The Anonymous Widower

Universities Study Options For Battery Traction To Replace Diesel

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A three-month study of the extent to which battery-powered trains could replace diesel traction in Germany is being undertaken through a collaboration between rolling stock financing company Rock Rail, Technische Universität Dresden and the UK’s University of Birmingham.

In some ways, two Universities and one rolling stock leasing company are strange bedfellows for a study of trains in Germany.

But then Rock Rail are a very successful and surprisingly innovative company, who appear to know their trains. This sentence, is taken from the home page of their web site.

Rock Rail works closely with the franchise train operators and manufacturers to ensure a collaborative approach to design, manufacture and acceptance of the new state of the art trains on time and to budget.

They have certainly been involved in several large fleet orders in the last few years.

I have a feeling that this study will lead to sensible and workable conclusions, that may well have lessons for the UK.

June 5, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Alstom Hydrogen Trains Complete Trials

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

The introductory paragraph says this.

After 530 days and more than 18,000 driven kilometres, the trials of two Alstom Coradia iLint models, the world’s first two hydrogen trains, are complete.

It is now over a year since I took this picture of the Alstom Coradia iLint at Buxtehude in Germany.

It is time to move on to full series production. Another fourteen Coradia iLint trains will be manufactured and start service in 2022.

According to Wikipedia, a second order for 27 trains for the Rhine-Main region will be delivered by December 2022.

May 19, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Germany’s 83rd Hydrogen Station Opens

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

This is the introductory paragraph.

H2 Mobility, along with its partners Shell and Air Liquide, has opened Germany’s 83rd hydrogen refuelling station in Dortmund in the North Rhine-Westphalia region.

The Germans now have eighteen hydrogen stations in Dortmund alone, which is more than we have in the whole of the UK.

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

DHL Targets 10-day China – Europe Transit Time

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

A few points from the article.

  • The route is 9,400 km long.
  • The train goes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
  • Entry to the EU is at Braniewo in Poland.
  • The current terminals are Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany.
  • Other proposed terminals include Budapest and Milan.
  • Estimated transit time is 10-12 days, as opposed to the current 15-plus days.

I’ve actually been to the area around Braniewo, which before the Second World War was partly in Germany. I wrote Railways In North East Poland about my trip, which was mainly to see wildlife.

We also got to see the Russian border.

The tag Poland In Winter shows all the posts from that trip.

 

 

April 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Short-Notice Spaghetti Trains Organised To get Pasta Across The Alps

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

DB Schenker has organised the transport of several hundred tonnes of pasta by rail from Italy to Germany, enabling 650 Aldi supermarkets to replenish supplies which had been depleted by customers stocking up during the coronavirus pandemic.

I can’t help feeling that this story pays homage to Richard Dimbleby‘s classic April Fool story about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dutch Test Hydrogen Train As EU Alliance Set To Launch

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Netherlands wrapped up testing on its first foray into hydrogen train technology at the weekend, as the European Commission readies a strategy for the clean fuel that will debut on Tuesday (10 March).

I shall be interested to see what the European Commission says tomorrow.

I indicated in Alstom Coradia iLint Passes Tests, that hydrogen-powered trains could run through The Netherlands all the way to Germany.

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Alstom Coradia iLint Passes Tests

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

This is the first paragraph.

Alstom has performed 10 days of tests of the Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell train—the world’s first passenger train powered by hydrogen fuel cells—on the 65-kilometer line between Groningen and Leeuwarden to the north of the Netherlands.

These details of the tests were given.

  • No passengers were carried.
  • The tests were done at night.
  • A mobile filling station was used.
  • The train ran up to a speed of 140 kph.

As green hydrogen was used, the tests were zero carbon.

The Test Route

This map clipped from Wikipedia, shows the Groningen and Leeuwarden route, used for the tests.

Note.

  1. It appears to be only single-track.
  2. It is roughly 65 kilometres long.
  3. There are eight intermediate stops.

Checking the timetable, the service seems to be two or three trains per hour (tph)

Hydrogen Trains Could Go All The Way To Germany

In From Groningen To Leer By Train, I took a train and a bus from Groningen in The Netherlands to Leer in Germany and eventually on to Bremen Hbf. The route is not complete at the moment, as a freighter demolished the rail bridge.

Once the bridge is rebuilt, a hydrogen-powered train, which could also use the catenary in the area could travel from West of Leeuwarden to possibly as far as Bremen and Hamburg.

It is interesting to note, that Alstom’s hydrogen-powered trains for the UK, which are called Breeze and are currently being converted from British Rail-era Class 321 electric trains, will not lose their ability to use the overhead electrification.

A train with that dual capability would be ideal for the Dutch and German rail network in this area, which is partially electrified.l

March 8, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eurostar Confirms Start Date For Amsterdam – London Through Services

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

Points made in the article include.

  • A preview service ran on February 4th.
  • Two services a day will run from Amsterdam Centraal to London from April 30th.
  • Journey times will be around four hours.
  • Through journeys from Rotterdam to London will be possible from May 18th.
  • Tickets will be available from February 11th.

I’m fairly sure that after the success of the London to Amsterdam Centraal service, which will be four trains per day (tpd), by the end of this year and five tpd by the end of 2021, that this could be the start of something similar.

  • Five tpd would mean a capacity of 4,500 passengers or about the same as eleven Ryanair 737 Max 8 aircraft.
  • Four hours between city centres.
  • Current prices for a trip this month are under fifty pounds or under ninety for Premium Economy.

As Paris has sixteen tpd and Brussels has seven tpd, I could see that five tpd will be increased.

  • All London to Amsterdam Centraal services stop at Brussels to pick up passengers.
  • I’m sure that a method will be found to allow Amsterdam Centraal to London trains to drop passengers at Brussels.
  • If Rotterdam will get direct services, surely Antwerp and Schipol Airport should as well.
  • Thalys between Paris and Amsterdam Centraal runs at 10 tpd.
  • Thalys and Eurostar are merging and surely Eurostar between London and Amsterdam Centraal and Thalys between Paris and Amsterdam Centraal should be combined between the Belgian and Dutch capitals.

Get the Brussels and Amsterdam Centraal route right, after the merger of Thalys and Eurostar and I can see the following.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) between Amsterdam Centraal and Brussels.
  • One tph starting in London and the other in Paris.
  • Ability to pick up and set down International and domestic passengers at the intermediate stations; Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schipol Airport.

Surely, if a two tph service works between London and Edinburgh is highly successful, two tph between Brussels and Amsterdam Centraal would be the same.

The same philosophy could then be applied to the London/Paris routes via Brussels to Cologne/Frankfurt.

  • Eurostar has stated it wants to serve the two German cities.
  • Thalys runs services between Paris and Dortmund via Brussels, Liege, Cologne and Essen.
  • The Thalys frequency between Paris and Cologne is five tpd.

The London and Paris services could combine to run a joint service into Germany.

  • Destinations could be Cologne, Dortmund and Frankfurt with stops at Liege and Aachen.
  • London and Germany could probably sustain the currently proposed Amsterdam frequency of five tpd.

I’m looking forward to taking a direct train from London to Cologne.

 

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 8 Comments

World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Plant Begins Operation In Austria

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

This is the subtitle, which says it all.

The 6MW facility in Linz, running Siemens electrolysers, will provide clean H2 for steel production.

Steel-making is a large source of carbon-dioxide emissions and this is said about how hydrogen can be used in the process.

In light of global climate targets, Voestalpine is currently investigating the practicality of a hybrid technology to bridge between the existing coke/coal-based blast furnace route and electric arc furnaces powered with green electricity partly generated using green hydrogen,” says Voestalpine. “If economically feasible, from today’s perspective this option would reduce the group’s CO2 emissions by around a third sometime between 2030 and 2035.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see steel-makers beat that target, especially as renewable energy production and hydrogen electrolyser capacity increases.

The article also details two other large green hydrogen production electrolysers.

A 10MW PEM electrolysis plant, REFHYNE, is under construction at Shell’s Rheinland refinery in Wesseling, Germany, and is due to be completed in the second half of 2020, while a 30MW pilot — part of a 700MW project — is expected to be up and running in northwest Germany by 2025.

There’s more about REFHYNE on their web site.

This is the introduction on the web site.

The REFHYNE project is at the forefront of the effort to supply Clean Refinery Hydrogen for Europe. The project is funded by the European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and will install and operate the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser the Shell Rhineland Refinery in Wesseling, Germany.

The plant will be operated by Shell and manufactured by ITM Power. The electrolyser has a peak capacity of 10 MW (megawatts) and will be able to produce approximately 1,300 tonnes of hydrogen per year. This decarbonised hydrogen can be fully integrated into refinery processes including the desulphurisation of conventional fuels

Hydrogen is coming.

It could be coming in a big way to the UK, as we have the capability to generate gigawatts of off-shore wind power and ITM Power have the world’s largest PEM electrolyser factory in  Rotherham.

 

 

February 1, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Battery Trains To Be Tested In Denmark

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Suppliers are to be invited to test battery-powered trains on regional lines in late 2020 and early 2021, ahead of a potential order which could see battery trains enter passenger service from 2025.

This order follows on from three confirmed or possible German battery train orders in Schleswig-Holstein, Baden-Württemberg and Chemnitz.

So far interest in battery trains in the UK, has not been so strong, with only orders in Wales.

November 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment