The Anonymous Widower

Auckland Rows Back On battery Train Plan

The title of this post is the same as this article on the International ailway Journal.

This is said.

Following approval by Auckland Council, the proposal went to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for final sign-off. However, in the run-up to New Zealand’s general election on September 23, a political consensus emerged in favour of bringing forward electrification of the Papakura – Pukekohe line, prompting the NZTA to reject the case for battery trains.

Can we assume the reason for the change of order is political?

Certainly, CAF, who are building the trains seem to have the required battery technology. This is also said.

CAF says the contract will include an option to equip the trains with battery packs at a later date if required.

I just wonder if battery trains are just too risky for politicians, who tend to be rather conservative and badly-informed about anything technological.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Do Mark 2 Coaches Accept The Inevitable?

The title of this post has been chosen for the same reason I used When Do Mark 3 Coaches Accept The Inevitable?

As with the other article, I’m starting with a preamble.

What Is A Mark 2 Coach?

A Mark 2 Coach is the predecessor to the Mark 3 Coach.

The Wikipedia entry for the British Rail Mark 3 Coach , starts with this paragraph.

The Mark 2 family of railway carriages were British Rail’s second design of carriages. They were built by British Rail workshops (from 1969 British Rail Engineering Limited) (BREL) between 1964 and 1975. They were of steel construction

They became the mainstay of the Inter-City fleet and some are still in use today on the Caledonian Sleeper and for charters.

From Inter-City To Mozambique Via New ealand

This post was brought about by this article on Global Rail News, which is entitled Former British Rail Trains Find New Lease Of Life In Mozambique.

What the title doesn’t say, is that the coaches were originally sold second-hand to New Zealand in the 1990s, where they were re-gauged to three foot six inches. They are now surplus to requirements and are being moved on to Mozambique, where the gauge is the same.

September 1, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Auckland Mulls Battery-Electric Train Order

The title of this post is the title of this article on the International Railway Journal.

This is the first paragraph.

Auckland Council is expected to decide next week whether to proceed with an order for 17 battery-electric multiple units, which would replace DMUs on services on suburban services to Pukekohe.

The trains are being offered by CAF and are designed to work the Southern Line between Britomart Transport Centre in Auckland and Pukekohe.

The route is in two sections.

  • From Britomart to Papakura is electrified at 25 KVAC.
  • From Papakura to Pukekohe is run by a diesel shuttle.

The diesel shuttle runs over a distance of 18.38 km.

The plan would appear to be for the new trains to run as follows.

  • To Papakura using the current electrification, charging the battery as they travelled.
  • At Papakura they would switch to battery power for the shuttle to Pukekohe.
  • On return to Papakura, they would switch back  to the electrification and return to Auckland.

This would be a distance of 36.76 km. or just under twenty-three miles.

Conclusion

I think that this proposal is very significant.

CAF have put their money where their mouth is in this proposal, as if the trains couldn’t fulfil the requirements, it would be Spanish omelettes all over the place.

From the picture in the article on the International Railway Journal, it would appear that the offered trains are a version of the Civity train, which is being supplied to Northern as Class 331 trains.

A 23 mile battery range would be handy, as it could probably handle the Windermere Branch from Oxenholme.

 

July 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Interesting Take On Air Miles

I bought two of these little boxes in Waitrose, so I can use them for the second chop, burger, fish or steak, that I have to buy when creating a  delicious and nutritious meal for one. My freezer is half full with all this unused food.

The interesting thing is that they were made in New Zealand, so if I put them in the fridge upside down, they might save space as well.

I think it’s the first time, I’ve ever bought anything that was manufactured as opposed to grown in New Zealand.

Was it air-freighted from New Zealand with the lid closed?

If it was, it gives a whole new meaning to the subject of Air Miles!

And also when I opened it for the first time, did it release a whole container full of fresh Antipodean air into my house?

The latter might apply even if it came by sea!

A comedian could generate a whole routine around this simple container.

 

August 18, 2014 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen – The New Green Superfuel

I found this article from one of my Internet trawls. It describes how in remote areas, excess energy from a local wind farm or solar panels can be used to create hydrogen, which is then stored and used as a fuel.

This is very much experimental at the moment, but it is a simple solution to the problem of providing continuous power in remote locations.

We will be seeing lots of sensible solutions like this in the future.

August 2, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Will It Be Kangaroo Or Lamb Pie Tonight?

With Australia and New Zealand playing today in the  cricket, the question has to be asked!

With Australia at two for twelve, it looks like it’s veering t0wards kangaroo.

But because I have one in the fridge, it will actually be shepherd’s made from beef.

June 12, 2013 Posted by | Food, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

What Is Royal Stag?

The New Zealand cricket team, seems to be sponsored by Royal Stag.

It appears it’s an Indian made whisky!

Enough said!

May 25, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

How To Abuse A New Zealander

Apparently a judge has said that calling a New Zealander, a stupid, fat Aussie is racial abuse. It’s here in the Australian.

I belong to an Internet forum about Visual Basic and sometimes, the banter between Aussies and Kiwis has got a bit fruity, with frequent references to sheep. Although, it hasn’t happened for some time!

I’ve also been involved in lots of banter with Aussies, that you wouldn’t have used with some nationalities as they are much more sensitive.

November 22, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

The Dominions Stick Together

In some ways it’s one of the best pieces of news for Africa in a long time, but the decision of the SKA organisation to site their new radio telescope in remote parts of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, is to be welcomed. The details are here on the BBC’s web site.

Milton Nkosi from the BBC says this about the project.

This decision will help to change the perception that Africa is a dark continent full of death and destruction and where little scientific research is carried out.

The telescope will deliver thousands of jobs and will showcase South Africa’s rich history in astronomy.

The SKA will have 3,000 antennas across a vast semi-desert part of South Africa known as the Karoo. The site is already home to seven massive Gregorian dish antennas that form part of the Karoo Array Telescope, or Kat7.

The only thing history tells us about it, is that the project will get bigger. And it will be joined by other large instruments.

May 25, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , | 2 Comments

A South African Joke

The British tell Irish jokes, the Dutch tell some about Belgium and all the friends I’ve ever had from Zimbabwe have told jokes about stupid South Africans, usually of Boer ancestry.

Here‘s a true story about some South Africans who went to New Zealand for the rugby. Instead of booking a hotel in Eastbourne, a suburb of Wellington, they booked one in Eastbourne, by the sea in Sussex.

I suppose it could have been worse.  There’s another Eastbourne in County Durham, wghich is even further away. They could have watched the athletics yesterday and the Great North Run today, though.

September 18, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment