The Anonymous Widower

It’s A Tough Job, But Someone’s Got To Do It!

For a couple of stops today, on the Elizabeth Line, I shared my section of the carriage, with a party of four Japanese tourists, who I took to be mother, father and son, with an older man, who was probably one of the boy’s grandfathers. The father had his camera out and was photographing his family and the train. As I passed him to leave the train, he said “Good train!” He also pointed to himself and said. “Japanese railway engineer!”

I wonder how many other professional railway engineers will visit London and run their eyes over the Elizabeth Line?

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Foot Crossing Obstacle Detection Using AI

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Seibu Railway is to start testing a newly-developed AI-assisted warning system for detecting obstacles on foot crossings at two stations on the Ikebukuro Line in the suburbs of Tokyo.

The article is a detailed description of how the Japanese are using technology to make foot crossing a lot safer.

I can see applications for this technology not just on the rail system, but in other situations as well.

 

 

January 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Kawasaki’s Liquefied Hydrogen Carrier Departs To Pick Up First Cargo

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Green Car Congress.

This is the first paragraph.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ Suiso Frontier, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, has left Japan to pick up its first hydrogen cargo in Australia. A return to Japan is expected around late February.

As the cargo is only seventy-five tonnes of liquid hydrogen, I have my doubts about shipping hydrogen from Australia to Japan.

Late February is two months away, so this represents a production rate of 37.5 tonnes per month.

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

This would mean that if the Japanese built one Herne Bay-size electrolyser, then it would produce around three hundred tonnes of hydrogen in an average month.

The only possible use for this ship at the moment, is as a research project to identify the problems of the transportation of hydrogen over long distances by sea.

But we may need to use ships for the coastal transportation of hydrogen in the UK and to Europe.

 

December 28, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Road-Rail Services Inaugurated

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

This first paragraph tells all.

The start of regular road-rail services on the Asa Kaigan Tetsudo in southeast Shikoku was marked with a ceremony at Awa-Kainan-Bunkamura on December 25.

I have found this video of the vehicles.

I do wonder if there is a simpler way.

In Zwickau in Germany on the Vogtlandbahn, standard Stadler diesel multiple units, run through the streets from the main station to a tram-stop like station in the centre of the town.

They are more of a train-tram, than a tram-train.

  • The train is fitted with orange warning lights.
  • The train shares the same corridor with a tram, that uses a different gauge, using three-rail track.
  • Access between the train and platform is more-or-less level and as good as, if not better than most German trains.
  • The platform at Zwickau Zentrum is an island platform, where the trams call at the other side.
  • The concept would work with any independently-powered multiple unit.

I am sure, where there are places where this will work in the UK.

We almost do the same thing at some seaside stations like Saltburn, Sheringham and St. Ives.

 

 

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Road-Rail Midi-Buses To Start Revenue Service On December 25

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

There’s more about this bus in this article on Coach and Bus Week, which is entitled Japan Launches Road-Rail Bus.

Engineers have been trying to design a road-rail busfor decades. Finally, it looks like one is up and running.

December 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 7 Comments

Velocys’ Fischer–Tropsch Tech Picked For E-fuels Project In Japan

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

Fischer–Tropsch technology has a chequered history, as it has been used by regimes like Nazi Germany and South Africa under apartheid to create the fuel they need.

But now Oxford University spin-out company; Velocys have improved the process, so that it can turn rubbish destined for landfill into sustainable aviation fuel.

This is the last paragraph from the article.

The developer says its FT reactor can enable the production of SAF from household waste and woody biomass. The end product is a high-quality version of existing fuels, requiring no changes to engines or infrastructure, Velocys says on its website.

This is surely a viable alternative to keep airlines flying, until  hydrogen-powered planes are developed.

August 29, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hydrogen And The Anglo-Australian Trade Deal

This article on the BBC is entitled UK And Australia In First Post-Brexit Trade Deal.

I can see one very profitable result of this trade deal.

The world has a large and growing need for green hydrogen produced by renewable energy.

Australia is embracing the hydrogen economy and I have posted about Australia hydrogen developments several times.

This post is entitled H2U Eyre Peninsula Gateway Hydrogen Project Begins Largest Green Ammonia Plant and it describes how Australia will convert renewable electricity into liquid green ammonia for export to Japan.

Australia has a lot of sun and can create a lot of green hydrogen and ammonia for South East Asia.

Electrolysers need to be used to convert solar and wind electricity into hydrogen, which would be exported in tankers either as liquid hydrogen or liquid ammonia.

The largest hydrogen electrolyser factory in the world, is owned by ITM Power and is located in Sheffield/Rotherham. It has a capacity to build 1 GW of electrolysers in a year.

Looking at the electrolyser market, I can see the company needing another similar-sized factory.

Australia’s Solar Power Potential

This section in the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Australia is called Potential.

These are some points from the section.

  • Typically, in the winter months, a square metre of much of Australia receives 4 kWh of insolation per day.
  • Some areas in the North receive fifty percent more.
  • Australia has the potential to install 179 GW of solar power on roofs across the nation.

Australia used to curse the sun because of all the cancer it brought. Now it could make them the world’s hydrogen powerhouse!

At present ninety percent of Australia’s solar panels are made in China.

But that may not be for ever, if what I wrote in Solar To Hydrogen Efficiency Record Broken By Australian National University Researchers, turns out to lead to an alternative technology to create hydrogen.

An Anglo-Australian Hydrogen Alliance

What better possible place to build a second electrolyser factory is there, than in Australia?

  • The Australian economy can use a lot of hydrogen for transport.
  • Australia is embracing hydrogen technology.
  • Australia is well-placed to export electrolysers to their friends in South East Asia.
  • Australia has the sun to produce massive amounts of green hydrogen.

If the UK and Australia developed hydrogen together, it would be good for both countries.

  • Australia can develop massive levels of renewable electricity from solar.
  • The UK can develop massive levels of renewable electricity from wind and possibly other sources.
  • Both countries are researching the ways to create and use hydrogen.
  • Both countries could produce hydrogen for nearby economies needing large amounts of hydrogen.
  • Many UK and Australian companies operate in both countries.

But above all, we haven’t had a major fall-out with Australia since the Bodyline Tour in 1932-1933.

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Velocys Signs Agreement For Commercial-Scale Biomass-To-Jet Fuel In Japan

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

I am very hopeful about Velocys, who are a UK public company, that were spun out of Oxford University and do clever things in the area of chemical catalysts.

Velocys’ Fischer-Tropsch technology does seem to be a good way of creating sustainable aviation fuel from household rubbish and biomass.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nippon Steel Pledges To Be Carbon Neutral By 2050

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Nippon Steel has set a goal to reach net-zero emission by 2050, Nikkei learned on Thursday, a move that could nudge other manufacturers to try to meet Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality across the country by the same year.

Nippon Steel, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, will introduce a new way of steelmaking using hydrogen which can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% compared with conventional methods of production. The steelmaker’s new green target will be unveiled in a business plan it is currently drafting which will be published by March 2021.

To my mind, hydrogen is the way to go!

December 11, 2020 Posted by | Business, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

High Speed Train Seats Used To Deliver Fresh Fish

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

East Japan Railway is testing the use of high speed passenger trains to move fresh fish from Sendai to Tokyo.

The last paragraph explains the title.

These services do not use passenger accommodation, unlike JR East’s latest test programme where the No 1 car is closed to passengers so that the seats can be used to transport the containers of fish.

But then the idea isn’t new as Great Western Railway ran a trial in 2015, with the fish travelling in the back of the locomotive on an Intercity 125. That story is also in Railway Gazette.

August 27, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments