The Anonymous Widower

Distributed Power Supplies Key To Rolls’ Earnings

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Diesel and Gas Turbine Worldwide.

Rolls Royce Power Systems is a German company, that is wholly-owned by Rolls-Royce, that makes power units for trains, ships and power standby systems.

  • Despite the pandemic they have not been doing badly.
  • Orders appear to have grown 19 % in the last year.
  • Climate-friendly products are noted in the article as important for the future.

The company has formed a Sustainable Power Solutions business unit to handle this area.

One of their products recently made its debut in the UK and I wrote about it in First Passenger Journey In The UK With mtu Hybrid PowerPack.

All seemed to go well.

It does appear that one part of Rolls-Royce is on the way to recovery.

August 7, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

UK Cruise Ships Scrapped In India’s ‘Ship Graveyard’

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Two UK cruise ships have been scrapped on an Indian beach despite assurances they would continue to be operated.

The ships are the Marco Polo and the Magellan, whose owner went bust due to the pandemic.

After a couple of transactions, they will be heading to the ship-breaker at Alang in North-West India.

This Google Map shows the yard. Or beach!

What a mess!

It looks to me, that someone has been doing a bit of sleight of ship to get round UK regulations, which class ships at the end of their lives as hazardous waste and make it illegal to send them to developing countries.



March 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments

The Foul-Smelling Fuel That Could Power Big Ships

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

The article talks in detail about using liquid ammonia to power large ocean-going ships.

  • A research project is underway in Copenhagen.
  • The ammonia would be green ammonia produced by renewable energy.

The aim is to seriously reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from shipping.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Green Tugboats? ‘Revolutionary’ Hydrogen Ship Engine Unveiled In Belgium

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

This is the first paragraph.

A “revolutionary” hybrid ship engine powered by green hydrogen and diesel has been unveiled today in Belgium, with developers claiming the innovation could cut CO2 emissions from ships, trains and electricity generators by up to 85 per cent.

The engine has been given the name BeHydro.

The first order has been received by the developers; ABC, for two 2MW dual fuel engines that will be installed on a hydrogen-powered tug for the Port of Antwerp.

Motors up to the size of 10 MW are under development.

This is the last sentence of the article.

In theory, any large diesel engine can be replaced by a BeHydro engine. The hydrogen future starts today.

It is a quote from the CEO  of one of the companies involved.


This is a development to follow.

The BeHydro engine, with its dual-fuel approach, is claimed to cut carbon emissions by 85 %.

In the Wikipedia entry for ABC or Anglo Belgian Corporation, there is a section called Products. This is a paragraph.

The engines are found in use on large river barges such as those found on the Rhine, coastal freighters, fishing boats, ferries, tugboats (which typically use 2 engines), and other ships. Other applications include electricity generation, and pumping engines, engines for cranes, and locomotives (including the Belgian Railways Class 77 and Voith Maxima), as well as dual fuel (gas/oil) DZD engines.

I feel that that the BeHydro engine will keep the company busy.

September 19, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

British Start-Up Attempts To Bring Steam Power Back To Shipping

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Splash 247.

These are the introductory p[aragraphs.

A British start-up called Steamology is trying to bring steam power back to shipping. However, the key difference for this 21st century invention is that instead of steam generated by burning coal, Steamology’s steam is generated by burning pure oxygen and hydrogen, split from water.

The company has just won UK government innovation funding of £400,000 ($496,000) to trial the technology initially for trains but with a longer term view of getting it onboard ships.

There’s also a good graphic, which explains how the technology works.



July 2, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Batteries Are Beautiful – Silent Sailing Is An Eco-Winner

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Riviera Maritime Media.

It is a must-read article about the way, ships will be powered in the future.

Already, the Norwegian operator; Hurtigruten, has ordered two hybrid powered cruise ships, the first first of which is the MS Raold Amundsen.

August 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Liverpool2 On The One Show

Liverpool2 is the Port of Liverpool’s new extension to handle the largest container ships.

They were reporting from it today on BBC’s One Show, as it will official open tomorrow.

  • It can handle two of the largest container ships at the same time.
  • It can handle 95% of the global container fleet.
  • The Canada Dock branch is being upgraded, so it can handle 48 trains per day.

Depending what you read, Peel Ports are investing up to £750million in upgrading their port of  Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal.

This article in the Liverpool Echo is entitled Liverpool port’s Panama deal could boost transatlantic trade from city.

This is said.

Bosses at the Port of Liverpool have signed a deal with the Panama Canal’s owners they say could create jobs and help boost trade across the Atlantic.

Peel Ports has signed an agreement with the Panama Canal Authority, which runs the vital waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The Memorandum of Understanding aims to grow trade links between Liverpool and the west coast of America via the Panama Canal.

So will that bottle of Chilean wine have arrived in the UK, via the Panama Canal and Liverpool?

I remember reading somewhere or I might have been told by someone in the University, that if you send goods by container ship from the Americas to Europe, that going via Liverpool and then using a train, takes a day off the journey, than going via Rotterdam.

So Liverpool can exploit its position at one end of the Blue Banana. I wrote more about this in Have You Heard about…the New European Transport Strategy?, which I wrote when the Gotthard Base Tunnel was completed.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of the container traffic through Liverpool in a few years time is coming from or going to mainland Europe.

With many goods, speed is paramount and Liverpool’s position may give it an advantage.

Incidentally, one of the main reasons for HS2, is to create freight paths between the Liverpool, Birmingham, London and the Channel Tunnel, on the West Coast Main Line, by reducing the passenger trains on the line,

Where the trouble is going to come is in London, as freight trains between Liverpool and Europe will have to come through Camden, Islington and Hackney. At least, they’re electrifying the missing link between Gospel Oak and Barking.

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

On My Way To Split

Dubrovnik does not have a railway station, so it was a ferry to Split.

It certainly wasn’t the typical Mediterranean rust-bucket, that I’ve encountered in Greece and Italy, but a modern high-speed catamaran, that had been built in Australia.

The only problem was that the boat wasn’t big enough, for the large number of passengers going to Split from the islands. But this is to be expected, as it was the only boat on the day I travelled.

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Everybody Razzle Dazzle

I took these pictures of the Mersey Ferry; Snowdrop, which has been given a razzle-dazzle colour scheme by Sir Peter Blake.

I like it.

April 29, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Sunderland Port Gets A Rail Connection

I’m all for freight traffic to be on the railways, even if it sometimes means that noisy and smelly freight trains pass through residential areas. But on the plus side, I’ve seen how rail improvements connecting the Port of Ferlixstowe to the wider rail network, has taken so much traffic off the busy A14. It is my belief, that one of the best ways to increase motorway capacity, is to remove as much long distance freight as possible.

DB Schenker obviously want to promote rail freight for commercial reasons and they seem to be backing a lot of new rail developments like the Northern Hub.

So I was not surprised to see the company very much behind the re-opening of a rail link into the Port of Sunderland, as reported in this piece in Modern Railways. DB Schenker’s spokesman says this.

Ports play a crucial part in DB Schenker Rail’s growth strategy and we are delighted to bring rail back to Port of Sunderland.

It will be interesting to see how busy this rail link becomes in the next few years.

Increasingly, these last mile rail links are being created or renewed. The only losers are probably the drivers of heavy good vehicles.

This small rail link has been renewed in an area that could see a lot of development in the next few years. This Google Earth map shows the rough route of the rail link along the coast.

The Durham Coast South Of Sunderland

The Durham Coast South Of Sunderland

Sunderland Port is marked by the two curved breakwaters at the top and the link joins the Durham Coast Line that runs from Newcastle via Sunderland and Hartlepool to Middlesbrough, at Ryhope Grange junction, which is near to the marked McDonalds.

The Durham Coast Line has an hourly service between Newcastle and Middlesbrough and also connects various ports and sites to the rail freight network. It is also used by Grand Central services between Sunderland and London and as a diversionary route for the East Coast Main Line. Local groups are also keen that the line be upgraded with a better passenger service between the Tyne, Wear and Tees areas.

In a sane world, this line would be a prime candidate for electrification linked to the East Coast Main Line at Newcastle and Darlington. A few points.

1. It would be an important electrified diversion for the increasingly crowded East Coast Main Line.

2. I suspect Grand Central and other East Coast Main Line operators are pushing for this electrification, as it would enable direct high speed services between Newcastle and London via Sunderland, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

3. After the completed electrification of the Trans-Pennine routes, it would also improve services from towns and cities not on the East Coast Main Line to the western side of the Pennines.

However full electrification is probably not possible as the northern part of the line has been electrified for the Newcastle Metro to a different standard. But the new passenger trains like the Class 800 and new freight locomotives like the Class 88, would just switch to their on-board diesel power,

As an aside here, Tees Valley Metro, is being developed around Middlesbrough, in rather a stop-go fashion. Surely if the Durham Coast Line is electrified and that electrification is extended to Darlington and then perhaps on  the Tees Valley Line to Bishops Auckland to serve both the National Railway Museum at Shildon and the Hitachi train factory at Newton Aycliffe. It would seem a bit mad to build a large factory to make electric trains and then have to haul them in-and-out with a diesel locomotive.

If nothing else, all of these options prove to me, that the North East should have a similar sort of autonomy as Greater Manchester is getting. That would enable the area to bring together all of the ideas about extending the transport system.

Looking at Wikipedia’s list of proposed rail infrastructure projects, these are in the North East.

Ashington, Blyth And Tyne

Leamside Line Reopening

Newcastle Station Redevelopment

Tees Valley Metro

Tyne And Wear Metro Developments

It’s not a  long list. Other areas south of Hadrian’s Wall, like Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Merseyside and Manchester have much better developed plans on the drawing board, even if they know some will be a long time coming.

I wonder if Department of Transport officials when talking to representatives from the North East, say to them, you’ve got an electrified railway to London, the Tyne and Wear Metro, rebuilding of Newcastle station and a brand new train factory, so what more do you want?

Surely, local elected representatives should decide what is best value to the communities they serve. No-one based outside an area, can ever know all of the subtle local reasons, why things should or should not be done. As an example, Greater Anglia’s stations in East London are managed from Norwich. I don’t think they manage them very well and not for good reason are most being put under the care of Transport for London.

Most transport in the North East should be under the control of a single body, so that the limited finances available will be better allocated.

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment