The Anonymous Widower

McPhy Launches “Augmented McFilling”, Its New Smart Hydrogen Station Architecture For Heavy Duty Vehicles

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Nasdaq.

It shows the way that lots of individuals and companies are putting effort into the hydrogen economy.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

From Groningen To Leer By Train

On my recent trip to the Netherlands and Germany, I didn’t get to do this trip by train and had to make do with a slow bus ride.

However I’ve just found this video on YouTube.

The Freisenbrücke is about an hour from the start of the video.

I should fast forward, as there is only so much travelling on a single-track rail line, that you can watch before falling asleep.

I got this impression of the route in the video, which was made in October 2014.

  • The route is mainly single-track, with some passing loops at stations.
  • the track is not electrified, except for short sections at either end.
  • The track was almost straight.
  • The track, stations and signalling appear to be in good condition.
  • There were a large number of level crossings.
  • The train took around one hour and twenty minutes between Groningen and Leer stations.

I can imagine that Deutsche Bahn and Arriva Netherlands were a good bit more and just annoyed, when the MV Emsmoon destroyed the bridge.

Wikipedia says this about the accident.

On 3 December 2015, Emsmoon collided with the Friesenbrücke [de], which carries the Ihrhove–Nieuweschans railway over the Ems. The cause of the accident was reported to be miscommunication between the bridge operator and pilot on board the ship. The bridge could not be raised as a train was due, but the ship failed to stop and collided with the bridge, blocking both railway and river.[4] The bridge was so severely damaged that it will have to be demolished. Replacement is expected to take five years

I suspect, it’s not just an massive inconvenience for the railway, as a couple of miles South on the River Ems, is the Meyer Werft shipyard, where cruise ships up to 180,000 tonnes are built.

I found this document on the web site and gleaned the following information.

  • The cost of rebuilding could be up to eight million euros.
  • The new bridge will be finished in 2024, if all goes well.
  • Environmentalists are bringing lawsuits against the construction of the bridge.

It will be a challenge to rebuild this bridge.

This video shows the new bridge

Let’s hope that one of those large cruise ships dopesn’t hit the bridge.


This surely has been a very costly acciodent.


April 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Third Degree Murder

The title of this post is the same as that of an article by Ian Walmsley in the April 2019 Edition of Modern Railways.

In the article Ian has a heavyweight go at the Office of Road and Rail about their policy towards third rail electrification.

As a Control and Electrical Engineer, I agree with a lot he says, especially as I believe modern control systems and good design can improve safety of third rail systems to a high level.

I also believe the following.

  • In some places third-rail electrification, which is only live when a train is protecting the rails from morons, is safer than any other electrification system.
  • In some places, like on top of high viaducts third-rail electrification is safer for engineers installing and maintaining it,  than overhead electrification.
  • Some battery charging systems will be designed around third-rail electrification.

Ian’s article gives various reasons for using third-rail electrification.

He also proposes the radical innovation of using a voltage of 1500 VDC, which he calls 2XV.

I like it and agree with his reasoning..

It sounds radical, but it is not a new idea.

An article on Wikipedia is entitled Rail Transport In The Netherlands.

This is said.

Most of the network is electrified at 1.5 kV DC (which limits interoperability with neighbouring countries), although Belgian trains – built for 3 kV DC – can run on the Dutch network at reduced power. Both the HSL-Zuid and the Betuweroute have been electrified at 25 kV AC; although conversion of existing electrified lines to 25 kV AC was considered in 1997, 2005 and 2012 at a cost of over €10 billion, a 2015 proposal (revised in 2017) is to convert to 3 kV DC at a 2017 cost of €1 billion. The higher DC voltage would reduce power losses and have faster acceleration above 60 to 70 kilometres per hour (37 to 43 mph), so stopping trains would save seven to 20 seconds per stop.

Are the Dutch implementing their proposal?

April 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments