo UK to invest £2.6 million in new automotive facilities at Toton

DB Cargo UK has today announced plans to invest £2.6 million in new facilities at its depot in Toton, Nottinghamshire, to facilitate the export and import of a new generation of Toyota cars.

The announcement was made during a visit to the site by Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris who was on a fact-finding mission to learn more about DB Cargo UK’s innovative use of hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel in its diesel locomotive fleet.

The investment will see the construction of a new vehicle storage compound and associated loading and unloading facilities on a disused section of the site adjacent to the existing paintshop and stores.

Subject to planning approval, new services will start in January 2022 with hybrid  Corollas manufactured at Toyota’s Derby plant being exported to France and the Czech Republic.

Toyota Aygo, Yaris and the new Yaris+ vehicles will be imported on the return leg, to ensure full utilisation of the new services.

Rail Minister Reveals 66004

There was also a note to editors: "DB Cargo UK currently operates 228 diesel and electric locomotives that transport in the region of 37 million tonnes of freight each year across the UK and into Europe. It uses approximately 45 million litres of red diesel a year."

« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 08:25:13 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged
ellendune
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« Reply #80 on: August 01, 2021, 07:19:47 pm »

Recent news reports suggest that competition for HGV drivers is pushing up wages and one report suggests that employers are having to significantly increase wages and are passing this on to their customers in increased prices. It seems they were very low (one advert copied onto twitter was stating £8.91 per hour which is not even about the real living wage. Its not just wages but terms and conditions will also have to improve, which is likely to impact on costs as well. 

Distribution costs include the costs of transport, the costs of warehousing and processing facilities such as packing plants taking into account economies of scale, and the costs of capital in stock in the distribution system.   

Current distribution networks are the result of a detailed analysis of these costs and selecting the optimum distribution network to minimise the overall distribution costs.  Changing distribution systems also has a one-off cost associated with it so there is unlikely to be a rush to make big changes until firms are sure that the changes in costs are going to be in the long term. 

However I expect that the major logistic companies will be starting to look at how they might rebalance their networks to reduce ongoing costs based on what they see as future scenarios.  If rail is to have a key part of this then there needs to be a clear rail freight policy from DfT» (Department for Transport - about) so that the logistics companies can make a reasonable assessment of the long term costs of using rail. 
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stuving
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« Reply #81 on: August 08, 2021, 07:51:13 pm »

I mentioned Innovate UK (United Kingdom)'s "UK TRANSPORT VISION 2050: investing in the future of mobility" on another thread, but it probably makes more sense for any comments on it to go here. The idea of this report is to concentrate on those areas where a bit of pushing is needed to get the necessary technical advances moving. So it should differ from the decarbonisation plan where that plan assumes something won't be possible soon enough, but it will make meeting the overall objective a lot easier (perhaps even possible) if is.
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TonyK
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« Reply #82 on: August 09, 2021, 09:08:05 am »

If trees are harvested not for fuel but for furniture manufacture or building, then the carbon is locked up, not forever but until the furniture or building is destroyed by fire, or decomposes naturally.
Wooden furniture lasts on average from 5 years to a hundred years, but when disposed of returns the carbon to the air.
Wood used for construction lasts on average from a hundred years up to several hundred years, and carbon in the construction timber returns to the air when the building burns down or is knocked down.

When wooden furniture or the timber parts of a building are no longer needed for the original purpose, they should be burnt as fuel when possible. This produces no more carbon than than burning on a bonfire or dumping in landfill. A home may be heated thereby, perhaps displacing oil, gas, or coal.

That seems to make a lot of sense. If the wood is waste and is going to be burnt or decompose anyway you might as well use it to heat a house or generate electricity. The amount of waste wood available is probably not going be sufficient to make much of a difference, but I cannot think of any reason to object to the burning of genuinely waste wood as a fuel, except perhaps the emissions from transporting it somewhere to be burnt (rather than just leaving it where it is to decompose).

This was the thinking behind the push to biomass in power stations instead of coal. As happens when wads of cash are waved, though, things turned out different. The total of wood produced by the UK (United Kingdom) in terms of cutting trees down amounts to about 2.5 million tonnes annually. Drax power station uses 8 million tonnes annually, cut down abroad, dried, processed into wood pellets, shipped from Canada, the USA or Europe, then burned, producing about 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the burning, plus a lot more in the production process. For this, Drax is paid nearly £1 bn annually. That doesn't make a lot of sense.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2021, 05:23:57 pm by TonyK » Logged

Now, please!
broadgage
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« Reply #83 on: August 09, 2021, 05:11:12 pm »

I agree that imported wood chips are not a sustainable or green energy source.
I see no harm in the burning of locally produced firewood, for domestic heating. UK (United Kingdom) timber production could be increased, but not sufficiently to fuel Drax or equivalent capacity.

My current firewood supply is small oak branches, from a tree taken down for building timber.
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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 (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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