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Why So Many Diesel Trains In The Uk?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by hasse#8149, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. shhweeet#4292

    shhweeet#4292 Well-Known Member

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    As a none train anorak but someone who has what could be termed a passing interest in trains am I the only one who thinks over the years despite decisions that favour penny pinching here in the UK we’ve done pretty well running a railway system in more modern times using a network and tracks that were designed for steam locomotives?

    As for HS2? Seriously! We are titchy UK. Modernising our existing routes with innovative ideas and clever rolling stock would be more than adequate for our relatively tiny land mass despite all the business and economic arguments HS2 supporters argue. It would also probably be cheaper and a lot kinder to the impact on the environment.
     
  2. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I doubt you're the only one, but bar a few pinch points much of the network has been updated and upgraded to make as much of the "victorian footprint" as can be done. I still think we should have had a rolling electrification budget decades ago which would have meant that any route with a substantial passenger system on it would have been done by now

    I think you miss the point of HS2. Run the fast trains down HS2, take ALL 125 running off the existing lines and bunch trains together a lot more (which you can do when you don't have to have huge areas of "clean space" in front of a 125 express)
    Then you can run four of five trains each way as stoppers and regionals where now you can only run two or three

    Think about all the pendolinos you remove running from Liverpool, Manchester, Crewe, Birmingham... That's a lot of line space you can fill with passenger trains that do more than "run through"
     
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  3. shhweeet#4292

    shhweeet#4292 Well-Known Member

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    You mention the pendolino. They are a fine example of what you can do with a railway line designed for a steam train and they are probably considered as old tech now? Perfectly adequate for relatively old fashioned and small UK though. Surely the technical brains can invent or design something with our existing railway network that would modernise things even further and have an impact like the Pendolino had? Whatever they came up with would probably be a lot cheaper and less environmentally disastrous than HS2. Again I come back to the size of the UK. We are not America or France in terms of land mass and the world is changing fast so that people will no longer have to travel as much in the future. HS2 despite your perfectly valid reasons still seems like a seriously expensive vanity indulgence to me.

    Edit… If they must relay new lines then surely it would be a good idea to re lay and totally modernise existing railway track former routes that were wrongly closed down by Beeching. Yes it would involve a lot of work and compulsory purchases etc but it would probably still be cheaper and less environmentally destructive than HS2 and might even in some case alleviate the pinch point problems you mention. Where there is a will there is a way is what I’m trying to say. HS2 just seems like taking the easiest and very expensive solution / way out to me.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  4. Geth_2234

    Geth_2234 Active Member

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    It goes way back into BR days and it's purely political and down to the amount of money governments put into our railways, places like Germany for example invest heavily into there railways but UK governments gradually reduced the amount of money they were putting into the railways which then led to the beeching cuts and then followed by privatisation of the operators with network rail (as we now know them now) remain publicly owned and financed and over the years money has never been put into our railways and they've never been modernised just patch repaired when they break so we just don't have the infrastructure to support electric trains which is purely down to government penny pinching and underfunding.

    In my opinion I think our railways do have so much more potential and I think they need a review and have a whole new system put in place and to properly fund the railways with a modernisation plan in place.
     
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  5. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Can you come up with a different way of taking all the intercity trains out of Euston away from the southern section of the WCML, or otherwise increasing capacity on the southern section of the WCML, without withdrawing the services? THAT is what HS2 is about - it's nothing about shaving journey times, that's just a side bonus.
    Bar the Great Central Main Line (which wouldn't be a viable alternative anyway), almost all the routes closed in the 1960s and 70s were small branch lines with low passenger numbers - none if them would help in this case.
     
  6. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    The pendolino hasn't had much impact, except to be able to run through a few corners at higher speeds than non-tilting trains can

    OK, look at the impact this would have. You'd have more branch lines going to a few sparsely populated areas or linking up larger areas but not aligning with where people actually travel the most. The most impact would be on freight being able to cut sideways

    With HS2 you can literally double the services on certain routes, so thats more regionals, more locals, more freight
    It will impact availability as far as West Wales. Can you say that by opening up some branch lines?

    And let's look at the environmental impact. Some woodland is being cut back, a few habitats moved (hopefully). What's the alternative? No development, freight still running up the M1, M6 etc, no more development in new rail infrastructure and no new woodlands, wetlands, managed habitats... HS2 is CREATING environmental benefits even as some other places are being cut back.
     
  7. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    The main problem is that between the space needed by a high-speed train such as a Pendolino and a slow-moving freight service travelling 30+ mph slower than everything on the line, we are running out of capacity on the WCML. With rail freight becoming ever more popular we need more capacity for freight trains. It does make sense to move the high-speed services to a dedicated line as they won't constantly have stoppers and freight trains in the way, and in doing so the amount of freight on the line can be significantly increased.

    Whatever happens, we need to make trains an attractive option for passengers, the more services there are, and the quicker they can get you from A to B then the more attractive option it becomes to passengers. We need to get cars and trucks off the road, and that needs significant investment in the railways to do. Separating high-speed services from the current North-South Mainlines makes sense. Is HS2 as it stands the best way to do that, I don't know. Could it be managed better? Definitely, though that is true of almost every major civil engineering project. that does not mean that the concept itself is flawed, however.
     
  8. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    The Pendolinos were a product of the West Coast Mainline upgrade, the absolute pinnacle of modernisation, phase 1 of which broke Railtrack and forced them into administration, phase 2 of which cost an extraordinary amount of money to achieve probably the absolute max that could be expected of the WCML and in the meantime caused years and years of disruption all for the glamour of getting to Birmingham 10 minutes faster in a carriage that smells of sewage with windows the size of a coaster. To give the WCML the capacity it needs to defeat the purpose of HS2 would likely require more homes along its crowded route being demolished, would probably mean large parts of it seeing rolling shutdowns for over 10 years, and whether you'd save more trees is debatable.

    I understand perfectly the critics of HS2, in many ways I agree, because it does feel like a punch in the gut that the UK govt can be so convinced to spend billions on high speed rail, but convincing them to fund local buses, a tram line, or give councils enough remuneration or tax-raising powers for subsidizing a decent public transport network is basically the political equivalent of asking for a monument to be created for Myra Hindley. Whether it is necessary or not, the political will only exists because it is a big shiny project, unlike providing a decent regular bus route at an affordable cost for a small town.

    But not building HS2 won't fix any other problems with UK transport, just add intercity rail to the big pile of other underinvested parts of the UK transport infrastructure.
     
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  9. alex Crazy

    alex Crazy New Member

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    electric locomotives are more environmentally friendly, but much worse for the driver
     
  10. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    ?
     
  11. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    The US is so large and lightly populated that a comprehensive high speed rail network would be hard to justify. Even at say 250mph going from coast to coast would take the best part of a day though a case could be made for North-South lines between population centres in the east and west.

    Britain may not have the same acreage as France but the distances between extremities of the country are about the same and England at least is more densely populated (which is also part of the problem- there's no way to build new lines without pissing somebody off). I've been worried about the environment since before it was fashionable and am not blind to the concerns around HS2's construction but the alternative is motorways or domestic airlines so I genuinely think that the big problem with HS2 is that it didn't open 20 years ago.
     
  12. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    I can talk for my country - Italy, we invented the tilting trains in parallel with the british (yes, the fact the Pendolino is just FIAT restyling the APT is not true, even if they bought some patents involved in this project).

    Tilting trains definitely have their place, but they can't replace a true HS network, not so much for speed but for capacity.

    If on X line you have a few trains that are faster than all the other (APT is a great example), you don't get to run efficiently. For example, one of the big problems of the APT in the WCML (AFAIK) was contending with traffic, any disruption from the timetable and APT was in trouble stuck behind a slower train and unable to overtake. This is even worse if you share the same tracks for stopping, express and freight services. One of the solutions to this problem is having the majority of traffic on the line being tilting trains, so all the traffic moves at relatively the same speed and no trains trip over each other if a delay or something happens, but then you hit a hard limit of the volume of traffic a line can handle, which some countries solved by having bigger trains or double deck coaches, but again, it's impossible in the UK due to the very restrictive loading gauge (small tunnels, very low viaducts, etc...), in fact the only double deck train running "in the UK" is the car transporter in the Eurotunnel.

    At the end I think Italy and UK are not too different in terms of population density and surface area (also considering HS lines are not in the whole country), and here HS has been proven to work, really well. Now the old express lines are home to ICs, freights, and second tier high distance trains offerings, with the slow lines being almost only used for commuter rails and some freight.

    Sometimes the main advantage of High Speed lines is a much higher capacity, not faster travel times.
    Imagine how many more trains could be able to use the WCML is you take all the Pendolinos away.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  13. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Quite, for me that is one of the biggest anguishes and not widely reported. Some buildings centuries old are being demolished. These are irreplaceable and part of our built heritage.

    We had a habit of doing this in the 60's and 70's, some of our most historic town and cities (some of the most historic in the world) are defaced by unsympathetic planning decisions (much of it supported by envelopes of used notes I shouldn't wonder), see the historic cities of Worcester and Gloucester as prime examples. Many of these "redevelopement's" are now much regretted.

    I suspect in 50 years time we may feel the same. Look at the M6 toll, cost billions to build, tore up the countryside and very few use it and the M6 is as gridlocked as ever!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
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  14. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have left out a hell of a lot of detail here
    From what I've read of it BR at that time was a government owned and run asset, and could not refuse to take any form of freight whatsoever, no matter what it's size or how it would be handled. They also had specified and published timetables and rates so everyone knew how much it would cost, and how long it would take to get from one place to another
    The haulage companies had no such restrictions. They could refuse carriage, set their own rates, and could run whenever the need was there.
    So the hauliers did what any good entrepreneur would do, undercut the railways, ran only what was profitable and left everything else to BR, which lost money

    Yes, there were also bad mistakes made such as building huge freight transfer yards when everyone was about to move to containers but to say "freedom of choice is always better" isn't quite right.

    Flying may be more convenient in some cases, but rarely is there an airport in a city centre so there's that to consider. Oh and the huge efficiency different energy wise might be a factor. But then I guess having a planet dying on you and seven billion other people is nothing compared to the convenience of doing what you want...
     
  15. diesel power

    diesel power New Member

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    How are they more enviromentally friendly when fossil fuels (even a 28%+ of global electricity is produced by coal which pollutes much more than diesel) are used by a big percentage to generate that electricity? despite powerplants being a little more efficient than the already efficient locomotive diesel engines, you have to carry that electricity to big distances (many many km of cables) with big energy losses. electric trains in my opinion have an advantage only in railways with frequent stops (dynamic braking that restores part of the electricity consumed in acceleration, to the grid) and urban railways (to reduce the pollution inside the city and transfer it away to the powerplant) or in areas fed mostly by renewable sources. I think that cleaner technologies in diesel engines and natural gas engined locomotives are better for the enviroment and the future ;).
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  16. formulabee#1362

    formulabee#1362 Well-Known Member

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    I really disagree with you on that matter. Yes, hydrogen and batteries are the future for lines such as the west highland line, but main lines need electrification.
    Why?
    Because on ac trains accelerate lots quicker, and are more environmentally friendly. As well as that trains are way more powerful on ac, they can haul a lot more and are quieter, more reliable.
    Note that electrification cuts carbons and high speed one is fully powered by renewable sources- n power even gave them a certificate!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  17. diesel power

    diesel power New Member

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    In some cases that railways are powered by renewable sources as i wrote before, this is correct and i agree with you :) . but in most cases when fossil fuels are used tecnhically speaking diesel locomotives (especially the new ones) pollute less than electric ones. Not to mention the optical pollution of ovehead wires. i have never seen an electric loco hauling a heavy train. Most modern diesel locomotives have ac traction as well and are very powerfull and have very good adhesion. main lines are better investing in cleaner nearly zero - emmision internal combustion technologies especially the freight lines (as most of the railways in USA do). it really depends on the case
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  18. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    The APT wasn't just a tilting train but a decades long research project into increasing train speeds looking into tilting of course but also suspension, power, braking, wheel profiles... anything to do with stable high speed rail travel. Then, when the construction of the Class 91s and Mk4 coach sets, which was a service APT in all but name, was put out to bidders (because Thatcherism) all that research was bundled up into the tender and sent to anyone who was interested. (And then GEC, who got the contract to make the 91s, subbed the work out to BREL anyway...)

    No doubt FIAT did their homework but the textbooks came from the APT project.
     
  19. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to downplay the APT, it just wasn't the main point of the post and I just used it as an example to show that a handful of faster (better) trains can't work under the conditions the APT was running (even after many of its problems were fixed in 1984), that's why I didn't talk in depth about it.

    APT and the First gen Pendolino are two very different trains, with almost the only common point being they both have active tilting. In many ways the APT was years ahead than Pendolino, but tech such as the Hydrokinetic brakes were not necessary here, Pendolino instead used Electro-Pneumatic brakes coupled with electromagnets that could have increased the effective weight of the train by ~16t (not eddy current brakes)

    Other differences included how the train sensed a curve, Pendolino using a combination of gyroscopes and accelerometers (here all curves have superelevation) coupled with an electro-mechanical system while APT only used accelerometers and a fully electronic control system (which was years ahead of its time).

    One of the other great innovation of APT was the use of Jacobs bogies, that Pendolino didn't use.

    If you actually go deep into Pendolino and APT you will find those two trains didn't have that much in common, yes FIAT used the APT patents, but those were only used for the second generation of Pendolino, the ETR450, ETR401 (perfectly functioning train, like APT-P) was rolled out in 1976, APT being in 1979.

    At the end Pendolino had fewer challenges to overcome, at the time the italian rail network was better, as it was much newer, most of it was rebuilt after WWII, so it could be simpler and just work, APT on the other hand was trying to innovate too many things at once, and that was a very though challenge, and became an impossibility given the political landscape at the time.

    Surely, APT helped FIAT to perfect the Pendolino project, but many know the story as simply Britain building the train and then selling it to italy, so that years later "Italian APT" got used on the WCML... but reality is not that simple. I would be lying telling that APT had no influence, but those two project were more isolated than what most of the public tends to believe.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  20. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Pollution released by power stations is the subject of continuous research into efficiency and technologies like carbon capture. Electric trains benefit immediately from any improvement at the power source without modification. Additionally the pollution at the point of use is effectively zero which is an important consideration when main lines run through cities that already suffer poor air quality. Anyway a quick search in Google yields sources stating that electric trains release a nett 25% less carbon than Diesel trains.

    I've never seen a kiwi but I know they exist. The most powerful locomotives in the world are electric.
     
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  21. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    The other advantage of trains connected to the power supply is that they can feed back into the grid, reclaiming energy which is otherwise lost as heat
    As KERS type tech becomes more commonplace, the efficiency overall increases, something which diesel can't do, because they are by definition detached
     
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  22. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    I can't find anything about it but seem to remember the original Pendolino had vehicle bodies mounted so they literally swung out on curves due to the centrifugal effect- hence the name. An elegantly simple idea that did work except that one could still sense the lateral movement to disorientating effect.

    But this could go off topic.

    You're dead right about that. Put simply having a fast train means that other trains have to either get out of its way or slow it down. The APT was often compared disparagingly to the TGV that rolled out around the same time blithely ignoring the fact that the important thing about TGV isn't the trains, which are powerful and fast of course but quite conventional (after a failed attempt to develop a tilting train!), but the entirely new network of lines built for them to run on exclusively. Effectively France buried all the problems APT aimed to alleviate under a mountain of money but that investment has paid off.
     
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  23. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, ETR401 had a fully active system, similar (or better than the APT's), it was not a passive system like the TALGO trainsets, quoting from the italian wiki page (I know it's not the best source): "the tilting is controlled by 4 hydraulic pistons operating at 150 bar mounted vertically, anchored to to the lower part of the boogie and to the frame of the coach, and had an auxiliary system using Nitrogen. At first the max tilting angle was 10° but was later reduced to 8°.

    We also had an experimental loco which was used to the the tilting system, which predates APT-E by two years, the Y0160

    Fiat_pendolino.jpg

    This again was a fully active system (like the APT-E) but worked in a different way (again using gyroscopes and accelerometers + electro mechanical system instead of only accelerometers and a fully electronic system)
     
  24. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably misremembering something else.
     
  25. Tom Fresco

    Tom Fresco Well-Known Member

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    Well, we're just investing that much because we spent way too little in the last two decades and tried to list our railway on the stock exchange. There are still places like in Bavaria where you feel like the Emperor is still in charge, with bridges and infrastructure from the early 1900s.
    Now we invest more in the railways but more than twice as much in the road network, and everyone wonders why the DB isnt that competitive anymore.
    And we even have our own version of HS2, S21, which is a fancy new Underground Station and HSL, but with a lower capacity than the old Terminus station for just over 10 billion :cool:
    You can see in Germany and the UK that privatisation is not the best choice when it gets to the development of railways.
    Its the same in Public Transport, healthcare etc... Either it has to make profit, or its beneficial for the people.
     
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  26. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    We have a state owned railway company in Britain- DB Schenker. Didn't say which state.
     
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  27. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    I think one consideration here is as follows. I had dialect with a senior procurement manager onboard with one of the key builders on this project.

    The time saved is negligible in the route however the alleged benefits to economy are greater.

    the project creates a lot of work for skilled and unskilled professionals. It’s routed to go near economically challenged areas. Local suppliers are engaged, the local suppliers are also targeted in job creation, circular economy and providing opportunities for offenders too for example.

    these factors are built into the main players on the projects supplier selection process. Hs2 isn’t so much about the trains but providing growth and opportunity. It links to housing too as there will be more land sold for housing near the railways which again feeds construction and suppliers.

    It was a very insightful chat.
     
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  28. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    IORE's in Sweden - one of of the most powerful locomotives in the world - IIRC they have slightly less HP then the Shuttle locos but are geared for torque at low speeds (1,400 kN (310,000 lbf) - They typically haul about 8600t of Ore at a time
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  29. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, Arizona (Unfortunately shut down in 2019)
    485009873ydhuu580931975133515.jpg
     
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  30. Geth_2234

    Geth_2234 Active Member

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    It looks like there trying to follow Germany but trying to find the cheapest way of doing so.

    That’s interesting to know I think we should be matching the amount we invest in roads if not reducing how much we invest in roads especially nowadays when we should be encouraging public transport use, I don’t think the privatisation and the franchising model has ever worked and has only got worse over the years.
     
  31. diesel power

    diesel power New Member

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    They benefit but you have to account for the losses to transfer the electricity to the loco. During tranfer of electricity even at high voltage you have to account for at least 15% energy losses and as a result more carbon and particles. Also internal combustion technology improves and the same research is carried out especially in improving thermal efficiency and also carbon capture.
     
  32. diesel power

    diesel power New Member

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    This is actually 2 locomotives coupled and sold like 1.so it is 700kN per unit starting tractive effort. and this is in short time boost mode. it is 600kN per unit in normal mode. EMD SD80 has over 800KN
     
  33. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    l do? I'm not the one arguing against the accepted consensus but OK...

    Even if the research doesn't take that transmission loss into account (which would be a glaring oversight) the 25% increase in efficiency still more than makes up for it- and, IIRC, it was a minimum figure.
     
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  34. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    About tractive effort you might have a point, the prime mover could be heavier than the electrical equipment in an electric loco, and more weight helps getting higher tractive effort, but in terms of power many electric locos are already more powerful than many US diesels such as the SD80ACe

    1280px-FS_E.652.132_Locomotive.jpg
    Even this cute little loco here is 1MW more powerful than an SD80ACe (5100kW vs 4000kW), given the number of driving wheels is the same the difference is mainly in the weight 106.000 kg vs 196.000 kg (the SD80ACe is almost twice as heavy!)

    Usually in Europe tractive effort is not as important as in the US because European freight is usually lighter, but given the fact freight shares the same tracks as passengers on usually higher speed lines (100/120 km/h) higher power (and acceleration) is more favorable, that's why usually european electrics don't have as much tractive effort, generally it's not needed.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  35. kenobi#1878

    kenobi#1878 Active Member

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    The most powerful non euro tunnel loco in the UK is the Duel voltage ( 25kv ac overhead HS1 and other, 750v DC (not sure if they use this now tho)) class 92
     
  36. diesel power

    diesel power New Member

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    With the ''you'' i was reffering to anyone doing research not specifically you. sorry it was not clear. What i meant to say was that you have more losses (15%+)across the power grid than from the transmission of an efficient diesel electric loco. a modern diesel is close to the eficiency of a power plant so you have a 8-10% less fuel consuption and pollution than with the electric locomotive. We have to remember that coal accounts for 36 % in global electricity production and the efficiency of modern coal powerplants is about 38% and coal emmits much more pollutants than diesel. The efficiency of modern nearly zero emmisions diesels is about 46-48% really close to the efficiency of natural gas engines of 49%. Converted diesel engines to dual fuel engines or replaced with natural gas engines further reduces the emmisions. For an electric train to be more envirromentally friendly it needs to be powered by renewable energy by at least 45%. Or be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
    In the end it comes down to how the electricity is produced
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  37. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    [GRAPHS AND MATHS ALERT]

    Since how the electricity is being produced is becoming prominent in this thread, I've done a journalism and found a government report from last year: https://assets.publishing.service.g..._data/file/904503/UK_Energy_in_Brief_2020.pdf

    upload_2021-5-22_12-19-3.png
    This graph is from page 28. From it, I've worked out 329TWh (Terrawatt-hours) of electricity was produced in 2019. Coal accounted for 6.5TWh (2%). This graph on page 32 shows about 36% of the UK's electricity production came from renewable sources:
    upload_2021-5-22_12-28-2.png

    and for completeness, the entire country consumed 8 million tonnes of coal, down from over 50 million just 10 years ago:
    upload_2021-5-22_12-40-47.png

    This report from the ORR states the railways used, in total, 4.051 TWh (I converted it to TWh to keep it consistent), almost all of which was from passenger trains: https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/media/1550/rail-emissions-2018-19.pdf

    So while it is entirely possible that all electric trains were powered entirely by coal (I doubt it though as coal power plants are only really a reserve nowadays), they could easily have been powered entirely by anything else - I think it'll really depend on where the train actually is.

    Something else I should add, is the comparison between road diesel consumption and rail diesel consumption, however the two reports use completely different units and I'm unsure how to convert one to the other.
     
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  38. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    I believe NR have a bulk purchase deal with EDF for Nuclear - so while the lineside feeder stations will take whatever is in the local grid mix, it's backed up by the equivalent in Nuclear.

    I think there is only one working coal plant left in the UK now - Drax - others have closed as their operators have decided it's not worth retrofitting emission controlling filters to comply with pollution controls. IIRC Drax being the last coal plant built had better filtration from new, so it was easier for them to adapt. They've also started co-firing biomass too.
     
  39. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    It was perfectly clear- I was being a little facetious. Your point was clear too but apologies if mine wasn't. I'll try an example. A certain journey covered by a Diesel powered train results in the emission of 100KG of carbon. Using the figures I mentioned the same journey under electric power results in the emission of 75KG of carbon. Even if one had to allow another 15% because the people who did that research were inept 15% of 75 is 11.25 for a total of 86.25KG carbon emission- still a 13.75% improvement.
     
  40. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    I guess it doesn't help the US when the previous administration was trying to pass rules requiring states to invest in coal power instead of greener alternatives, so it may be that the US supply is dirtier than say UK or France.

    One advantage of electricity is you can move to alternative generation methods over time, whereas the diesel engine is going to always be diesel.
     
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  41. shhweeet#4292

    shhweeet#4292 Well-Known Member

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    Diesel engines have come a long way with regards to emissions, in the car and truck industry they have anyway. They are still inventing ways to make them even cleaner. Diesel engines are now extremely clean and getting even better No doubt diesel trains will benefit and are benefiting from the same technological improvements but the powers have decided diesel is a dirty word and are displaying a typical knee jerk reaction by making electric the automatic supposedly clean choice.

    I’ve enjoyed reading the replies to the HS2 issue but I still believe there is life in the old rail network yet if only there was the desire to improve it. HS2 just seems to me to be a typical and very expensive! in these times of economic hardship knee jerk reaction and easy way out to the rail congestion problem. They can put people on the moon but can’t invent a way or method to improve what we already have? Ripping up large swathes of the UKs Virgin green and pleasant isn’t on either tbh. I agree the UK are often slow to change but what made us great is our ability to improve and make do with what we had in order to save money where possible and we are still here and not exactly 3rd world with our economy. It’s a shame that philosophy is changing/has changed. :(

    Just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
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  42. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    We tried the improving what we have with the WCML upgrade - It went well over budget, caused a lot of disruption to passengers during construction and fell short because it turns out there is only so much you can do with old infrastructure. Making do and continuously patching is a big issue because the maintenance bill rapidly balloons.

    You could add extra tracks to the existing lines, but you have the problem that these also run through woodlands (the focus of a lot of the protesters) as well as urban areas that have built up around the railway since it was built. So you'd end up spending more money than HS2. Plus you'd have disruption for passengers if any of the work needs to effect the existing railway.

    The actual track through rural areas isn't that expensive - the biggest cost is the new stations at Euston, Old Oak Common and Birmingham (x2) and if the full network is built Toton, Manchester Airport, Manchester and Leeds. The urban stations especially.
     
  43. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Erm... doesn't that kind of miss out a lot of the human suffering and abuse that the UK did to "get great"?

    They have and they haven't. We've put things in the way to filter out many of the nastier nasties but there are still fine particulates and a lot of toxic gasses that make diesels in a confined atmosphere like a city a bad idea. Out on the long drags, fine, but they don't stay "out"

    In these times of economic hardship this project is making jobs over about 200 miles of the country
    And High Speed rail is hardly a knee jerk reaction, given it was first costed over ten years ago... The current economic issues have only sped it up rather than made it happen.
     
  44. shhweeet#4292

    shhweeet#4292 Well-Known Member

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    Point 1/ Are we to be forever vilified for things we may have done or haven’t done in our past? Erm I don’t think so! The world isn’t some kind of utopia / perfect place either. It never was and never will be. As for all this human sufferIng the woke brigade like to throw up at the UK well we also did a lot of good by giving people employment amongst other things. Ok it might not always be 100% fair but what is? I make no apologies for things the UK did or didn’t do to get ahead and survive in much different earlier times.

    Point 2/ Diesels everyday are becoming cleaner with every new push of technology that is a fact. Sadly the drive to improve diesel might now slow down now the clueless PC brigade decision makers have decided diesel can not possibly be made to be totally safe.( It can be ) Electric isn’t the answer either unless your going to make your national grid supply nuclear sourced with all the problems that brings. Relying on power sources like wind power etc is unrealistic pie in the sky. If your really bothered about air quality in cities then quite simply ban cars from them period! There are many more cleaner ways to negotiate a city centre but you might lose votes from all the people who must jump into their cars for a quick trip down the road for a pint of milk or whatever. .

    Point 3/ So improving our existing rail network won’t bring jobs in many different employment sectors will it not? I’m pretty sure it would. HS2 is a typical and seriously expensive knee jerk quick reaction to a problem rather than sit down and think of ways to improve what we already have by putting the effort in. Also will it actually be needed in say a decades or twos time when everyone starts working from home or more locally because of online capabilities, something we are already seeing accelerated by the pandemic. So! We tear up acres of green belt land in order to quick fix something and to massage the egos of those who’s vanity project HS2 is. Wonderful!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  45. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    Ok how would you improve what we have? - the WCML upgrade showed that on line upgrades are difficult, disruptive and expensive. So why not build the extra tracks on a new alignment - if you are building a new alignment to modern standards then the marginal cost of going for High Speed over Low speed is much lower. Especially when you'd still need expensive station expansions to put those extra tracks into.
     
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  46. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    - No, but I do try not to gloss over it completely when asking "what makes / made britain great

    - cool. So no more youtube videos showing claggy diesels or firy start ups... I think you're missing a lot of the point. The next generation of diesels will be more efficient and cleaner than the last, but if they put a new power station on the grid it cleans up 200 electric trains at once. If they work out better ways of generating power from solar, heat regen etc that cleans up all of them at once also. We have to wait for diesels to overhaul or life expire.

    How will keeping 125/110/100/60 MPH trains all running on the same lines in Milton Keynes improve rail traffic in Aberystwyth?
    How will ensuring that out system is still based on Victorian systems help people in Gloucester?
    It won't. There is proven evidence that HS2 will help almost all rail traffic within 100 miles of the line.

    There's no evidence that the current situation will remain, so I would wait to see how things look in 2030 before saying loads of people will work from home. Certainly from what I've seen of my 75 mile commute I would say the roads around London are getting back to normal (ie pre-COVID)

    So what's your suggestion? How do we improve rail travel over 200 miles length and 100 miles width in the UK?
     
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  47. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    Long Distance is about 50% Leisure 50% business - will there be fewer long haul daily commuters, probably. But there will still be a lot of people traveling for work and leisure, not everything can be replaced by Zoom. I've seen many suggest Zoom should replace VFR travel (Visiting Friends and Relatives) as apparently that's a realistic substitute - only really if you don't want to see your family in person. For everyone else it absolutely is not a replacement.
     
  48. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and Zoom is hardly going to replace a weekend in the Lakes, too.
     
  49. shhweeet#4292

    shhweeet#4292 Well-Known Member

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    @A Ruscoe.

    Who’s glossing over anything.? The point was the UK has succeeded over the years by making do and improving what we already have. If you want to bring ethics into it then thats for an entirely different debate. Constantly throwing up negativity from our history is a cheap way of trying to deny that we have been very successful over many years looking for cheaper solutions to things.

    How to improve our railways? I’m not that clever but I’m pretty sure there are brains out there that certainly are. Are you saying there isn’t?

    There’s plenty evidence our working practices are changing just like our city centres will no longer be the same places a few years down the line. You just have to be prepared to open your eyes and see the changes coming. Or! You can deny it happening at all. Your call.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  50. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    OK then, how is the UK "successful"?
    We have very little industry, no political power (even in Europe now) and the only claim to fame wee do have is what we used to have (which was based on what you glossed over)...

    Given I haven't heard a better suggestion than mass transit of people and freight other than "stay at home and work from your computer". I would say no

    City centres have been dying for decades, and the change has been Amazon and home delivery (but that's mainly because they pay 1% tax in this country, but successive governments are far to afraid of the US to do anything about it)
    Working practices? We shall see, but I doubt much will actually change over time on that one, managers just find it difficult to rate productivity other than people sitting at their desks (even if that's not exactly productive) and I've already seen evidence of companies pressuring people back into office spaces
    Deny it happening? I'm not, but you miss out that rail freight is growing, demand for trains WILL bounce back and given it can take a decade to make a big change, starting it now isn't a bad idea (even if you think some trees not being replaced will save some badgers)
     
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