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Overhead DC electrification - a potential solution to the conundrum of EMUs?

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by eldomtom2, Aug 21, 2023.

  1. Chris86

    Chris86 Well-Known Member

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    I’m sure it’s possible, but as mentioned by others I’d be very surprised if there was demand and therefore finance.

    In much the same way as I would be reluctant to pay to ride a DMU on a heritage railway, the electric flavour multiple unit inspires little enthusiasm, when I could jump on a similarly propelled vehicle on the big railway and use it to go somewhere.

    The only practical solution (assuming there is demand….) would be battery and/or some external IC power source to energise the unit.

    Chris
     
  2. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Perhaps an old Motor Luggage Van would be a more effective power source - and completely authentic to boot for DC 3rd rail stock.
     
  3. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed - look at the pioneering work of the NER and their fleets of locomotives and EMUs.
     
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  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    So.............

    There are some 3rd rail EMU's in preservation which we cant run on the main line & we cant lay 3rd rail on a preserved line.

    Batteries or the MLV's offer one solution, with limits.

    On the other hand The Southern did install 750v overhead for use by class 74's in sidings - I have seen it at Ashford so while not ideal it isn't without precedent and not as obtrusive as 25KV.

    If you can raise the money then perhaps its worth thinking about
     
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  5. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    Oooh, electric wibble time! Yay!

    Pretty certain there were a few Mk1 based EMUs with a pantograph, and there's definitely MENTOR-so if you can get a Mk1 shell to take whatever speed MENTOR does, it'll take 25mph. People complain about accuracy, but have you seen the Brighton Belle project? The very definition of a mongrel of all sorts, yet done for sound reasons, and it gets the job done. A drop section of roof of one coach, that is quite likely to need major work anyway, is hardly the end of the world.

    Of course, if you want another daft idea-get one of the many 4 wheel vans rotting away, build a body to match the coach profile but hold a pan, insert into EMU set with suitable jumper cables.

    Personally, I reckon some kind of conduit system could have potential, depending how tight the requirements for protection are.
    Batteries have their own problems, technology is much better but you need the control system to go with it. As far as I know, lithium ion batteries do not like switched resistance type controls.

    As daft as these ideas sound, electric preservation needs no coal, or diesel. Had a line bit the bullet 40 years ago and got some kind of practical electric power sorted, they'd be laughing in the face of coal shortages. EMUs are plenty heritage enough, remember Mk1's haven't been in regular main line service for nearly 20 years (The jacobite doesn't count, shut up). I'd love to see it done.
     
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  6. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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    You mean, rather like the power arrangements of the current Class 755 units with the centre power unit? I first saw that in Athens about 20 years ago on the then-new narrow-gauge units built for the Peloponnese railway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2023
  7. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Nice idea, and fun to discuss, but unless social attitudes or fuel supply massively change for diesel traction then the "not steam" slice of the market will be firmly held by diesels (in particular DMU's) in this country owing to their (relative) cheapness and ease.

    The scene has been further flooded by Pacers with more surplus DMU's to come so the supply is there, nobody is showing any signs of losing diesels and replacing them with EMU's with alternative power.

    Sent from my moto g(8) power lite using Tapatalk
     
  8. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Part of the furniture

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    I like the idea. You could run one of these bad boys:

    IMG_1001.jpeg

    Oh, you would need to change the gauge too, but no biggie. :confused:
     
  9. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    I think it has potential (sorry).
    When I was in Brussels, they ran old trolleybusses on the tram routes with a rail-wheeles trolley behind to provide (presumably) earth via the rails.

    Maybe not everywhere, but as a means of getting old units out and about, it's better than just "can't do that"
     
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  10. Muzza

    Muzza New Member

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    Back when they were looking their best.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Part of the furniture

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    As a kid living on the Ferny Grove line, I remember when they were new. Aircon on a hot Brisbane summers day! It was like stepping into a spaceship. :cool:
     
  12. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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    Very nice, very stylish indeed but I'm more a "Red Rattler" man myself :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2023
  13. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Part of the furniture

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    They were south of the border on those funny tracks that are too far apart! I think there is a restored set getting around - I have a vague recollection of some fuss to do with them crossing the Sydney Harbour bridge not so long ago. No doubt there is footage online. :)
     
  14. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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    They certainly ran an excursion in 2022, which I have seen a YT video of.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03...-welcome-back-melbourne-passengers-/100882852

    What's the QR set in the photos upthread?
     
  15. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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  16. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

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  17. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Part of the furniture

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    Mr Marsbar has hit the nail on the head with his link. :) When Brisbane’s suburban network was electrified they were the first generation of EMU. Locally built and a big success.

    They were (and still are) indeed very nice to travel on and a big improvement on the tired collection of diesel hauled passenger stock. Normal operation is a coupled pair of three car sets.
     
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  18. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    A bit o/t but I was surprised to still find a few diesel hauled peak hour workings operating when I was there in May 1992 and I did actually get a ride on a set out to Pinkenba and back where I took this photo......

    r92-139.jpg

    Am I right in thinking that the stock that 1519 was hauling was actually constructed with a view to it being converted to electric traction - something that never happened?
     
  19. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Part of the furniture

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    You may well be right. They certainly had that look about them.
     
  20. Muzza

    Muzza New Member

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    Yes, you are right.
    The sets were designed for a DC overhead electrification system that never happened. They had provision for driving cabs, destination blinds and headlights.

    No traction equipment was ever acquired. QR chose instead to increase from double track to quad along certain suburban routes. This only got so far in the 1960’s and there were quite a number of platforms built which did not see track for another few decades. At least some were demolished and rebuilt, never having seen a train.


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