The Anonymous Widower

Carbon-Cutting Test Run Sees Welsh Timber Return To Railway

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

For the first time since 2005, a freight train carrying Welsh timber left Aberystwyth as part of a trial that could see regular freight traffic return to the Cambrian line.

The successful trial, aimed at exploring the feasibility of transporting timber by rail to reduce carbon emissions, opens up the possibility of removing hundreds of large lorries from the rural roads of mid Wales.

These are a few details and points from the article.

  • The terminal at Aberystwyth appears to have been just outside Aberystwyth station.
  • The timber was taken to Kronospan at Chirk in North Wales.
  • The 700 ton load of ten wagons was hauled by a pair of Class 37 locomotives.
  • The pair was needed because of the route.
  • Network Rail claim that upwards of sixteen trucks were taken off the roads of mid-Wales.

This Network Rail picture shows the loading of timber at Aberystwyth station.

And this Network Rail picture shows the two Class 37 locomotives.

It looks to me, that the locomotives pushed the empty train in and pulled the full train out. Once on its way, the train took the Cambrian Line to Shrewsbury and then it was about twenty miles to tyhe Kronospan factory at Chirk.

This video shows the train leaving.

I appears to have been filmed at a convenient level crossing.

Conclusion

It must have been a success, as they are going to repeat the exercise.

There would appear to be only one problem. The pair of Class 37 locomotives make a bit of a noise.

  • The pair have a power of 2610 kW.
  • I estimate that the journey between Aberystwyth and Chirk will take around two hours and thirty minutes.
  • Aberystwyth and Chirk is a distance of about a hundred miles.

It looks to me that this journey could be handled by one of the new Class 99 locomotives, that I wrote about in Class 99 Electro-Diesel Locomotive Order Confirmed.

I also doubt whether a battery-electric Class 99 locomotive could handle the route, but a hydrogen-powered locomotive, that fuelled at Aberystwyth might be able to do it.

I do think though, that passenger trains between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury could in the future be hydrogen-powered.

So if hydrogen were to be provided at Aberystwyth, hydrogen haulage of the timber trains would be a possibility.

May 7, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,

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