The Anonymous Widower

H2goesRail

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page on the Deutsche Bahn web site.

These three paragraphs introduce the H2goesRail philosopher.

Deutsche Bahn is currently developing and implementing solutions that utilize hydrogen. One such endeavor is the H2goesRail project. In partnership with Siemens Mobility, we are breaking new ground and driving forward decarbonization of the transport sector for the good of the environment. Together we are developing an innovative hydrogen system for rail transport, which will comprise a refueling station, hydrogen train, and maintenance infrastructure.

We aim to replace diesel multiple units in regional service and thus further reduce carbon emissions in rail transport. To achieve this, with H2goesRail we are developing an innovative mobile refueling station whose smart control unit will allow fast refueling of hydrogen trains.

DB Energie GmbH will ensure the supply of hydrogen for the project, from production by means of renewable-powered electrolysis all the way through to storage and provision.

There is a lot of video.

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

Should All Trains Have Grab Handles By The Doors?

These pictures show the vertical grab handles on London Overground Class 710 trains.

Note the vertical handles everywhere and especially tucked into the corner behind the door.

These pictures show the interior of a 1973 Stock train on the Piccadilly Line.

There are worse trains in the UK.

It should be noted that the trains were extensively refurbished in 1996-2001.

Should all trains have lots of grab handles like these two examples? And especially by the door?

I think they should.

This is an interesting picture of a Siemens design study, which I wrote about in Siemens’ View Of The Future Of The Underground.

Note the grab handles by the sides of the doors.

So at least Siemens are following the rule of grab handles by the door.

November 3, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

What Will Happen To The Eighty-Seven Class 350 Trains

At the current time, West Midlands Trains have a fleet of eighty-seven Class 350 trains.

  • The trains are being replaced by new Class 730 trains.
  • They are of different specifications.
  • The interiors vary, but there are a lot of tables.
  • All are four-car sets.
  • They are 110 mph trains.
  • Thirty of the trains are dual-voltage.
  • Fifty are owned by Angel Trains.
  • Thirty-seven are owned by Porterbrook, who have looked at converting the trains to battery-electric operation.
  • They are a bit of a dog’s breakfast, although they are excellent trains.
  • The future of the trains is rather uncertain and even Porterbrook’s plans have gone rather quiet.

So perhaps a big dog ought to round up all these trains and turn them into something more useful.

Consider.

  • All the trains were built in this century by Siemens in Germany.
  • Siemens service the Class 350 trains at Kings Heath Depot in Northampton.
  • Siemens have recently opened a factory in Goole to make new trains for the London Underground.
  • Siemens are developing the Mireo Plus B, which is a battery-electric multiple unit in Germany.

Siemens must have the knowledge and experience to turn these trains into a quality fleet of battery-electric trains.

  • Thirty would be dual-voltage and fifty-seven would be 25 KVAC overhead only.
  • All would be 110 mph trains.
  • I doubt there would be many places on the UK rail network, where they couldn’t run.

All appear to be in excellent condition, as these pictures show.

I very much feel, that these fleets could be converted into a quality fleet of very useful battery-electric trains.

Charging The Batteries

Most of the charging would be done from existing electrification, but as all trains have pantographs, they could use specially-erected short lengths of 25 KVAC overhead wires or charging systems like the Furrer + Frey Voltap system.

Possible Routes

I will start with the dual-voltage trains.

  • Uckfield Branch, where a charger would be needed at Uckfield station.
  • Marshlink Line
  • Basingstoke and Exeter, where chargers would be needed at Salisbury and Exeter and possibly Yeovil Junction.

I feel with 25 KVAC overhead applications, we will soon run out of trains.

 

 

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Vivarail At COP26

This press release from Network Rail is entitled Network Rail And Porterbrook To Showcase Britain’s Green Trains Of The Future At COP26.

These two paragraphs are from the end of the first section of the press release.

It is envisaged that the HydroFLEX may also be used to transport visitors to see the Zero Emission Train, Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train.

Network Rail is also in the earlier stages of planning a similar event with Vivarail to bring an operational battery train to COP26.

Vivarail have taken battery trains to Scotland before for demonstration, as I wrote about in Battery Class 230 Train Demonstration At Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway.

Will other train companies be joining the party?

Alstom

It looks like Alstom’s hydrogen-powered Class 600 train will not be ready for COP26.

But I suspect that the French would not like to be upstaged by a rolling stock leasing company and a university on the one hand and a company with scrapyard-ready redundant London Underground trains on the other.

I think, they could still turn up with something different.

They could drag one of their Coradia iLint trains through the Channel Tunnel and even run it to Scotland under hydrogen power, to demonstrate the range of a hydrogen-powered train.

Alstom have recently acquired Bombardier’s train interests in the UK and there have been rumours of a fleet of battery-electric Electrostars, even since the demonstrator ran successfully in 2015. Will the prototype turn up at COP26?

Alstom’s UK train factory is in Widnes and I’ve worked with Liverpudlians and Merseysiders on urgent projects and I wouldn’t rule out the Class 600 train making an appearance.

CAF

Spanish train company; CAF, have impressed me with the speed, they have setup their factory in Newport and have delivered a total of well over a hundred Class 195 and Class 331 trains to Northern.

I wrote Northern’s Battery Plans, in February 2020, which talked about adding a fourth-car to three-car Class 331 trains, to create a battery-electric Class 331 train.

Will the Spanish bring their first battery-electric Class 331 train to Glasgow?

I think, they just might!

After all, is there a better place for a train manufacturer looking to sell zero-carbon trains around the world to announce, their latest product?

Hitachi

A lot of what I have said for Alstom and CAF, could be said for Hitachi.

Hitachi have announced plans for two battery-electric trains; a Regional Battery Train and an Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train.

I doubt that either of these trains could be ready for COP26.

But last week, I saw the new Hitachi Class 803 train speeding through Oakleigh Park station.

This is not a battery-electric train, where battery power can be used for traction, but according to Wikipedia and other sources, it is certainly an electric train fitted with batteries to provide hotel power for the train, when the overhead electrification fails.

Are these Class 803 trains already fitted with their batteries? And if they are, have they been tested?

And who is building the batteries for the Class 803 trains?

The traction batteries for Hitachi’s two battery-electric trains are to be produced by Hyperdrive Innovation of Sunderland, which is not far from Hitachi’s train factory at Newton Aycliffe.

As an engineer, I would suspect that a well-respected company like Hyperdrive Innovation, can design a battery-pack that plugs in to Hitachi’s trains, as a diesel engine would. I would also suspect that a good design, would allow an appropriate size of battery for the application and route.

I feel it is very likely, that all batteries for Hitachi’s UK trains will be designed and build by Hyperdrive Innovation.

If that is the case and the Class 803 trains are fitted with batteries, then Hitachi can be testing the battery systems.

This document on the Hitachi Rail web site, which is entitled Development of Class 800/801 High-speed Rolling Stock for UK Intercity Express Programme, gives a very comprehensive description of the electrical and computer systems of the Hitachi trains.

As an engineer and a computer programmer, I believe that if Hyperdrive Innovation get their battery design right and after a full test program, that Hitachi could be able to run battery-electric trains based on the various Class 80x trains.

It could be a more difficult task to fit batteries to Scotland’s Class 385 trains, as they are not fitted with diesel engines in any application. Although, the fitting of diesel engines may be possible in the global specification for the train.

It is likely that these trains could form the basis of the Regional Battery Train, which is described in this infographic.

Note.

  1. The Class 385 and Regional Battery trains are both 100 mph trains.
  2. Class 385 and Class 80x trains are all members of Hitachi’s A-Train family.
  3. Regional Battery trains could handle a lot of unelectrified routes in Scotland.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hitachi bring a battery-equipped train to COP26, if the Class 803 trains have a successful introduction into service.

Siemens

Siemens have no orders to build new trains for the national rail network in the UK.

But there are plans by Porterbrook and possibly other rolling stock leasing companies and train operators to convert some redundant Siemens-built trains, like Class 350 trains, into battery-electric trains.

According to Wikipedia, Siemens upgraded East Midlands Railways, Class 360 trains to 110 mph operation, at their Kings Heath Depot in Northampton.

Could Siemens be updating one of the Class 350 trains, that are serviced at that depot, to a prototype battery-electric Class 350 train?

Stadler

Stadler have a proven design for diesel-electric, battery-electric and hydrogen trains, that they sell all over the world.

In the UK, the only ones in service are Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains, which are diesel-electric bi-mode trains.

The picture shows one of these trains at Ipswich.

  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • Diesel, battery or hydrogen modules can be inserted in the short PowerPack car in the middle of the train.
  • Diesel-battery-electric versions of these trains have been sold for operation in Wales.
  • The interiors of these trains are designed for both short journeys and a two-hour run.

There is a possibility, that these trains will be upgraded with batteries. See Battery Power Lined Up For ‘755s’.

Conclusion

Times will be interesting in Glasgow at COP26!

 

June 6, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

EU Backs Orsted Team On Green Hydrogen Initiative

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

This is the sub-title of the article.

European Commission Funding For The Oyster Project That Also Includes Siemens Gamesa, Element Energy and ITM Power

There is a press release on ITM Power’s web site.

This paragraph sums up the project.

ITM Power, Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Element Energy have been awarded EUR 5 million in funding from The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH2-JU) under the European Commission to demonstrate and investigate a combined wind turbine and electrolyser system designed for operation in marine environments.

This is said about the design of the electrolyser.

The electrolyser system will be designed to be compact, to allow it to be integrated with a single offshore wind turbine, and to follow the turbine’s production profile. Furthermore, the electrolyser system will integrate desalination and water treatment processes, making it possible to use seawater as a feedstock for the electrolysis process.

It looks like it will be a standalone turbine, that instead of producing electricity it will produce hydrogen.

This paragraph gives the objective of the project.

The OYSTER project partners share a vision of hydrogen being produced from offshore wind at a cost that is competitive with natural gas (with a realistic carbon tax), thus unlocking bulk markets for green hydrogen making a meaningful impact on CO2 emissions, and facilitating the transition to a fully renewable energy system in Europe.

The project will run from 2021 to 2024.

When I first heard about creating hydrogen offshore with a combined wind-turbine and electrolyser, I thought this could be the way to go.

It’s certainly a way to produce large quantities of green hydrogen.

But I also feel, the process has a serious rival in Shell’s Blue Hydrogen Process, which uses a catalyst to split methane into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Shell will need uses for the carbon dioxide or worked-out gas fields to store it.

January 9, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fuel Cell Mireo Plus H To Be Trialled In Baden-Württemberg

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

This is the opening paragraph.

Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility are to trial a fuel cell powered regional trainset in revenue service between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim in 2024, along with a green hydrogen fuelling plant.

These two paragraphs describe the train.

Siemens Mobility is to supply a two-car Mireo Plus H trainset derived from its Mireo Plus regional multiple-unit family, equipped with a newly developed hydrogen fuel cell drive and a lithium-ion battery.

The 1·7 MW traction power rating is expected to offer a comparable performance to the electric version, with an acceleration rate of 1·1 m/s² and a maximum speed of 160 km/h. Sufficient hydrogen will be stored onboard to give an operating range of up to 600 km, with the promoters envisaging that a three-car variant could have a range of 1 000 km.

The article doesn’t say anything about, whether the train can use electrification, but as the train is based on a conventional electric train, I would assume it is possible.

 

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Siemens and Macquarie Form Calibrant Energy To Tackle Distributed Energy Market

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Greentech Media.

This is the introductory paragraphs.

Macquarie Capital and Siemens have formed a joint venture to finance and build distributed energy projects, joining an increasingly competitive landscape in the growing corporate renewables market, the two announced this week.

The partnership, called Calibrant Energy, will initially focus its energy-as-a-service model in the United States, where corporate and industrial customers have become heavyweight renewables buyers as they seek to reach decarbonization goals.

It looks a good idea for a business venture.

I also like it, that two big corporate beats have got together tp finance and install renewable energy systems like solar.

October 7, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

Rival Site For £100m Powys Rail Testing Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Powys County Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Plans to build a £100 million rail testing centre on the edge of Powys could be derailed by a rival plan in England, it has emerged.

The major testing facility at the former Nant Helen open cast mining site on the border between Powys and Neath Port Talbot could face a rival application from German multinational Siemens, which has earmarked a site in Lincolnshire for a rival bid.

It seems, you wait many years for a rail test track and then two come along at the same time.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Siemens To Build One Of Europe’s Largest Energy Storage Systems

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Smart Energy International.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Siemens Smart Infrastructure and Fluence have been awarded a contract by the Portuguese energy provider EDA – Electricidade dos Açores to build a battery-based energy storage system on Terceira.

Read the article, as it shows how battery storage and advanced methods of generation, can transform the electricity systems of islands and other remote places.

We will be seeing many systems like this, all over the world.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Partners On Board For In-Cab Signalling Project On East Coast Main Line

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Network Rail has announced that it has brought Siemens and Atkins on as its partners in a project to introduce in-cab signalling on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line.

It is good, that a start is being made on this significant project, which should increase capacity between Kings Cross and Doncaster.

March 23, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment