The Anonymous Widower

MSU Research Leads To North America’s First Commercial Hydrogen-Powered Train

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in Railway Age.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Research from Michigan State University’s Center for Railway Research and Education (CRRE) contributed to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s (SBCTA) decision to order the first commercial hydrogen-powered train for use in North America.

These statements were also made.

  • The research was conducted in partnership with the Birmingham CRRE and Mott MacDonald.
  • Funding was from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).
  • The trains will be built by Stadler, probably in their US factory.

There is also a picture of the hydrogen-powered Flirt in the article, and it is very similar in formation to a Class 755 train, with a PowerPack in the middle.

The picture shows a Class 755 train at Norwich station.

The article indicates that hydrogen-power was chosen, as the rail line may be extended by sixty miles to Los Angeles.

Conclusion

After reading the full article, it certainly looks like San Bernardino County Transportation Authority have planned their new railway in a very professional way.

 

 

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

US Hydrogen Train Contract Awarded

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Southern California’s San Bernardino County Transportation Authority has awarded Stadler a contract to supply a Flirt H2 hydrogen fuel cell powered multiple-unit to enter passenger service in 2024, with an option for a further four units.

The train follows the layout of Greater Anglia’s Class 755 train, with a power-pack in the middle.

The project was originally called the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, but it has now been renamed Arrow.

Stadler’s press release gives the following details.

  • Two cars and a central power-pack.
  • 108 seats and standing spaces.
  • Operating speed of 79 mph.
  • Entry into passenger service in 2024.

It looks to me, that Stadler are not being over-ambitious with their offering to the Californians.

But imagine replacing the diesel power-pack of a Class 755 train on the Felixstowe and Sudbury branches with a hydrogen power-pack!

Conclusion

Stadler could have designed the ideal train for branch lines!

Consider London Bridge and Uckfield.

  • The train could use third-rail electrification on the 21 miles between London Bridge and Hurst Green.
  • The train would use hydrogen on the 25 miles between Hurst Green and Uckfield

The train would need an appropriate sized hydrogen tank.

Could the required hydrogen tank, fuel cells, batteries and gubbins be fitted in a power-pack in the middle, which would not need any diesel engines.

This picture shows a visualisation of an Alstom Breeze train based on a Class 321 train.

The hydrogen tank, fuel cells, batteries and gubbins are in the blocked off area at the right end of the train.

  • As cars on a Class 321 train are twenty metres long, I estimate that the hydrogen section is about eight metres long.
  • Stadler’s power-packs are 6.69 metres long.

Efficient design should mean that a hydrogen engine with a range of several hundred miles could be installed in a Stadler Firt H2.

Stadler’s unusual design with the power-pack or engine in the middle is looking good.

 

 

 

 

 

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

How To Stop Smoking

This story from California, is an interesting way to stop smoking. Here’s the first paragraph.

Think you’ve heard of every way possible to quit smoking? Etta Mae Lopez came up with a new one: slap a cop and go to jail, where smoking isn’t allowed.

Perhaps, we should take a leaf out of California’s book and ban smoking in prison.

May 13, 2013 Posted by | Health, News | , , | 3 Comments

If You Think the Eurozone is the Only Place with Financial Problems, Look at California

This article on the BBC web site, discusses the problems of California. Theirs may not be as large sums, but because of the way their political system works cutting the state’s $16billion deficit is going to be very difficult, due to American’s complete aversion to the raising of taxes.

I wonder how many other states are in a similar states.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | 2 Comments