The Anonymous Widower

Coronavirus Pushes Switch From Cash To Card Payment

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Cash sales of tickets on the Metlink transport network in Greater Wellington will end on March 23, in a move which Metlink said was designed ‘to stay one step ahead of Covid-19 and give our passengers and staff more peace of mind’.

Should all buses, trams and trains go cash-free and contactless in the UK?

 

March 19, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ready To Charge

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in Issue 898 of Rail Magazine.

This is the sub-title of the article.

Vivarail could be about to revolutionise rail traction with its latest innovation

The article details their plans to bring zero-carbon trains to the UK.

These are a few important more general points.

  • The diesel gensets in the trains can be eco-fenced to avoid unning on diesel in built-up areas.
  • The Transport for Wales trains could be the last Vivarail diesel trains.
  • A 100 kWh battery pack is the same size as a diesel generator. I would assume they are almost interchangeable.
  • Various routes are proposed.
  • In future battery trains will be Vivarail’s focus.
  • At the end of 2020, a battery demonstration train will be dispatched to the United States.
  • Two-car trains will have a forty-mile range with three-cars managing sixty.
  • Trains could be delivered in nine to twelve months.

The company also sees Brexit as an opportunity and New Zealand as a possible market.

Modifying Other Trains

The article also states that Vivarail are looking at off-lease electric multiple units for conversion to battery operation.

Vivarail do not say, which trains are involved.

Vivarail’s Unique Selling Point

This is the last two paragraphs of the article.

“Our unique selling point is our Fast Charge system. It’s a really compelling offer.” Alice Gillman of Vivarail says.

Vivarail has come a long way in the past five years and with this innobvative system it is poised to bring about a revolution in rail traction in the 2020s.

Conclusion

Could the train, that Vivarail refused to name be the Class 379 trains?

  • There are thirty trainsets of four-cars.
  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • They are under ten years old.
  • They meet all the Persons of Reduced Mobility regulations.
  • They currently work Stansted Airport and Cambridge services for Greater Anglia.
  • They are owned by Macquarie European Rail.

I rode in one yesterday and they are comfortable with everything passengers could want.

The train shown was used for the BEMU Trial conducted by Bombardier, Network Rail and Greater Anglia.

The only things missing, for these trains to run a large number of suitable routes under battery power are.

  • A suitable fast charging system.
  • Third rail equipment that would allow the train to run on lines with third-rail electrification.
  • Third rail equipment would also connect to Vivarail’s Fast Charge system

As I have looked in detail at Vivarail’s engineering and talked to their engineers, I feel that with the right advice and assistance, they should be able to play a large part in the conversion of the Class 379 fleet to battery operation.

These trains would be ideal for the Uckfield Branch and the Marshlink Line.

If not the Class 379 trains, perhaps some Class 377 trains, that are already leased to Southern, could be converted.

I could see a nice little earner developing for Vivarail, where train operating companies and their respective leasing companies employ them to create battery sub-fleets to improve and extend their networks.

February 16, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

End Of The World! All Blacks Stunned By Incredible English

The title of this post, is a caption to a picture on the NZ Herald web site.

I watched and enoyed every minute of the match!

October 26, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Arup Called In To Help New Zealand Run Ports And Trains On Hydrogen

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Global Construction Review.

This is the first paragraph.

UK consulting engineer Arup has been brought in to help design and deliver a hydrogen factory for New Zealand’s second largest port. Ports of Auckland said it plans to build a production facility to make the gas from tap water, which it will use to fuel ships, trucks, buses, cars and trains.

It is all part of the aim of making the port of Auckland, zero-carbon by 2040.

I think we’ll see other large self-contained sites like ports, airports, rail container terminals and large industrial complexes using hydrogen, as it may offer advantages over batteries in terms of range, lifting capacity and vehicle size and weight.

There is also no problem with the regular replacement of batteries in equipment like mobile cranes, which in New Zealand’s case will mean importing new ones.

I suspect, hydrogen may be more affordable to run than batteries for Auckland.

 

December 7, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 | Transport | , , , , , | 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 Zealand

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.

The Wikipedia entry for the New Zealand British Rail Mark 2 Carriage says this about the gauge conversion.

Because of construction constraints, most railway lines in New Zealand have a limited loading gauge. Great Britain uses 1,435 mm (4 ft 8in) standard gauge, but its loading gauge is only slightly larger than New Zealand’s Cape gauge. This means that British Rail rolling stock like the Mark 2 carriage can run on most New Zealand lines after gauge conversion. To fit the New Zealand loading gauge, the Mark 2s were lowered on their new bogies by 25 centimetres.

This is the introduction to the Wikipedia entry for Cape gauge.

Railways with a track gauge of 3 ft 6 in / 1,067 mm were first constructed as horse-drawn wagonways. From the mid-nineteenth century, the 3 ft 6 in gauge became widespread in the British Empire, was known as the Cape Gauge, and was adopted as a standard in Japan and Taiwan.

There are approximately 112,000 kilometres (70,000 mi) of 1,067 mm gauge track in the world, which are classified as narrow gauge railways.

There are quite a lot of raiways with this gauge.

Could modern UK rolling stock be converted to the 1,067 mm narrow gauge?

I suspect the answer is n the affirmative and new British rolling stock like a Bormbardier Aventra or CAF Civity could be adapted to fit the narrow gauge in Australia, New Zealand and large parts of Africa.

September 1, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 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 | Transport | , , , , , | 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