The Anonymous Widower

Construction Has Started On The Silvertown Tunnel

These pictures show that construction has started on the Silverton Tunnel.

Note that New Civil Engineer is reporting that tunnelling has started.

My Current Thoughts On The Silvertown Tunnel

In 2015, I wrote No To Silvertown Tunnel, which I started with these two paragraphs.

My personal feelings about the Silvertown Tunnel are that it is irrelevant to me, except that it might help some trucks bring goods that I buy online or at a local shop. Although as a sixty-eight year-old-widower living alone, I don’t think my transport needs through the tunnel will be high.

I don’t drive after my stroke and I like that lifestyle, except when last night it took me three trains, a coach and a taxi to get back from watching football at Ipswich. But that tortuous late night journey was caused because NuLabor spent my tax money on pointless wars that will haunt us for generations, rather than in extending and renewing our rail system, that will nurture and enrich our future.

But my objections to the Silvertown Tunnel have changed and expanded.

New Transport Infrastructure Attracts Passengers

This may seem obvious, but there has been several cases recently in London to prove my point.

  • The London Overground has been a success beyond Transport for London’s wildest dreams and as an example the North London Line, that started with three x three-car trains per hour (tph) is now running eight x five-car tph. This is a four time increase in capacity.
  • New buses and contactless ticketing have encouraged more passengers to use the buses.
  • Electrification and new trains has transformed the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • The expansion of Thameslink and new trains now carries a lot more North-South traffic through London.
  • Every time, a new section of the Elizabeth Line opens more passengers are attracted to the new line.
  • The remodelling of London Bridge station has increased passenger numbers. And shoppers!

On a personal note, I live on a bus corridor, that runs between North London and Moorgate for the Lizzie Line. Since the Lizzie Line has been fully connected, passenger numbers have risen by a big margin.

I don’t believe that the ability to attract more traffic of the Silvertown Tunnel will be any different.

More Traffic Means More Congestion And Pollution

I live close to the Balls Pond Road, which increasingly seems to be a truck route across North London.

The Silvertown Tunnel will be two lanes each way; one for trucks and buses, and one for smaller vehicles.

I can’t see that pollution and congestion around the Silvertown Tunnel and on the routes to the tunnel, will not increase.

There Is Little Or No Provision For Cyclists And Pedestrians

This will be a big problem. Especially, as the local traffic in the area will increase dramatically.

Does Central London Have Enough Parking For The Increased Traffic?

Parking in Central London is probably close to capacity now!

So What Would I Do?

Given that construction has already started, I feel it is too late to cancel.

Better Alternatives Than Driving

I feel measures should be adopted that provide better alternatives than driving.

Obviously, this won’t help with trucks, but it could reduce the total number of vehicles going through the tunnel.

These could include.

  • Increase the frequency of trains on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Increase the number of destinations on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Add an extra car to Lizzie Line trains.
  • Remove First Class on the shorter eight-car Thameslink trains.
  • Add provision on some Lizzie Line and Thameslink routes for bicycles.
  • Add a Silvertown station to the Elizabeth Line for London City Airport.
  • Add one or more pedestrian and cycling bridges across the Thames.
  • Expand of the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Expand the Thames Clipper.
  • Connect Barking Riverside station to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood station either by a rail or a fast ferry.
  • Keep the cable-car.

I suspect there are other viable ideas.

Develop Incentives To Use Public Transport

Incentives could be in these areas.

  • Better station and bus terminals encourage more to use trains and buses.
  • Full free onboard wi-fi and phone charging.
  • Special fares for some journeys.

An example of the latter could be a discount for certain cross-river journeys.

Make The Silvertown Tunnel Available For Zero Carbon Vehicles Only

This would surely cut pollution in London.

Conclusion

We should use the Silvertown Tunnel to improve London’s air quality.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trains Disrupted After Lorry Crashes Onto Tracks In East Lothian

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Train services in and out of Edinburgh have been delayed after a lorry crashed onto the tracks in East Lothian.

The lorry driver was taken to hospital following the crash onto the East Coast Main Line between Wallyford and Prestonpans at about 13:30. His condition is not known.

Note.

  1. On a day with a rail strike, this was all that was needed.
  2. The place name is appropriate.

There is no excuse for an accident like this.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Volvo Trucks Showcases New Zero-Emissions Truck

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Volvo Trucks.

This is the first paragraph.

Imagine a truck that only emits water vapor, produces its own electricity onboard and has a range of up to 1 000 km. It’s possible with fuel cells powered by hydrogen, and Volvo Trucks has started to test vehicles using this new technology.

This picture shows one of the trucks.

It certainly looks like a normal truck.

