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Freightliner's environmental credentials down the pan


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I was thinking about shunters at terminals earlier and wondered if a solution could be a vandal proof diesel or battery shunter that has no cab.  The electric hauled freight heads into the yard via an electified headshunt and couples up to the shunter then drives from the cab of the 90 using TDM.  If it was battery powered it could potentially charge up from the 25kv so would be more or less maintenance free.

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3 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

Freightliner, at least, seem to have diesel shunters to move the wagons behind the wires. Other possibilities might include under-train 'mules', or even Unimog or similar road-rail tractors.

Alternatively capstan shunting, or even reach wagons could be used to enable electric traction to be used.

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4 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:


Fortunately, this event coincided with the new interconnector from Norway coming on stream, which has helped make up the shortfall.

 

 

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Thats all very well but what happens if something goes wrong in Norway and they restrict exports? or what if the connector develops a fault and cannot be used?

 

International interconnectors are no substitute for being self sufficient in energy needs.

 

Once again this nonsense of 'outsourcing' everything - including energy generation (which has the natty side benefit of also reducing UK CO2 emissions without the Government having to do anything) has got to stop!

 

Just as we should stop exporting our rubbish to recklessly dumped in other counties because the Government insists 'market forces' must prevail, we should also, under ordinary circumstances self sufficient in energy generation.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

They’re there because of a deliberate policy to buy-in rather than invest in our own generating capacity.

The problem being that this policy has left the UK dependent on external sources and at the mercy of international energy markets.

 

 

 

Some things are too important to the well being of society / the long term future of the country be left to the 'power of the free market'.

 

When will a certain political party and the sheep that elect them into office get their thick heads round that!

 

Having lots of money - or high stock market returns ARE NOT THE PINICLE OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT!

Edited by phil-b259
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13 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

Interconnectors.

 

They are not there because we’re struggling to produce enough electricity.

 

They’re there because of a deliberate policy to buy-in rather than invest in our own generating capacity.

 

Good grief, man!

It’s either one thing or the other. 
 

The simple fact is that the UK has closed too many generating stations.

Period. End of discussion.

 

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At Coatbridge FLT the approaches are wired at both ends. Down electrically-hauled trains run past the terminal and propel into it from the north end, the locos run round and attach to the south end of trains for departures. No diesels, capstans or reach wagons required ! 

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50 minutes ago, caradoc said:

At Coatbridge FLT the approaches are wired at both ends. Down electrically-hauled trains run past the terminal and propel into it from the north end, the locos run round and attach to the south end of trains for departures. No diesels, capstans or reach wagons required ! 

How do they get the wagons clear of the overhead wires? If it is an electric loco powering the train, then it stops where the wiring does.

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6 hours ago, Allegheny1600 said:

The simple fact is that the UK has closed too many generating stations.

Period. End of discussion.

 

...Too many to be able to supply all our needs without importing power.

 

We could, if we so wished, close the lot and rely solely on imported power (though not without a lot of work to reconfigure the grid), it's just a policy decision to have some generation capacity here.

 

If we're importing fuel then is there really that much of a fundamental difference between importing the raw materials for local processing and importing the completed product?

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  • RMweb Gold
On 13/10/2021 at 10:19, Pete the Elaner said:

 

73s only have 600BHP diesel engines, but 1400BHP from Electric pickup. I can't see that they would be very much use as mainline locos when running diesel-only, unless double heading.

Does it matter whether it is 3rd rail or OLE? Both supply electricity & it is the cost of that which seems to be the problem. The lower 750v supply is more lossy than transforming it up to 25kV for transmission, so 3rd rail would probably be worse.

 

Electricity being more expensive than diesel is truly absurd. It can be generated any way, which is exactly why it should be a good, clean solution.

 


on RHTT around here 73’s are adept at being on diesel or electric to suit the mood, so more than capable of both modes on this kind of work.

 

On 15/10/2021 at 13:53, Nick C said:

This is why we have two cars, one Diesel and one petrol - the latter for shorter, town journeys where the oil-burner wouldn't be appropriate. Sure an EV would be better still, but that's still out of our financial reach until they start coming onto the secondhand market in greater numbers.


I thought that too, but then I look how the battery degrades on my iphone / ipad / normal car and wonder how that translates in older Electric vehicles… replacing a whole old / dying battery set on an Electric car may not be an economic option ?

 

What mileage do you get for a charge after 3-4 years on an electric car ?

Edited by adb968008
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18 minutes ago, adb968008 said:


on RHTT around here 73’s are adept at being on diesel or electric to suit the mood, so more than capable of both modes on this kind of work.

 


I thought that too, but then I look how the battery degrades on my iphone / ipad / normal car and wonder how that translates in older Electric vehicles… replacing a whole old / dying battery set on an Electric car may might be an economic option ?

 

What mileage do you get for a charge after 3-4 years on an electric car ?

That's something I'm watching closely. It seems that they last pretty well in terms of milage, but obviously there's not real figures yet on how they perform with time - as of course that will require that time to have passed! I don't think there's much of a problem after 3-4 years, but it's 10-15 years I'm interested in!

 

It does, however, looks like it's feasible to replace individual cells that have degraded or failed, so hopefully at least it won't need a full scale replacement. 

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3 hours ago, lmsforever said:

Govt  just annoucned they are financing a new nucliure power station so they are learning.

 

Two questions before we start praising the announcement.

 

Is it:-

 

(1) A rehash / re-release / re-announcement of a project already in the pipeline to be delivered and thus not 'new' in any shape or form.

 

And / or....

 

(2) Are the Government putting cold hard cash into it or is it yet another 'lets leave it up to the private sector to finance' job - which, as the new Hinkley Point job shows, is a perfect recipe for delay and procrastination as changes in the 'free market' affect the profitability of the thing and the incentive for the private sector to deliver.

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3 hours ago, lmsforever said:

Govt  just annoucned they are financing a new nucliure power station so they are learning.

 

Unless you can provide a link, they haven't - the news reports all seem to be "rumours" that the UK government will do something nuclear, but that what seems to be unknown.

 

Google search reveals the Guardian claiming funding for 16 Rolls-Royce SMR reactors while the Telegraph is claiming the government plans "to approve at least one more large-scale nuclear project in the next few years", likely Sizewell C

 

So no announcement, no funding, and maybe in the future is the reporting so far.

 

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22 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Thats all very well but what happens if something goes wrong in Norway and they restrict exports? or what if the connector develops a fault and cannot be used?

 

International interconnectors are no substitute for being self sufficient in energy needs……

 


Precisely.

That was the point I made in my post.

 

21 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Some things are too important to the well being of society / the long term future of the country be left to the 'power of the free market'.

 

When will a certain political party and the sheep that elect them into office get their thick heads round that!

 


The decisions to build the interconnectors and buy-in electricity has nothing to do with “free markets”, but is directly related to decisions made over several decades not to replace our earlier nuclear power stations as they became life expired, and latterly to facilitate the accelerated closure of our coal fired stations.

As with the decision to become heavily dependent on natural gas for electricity generation, these were a failure to look at long term and everything to do with avoiding the high cost of nuclear.

 

The first interconnector from France became operational in the early 1960’s.

It was replaced with the IFA when it became obsolete in the mid 1980’s.

This was the only link for decades.

 

It was 20 years after the IFA upgrade, under the Blair/ Brown administration,  that the decision to expand our use of interconnectors started to become policy. The BritNed link was built and started operating in the late 00’s.

During this era, Energy had been pushed from pillar to post in various government departments and the treasury were dead set against the high cost of nuclear, despite the government postering as broadly in favour.

The can was well and truly kicked down the road, with review after review.

It’s those various government departments that are largely behind us going down this path and don’t forget Gordon Brown’s enthusiasm for PPP’s, another fine mess we’ve been left to pick up the tab for.

 

The Nemo link, IFA2 and the North Sea Link have been more recent introductions that have allowed the coal fired stations to be closed and decommissioned.

(Note that the EU were also promoting the use of interconnectors, before we took the decision to leave.)

 

Have no doubt, had there been a Labour administration over the last 10 years, this course of action would have still have been pursued,

especially in light of the prevalent anti-nuclear power sentiment in the party.

The Lib Dem’s and Greens were also firmly against nuclear power generation.

 

Hindsight is now order of the day for politicians on all sides of the HoC and suddenly they’ve started waking up to the situation the UK has sleep walked into.

 

 

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
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11 hours ago, Allegheny1600 said:

Good grief, man!

It’s either one thing or the other. 
 

The simple fact is that the UK has closed too many generating stations.

Period. End of discussion.

 


Not at all.

Yes, we’ve closed too many generating stations without a resilient long term plan in place, but earlier decisions could have been made to build new nuclear power stations and some of the coal fired stations could have continued a few years longer until these new stations and enough renewables came on stream.

Having avoided making the difficult and expensive choices in earlier decades, the expansion of the interconnector links have been seen as an easy and cheaper option. They were not originally any sort of panic move because we are short of generating capacity. Now they have become an essential as the chickens have come home.

 

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5 hours ago, Zomboid said:

...Too many to be able to supply all our needs without importing power.…..


Indeed. As a result of deliberate policy choices.

40 years of policy, or lack of, has led us to where we are today.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:


Precisely.

That was the point I made in my post.

 


The decisions to build the interconnectors and buy-in electricity has nothing to do with “free markets”, but is directly related to decisions made over several decades not to replace our earlier nuclear power stations as they became life expired, and latterly to facilitate the accelerated closure of our coal fired stations.

 

 

 

Re interconnectors & the free market.

 

The point is that for a private company (as the national grid became following the 1990s sell off) building an interconnector is much more attractive than investing in energy generation. Yes there is a high one off cost but in a medium to long term perspective it was seen as a much more effective use of shareholders cash.

 

If you are a state owned enterprise and not subject the whims of shareholders AND the Government lets the company get on with things on its own (as it generally did with the CEGB and the French did with EDF) broader objectives like increased local employment can be factored into the mix

 

Moreover having lots of interconnectors is a fundamental requirement for the EU single market in international energy trading - something UK Governments (like an awful lot of other EU liberalisation measures) were instrumental in pushing for over recent decades on the basis 'increased competition would lower bills'. If the UK only had a connection to France then it would have to pay what EDF demanded it pay - which is clearly unacceptable if its going to be used as a key component of the UKs day to day supply. If the Uk is connected to the Netherlands grid (and others) however then according to free market economics the UK can play one off against the other to get 'the best deal for consumers'.

 

Therefore the pursuit of free market economics and treating everything like shares on the London stock market DOES have a big part to play in all this - From the investment decisions by the privately owned national grid through to Government policy of a 'hands off' approach the debilitating long term effects of relying on the 'power of the free market' are clear to see.

 

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6 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

How do they get the wagons clear of the overhead wires? If it is an electric loco powering the train, then it stops where the wiring does.

 

Some of the unloading lines are through roads, wired at both ends but not in the middle. 

 

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Indeed, the EU wanted an open market for energy trading, (as they also want for rail and other sectors), in some part influenced by their City of London advisors.

Hence the move away from long term energy contracts and the creation of the spot market.

Whether we had remained in the EU or not, moving away from self-reliance on energy, just as with food supplies etc, was bound to lead to problems at some point.

 

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
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Getting back on topic. 
How soon before the larger UK FOC’s order more dual or multi-mode freight locos?

With a large fleet of diesel traction, with many more years of life left in it, is it unlikely in the near term without some external influence (economic or legislative) being brought to bear?

 

 

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On 16/10/2021 at 00:44, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

Mike, you are quite right at pointing the finger at that level of denial and stupidity, but that doesn't alter the fact that there is hysteria and misinformation being taken as gospel amongst many of the rather naive people who have been "whipped up" by certain movements.

 

We had the spectacle of one of the organisers for "insulate Britain" being questioned on TV yesterday.

A young educated women in her mid 20's, who immediately became very distressed and appeared to be on the point of breaking down in tears from the moment the interview began. She was almost hysterical.  As with the chap (another leader of that group) who was shown to have not insulated his own house, this young lady said she had no idea if the home she lived in was adequately, or even insulated at all.  She couldn't answer or explain when asked searching questions and just wanted to throw out some simple slogans.

The poor young women was in a complete mess.

 

A few years ago we used to get cold called regularly from the Indian subcontinent by chancers trying to push home insulation with access to Government grant money.

 

It makes me wonder whether those now blocking motorways in the name of insulation are being “used” by certain business interests, ready to pounce should the Government return to generous funding of home insulation?

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7 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

How do they get the wagons clear of the overhead wires? If it is an electric loco powering the train, then it stops where the wiring does.

 

Let us say that the siding is wired for a quarter of its length at each end.  Loco pushes wagons into sidings and stops with furthest wagons clear of the wires at the other end. When these are unloaded it pushes the train so the unloaded wagons are now under the wires.  The middle of the train can now be unloaded whilst the loco runs round and attaches at the other end.  The loco then pulls the train so that the remaining wagons to be unloaded are now in the middle clear of the wires.

 

Don't know if this is how it happens in practice as it would be a few extra moves compared to diesel, and there would be a minimum length the train could be so that it could be pushed as far a the wires at the other end without running off the wire at the near end, but maybe the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks?

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1 hour ago, caradoc said:

 

Some of the unloading lines are through roads, wired at both ends but not in the middle. 

 

I appreciate that, having worked with a similar set-up at Eurotunnel for a number of years. However, at ET, there was not a gantry crane working under the wires.

 

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  • RMweb Gold

On a different note, GBRFs 73’s running on the NRTT tonight around Surrey were working on diesel, both locos.. observed at Stoats Nest, St Helier and Belmont .. its run is entirely on 3rd rail and all other times Ive observed them on this job they've been using their shoes not generators.

 

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:H13790/2021-10-18/detailed

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15 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

On a different note, GBRFs 73’s running on the NRTT tonight around Surrey were working on diesel, both locos.. observed at Stoats Nest, St Helier and Belmont .. its run is entirely on 3rd rail and all other times Ive observed them on this job they've been using their shoes not generators.

 

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:H13790/2021-10-18/detailed

Almost every time I’ve seen them on Wessex they have been running on diesel. I remember asking the question as to why but no one seemed to have an answer. 

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