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Battery electric traction

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by burnham-t, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Haven't a scwbi concerning the ERTMS system's requirements I'm afraid, tho' from the little I've read, I'm guessing a continuous power supply with inbuilt redundancy is a 'must'. In the UK at least, Vivarail must've cracked this one, given they're offering a battery variant.
     
  2. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    [Deleted - misread the question]
     
  3. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

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    Certainly London Transport had some locos capable of running on battery power, and presume they still do so. Converted from withdrawn tube stock IIRC.
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That's my understanding too, along with the tube gauge yellow beasties.
     
  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the Tube's battery locomotives are the "yellow beasties" referred to by @30854. There were and I think still are some "Pilot Motors" converted from operational tube cars, but not battery powered.
     
  6. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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  7. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    The battery locos on LUL were purpose built. They also have one working historic electric loco, and had (not sure if they still have) some converted tube stock as 'sleet locos' and pilot motor cars.

    The battery locos needed to be purpose built because of the weight, I think they weigh about 80 tonnes!
     
  8. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    The solution offered by this "scaling up" however may not be suitable for the more compact UK network where train loads are lighter and train distances are shorter. I venture to suggest that for some areas a Parry Mover type solution could apply whereby there is local generation of electricity (whether by solar panels, wind farms or mini-nuclear hubs a la Rolls Royce) and Parry Movers operate over the short (branchlike) services in a similar manner to the Stourbridge operation thus leaving the main lines to be electrified - again with power sourced from local power sources en route rather than be directed into the National Grid.

    If the UK is to reduce carbon emissions from power generation should it also be thinking about the comparison between local and central generation of electricity ? Why - for example - couldn't the Mersey barrage scheme be created to generate electricity for the Mersey area including the 3rd rail network or the Mumbles barrage scheme generate power for the cities of Swansea and Cardiff ? I appreciate the investment (i.e. up front cost) might be higher but over time the cost of provision and maintenance should surely be much lower. IMHO the creation of local generating hubs could also benefit industry which could generate its own power or obtain lower cost power from an immediately local source.

    Am I fantasising or is my logic faulty ?
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I see nowt to argue with in your analysis. When it comes to solutions, although UK freight operation doesn't come close to the humongous trans-continental loadings over the pond, a modal switch to rail means there's bound to be more requirement over at least a few sections of the network for trains of >1000t. With the viability of commercial hydrogen fuel cell tech now established beyond doubt, I suspect an alternative to batteries may lie there.

    One question I have concerning fuel cells is what to do concerning regenerative capability. AFAIK, no fuel cell is capable of reversing it's operation to produce H2. The only answer I can conjure is a hybrid design, where the fuel cell(s) are the primary power source, with batteries to act as an on-board power reservoir.

    Obviously, in this scenario, one needs far less battery capacity (and therefore weight) than where batteries are the primary power source. This would serve to iron out power requirement peaks (under acceleration) and troughs (under braking or coasting on down grades), the fuel cell(s) effectively lroviding the 'base load', so to speak. Modern control systems have been fully able to handle such operation (in ICE hybrid vehicles) for some years already and for all-electric vehicles, the system designed and used by TESLA demonstrates as close to complete reliability as engineering ever comes.

    Looking a bit further down the line, modern tech could provide far more. Were container flats to be built with batteries and motors, sufficient to permit low speed limited range operation, that could be arranged in such a fashion as to allow remotely controlled shunting/mashallimg operation within goods yards. It's also provide power within a 'freight consist' to overcome inertia from a standing start, with such batteries being properly charged over the course of the mainline trip. What would that do for the ability of the railways to compete with road and air?
     
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  10. DcB

    DcB Member

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  11. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Obviously shows a lack of knowledge about the subject by the commentator on the filmed interview; the FIRST battery-powered rail trainset was the 2-car trainset operated in the Scottish Region for the Ballater branch IIRC in the 1950s hence the commentator was around 60 years behind ! Another case of British Railways not being given the credit it deserves for showing the way ahead through Progress methinks.
     
  12. jsm8b

    jsm8b Part of the furniture

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    http://www.cs.rhrp.org.uk/se/CarriageInfo.asp?Ref=2076
    http://www.cs.rhrp.org.uk/se/CarriageInfo.asp?Ref=2075

    I remember these being at the ELR, a shame if they are in need of new batteries and rewiring still.
    A portent of the future for cars ?
     
  13. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    What about the Drumm railcars on the GSW, running Dublin to Bray I believe?
    Pat
     
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  14. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    My apologies as I was unaware of this development fro the 1930s hence agree that this preceded the BR battery trainset. Given that the former was withdrawn because cheaper alternatives were adopted it now seems that it might now be worth returning to it to see if it is worth developing as it seems to be comparable to a Parry Mover using a battery which is charged at end of a journey. The quoted charge times do not seem too unreasonable and should fit in with turnaround times on shorter journeys.
     
  15. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman New Member

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    From what I remember hearing, Transport For London had a load of battery powered Schomas, then converted them to run on the electric system.

    If our government are going to think about running greener trains in areas non-electrified then it is the way to go.
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Built with government support, to utilise spare generating capacity from the Shannon hydo-electric scheme, these were powered by the ancestor of modern lithium batteries, charged during the layovers at Dublin's Harcourt St terminus and Bray (I seem to recall an intermediate charge facility for short workings).

    Without all today's advances in manufacture, charging and computerised battery management, these four 2-car units successfully worked the (in steam days) problematic ex-D&SER section for 17 years. They were capable of working at up to 60mph.

    The demotorised units went on to work their final years as hauled passenger stock. Being Ireland, needless to say, none is preserved.

    IMO These units are worthy of far more attention than they get, if only to belatedly give Dr.James Drumm the credit his pioneering work thoroughly deserves .... which the inauguration of the DART OHLE system shamefully neglected to do.
     
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  17. peckett

    peckett Member

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    There were a number of battery electric loco' s employed in Ironstone undergrond mines in the East Midlands.Irthlingboro ,3ft gauge ,and Nettleton ( Lincs).They are all very well discribed in Eric Tonks Ironstone Quarries of the Midlands part 4 and 8. Irthlingboro several overhead electric locos( 80HP) were converted to Batt/Elect on instuctions of the mines inspector,batteries were carried on a seperate wagon as well as on the loco'. In Eric Tonks book ,it is quoted that these loco's could do 56 miles with out recharge. 14 or so 2hp loco's ,built as early as 1919, and 20 or so, built 1938-50 were also used .All scrappd at the closure of the mine in 1966/7. Nettleton (2ft 6 gauge )had about nine four and a half ton batt/elects ,new in 1960 ,scapped 1969.
     
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  18. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Battery locos in underground mining and tunnelling are/were commonplace. In the UK these were mainly supplied by Greenwood and Batley (Greenbat) and Clayton Equipment although there were other manufacturers. The NCB/British Coal had at least 250 Greenbats of varying sizes and possibly as many as a thousand Clayton locos, mainly of the rubber tyred variety, which were very useful as they could run up gradients as steep as 1 in 10.
     
  19. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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    I have 14 G&B and 17 Clayton Battery Electric locos listed in my Database (And probably quite a few more in non-railway museums that I have missed). http://www.heritage-railways.com/locosdb/locos.php
    The biggest collection of mining locos that I know of are at the Lancashire Mining Museum (aka Astley Green Colliery) but the majority are diesel (and when I last visited a few years ago they were stored outdoors and covered by tarpaulins so not easy to see)
     
  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    There were a few at Gloddfa Ganol many years ago. N0 idea where they ended up. I am pretty sure that the Mine Tramway at Llechwedd used to be hauled by BEs.
     

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