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Class 321's to be converted to hydrogen power

Class 321 NSE EMU Hydrogen Alstom



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#51 Edwin_m

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:14

I presume the intention is to have the hydrogen tanks in the roofs of some or all of the cars (which might result in a low ceiling like there is today under the pantograph) and fuel cells in those cars with electrical cables linking to the existing motors in the powered car.  There will probably be some batteries or supercapacitors somewhere as well, as fuel cells aren't too good at providing bursts of high power as needed by a train accelerating.  Those would probably be under the floor to keep the centre of gravity down, as there is no particular safety issue with putting them there and plenty of space avaialible. 


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#52 GoingUnderground

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:47

Is there any link between the use of 321's with
a highly explosive gas like hydrogen, and
the fact that these numbers are often followed
by the words, "Ignition, we have blast off".

Put a match near petrol and you'll have a similar effect, and very many of us drive around with 40-50 litres of the stuff within 10 feet of us in a closed metal can. Explosions are caused by the heat of combustion causing thermal expandion of the air in a closed space and/or the sudden release of large quantities of gaseous material. When the Hindenburg airship was destroyed there was no explosion, but it gave hydrogen a bad name that arguably it doesn't deserve.

Edited by GoingUnderground, 17 May 2018 - 07:51 .

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#53 The Stationmaster

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 15:51

Suggest you have a quick squint at the Alstom Coradia iLint spec to get an approximate answer to most of that, Mike.

 

True Mike but I don't think it's built to UK loading gauge unless I've missed something



#54 stewartingram

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 15:56

Best thing to do with a 321 is fill it full of hydrogen and throw in a lighted match. Dreadful things, I suffered them on my KGX commute enough. Good riddance.

 

Stewart


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#55 Mike Storey

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 19:58

True Mike but I don't think it's built to UK loading gauge unless I've missed something

 

That really only applies to your point no. 2 Mike. And Alstom seem to be claiming that the tanks will fit the UK loading gauge with their outline drawings for the 321.

 

The rest is relevant, I believe?



#56 The Stationmaster

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 14:19

That really only applies to your point no. 2 Mike. And Alstom seem to be claiming that the tanks will fit the UK loading gauge with their outline drawings for the 321.

 

The rest is relevant, I believe?

 

The one bit I still wonder about is impact damage.  While collisions are now a pretty rare event in the UK they d take place at level crossings and can involve quite destructive forces together with very rapid deceleration of a train so I do wonder to what extent that has been taken into account?


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#57 JDW

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 20:45

I would imagine all such factors have been taken into account.  We operate hydrogen fuelled buses, and they have many more safety features built in that a car where you can just open up a cap and voila, unrestricted access to a tank full of flammable liquid.  If impact sensors detect an impact over a certain speed then the gas is automatically vented to air within a second or two.  There are numerous safety cut-offs to isolate the tanks and fuel lines in the event of a more minor accident.  Overall the technology seems much safer than what we have at present, which we sometimes see as "safe" more through familiarity than anything.  Worrying whether a hydrogen tank might burst in an accident is about as useful as worrying whether a diesel tank might rupture, there's always the possibility of it happening but hydrogen gas will disperse very quickly upwards, diesel will leak slowly all over the scene of the crash.  


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#58 The Stationmaster

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 15:45

I would imagine all such factors have been taken into account.  We operate hydrogen fuelled buses, and they have many more safety features built in that a car where you can just open up a cap and voila, unrestricted access to a tank full of flammable liquid.  If impact sensors detect an impact over a certain speed then the gas is automatically vented to air within a second or two.  There are numerous safety cut-offs to isolate the tanks and fuel lines in the event of a more minor accident.  Overall the technology seems much safer than what we have at present, which we sometimes see as "safe" more through familiarity than anything.  Worrying whether a hydrogen tank might burst in an accident is about as useful as worrying whether a diesel tank might rupture, there's always the possibility of it happening but hydrogen gas will disperse very quickly upwards, diesel will leak slowly all over the scene of the crash.  

 

Having see it happen I wouldn't really  are to compare it with what can happen when  diesel tank (mounted below body level) is ruptured and catches fire because presumably a spark at the time of impact and tank rupture could just as easily ignite hydrogen as it did the diesel on that occasion.   Although I can understand, obviously, that the subsequent fire would be different in nature from a diesel fire.


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#59 cravensdmufan

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 16:19

It's a pity we don't have British Rail Research anymore. An organisation that provided a wealth of R&D to railways not just here but internationally.

 

Just the sort of project they would have undertaken and thoroughly tested - such as the remotely controlled Class 46 crash into the nuclear flask.   


Edited by cravensdmufan, 21 May 2018 - 18:12 .

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#60 JDW

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 19:08

Having see it happen I wouldn't really  are to compare it with what can happen when  diesel tank (mounted below body level) is ruptured and catches fire because presumably a spark at the time of impact and tank rupture could just as easily ignite hydrogen as it did the diesel on that occasion.   Although I can understand, obviously, that the subsequent fire would be different in nature from a diesel fire.

 

It's certainly true that if there were a direct hit to a tank, there could be a serious fire, and you're certainly right that the fire would be very different in nature.  But for a similar rupture to take place would be much more difficult as the tanks themselves are stronger, and as you say whereas diesel is located under the floor the hydrogen is stored in the roof.  This means not only that any flame would burn upwards away from those inside, but it must also be remembered that in most cases of a serious accident likely to cause a fire the gas would be vented to air before any fire takes hold.  This takes less than a couple of seconds on our buses, after which there is no danger.  With a diesel tank, if it  ruptures the contents can slowly leak out and become a hazard over a wide area, or be thrown along the bottom of the train.


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#61 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 19:31

They have a complete unit to production standards and letters of intent for a fleet of 60 (though that may depend on successful trials of the first one), so the Lint is a bit more than an experiment. 

 

http://www.alstom.co...-run-at-80-kmh/

 

 

 

That news article is over a year old and  reports on the prototype.

As Mike says, there are now some production standard trains running trials on the German rail network.

 

Its in the news again today....

 

https://www.engadget...-of-the-future/

 

 

 

 

.


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#62 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 19:47

The first passenger carrying service of the iLint took place in April, as part of the press launch.

Introduction into fare paying commercial service, is due to commence with the first few trains, this summer.

 

In mid-April, the premiere of the world's first fuel cell train took place: Alstom's Coradia iLint drove from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt-Höchst.

Special trip: Coradia iLint from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt

On April 13, 2018, the world's first special passenger run took place in the Coradia iLint.

Alstom's hydrogen train covered the 30-kilometer section from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt.

The new train is powered solely by a fuel cell that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity.

The virtually emission-free fuel cell train from Alstom reaches a speed of 140 km / h and reaches a full tank of about 1,000 kilometers.

The hydrogen is produced in an environmentally friendly way using wind turbines and thus supports the energy turnaround.

The necessary hydrogen filling station for the Coradia iLint is also being built by Infraserv GmbH near the Frankfurt-Höchst station.

Regular use of the hydrogen train from summer 2018

As early as the summer of 2018, the Coradia iLint will be used by Alstom in Lower Saxony in regular passenger service.

From 2022 onwards, first routes in Hesse could follow.

Currently, the vehicles are approved by the Federal Railway Authority (EBA).

 

This is also good news for residents along railway lines: the hydrogen train with fuel cell drive is significantly quieter than diesel vehicles.

 

The press launch.

The big German boss man stops talking at about 1:56 into the video.....

 


Edited by Ron Ron Ron, 25 May 2018 - 19:51 .

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#63 Suzie

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 21:37

With 321s having no end gangway it would surely make sense to put the tanks and fuel cell behind the cab in the driving trailer next to the power car - all self contained and out of the way with just a DC cable to the power car.



#64 jjb1970

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 09:40

I linked this article in a thread on ships but it may be of interest here, it's about ships but there is some crossover:

 

http://theconversati...heres-why-96306


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#65 Mike Storey

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:06

That news article is over a year old and  reports on the prototype.

As Mike says, there are now some production standard trains running trials on the German rail network.

 

Its in the news again today....

 

https://www.engadget...-of-the-future/

 

 

 

 

.

 

That's the best description I have read yet. Puts RT (not the Russian one) and the others to shame, a little bit.



#66 cravensdmufan

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:08

The first passenger carrying service of the iLint took place in April, as part of the press launch.

Introduction into fare paying commercial service, is due to commence with the first few trains, this summer.

 

 

 

 

The press launch.

The big German boss man stops talking at about 1:56 into the video.....

 

That looks some smart train alright.  Imagine, we could have those instead of Pacers.  Dream on......!



#67 Mike Storey

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 21:11

That looks some smart train alright.  Imagine, we could have those instead of Pacers.  Dream on......!

 

You wouldn't like them. All the schoolkids bundle into the comfy seats. You would have to sit with the wheelchairs and prams in the basement.


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