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Everything posted by phil-b259

  1. Why would anyone feel the need to make a political statement about the type of sh1t we use as fertiliser? Despite the efforts of vegan worriers the UK is not going to stop consuming beef or cow derived dairy products - and nor have scientists advocated such an impossible measure, a simple reduction in consumption per week is all that has been called for. As such animal sh1t is still going to be available - it might just need a bit of human waste to boost volumes. In any case what else are we going to use human sh1t for? Yes it can be dried and burnt for electricity (which produces CO2) or simply buried in landfill (in which case wild plants get the benefit) but neither option is entirely satisfactory for the environment.
  2. Technically there is no reason why human sh1t can't replace it*. *You just need to make sure its properly treated - in North Korea it isn't and apparently thats why lots of people have tapeworms over there.
  3. Burps or farts - it doesn't really matter! Science tells us we should be eating less meat and more fruit / veg instead - which is fine enough but it would be a lot easier if your broccoli tasted of Bacon or cauliflower tasted of Beef....
  4. The solution is simple - you PAY for the site yourself by becoming a Gold member. Advertisers create adverts to make people pay attention to the featured products and are not going to stump up cash if people install technology that prevent the adds from being seen. The more people that have add blocking software (even if its just the built into the browser variety) the more inventive / disruptive advertising has to be to generate the same level of funds - funds which are essential to pay for the server costs etc. Thats presumably why RMweb does it - and its by far from the only hobbyist / forum site that does it (or worse) For example, have a look at the National Preservation web forum and you will find it not only has adds you have to close to see the site but it also frequently has the site embedded within an advertising background that is incredibly distracting. Many newspaper websites have gone further and require you to actually click on said adds or fill out some survey before you can see the content.
  5. Electrification happened in 1936 as part of the Portsmouth via Haslemere scheme so loco haulage has not been needed for a very long time with respect to ordinary passenger trains. Once electrified, steam (and later diesels) were restricted to freight duties or the occasional main line diversion via Alresford till that shut in the early 1970s. Motive power for passenger services from 1936 was the Southern railway 2BIL units. In the late 1960s these gave way to the 4VEP units which in turn were replaced by the Class 450 Desiro units after privatisation. Diesels would have been rare - but basically just 33s or 73s.
  6. None of which are 'portable' enough to fit into a steam locomotive. Batteries or a static steam supply might be fine for short operations but they won't cut it for long duration operations / heavy trains. Hydrogen can give the same sustained power as an oil / gas based solution but only produces oxygen and water so is the solution of choice for situations where electrification is not deemed viable. As for more preserved electric locos / EMUs - that will need to overcome the hostility from the safety lobby who dislike 'amateurs' using stuff above 110V.
  7. You need to remember that there will still be the need for a portable fuel source in future - thats why so much is being invested in Hydrogen research because its going to be the only thing which can produce enough grunt where the fixed costs of an electrification system are deemed unviable. Ultimately I can see locos being converted to run on Hydrogen with a gas tank installed in the coal space just like used to be done with oil fired locos. However as things stand heritage operations produce miniscule amounts of CO2 pollution compared to the millions of gas powered central heating systems etc. As such the biggest 'threat' to steam is not actually laws / legislation, its simply the ability to purchase coal (or in time oil) at an affordable price.
  8. True - but if the world takes action on climate change there will be a big reduction in the use of fossil fuels for transport and heating purposes. That reduction will offset to a degree the increase in oil based products like various plastics - another good reason to embrace the various initiatives designed to slow climate change.
  9. Quite. Its in the interests of oil companies to talk up 'the end of oil' as not only does it create the impression that oil is a finite resource which can command a high price but it also puts the pressure on Governments to allow exploration activities in environmentally sensitive areas so as to extend the 'deadline' as it were when supplies will supposedly be exhausted.
  10. The Hydro electric schemes in Wales are actually not there primarily as a power supply! They exist as (1) a fresh water supply for the Wirral / Liverpool and (2) As grid balancing devices which can quickly input large amounts of power to the grid when everyone switches on their kettles after a TV show has finished and the demand suddenly goes up plus consume excess power by pumping water uphill again ready for the next time there is a sudden demand for power.
  11. Thats got far more to do with the the UK governments actions like banning the installation of new gas boilers and the move away from Gas fired power stations than anything else. If you are a private company why preside over the decline of a part of your business - one which has losts of fixed costs and safety liabilities to boot! Far better to flog it off while the going is good and save your shareholders from having to deal with 'managed decline' of the business
  12. Thats scaremongering - there is actually plenty of oil left for way more that 53 years! What is true is that its going to be harder and more costly to extract it once the 'easy' fields are exhausted (and quite obviously that has implications for BPs shareholders / long term profitability). However given the need for plastics as wire insulation etc that is going to have to be done at some point once easy sources are used up. The other thing to remember is that efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are likely to see far less oil being used for vehicle propulsion - thereby meaning what we extract will go further so that 53 years is unlikely to be accurate.
  13. Well if its a clear day them I believe this is visible from the coast https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampion_Wind_Farm You can do trips out from Brighton marina to see it up close if you want.
  14. I look forward to your analysis - however this thread is about the Beaching report and ITS legacy, which in Freight terms was actually a positive move rather than a negative one seeking to re-position the railway freight sector to play to its strengths and take advantage of the container based freight revolution. What subsequent Governments / British Rail have done after that with respect to Railfreight (which saw the closure of the many domestically oriented container terminals say) is a whole different topic.
  15. What rot! What prevents the 'reinstatement of freight facilities' is not land / railway lines being shut - its the very nature of freight itself (or more particularly how it and consumer / industry demands have radically changed over the past 60 years. Freight these days is dominated by intermodal traffic requiring good road access for transhipment of ISO containers - and thus generally requiring new 'out of town' sites on mainline railways beside motorways or major roads. A tiny goods yard in the middle of nowhere only accessible by country lanes or an urban one hemmed in by housing and accessed by busy urban streets is useless. What most ignore is that Beaching was a visionary when it came to Freight - get rid of wagonload stuff and focus on what rail was good at doing - namely block trains between terminals with a big push to containerisation. The UKs policy of not tolling the motorway network and the influence of the road lobby on politicians in progressively rolling back restrictions meant the latter never really took off as intended with subsequent instructions from Whitehall the Railfreight must NOT be subsidised meaning contraction was the order of the day.
  16. Maybe its just me.... .....but I feel that most of the report is totally superfluous. Lots of waffle from the ORR about how everyone complied with the reams of legal documentation / rules and navigated the contractual interfaces of the privatised railway, while bigging up their own 'desk jockey' role as something significant when in reality any kudos actually goes to the TOC managers and engineering teams who were left scrabbling round to fill the gap caused by the sudden withdrawal of most of their fleets!
  17. Well everything is relative - but unlike the XC Voyager fleet, the 80X fleet being doused in salt water doesn't cause the braking system to fail* which was what everyone was worried about when they were announced as successors to the HST fleet.. * The voyagers use rheostatic braking that needs large resistors to despite the electrical energy created by said braking as heat. Problem is the voyager fleet have them fitted on the roof and salt water being an excellent conductor of electricity means said resistors effectively become a straight short circuit - upon which the train computer brings the train to a halt and refuses to move as the braking ability is significantly compromised.
  18. In a roundabout way they do! If your journey is delayed then you can claim back some or all of the cost of your ticket. That money is in turn claimed off Network rail by the TOCs under 'Schedule 8' payments. They in turn claim back said schedule 8 costs (plus the inspection / repair bill including materials and wages) from the lorry owners insurance - something the High Court has explicitly said can happen despite much complaining from Lorry firms and their insurers. However, much as with Dawlish's weather related woes, the basic fact is that the loss revenue is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of rebuilding the LSWR route - and thats before we get to the point that under DfT rules diversionary capability MUST NOT form part of the BCR calculations for railway schemes.
  19. You reap what you sow - take a moment and just consider how many road haulage owners are multimillionaires! The real problem is the average Brit wants everything nice and cheap - so retailers squeeze there supply chain who then have to slash costs to compensate. British drivers will generally demand a high wage and better facilities - so what your haulage company does is take advantage of free movement rules to get in cheap EU labour. That way everyone is happy - UK shoppers (and voters) get nice low prices, haulage companies can just about make a profit and everything looks hunky doory. Brexit (with help from Covid) has wrecked that model and although welcome in some respects in that pay and conditions in the sector will have to get much better, I don't remember Boris & Farage telling everyone that their cost of living was going go up and disposable income go down in the run up to the referendum while dismissing anyone who could see this as 'scaremongering' and members of 'project fear'
  20. The Euro tunnel vehicle carrying wagons have jacking systems which are deployed at the terminals thus keeping the wagons (which are even wider than European loading gauge) steady as vehicles drive on and off. Stock built for UK domestic use was much narrower and did not need this measure.
  21. If the Government had not stepped in then in theory you could have got an 'Australian situation' develop with two gauges in use for a considerable period of time. However unlike Australia the UK is a small country and there would be huge pressure from industry and politicians to standardise - and if it hadn't been done by WW1 I expect the Government would have forced the issue.
  22. The experiences of the USA, etc proves this is totally unnecessary! On the other hand the loading gauge (and distances between parallel tracks) DO have a big impact on freight carrying capability and are the things you need to worry about - which have sod all to do with the track gauge. Naturally if you have a narrow track gauge then you might also pick a narrow loading gauge and closely spaced parallel tracks to reduce land take and construction costs - but that doesn't mean a particular gauge in itself is the limiting factor.
  23. To a degree - but as we know sharp curves abound on early railways due to opposition from politically important landowners or the need to follow contours to keep gradients low and minimise on expensive engineering works.
  24. Double stack container trains (sometimes running over relatively tight curves) happens every day in the USA despite it using standard gauge track but having a significantly wider and higher loading gauge proving that track gauge has relatively speaking NOTHING to do with the ability of rail to transport HGVs
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