The Anonymous Widower

Hyperion XP-1 Hydrogen Car Unveiled With 1,000-mile Range

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the specification of the hydrogen-powered Hyperion XP-1.

  • 1,000 mile range.
  • No batteries as it uses supercapacitors.
  • Five minute refuelling time
  • All-wheel drive
  • 221 mph top speed
  • 0-to-60 mph in 2.2 seconds
  • Weighs just over a tonne
  • Carbon-titanium monocoque
  • Outrageous styling

Unbelievable!

 

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Design, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Wrightbus Hydrogen Fleet Cover 1,5 Million Miles

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Leading bus manufacturer Wrightbus’s fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell buses have travelled a staggering 1.5 million miles since first entering service.

This latest milestone from the Ballymena-based firm means the hydrogen fuel-cell fleet has prevented 2,366 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions entering the atmosphere compared to journeys made by an equivalent diesel bus.

It does appear that the company is on the road to a much needed recovery.

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Dartmoor Line Passes 250,000 Journeys On Its First Anniversary, As Rail Minister Visits To Mark Official Opening Of The Station Building

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

These three paragraphs talk about the Dartmoor Line’s reopening.

Just over a year after the Dartmoor Line reopened to regular passenger trains, journey numbers on the line have passed 250,000 this Monday morning [28 November], with the arrival of an extra special visitor, Rail Minister, Huw Merriman MP, to officially open the renovated station building.

The line reopened on 20 November 2021, restoring a regular, year-round service for the first time in almost 50 years following more than £40m of Government investment.

The previously mothballed rail line, which runs between Okehampton and Exeter, was restored in just nine months and delivered £10m under budget, becoming the first former line to reopen under the Government’s £500m Restoring Your Railway programme.

I have a few thoughts.

A Well-Managed Project

It does appear that Network Rail upped a gear or two to fulfil this project. The press release puts it like this.

Reinstatement of the Dartmoor Line was made possible by Network Rail’s team of engineers who worked tirelessly to deliver a huge programme of work including laying 11 miles of new track and installing 24,000 concrete sleepers and 29,000 tonnes of ballast in a record-breaking 20-day period.

But it does appear that over recent months Network Rail seems to do things a lot better and quicker.

I do wonder, if on the construction side, Network Rail have been able to bring in new working practices, that they are still trying to get lots of their other workers to accept.

A Quarter Of A Million Journeys

The press release says this about passenger numbers.

In the same week as it celebrated its one-year anniversary, the Dartmoor Line also saw its 250,000th journey, showing an incredible patronage on the line and more than double the demand originally forecast.

But they still can’t get the forecasts right.

Passenger Numbers Are Still Rising

The press release says this about rising passenger numbers

Since Great Western Railway (GWR) increased services to hourly in May 2022, passenger use has continued to rise, with over 500 journeys starting at Okehampton every day and a further 300 travelling into the town from across the rail network.

Is There Still Growth To Come?

There are several zero-carbon trains under development, so why not have a civilised shoot out, with each manufacturer given say four weeks in which to show off their products in passenger service.

This would hopefully indicate, if there was more growth to come and what would be the best trains to use.

Conclusion

The Dartmoor Line has been shown to be a success so lets repeat the dose.

 

 

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Morley’s New Accessible Station Set To Open In Summer 2023

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

These paragraphs outline the work to be done to create the new Morley station.

A new, fully accessible station is set to open in Morley, Leeds in summer 2023 to make way for longer trains, more seats, and better journeys as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

As a multi-million-pound investment, the new station will boast longer platforms to provide space for faster, more frequent, greener trains with more seats available for passengers travelling between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.

The new, remodelled station will sit 75 metres away from the existing station and be fully accessible, with a footbridge and lifts connecting the two platforms.

Moving the station opens up opportunities to transform the platforms and track layout while installing the overhead wires needed to power electric and hybrid trains in the future. It also means that the current station can largely remain open for passengers whilst the new one is built.

It is not often, that a station upgrade, is such a comprehensive demolish and rebuild of a not very large station as this.

But rarely have I seen such a long list of problems as the one in this section in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

It looks like the Government is having a go, at levelling-up Morley.

Network Rail seem to be attempting to do the rebuild in under a year.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

AVL RACETECH Builds Hydrogen Combustion Engine For Motorsport

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

This is the opening paragraph.

AVL RACETECH, the motorsport department of AVL, presents the prototype of an innovative H2 internal combustion engine. The power unit is a compact, hydrogen-powered 2-liter turbo engine, with intelligent water injection that enables it to achieve a totally new performance level. The prototype is the first racing engine that AVL RACETECH is developing and building in-house.

Note.

  1. The engine has a size of two litres.
  2. It generates about 150 kW/litre.
  3. It features water injection.
  4. It appears to be very interesting technically and has been designed with extensive computer simulation.

AVL RACETECH has a web site, which gives more information.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, Hydrogen, Energy | , | 2 Comments

‘Castle’ HSTs To Be Withdrawn By Great Western Railway

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

This quote from a  GWR spokesman, sums up the action that will be taken.

The Castles were always designed to be a temporary measure on the Cardiff to Penzance route. We expect to replace the Castle Class trains on a phased basis over the next couple of years, bringing customers the benefit of more modern trains that will reduce both cost and carbon emissions across the route.

These are my thoughts.

Could The Engines In The Power Cars Be Replaced With Modern Carbon-Neutral Engines?

This would be an alternative way to solve the decarbonisation problem.

It would also mean that other applications of the Class 43 power cars, like ScotRail’s Inter7City trains, Cross Country’s HSTs and Network Rail’s New Measurement Train would have a decarbonisation route,

In Rolls-Royce Releases mtu Rail Engines For Sustainable Fuels, Rolls-Royce mtu outline their route to decarbonise rail engines using sustainable fuels.

This was the first paragraph of my conclusion in the linked article.

Rolls-Royce and Cummins seem to be doing a thoroughly professional job in decarbonising the diesel engines they have made in recent years.

The Class 43 power cars have Rolls-Royce mtu Series 4000 engines, which will soon be available to run on sustainable fuel.

I think as a possible fall-back, one Class 43 power car should be converted to carbon neutral.

Could The Engines In The Power Cars Be Replaced With Modern Hydrogen Engines?

I looked at this in Will We See Class 43 Power Cars Converted To Hydrogen?.

I came to the conclusion, that this might be possible and said this.

It would be the ultimate Roller.

But then Rolls-Royce know about winning battles with large internal combustion engines.

The Option Of New Trains

This quote from a  GWR spokesman was fairly definite about new trains, when they said.

The Castles were always designed to be a temporary measure on the Cardiff to Penzance route. We expect to replace the Castle Class trains on a phased basis over the next couple of years, bringing customers the benefit of more modern trains that will reduce both cost and carbon emissions across the route.

What trains could replace the Castles?

  • The Cardiff and Penzance route is just short of 250 miles or roughly 400 kilometres.
  • Only about 30 miles at the Cardiff end is electrified.
  • Trains would need to be able to handle 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • 125 mph trains will be needed at the Cardiff end.
  • Four or five passenger cars will be needed.
  • Currently, there are twelve Castles, so I will assume twelve new trains.

As these trains will be lasting up to forty years, they must be zero-carbon, which must mean battery-electric or hydrogen.

Charging Battery-Electric Trains

Consider

  • Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St. Davis and Plymouth are large stations with several platforms. I suspect that a number of Furrer + Frey’s charging stations can be installed along the route.
  • The timetable would be adjusted to allow trains to be charged as they stopped to set down and pick up passengers.
  • Trains would dwell in the station and then use their 125 mph performance to regain the time.
  • I’ve also found a Penzance to Cardiff service, that stopped at Plymouth for fourteen minutes, which is more than enough to charge the batteries.
  • Regenerative braking to the batteries would further eke out the range.
  • There might also be some extra electrification around Bristol or Exeter.
  • Some form of charging would be needed at Penzance.

Note.

  1. Putting up electrification may mean that it will delay the new trains for a few years.
  2. Charging stations along the route could probably be installed to a tight timetable.

I believe that with some top-class work, by battery and charger manufacturers, that a battery-electric train could be developed that could run between Cardiff and Penzance.

Thoughts On Hydrogen

Consider.

  • The Alstom Coradia iLint train has a range of about 1,000 km. on hydrogen.
  • Companies like Airbus, Boeing and a host of rocket makers will improve the storage and safety of hydrogen.
  • A range of a 1,000 km. would allow refuelling at one end of the route.
  • Trains could be multiple units or a hydrogen-electric locomotive pulling a rake of coaches with a driving van trailer.

I feel that hydrogen would be very feasible as a power source.

Alstom Could Offer A Hydrogen Aventra

Consider.

  • Alstom are developing a hydrogen-powered Aventra.
  • Bombardier were offering a 125 mph Aventra.
  • A typical Aventra like a Class 720 train seats a hundred passengers a car.

A hydrogen Aventra would be feasible.

Hitachi Could Offer A Battery-Electric Or Hybrid AT-300

In 2021, in Hitachi And Eversholt Rail To Develop GWR Intercity Battery Hybrid Train – Offering Fuel Savings Of More Than 20%, I wrote about the announcement of the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Hybrid Train, which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

Note.

  1. Batteries replacing an engine to cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions.
  2. First time a modern UK intercity train, in passenger service, will use alternative fuel.
  3. These Hitachi trains use mtu engines, so I suspect they will be switched to sustainable fuel like HVO.
  4. The trains are 125 mph and 140 mph with the latest digital signalling.
  5. Great Western Railway already have 58 five-car Class 800/802 trains and 35 nine-car 800/802 trains.
  6. They would not need any changing stations or other infrastructure changes.
  7. Staff retraining would be minimal.

Testing of the prototype of these trains must be getting very close or even underway.

Stadler Could Offer A Battery-Electric Flirt Akku

Consider

  • Stadler have run a Flirt Akku on batteries for 243 km.
  • Flirt Akkus will go into service soon.
  • Flirts have been designed for 125 mph running.

With charging at Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, I believe a Flirt Akku could handle the route.

Are Hitachi Home And Hosed?

I have a feeling that the announcement has been made about retiring the Castles as the prototype Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Hybrid Train is under test and is performing well.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see an order for twelve more Class 802 trains soon.

 

 

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Avanti West Coast Applies For Second Hourly Euston And Liverpool Service

Tucked away beside the Grand Union Sets Out Stirling Ambitions article in the December 2022 Edition of Modern Railways is a report on Avanti West Coast’s application for a second service between Euston and Liverpool.

This is said.

Avanti West Coast has applied for access rights for its second hourly Euston to Liverpool service, starting from December 2023, although a phased introduction of the new service is likely. This would make use of Avanti’s new fleet of 10×7-car Class 807 Hitachi EMUs, which are expected to enter service from Autumn 2023. The ‘807s’ would be deployed on the current hourly Liverpool service, on which a call at Liverpool South Parkway would be added. (provision is made for this in the December 2022 timetable.).

Pendelinos would then operate the second service each hour, calling at Lichfield Trent Valley and Tamworth.

A linespeed project is in progress to raise the permissible speed for non-tilting trains on the West Coast Main Line, and Avanti’s new Hitachi trains will take advantage of this.

In Will Avanti West Coast’s New Trains Be Able To Achieve London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street In Two Hours?, I laid out my reasoning for a two-hour journey between Euston and Liverpool Lime Street.

I’m not sure, if they will reduce the time to two hours, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do.

November 25, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Grand Union Sets Out Stirling Ambitions

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the December 2022 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the first paragraph.

Grand Union Trains has updated its plans to operate services between Stirling and London Euston. It is targeting a 10-year track access agreement with services starting in May 2025.

I have a few thoughts.

The Route

The route between Stirling and Euston is as follows.

  • Trains will call at Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet, Motherwell, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.
  • Station upgrades are proposed for Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet and Lockerbie.
  • The route is fully-electrified.
  • There will be four trains per day in both directions, with a slightly reduced service on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.

This sentence from the article sums up the philosophy of Grand Union Trains.

The company says the aim is to link towns which have no or limited long-distance services and to improve connectivity for some station pairs on the West Coast Main Line.

Note.

Currently Larbert, Greenfauds and Whifflet don’t have services running past Stirling or Motherwell.

  1. Currently, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes have no Scottish services.
  2. Nuneaton is well connected to Peterborough and the East.
  3. Milton Keynes will be on the East-West Railway to Oxford and Cambridge.

It looks to be a service that has been well-planned and offers good possibilities for travel.

The Trains

The article says this about the trains.

New bi-mode rolling stock would be used and GUT says discussions with potential suppliers and manufacturers are ongoing.

Why Are Bi-Mode Trains Needed?

I can think of these reasons.

  • Grand Union Trains want to run their South Wales services with the same trains.
  • They might want to extend Scottish services from Stirling to perhaps Perth or Dundee.
  • They want to offer a reliable service, when the electrification is damaged.

Bi-mode trains will certainly offer flexibility and reliability.

How Long Will The Trains Be?

Consider.

I suspect a train has a maximum length of 260 metres and these can be run between London Euston and Stirling.

Could it be that station upgrades are needed for Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet and Lockerbie, is that these stations have short platforms?

Could the trains and platforms start short and grow with the business?

 

The Trains Will Have Three Classes

These classes will be offered.

  • First Class in compartments
  • Standard in a 2+1 arrangement
  • Standard Economy in a 2+2 arrangement

You pays your money and you make your choice.

Vanload Freight May Be Carried

Consider.

  • There has been a lot of speculation and some serious train conversions, looking at the possibilities of high speed freight.
  • Imagine a train of perhaps five passenger cars and one freight car for containerised freight.
  • I suggested earlier, that the trains might grow with the business.
  • As business develops, extra cars can be added as appropriate.
  • If business booms, then it might be best to run separate passenger and  freight services.

Modern trains and refurbished older ones, offer a multitude of solutions.

The Finance

The article says this about finance.

Grand Union Trains has linked with European independent investment firm Serena Industrial Partners to support its ambitions for its new Great Western service, and the project is supported by Spanish operator RENFE.

Serena Industrial Partners are Spanish, so does that mean, that the trains could be Spanish too?

November 24, 2022 Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

From 2025, Nestlé Waters France Will Use The First Hydrogen-Powered Freight Train Through An Innovative Solution Developed by Alstom and ENGIE

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

These are the main points of the press release.

  • Nestlé Waters will be the first company in Europe to benefit from the hydrogen fuel cell solution developed by Alstom and ENGIE, for rail freight.

  • The purpose is to operate the first hydrogen-powered freight train from the Vosges plant, thanks to a hydrogen generator wagon system developed by Alstom and supplied with renewable hydrogen by ENGIE, from 2025.

  • engieltimately, this project should enable Nestlé Waters to reduce emissions by 10,000 tons of COequivalent per year.

  • This new collaboration is in line with the actions Nestlé Waters has been carried out for several years to decarbonize its supply chain.

In this Alstom visualisation that accompanies the press release, an Alstom Prima locomotive can be seen pulling a tender full of hydrogen, that generates electricity.

It would appear to be a very simple concept.

  • The electric locomotive uses electrification where it is available.
  • On lines without electrification, hydrogen is used to generate electricity.
  • The locomotive and the tender are connected by a cable.
  • I suspect for longer distances, larger generators with a larger hydrogen capacity can be developed.
  • It would appear that typical SNCF Prima locomotives have at least 4 MW of power, so the generator must be at least this size.

I could see this concept being used with a 4 MW Class 90 electric locomotive.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do Cummins And Stadler Have a Cunning Plan?

Roger Ford in the December 2022 Edition of Modern Railways has written an article called Traction à la mode.

The article is a series of small sections, with the last section but one, labelled Monster.

Roger says this.

Finally, we come to the mighty Class 99, which is not at all flakey. In the past I have often commented on the UK railways’ prejudice against Co-Co bogies.

But with the ’99’ six axles will give 6MW (8,000 hp) at the rail, with contact patches to use all its 113 tonnes. Plus the extra axles mean it can accommodate the weight of a 2,400 hp Cummins diesel.

At the recent Rail Freight Group conference, Ross Shepherd, Chief Technical Officer of Beacon Rail, which has 30 locomotives on order for GB Railfreight, revealed a computer simulation which showed a Class 99 would save 36 minutes on a run timed for 1 hr 40 minutes for diesel traction. To quote Mr Shepherd:’It’s a monster and it’s coming.’

I have been doing some digging around the Internet and have found this bulletin from Cummins, which is entitled QSK60 For Rail.

The bulletin describes a Stadler locomotive with a Cummins QSK60 engine, which Stadler are delivering to Bolivia.

This paragraph introduces the locomotives.

Stadler and the Bolivian Ferroviaria Andina (Andean
Railway) FCA have signed a contract for the supply of the first three state-of-the art South American Light
Loco (SALi) locomotives, which will feature the
Cummins QSK60 engine.

The bulletin gives these details.

  • Locomotive type – diesel-electric
  • Track gauge – one metre
  • Axle load – 18 ton/axle
  • Power – 1865 kW – 2500 hp
  • Diesel engine – QSK60
  • Maximum Speed – 100 km/h
  • Starting Tractive Effort – 415 kN
  • Coupling – AAR
  • Fuel Tank – Up to 6000 litres

The bulletin is marked as Printed in UK, so does that mean that the engines come from Darlington.

The weight of this locomotive is 98 tonnes and Roger says that the Class 99 locomotive is 113 tonnes. But the Class 99 locomotive is an electro-diesel locomotive with 6 MW available when running on 25 KVAC overhead electrification.

It looks to me that Stadler have arranged the substantial electrical gubbins around the Cummins QSK60 diesel engine to create Beacon Rail’s monster.

Cummins And Hydrogen

Cummins is a company, that is big in hydrogen.

  • They own hydrogen fuel cell and electrolysis company; Hydrogenics.
  • They supply the fuel cells for Alstom’s hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint.

In Werner Enterprises Signs Letter Of Intent Planning To Secure 500 X15H Engines From Cummins, I said this.

More details of the X15H engine are given in this earlier press release, which is entitled Cummins Inc. Debuts 15-Litre Hydrogen Engine At ACT Expo, which has this first paragraph.

Today, Cummins Inc. debuted its 15-liter hydrogen engine at ACT Expo in Long Beach, California. This engine is built on Cummins’ new fuel-agnostic platform, where below the head gasket each fuel type’s engine has largely similar components, and above the head gasket, each has different components for different fuel types. This version, with expected full production in 2027, pairs with clean, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel, a key enabler of Cummins’ strategy to go further faster to help customers reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

I certainly like the concept of a fuel-agnostic platform, where below the head gasket, everything is similar, and above the head gasket, there are appropriate components.

It looks to me that if Stadler use the Cummins QSK60 diesel engine in their locomotives, then if Cummins develop a hydrogen version of the QSK60, Stadler can convert the locomotives to hydrogen, if Cummins follow their philosophy of a fuel-agnostic platform, with everything identical below the cylinder head gasket.

Over twenty years ago, I did a small data analysis task for Cummins in Darlington. One of their engineers explained to me how they would rearrange the components of diesel engines, so they fitted with the customer’s application. It looks to me that they have taken this philosophy a step further, so that the customer can have diesel or hydrogen engines in the same application, depending on what the end user wants.

In the case of the order from Beacon Rail for thirty Class 99 locomotives, they will be delivered as diesel-electric locomotives, but at some point in the future, when Cummins has developed the hydrogen engine, they will be able to be converted to hydrogen-electric locomotives.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments