The Anonymous Widower

Innovation Funding Awarded

The title of this post, is the same as that of a short article in the August 2021 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the first paragraph.

Developments in passenger information, cutting carbon emissions and electrification are amongst the 30 winners of the latest round of the Department for Transport/Innovate UK’s First Of A Kind (FOaK) competition.

I particularly liked the first innovation mentioned.

Furrer+Frey is proposing a movable overhead conductor rail system for freight terminals which allows electric locomotives to enter them while providing obstruction-free loading and unloading of freight. It says this will remove the current barrier of end-to-end rail freight electrification and end the reliance on diesel traction.

Some years ago, I sat next to a crane driver from the Port of Felixstowe at a football match. At half-time we talked for a few minutes about the problems of overhead wires in ports and freight terminals. As he said “Accidents do happen!”

Furrer+Frey’s idea might be just what is needed to help decarbonise ports and freight terminals.

There is a good description of the project in this article on Rail Business UK, which is entitled Movable Overhead Electrification Aims To Eliminate The Need For Diesel Shunting Locomotives.

This link shows a picture of a similar Furrer + Frey system in a workshop or  train shed.

It appears to be based on proven technology and will be tested at a Tarmac depot in Dunbar.

Furrer+Frey also got a second funding award.

It has also won funding for its innovative composite Mast for Greener Electrification, which could reduce the mass of overhead line electrification masts, as well as the size of foundations, depth of piling and lifting capability of installation machinery.

That sounds like a classic application of Buckminster Fuller’s More With Less Syndrome.

I shall add other awards later.


August 12, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I assume it’s based on Further+Frey’s pivoting system shown in the following link, which shows it in its two positions
    Looks like a great idea in certain circumstances.

    Comment by fammorris | August 12, 2021 | Reply

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