From the press release, it looks like Volvo Trucks are taking a conservative approach to designing, developing and launching the truck.

  • Early examples will go through an extensive test program.
  • It uses two fuel cells can generate up to 300 kW.
  • Range is quoted at up to 1000 km.
  • Fully refuelling takes 15 minutes.
  • Gross weight is up to 65 tonnes.
  • It looks to be a straight replacement for a current diesel truck.

Full launch is mentioned as towards the end of the decade, after there are enough hydrogen filling stations.

Conclusion

I may not have driven a large truck like this, but I’ve certainly funded a large number and talked with many experienced operators.

It looks to me that this could be the truck for an operator or company, who wants to offer zero-carbon transport for commercial, environmental, public relations or tax reasons.

 

June 21, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Daimler Truck North America And Cummins Collaborate To Drive Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks Forward In North America

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Cummins.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Cummins Inc., a global power and hydrogen technologies leader, and Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America, are collaborating to upfit and validate Freightliner Cascadia trucks with a Cummins hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America. Freightliner will leverage Cummins’ fourth generation fuel cell powertrain, which provides improved power density, efficiency and durability.

The joint effort will support both organizations’ goals to reduce emissions across product offerings and operations. Upon successful validation, the companies intend to have initial units available in 2024 for selected customers.

Note.

  1. The Freightliner Cascadia is a heavy-duty semi-trailer truck and the flagship model of Freightliner, which is a subsidiary of Daimler Truck North America.
  2. There is already an electric variant of the Cascadia, which is called an eCascadia. It is this truck, that is being converted to hydrogen.

This article on Hydrogen Fuel News is entitled Cummins Partners With Freightliner On Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Truck, starts with this paragraph.

According to Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger who spoke at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, it’s the responsibility of the trucking industry to create a cleaner future. He stated that, “We think we deliver goods to market and empower things,” adding that “We do things that are essential to the economy, and we are proud of it. We also think, though, that we need to help with prosperity that has to do with making sure we don’t consume and destroy the planet that we live on.”

Cummins seem to have placed a few bets on hydrogen.

Daimler Truck North America seem to be following the philosophy of being in both the electric and the hydrogen market with two separate products, that I outlined in Daimler Trucks Presents Technology Strategy For Electrification – World Premiere Of Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Concept Truck.

Wrightbus appear to have done the same with their hydrogen and electric buses.

It will be interesting to see how American truckers take to Cummins offer of a hydrogen-powered truck.

May 21, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Tevva Presents 7.5 Tonne Truck With Range Extender

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

This is the first paragraph.

The English company Tevva has presented a 7.5-tonne truck that is supposed to have a range of up to 250 kilometres in electric drive mode and a range of up to 500 kilometres with the FC range extender activated. Production of the Tevva truck is scheduled to start in July 2022.

I like the concept, as it appears to give a reasonable range.

  • The design team behind the truck have a good pedigree.
  • The trucks are of a size to handle a useful load.
  • Larger trucks will be produced later.
  • The trucks will be built in a factory in the London Freeport.

I think we’ll see a lot more larger battery-electric vehicles with hydrogen range extenders.

September 28, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Fossil-​Free Steel A Giant Step In Scania’s Decarbonisation

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Automotive World.

This is the introductory sub-title.

“Now we are gearing up in our journey towards completely emission-free products!” This is how Scania’s Head of Purchasing Anders Williamsson sees the company’s decision to invest in and enter into a partnership with the company H2 Green Steel (H2GS).

Other points from the article include.

  • Each Scania truck contains five tonnes of steel.
  • Scania will have a close partnership with H2GS.
  • Scania will be able to get 90 % of their steel from H2GS.

H2GS will change steelmaking, when they start production in 2024.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daimler Trucks Presents Technology Strategy For Electrification – World Premiere Of Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Concept Truck

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Daimler Global Media Site.

These are the opening bullet points.

  • Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, a fuel-cell truck with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and more for flexible and demanding long-haul transport – customer trials in 2023, start of series production in second half of this decade.
  • Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, a battery-electric truck with a range of about 500 kilometers for energy-efficient transport on plannable long-haul routes – projected to be ready for series production in 2024.
  • Mercedes-Benz eActros, a battery-electric truck with a range of well over 200 kilometers for heavy urban distribution to go into series production in 2021.
  • ePowertrain global platform architecture offers synergies and economies of scale.

Judging by the spelling, this media copy, is from the bad spellers of Trumpland.

It looks to be a case of Daimler have called up the heavy brigade.

The best way to learn more is to search for “Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck”

There’s some good YouTube videos.

From this video, I ascertained the following.

  • The truck has a stainless steel tank for liquid hydrogen on either side between the front and rear wheels.
  • There are two 150 kW fuel cells, which appear to be of an inhouse Mercedes design.
  • There is a 70 kWh battery between the two liquid hydrogen tanks low down in the middle of the truck.
  • The battery can supply 400 kW, if needed.

This screen capture shows a cutaway from the video.

I am impressed by the design.

  • Everything is fitted neatly in the small space.
  • The design doesn’t seem to intrude into the load space, so I would assume, it would work with all existing trailers and bodies.
  • The battery position must help stability and driveability.
  • It looks like a design, that would be friendly to cyclists, as the hydrogen tanks act as a round safety barrier.

I shall look at the operation.

Consider.

  • The current Actros trucks have engines with a power of up to 500 HP or 400 kW.
  • The 70 kWh battery can provide 400 kW for about 10 minutes.
  • Regenerative braking to the battery must be possible.
  • There’s probably a well-programmed computer between the driver and the electric transmission.

I wouldn’t be surprised that the truck is more of a battery-hydrogen hybrid, than a pure hydrogen truck.

Suppose, it was hauling a heavy load from Felixstowe to Manchester.

  • Will the truck charge the battery before it leaves Felixstowe? It could use the fuel cells or be plugged in to a high-performance charger. 70 kWh, is not the biggest of batteries compared to say those on a train.
  • Once on the A45 (Sorry! A14), it would accelerate quickly to the cruising speed, probably using mostly battery power.
  • It would then cruise mainly using hydrogen and the fuel cells to the destination. The truck would be optimised for an economic cruise.
  • During any deceleration, regenerative braking to the battery would be used.
  • Battery power might be called upon on any inclines or after a stop.

Intriguingly, a range of 1000 kilometres or 620 miles would allow many out-and-bank journeys in the UK, France, Germany or Italy to be performed without refuelling.

Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle are all under 300 miles from the Suffolk port.

Conclusion

I used to part-own a company, that financed trucks, moving loads into and out of Felixstowe in the 1980s.

From what I learned then of the heavy truck market, hydrogen-powered heavy trucks are going to be a winner, especially, if most journeys are out-and-back from one end.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Design, Hydrogen | , , , , | 3 Comments

Daimler, Volvo Trucks Team Up On Hydrogen Fuel Cells For Heavy Trucks

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Daimler and Volvo Trucks plan to collaborate on development and sales of fuel-cells for heavy-duty trucks, as the costs of new technology and uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic are pushing large manufacturers to pool resources.

It also appears, that they are open to other companies to join the over billion euro joint-venture.

To my mind, this deal is a massive endorsement of hydrogen, as the fuel of the future for heavy trucks and buses.

April 22, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Or Going?

I took the pictures of this lorry carrying concrete staircases in the Balls Pond Road.

I like a good puzzle. So where were these three staircases going on a truck, that was obviously from Cornwall?

  • They look to be very well-made, with a quality finish.
  • Had they been made in Cornwall and were being delivered to a skyscraper in the City?
  • Had they been made in East London and were being taken to Cornwall?

The truck was facing Highbury Corner, so would the second be the most likely?

On the other hand, Google found a company called Cornish Concrete Products at Bissoe, only a few miles from Redruth.

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pesa And PKN Orlen To Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trains

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Rolling stock manufacturer Pesa and energy company PKN Orlen signed a letter of intent to develop hydrogen fuel cell trains on December 12.

I am pleased that Poland appears to be turning to trains that emit less carbon, but I do worry about how the hydrogen is produced.

It appears the Dutch are moving towards green hydrogen, which is produced by the electrolysis of water using electricity produced by offshore wind farms.

But how are the Poles producing their hydrogen?

I did find this article on biznewsalert.com, which is entitled Poland Wants To Be A Hydrogen Kuwait. P2G Can Help.

This is the introductory sentence.

Hydrogen could drive low-carbon transport and also help reduce CO2 emissions. Although it is a distant perspective for now, the production of the element could support onshore wind farms.

It does appear that the Poles are thinking along lines, that will reduce carbon emissions.

What is P2G?

P2G or Power-to-Gas has an informative Wikipedia entry.

This is the first paragraph, which outlines the process.

Power-to-gas (often abbreviated P2G) is a technology that converts electrical power to a gas fuel. When using surplus power from wind generation, the concept is sometimes called windgas. There are currently three methods in use; all use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by means of electrolysis.

There certainly a lot of activity in the sector.

My Experience Of Polish Transport

Poland is a large country with an extensive rail system. I have travelled long distances across the country and many of the passenger trains are electric.

I can’t remember seeing a freight train, but I do remember large numbers of diesel trucks moving freight across the country.

Conclusion

Hydrogen could be a very important fuel for transport in Poland.

December 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment