The Anonymous Widower

Bombardier’s 125 Mph Electric Train With Batteries

In Bombardier Bi-Mode Aventra To Feature Battery Power, I said this.

The title of this post is the same as this article in Rail Magazine.

A few points from the article.

  • Development has already started.
  • Battery power could be used for Last-Mile applications.
  • The bi-mode would have a maximum speed of 125 mph under both electric and diesel power.
  • The trains will be built at Derby.
  • Bombardier’s spokesman said that the ambience will be better, than other bi-modes.
  • Export of trains is a possibility.

Bombardier’s spokesman also said, that they have offered the train to three new franchises. East Midlands, West Coast Partnership and CrossCountry.

It has struck me, that for some applications, that the diesel engines are superfluous.

In the July 2018 Edition of Modern Railways, in an article entitled Bi-Mode Aventra Details Revealed.

In a report of an interview with Bombardier’s Des McKeon, this is said.

Conversion to pure electric operation is also a key design feature, with the ability to remove the diesel engines and fuel tanks at a later date.

So why not swap the diesel engines and add an equal weight of extra batteries?

Batteries would have the following uses.

Handling Energy Generated By Regenerative Braking

Batteries would certainly be handling the regenerative braking.

This would give efficiency savings in the use of electricity.

The total battery power of the train, would have to be large enough to handle all the electricity generated by the regenerative braking.

In the Mathematics Of A Bi-Mode Aventra With Batteries, I calculated the kinetic energy of the train.

I’ll repeat the calculation and assume the following for a pure electric train.

  • The train is five cars, with say four motored cars.
  • The empty train weighs close to 180 tonnes.
  • There are 430 passengers, with an average weight of 90 Kg each, with baggage, bikes and buggies.
  • This gives a total train weight of 218.7 tonnes.
  • The train is travelling at 200 kph or 125 mph.

These figures mean that the kinetic energy of the train is 94.8 kWh. This was calculated using Omni’s Kinetic Energy Calculator.

My preferred battery arrangement would be to put a battery in each motored car of the train, to reduce electrical loses and distribute the weight. Let’s assume four of the five cars have a New Routemaster-sized battery of 55 kWh.

So the total onboard storage of the train could easily be around 200 kWh, which should be more than enough to accommodate the energy generated , when braking from full speed..

Traction And Hotel Power

Battery power would also be available to move the train and provide hotel power, when there is no electrification.

In an article in the October 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Celling England By The Pound, Ian Walmsley says this in relation to trains running on the Uckfield Branch, which is not very challenging.

A modern EMU needs between 3 and 5 kWh per vehicle mile for this sort of service.

As the Aventra is probably one of the most modern of electric multiple units, I suspect that an Aventra will be at the lower end of this range.

An Intelligent Computer

The train’s well-programmed computer would do the following.

  • Choose whether to use electrification or battery power to power the train.
  • Decide when the battery could be charged, when electrification power was being used.
  • Arrange, that when a train stopped at a station without electrification, the batteries were as full as possible.
  • Manage power load, by shutting off or switching equipment to a low energy mode, when the train was running on batteries.
  • Raise and lower the pantograph as required.

The computer could take account of factors such as.

  • Passenger load and total weight.
  • Route and train’s position.
  • Weather.
  • Future signals.

The computer would only be doing a similar job that is done by those in the flight control systems of aircraft.

Although, trains run in less dimensions and don’t need to be steered.

How Far Would This Train Go On Batteries?

This is question of the same nature as how long is a piece of string?

It depends on the following.

  • The severity of the route.
  • The size of the batteries.
  • The load on the train.
  • The number of stops.
  • Any delays from slow-moving trains.
  • The timetable to be used.

I would expect that train manufacturers and operating companies will have a sophisticated mathematical model of the train and the route, that can be run through various scenarios.

With modern computers you could do a Monte-Carlo simulation, trying out millions of combinations, which would give a very accurate value for the battery size to have a near hundred percent chance of being able to run the route to the timetable.

After all if you ran out of power with a battery train, you stop and the train has to be rescued.

Suppose you were going to run your 125 mph Electric Train With Batteries from Kings Cross to Middlesbrough.

  • You would need a battery range of about fifty miles, to go between Northallerton and Middlesbrough stations and come back.
  • You would also need to have enough power to provide hotel power in Middlesbrough station, whilst the train was turning back.

Certain things could be arranged so that the service runs smoothly.

  1. The train must leave the East Coast Main Line with a fully-charged battery.
  2. The train must leave the East Coast Main Line as fast as possible.
  3. The train should have a minimum dwell time at all the intermediate stops.
  4. The train could be driven very precisely to minimise energy use.

Some form of charging system could also be provided at Middlesbrough. Although it could be difficult as there are only two platforms and trains seem to turn round in a very short time of six minutes

Electrification could also be extended for two hundred metres or so, at Northallerton junction to ensure points 1 and 2 were met.

Effectively, trains would be catapulted at maximum energy towards Middlesbrough.

Points 3 and 4 require good signalling, a good Driver Advisory System and above all good driving and operation.

What Other Routes Could Use 125 mph Electric Trains With Batteries?

Use your imagination!

 

 

 

 

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

£690 Million Competition For Local Authorities To Tackle Urban Congestion And Get Local Transport Networks Moving Again

This quote is directly from today’s budget and is the real joker in the pack.

Is the £690 million all for one project, or is it to be split between say thirty ones of £20 million or so.

What I like about it, is that several towns and cities will come forward with very good well-structured schemes.

Schemes, I’ve seen in Europe that I like include.

In some ways the Kassel tram-train system is the most impressive.  I sat in a cafe and watched trams and large trams (tram-trains) cross in front of me. Passengers would get off and on and then when their next tram or tram-train arrived they would board and go on their way.

When you see Kasssel, you realise what an opportunity was missed in Manchester, where tram-trains could come into Piccadilly station, take to the streets and pass through Piccadilly Gardens and then go to Victoria station, where they took to the tracks again.

If we look at the cost of the latest Manchester Metrolink extension to the Trafford Centre, it is disclosed in this article in Railway Technology Magazine at £350 million.

So you could get two tram lines for the whole £690 million. Or one line and a lot of tram-trains, trams or trains.

  • Large central squares are rare in the UK compared to Europe.
  • Birmingham has one, but it’s already got a local transport network. It was also have their version of Seville’s trams.
  • Liverpool has the waterfront, but it’s buying new trains.
  • Nottingham has one, but like Birmingham has a tram network.

The interesting one is Middlesbrough.

This Google Map shows the town centre.

Note the railway passing through the town with the Grade II Listed Middlesbrough station to the North of the town centre.

One line through the station is the Tees Valley Line from Saltburn on the Coast to Bishop Auckland a few miles inland.

If this line were to be run by tram-trains or at least modern trains  (London Overground Class 172 (?)) that looked like trams, they could go walk-about through the gardens and the shops in the centre of the town and have stops by the shops in the centre, the Town Hall and the Riverside stadium.

Stops on the line would include Redcar, Darlington and Newton Aycliffe.

Branches from the line go all over the area to Hartlepool, Stockton, Whitby and Sunderland and Newcastle via the Durham Coast Line.

A lot of people will have fun with this competition.

Places to watch would include.

  • Brighton to Hove along the front.
  • Southend.
  • Portsmouth to Southampton
  • Cardiff
  • Milton Keynes
  • Huddersfield
  • Leeds-Bradford and the Airport.

Some of the schemes that don’t get funding could even be picked up by the various infrastructure funds, that are always looking for investments.

Spreadsheet Phil has had an idea with vision!

The size of the fund could bring forward some very innovative ideas, other than the usual by-passes, car-parks and more of the same shops.

 

March 8, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Class 319 Flex Trains And Reopening Newcastle To Ashington

In Reopening Newcastle To Ashington, I suggested that Class 319 Flex trains might be useful in reopening the route to passenger trains.

This map is taken from on the South East Northumberland Rail User Group (SENRUG) web site.

ashingtonnewcastle

The East Coast Main Line is shown in red, with the proposed reopened line in a thick orange.

I have since heard from SENRUG and this is a summary of their e-mail.

  • The line from Newcastle to Ashington takes freight along its entire length.
  • The route between Newcastle and Bedlington and the Choppington Branch is a diversionary route for HSTs.
  • The new Hitachi Class 800 trains will be able to use the Bedlington-Choppington route.
  • SENRUG are promoting Ashington to Butterwell as an extension to the route and a further HST diversion.

The e-mail finishes with this sentence.

Northern tell us the reason why they don’t want electric trains on the Morpeth branch (which is wired) is because they need to consolidate maintenance expertise at Heaton Depot and need flexibility to switch units around from route to route. Thus any new stock for the Ashington route also has to travel on the 3 other routes, all of which also take freight and inter-city type services.

Come in the Class 319 Flex train, the Teessiders, Tynesiders and Wearsiders need you!

  • Newcastle-Morpeth would be run using electric power, with all other lines from Newcastle  using two 390kW rail-proven MAN diesel engines.
  • The trains have a performance as good if not better than a Class 156 train.
  • The trains are four-car and meet all regulations.
  • Back-to-back services through Newcastle, such as Ashington to Sunderland or Middlesborough and Morpeth to Hexham, would be possible.
  • The trains could also work Middlesbrough – Newcastle – Hexham – Carlisle via the Leamside Line, if Northern wanted to open the line in 2019.
  • Northern get their route flexibility from Newcasstle, as the trains could work any route from the city.
  • The standard Class 319 trains have mixed it with big freight trains for thirty years on the Bedpan (Bedford to Brighton via St. Pancras).
  • They can go anywhere that an HST or a Class 156 train can go. So does that include some lines of the Metro?
  • When on the East Coast Main Line, they can up pantograph and cruise at 100 mph, just as they do on the West Coast Main Line now.
  • If any lines have steep gradients, the trains are designed for the 1-in-60 climb up to Buxton after a United-City Derby.

But the biggest advantage of the train, must be that as planners have ideas for new services, so long as the track and signalling are up-to-scratch, it’s just a case of Have Track, Will Travel!

As Northern were part of the writing of the specification for the Class 319 Flex train, I can’t believe that they didn’t take what they could do in the North East into account.

Consider.

  • Northern are developing a similar network using a mix of Class 319 and Class 319 Flex trains linking Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston, based at Allerton Depot in Liverpool.
  • There have been proposals for new stations on the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and Berwick-on-Tweed. 100 mph Class 319 trains would be ideal for a stopping service between Newcastle and Berwick.
  • Are there possibilities to run services into North Yorkshire?
  • Class 319 Flex trains could work Newcastle to Carlisle.
  • Bishop Auckland, Northallerton, Saltburn, Sunderland and Whitby could be worked from Midlesbrough.

Northern could stable an appropriate mix of Class 319 and Class 319 Flex trains at a convenient depot, deploying as required using the electrified East Coast Main Line.

Could Northern be developing an electric hub concept, as what could happen in the North East could mirror what is happening in the North West?

  • Central depot on an electrified main line, with good high-speed electrified connections to all routes served.
  • A number of four-car 100 mph electric trains- At present they have a total of thirty Class 319 trains.
  • A number of four-car 100 mph bi-mode trains. – At present they have a number of Class 319 Flex trains in development.
  • New routes could be developed using the bi-mode Flex trains.
  • If electrification happens on a route, the electric trains might take over.

But Northern have forty-three Class 331 electric trains on order.

These are three and four car 100 mph trains.. Northern probably have plans for these trains, but they could supplement the fleet at either hub, as routes get more numerous and passenger numbers increase.

A similar electric hub could develop at Leeds.

It looks to be a very flexible philosophy.

At some point in the future, it could happen that all Class 319 trains are the Flex variant and they work in tandem with a bog-standard four-car 100 mph electric multiple unit.

 

March 7, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

York Potash Haven’t Wasted Much Time

This article in the Teeside Gazette is entitled York Potash jobs: How to apply at massive project expected to employ more than 1,000. The first paragraph is.

York Potash project boss pledge: ‘If we can employ every single one of our team from the local area – then we will’

In my book a thousand jobs is good news, so why is only the local paper reporting it?

October 22, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Will The Fight Continue Over Potash On The York Moors?

This article on Grough is entitled Campaigners fight on as North York Moors potash mine formally approved.

As the mine could employ upwards of a couple of thousand people, have the campaigners sent personal letters to all the redundant steelworkers explaining how it is more important that they are unemployed?

How can people be so selfish?

October 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | , , , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter To George Osborne About Teeside

I should say, I have no connection to Teeside, except that I quite like the area.

There is little that can be done about SSI Redcar, other than hope for a miracle, as there is so much steel being produced in the world, that the price will only get lower and the plant will get less and less economic.

I also live in Dalston, which since the arrival of the London Overground five years ago, has very much gone up in the world! And in some ways, like employment, gone up for those at all levels in society.

So I very much feel, that improving a railway and other forms of public transport, can only make an area more attractive for investment, employment, living and leisure.

Teeside has been lobbying for a Metro for years, to link the knit the area together.

There is only one way that this can be provided in the absolutely necesary short time-scale.

The railway line between Newton Aycliffe and Middlebrough should be electrified, as soon as possible. Immediately, this would enable.

  • The new trains being produced at Newton Aycliffe by Hitachi, to get to the East Coast Main Line under their own power.
  • Direct electric train services between Middlesbrough, Darlington and all points North and South from Edinburgh to London on the East Coast Main Line.

Northern Rail or their successor have been mandated in the new Invitation to Tender for the franchise to provide 120 new carriages to replace the disgusting Pacer trains.

Some of these new carriages should be the IPEMU variant of the new Aventra trains, being produced by Bombardier at Derby, which could by the use of the electrification at Middlesbrough and on the East Coast Main Line and the trains on-board batteries be able to run on the following routes.

  • Saltburn to Bishop Auckland via Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley Line
  • Hexham to Nunthorpe via the Tyne Valley Line, Newcastle, Sunderland, the Durham Coast Line, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
  • Middlesbrough to Whitby could be done later.

The faster electric trains would increase capacity, decrease journey times and improve frequencies.

The only construction needed for the new trains, would be a small amount of platform lengthening and adjustments to the track and signalling.

 

 

September 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Creation Of The Tees Valley Metro

James Cook station is the first project that could be thought of as part of the proposal to create a Tees Valley Metro, which is described in Wikipedia like this.

The Tees Valley Metro is a project to upgrade the Tees Valley Line and sections of the Esk Valley Line and Durham Coast Line to provide a faster and more frequent service. In the initial phases the services will be heavy rail mostly along existing alignments. The later phase may introduce tram-trains to allow street running.

Tram-trains could be ideal for the line and perhaps if they ran past the Riverside stadium could be used to provide a stop there.

The proposed layout of the metro is powerful in that it links the East Coast Main Line at Darlington and the possibly soon-to-be-electrified Middlesbrough station to a number of both local heavy rail lines and a couple of heritage ones, opening up the area for all sorts of business, leisure and employment opportunities.

If Newton Aycliffe becomes a major train building centre as Hitachi hope, then surely that area could become an important destination on the Tees Valley Metro.

This Google Earth image shows the Tees Valley Line through Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough

Note Middlesbrough station at the west (left) and South Bank station at the east, at the top of the image.

The current Tees Valley Line threads its way between the two stations, on the north side of the main A66 road, passing close to the Riverside stadium.

The Esk Valley Line to James Cook, Nunthorpe and Whitby  branches off from this line between Middlesbrough station and the stadium and goes off in a generally south-easterly direction alongside the A172 road.

 

 

March 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

A Dreadful, But Totally Avoidable Train Journey

As a coeliac who avoids gluten and also because I’ve had a stroke and am on Warfarin, I have to be very careful about my diet. For this reason I plan my pit-stops well when I travel by train. If I do change trains, I usually arrange this at a station like Birmingham New Street, Cambridge or Leeds, where I know there is a good M & S Simply Food or a selection of restaurants that I trust.

The last couple of days, I have been in Scotland and on the way back I saw Ipswich Town play at Middlesbrough.

As Middlesbrough is a particularly difficult town for suitable food, I decided to come south as soon as possible after the lunchtime match. I did get lunch of sorts from the M & S in the town.

Quiche And Lemonade On A Bitterly Cold Day

Quiche And Lemonade On A Bitterly Cold Day

It was bitterly cold and I ate it in the gardens in from of the Crown Court. But hey, two of my family’s bloodlines are Jewish and Huguenot and I reckon at times, they’d have found my simple lunch a veritable feast.

A couple of weeks before, I’d tried to book a First Class ticket from Middlesbrough to Kings Cross, but found the prices rather stratospheric, so in the end I bought a reasonably priced First Class ticket from Middlesbrough to Peterborough changing at York, from where I could get a Great Northern train into London.

I had assumed that the difficult availability of tickets was because of the England-Scotland match at Twickenham and at no time did the on-line booking process on East Coast inform me of the real reason for a ticket shortage.

It was only, when I caught the Virgin Trains East Coast train at York, did the staff inform me of the reason. The East Coast Main Line was subject to engineering work and we’d be using a diversion.

Unlike some other companies, East Coast’s gluten-free offering is non-existent, so I was getting hungrier by the hour, as we were shown the delights of the GNGE in the dark.

As the train  was going on to Kings Cross and there were plenty of empty seats, I asked the conductor if I could buy a ticket to complete the journey on the train, rather than decamping at Peterborough to purchase a ticket for another train.

Astronomic prices were mentioned, which bore no relation to the twenty pounds or so, my phone said I would need to spend on-line for a Standard Class ticket. So I got off and bought a ticket in the Booking Office for around ten pounds for Great Northern. Incidentally, the Off-Park Single with a Railcard for East Coast is £14.75. So where did a price of three times that come from?

I finally arrived in London six hours after I left Middlesbrough. To cap it all, the only gluten-free food left in M & S at Kings Cross was one packet of sandwiches.

I could say the sandwiches were stale to add colour to this tale! But they were excellent!

If the works on the line had been flagged up when I tried to book the ticket, I would have only used East Coast as a last resort. After all, I could have gone via Sheffield or Manchester, where I can at least get something to eat. The Booking Office clerk at Peterborough had told me that they have to tell personal callers that there are problems! So why not on the web?

The conductor on the train, said it was all my fault, as I should have gone to Kings Cross, to read all the information about engineering works. Doesn’t that remove one of the advantages of booking on-line?

If you say you want to collect a ticket from a station that is not the  starting point of your journey, the train purchase web sites ask you if this is what you want to do. Surely, a warning if there are works or likely delays on your route could be similarly indicated.

The real losers in this tale are Virgin Trains East Coast, as they had an empty seat between Peterborough and Kings Cross, for which I would probably have paid a reasonable amount. Next time I go to York or Doncaster where there is an alternative, I will also probably use it.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Match Thirty-Seven – Middlesbrough 4 – Ipswich 1

I travelled very apprehensively to this early match and my fears were realised by the heavy defeat.

The crowd wasn’t big, as this picture shows.

A Sparse Crowd At Middlesbrough

A Sparse Crowd At Middlesbrough

I do think if they are going to have an early kick-off for the benefit of Sky, then clubs should at least make sure the crowd is bigger.

The match turned in an unusual way.

After four minutes Ayala scored for Middlesbrough and in the process both Ayala and the Ipswich goalkeeper; Dean Gerken were injured.

The replacement of Gerken made no difference to Ipswich, but after twenty-four minutes Ayala was replaced by Jonathan Woodgate. In his time, Woodgate has been talked about as one of the best centre-backs in England, but he’s hardly fulfilled his promise, due to a long list of injuries.

After he came on, Ipswich got hardly a sniff at goal.

I do hope if we are going to play in Middlesbrough in the future, that the match is scheduled for August or September.

I don’t think there can be a colder place in England!

 

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 1 Comment

James Cook Station – The Reinvention Of The Halt

Simple stations or halts, were once very common on UK railways. These pictures show James Cook station in Middlesbrough, which is a new small station, that opened in May 2014.

As the trains stopping at the station have conductors to sell tickets, there is no ticket machine, but there is a smart shelter, a help point, a destination board, a step-free bridge and ramps to the single platform.

James Cook station is the first construction in the possible creation of a Tees Valley Metro, which may see other new stations created or old ones reopened.

Surely, some of the ideas used in the design of the single platform James Cook station could be used at several places on the Tees Valley Metro and the wider UK rail network.

Incidentally, is there another station named solely after a person?

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | 6 Comments