The Anonymous Widower

Wagons Ordered For Growing Freight Traffic

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

This is the first paragraph.

GB Railfreight and leasing company Porterbrook have placed an order for Greenbrier Europe to supply 50 JNA 60 m3 capacity four-axle box wagons for transporting construction materials.

Other points from the article.

  • The wagons will be built in Romania.
  • They will be delivered in the Autumn.
  • Porterbrook research is indicating a possible increase of 35 % in construction sector traffic between now and 2034.

Certainly, judging by the number of posts about freight, the sector seems to be innovating and running more trains.

 

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Another Song For Ukraine

This one is I think Ukrainian.

Note that Ukrainians tend to pronounce W’s as V’s, so NLAW sounds a bit like love.

Apparently, Volodymyr Zelenskyy serenaded Boris with a version of All You Need Is NLAW.

I asked Google, if the Beatles were popular in Russia and found this article on the BBC, which is entitled Beatles For Sale: The Vinyl Underground In The USSR.

The NLAW is an Anglo-Swedish anti-tank weapon, which is being used successfully by the Ukrainians.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russians Board International Space Station In Ukrainian Colours

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Russian cosmonauts have arrived at the International Space Station wearing Ukrainian colours, in what appears to be a statement opposing the invasion.

Who do you think, you are kidding, Mr Putin!

March 19, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Song For Ukraine

My father was a Cockney, who had a way with poetry.

Sadly, I have none of it to keep me amused in these dark times.

But here’s my simple reworking of the Dad’s Army song.

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Putin
If You Think We’re On The Run?
We Are The Boys Who Will Stop Your Little Game
We Are The Boys Who Will Make You Think Again
‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Putin
If You Think Ukraine’s Done?
Mr Brown Goes Off To Town
On The Eight Twenty-One
But He Comes Home Each Evening
And He’s Ready With His Gun
So Watch Out Mr Putin
You Have Met Your Match In Us
If You Think You Can Crush Us
We’re Afraid You’ve Missed The Bus
‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Putin
If You Think Ukraine’s Done?

Others out there can do much better.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ministerial Roundtable Seeks To Unlock Investment In UK Energy Storage

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Drax.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Business leaders have met with UK Energy Minister the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP to discuss how the government could unlock significant investment in vital energy storage technologies needed to decarbonise the power sector and help ensure greater energy independence.

The meeting was organised by the Long-Duration Electricity Storage Alliance, a new association of companies, progressing plans across a range of technologies to be first of their kind to be developed in the UK for decades.

This press release, which I found on the Drax website, has obviously been produced by the four companies; Drax, Highview Power, Invinity Energy Systems and SSE Renewables.

Greg Hands MP, who is the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth said this.

The Long-Duration Electricity Storage Alliance is a key part of our plan to get the full benefit from our world-class renewables sector. Government have already committed £68 million of funding toward the development of these technologies.

“This will support the UK as we shift towards domestically-produced renewable energy that will boost our energy security and create jobs and investment.

The three CEOs and a director from SSE, make statements about what they are doing and what they need from Government, which are all worth reading.

  • Drax still needs planning permission for its flagship project at Cruachan, that is called Cruachan 2.
  • SSE are saying that the massive 30 GWh Coire Glas pumped hydro scheme has full planning permission and is shovel-ready.
  • Drax and SSE appear to be in favour of Cap and Floor regimes to support long term energy storage.
  • Highview Power and Invinity Energy Systems appear very optimistic.
  • Finance for capital cost is not mentioned. As billions will be needed for some of these schemes and the returns are very predictable, I assume that it has been promised.

After reading this press release fully, I too am optimistic.

Conclusion

I feel sure, that a sensible plan will evolve fairly soon, which will involve these four companies and possibly some others.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Freightliner’s New Livery

.As I passed through Ipswich yesterday, I took these images of Freightliner’s locomotives in their new livery.

Note.

  1. Freightliner’s new depot on the town side of the Great Eastern Main Line appears to be fully open.
  2. Freightliner’s Class 90 locomotives, which they received from Greater Anglia now seem to be in the new livery.
  3. Freightliner’s Class 08 shunter is also shown in the new livery.

It also looked like up to four Class 90 locomotives were parked by Ipswich station.

This Google Map shows the tracks at the Western end of Ipswich station.

Note.

  1. The Greater Anglia Class 755 train in Platform 1 of Ipswich station.
  2. The two Freightliner Class 90 locomotives in the old green livery in the locomotive parking.
  3. I wonder, if freight trains are now changing to electric haulage after being hauled out of Felixstowe into Ipswich Yard, before continuing their onward journey.

Yesterday, by the use of Real Time Trains, I found these trains changed to electric haulage at Ipswich.

  • 0250 – 436K – Felixstowe North to Garston – Changed back to diesel at Crewe.
  • 0912 – 496K – Felixstowe North to Trafford Park – Changed back to diesel at Crewe.
  • 0932 – 497K – Felixstowe North to Ditton
  • 1113 – 412L – Felixstowe North to Trafford Park
  • 2046 – 410M – Felixstowe North to Trafford Park
  • 2152 – 412M – Felixstowe North to Garston – Changed back to diesel at Crewe.

These are my thoughts.

Changing Locomotives At Ipswich

It seems to take about 25 minutes to change a locomotive from diesel to electric.

At Ipswich, this seems to fairly easy.

  • The freight train from Felixstowe stops in Ipswich Yard to the West of the station.
  • The diesel locomotive is detached and probably moved to the yard to the South of the station.
  • The electric locomotive is moved from by the station and attached to the train.
  • The train goes on its way using electric traction.

All locomotive movements don’t seem to be too challenging.

Could More Electric Services Be Run?

I found these paths yesterday, where services left Felixstowe and went South to London.

  • Coatbridge – 1
  • Ditton – 2
  • East Midlands Gateway – 1
  • Garston – 2
  • Hams Hall – 2
  • Lawley Street – 3
  • Trafford Park – 5
  • Wentloog – 3

This is a total of nineteen trains and currently only six are electrified between Ipswich and London.

Would Bi-Mode Locomotives Be More Efficient?

In GB Railfreight Plans Order For Future-Proofed Bi-Mode Locomotives, I wrote about how GB Railfreight were planning to acquire a fleet of bi-mode locomotives.

In the related post, I said this.

I feel that, as the locomotive must fit current routes and schedules, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the following specification.

  • UK loading gauge.
  • Co-Co
  • Class 90 locomotive power and operating speed on electricity of 3.7 MW and 110 mph.
  • Class 66 locomotive power and operating speed on diesel of 2.5 MW and 75 mph.
  • Ability to change between electric and diesel power at speed.
  • Ability to haul a heavy freight train out of Felixstowe.
  • Ability to haul passenger trains.

Stadler will have one eye on the fact, that if they get this design right, this order for up to fifty locomotives could be just the start.

These locomotives would be ideal for Felixstowe to Ditton, Garston and Trafford Park.

  • They would eliminate changing locomotives on these routes.
  • They would reduce carbon emissions and fuel usage.
  • They would be able to run at at least 100 mph on the Great Eastern and West Coast Main Lines.

They might also open up other partially electrified routes from Felixstowe via London.

Felixstowe And Wentloog

Wentloog freight terminal in South Wales.

In Movable Overhead Electrification To Decarbonise Freight, I used the Ipswich and Wentloog route to show how a long route could be decarbonised by the use of moveable electrification.

Conclusion

It looks like a philosophy is emerging to decarbonise a large proportion of freight services out of the Port of Felixstowe.

 

 

 

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fruits Of Victory Would Be Ashes In Our Mouth

These words from from President Kennedy’s speech on the Cuban Missile Crisis, seem to be the Russian aim, as they continue to lay waste to Ukraine.

Kennedy was talking about nuclear war, but pictures from Ukraine remind me more of the damage of atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima or from an all-destroying earthquake.

Vlad the Mad will certainly be remembered by history in the same way as Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin.

I don’t believe in the death penalty, but he is surely the one case, where anybody would make an exception.

I wonder how he would like Hitler’s most feared punishment. Hitler apparently, worried most about being exhibited in a zoo.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Rusting Battery In Minnesota Could Unlock The Electric Grid Of The Future

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the West Central Tribune.

This is the first paragraph.

A pilot project between Minnesota’s second largest supplier of electricity, Great River Energy, and a Massachusetts start-up claims to have a breakthrough in battery technology that would allow for vast expansions of renewable energy on the power grid.

The article goes on to describe Form Energy’s batteries and gives a couple of pictures.

I’m not sure, but it looks like the battery can supply 1 MW for a hundred hours.

Form Energy have impressive backers and have been secretive in the past, but the concept of using iron oxide (rust) as an energy storage medium sounds to me, to be a challenging idea.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 2 Comments

Design Contract Awarded To Extend Railway Arches Low Line Concept

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Plans to revamp the railway arches running through Wandsworth and Lambeth to create an extension of Southwark’s “low line” have taken a step forward after a contract was awarded to a design agency.

The extension would create a continuous walking and cycling route from Battersea to London Bridge, to connect communities with the creation of new spaces alongside the viaduct.

It looks to be an interesting concept with lots of possibilities.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shell Resurrects Plans For Rejected North Sea Gasfield

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Shell has submitted a revised plan for a North Sea gasfield that was rejected by regulators on environmental grounds last year.

The oil and gas major is seeking to develop the Jackdaw field, about 155 miles east of Aberdeen, which it says could produce 6.5 per cent of UK domestic gas output at peak — enough to heat 1.4 million homes. It hopes to start production in 2025 at the field, which would keep producing until 2033.

Other points in the article include.

  • The platform would be unmanned.
  • One of the problems with the field is that the gas naturally contains a lot of carbon dioxide.
  • Shell plans to capture and store this carbon dioxide.
  • The gas would be brought to shore using a nineteen mile pipeline to the Shearwater platform.

Surprisingly, the Shearwater platform is connected by the 295 mile SEAL pipeline to the Bacton terminal in Norfolk. But then Bacton is connected by the BBL pipeline to the Netherlands.

  • There are depleted gas fields connected to Bacton, that can be used to store the carbon dioxide from the Jackdaw gas field.
  • Shell manage the BBL pipeline.
  • Shell are sitting in the middle with gas, that can be sold to the highest bidder.

It could be good for Shell without a great deal of expenditure on infrastructure.

In the short term, Jackdaw could make up our gas shortage, but as we start to blend wind-produced hydrogen into the gas network, we can export the surplus gas to the Continent. Shell might have plans for other gas fields to participate in the export of British gas to Germany, that has been replaced by wind-produced hydrogen.

It would be an interesting point, as to who would be responsible for the carbon dioxide produced by Jackdaw’s gas, that is burned in Germany. I suspect it will be the Germans.

In the long-term, when Shearwater and Jackdaw have given up all their gas, I wonder if Shell’s plans could be.

  • Surround the platforms serving these fields with floating wind farms.
  • Put a giant electrolyser on the Shearwater platform and bring hydrogen to the shore in the SEAL pipeline.
  • Distribute the hydrogen from Bacton to the UK or through the BBL pipeline to the Continent.

I feel that Shell could do very nicely thank you out of the Jackdaw gas-field.

But it is also a plan, that produces a lot of energy, without emitting vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

 

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 1 Comment