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Old February 1st, 2008, 05:29 AM   #361
ADCS
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More reason to build more nuke plants, in my opinion. France seems to do pretty well by it.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 07:22 AM   #362
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Overhead wires would have to be strung pretty high to accomodate double stacked containers.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:29 AM   #363
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More reason to build more nuke plants, in my opinion. France seems to do pretty well by it.
It's fine for the short term, but if we ramp up, we'll drive up uranium prices (and peak out, like we're probably doing with oil). It's not an issue anyway - we can get more than enough power with renewables.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:32 AM   #364
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Overhead wires would have to be strung pretty high to accomodate double stacked containers.
That is nontrivial for existing tunnels, yes, but we did manage to find space for double-stacked containers.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:46 AM   #365
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None of the power where I live comes from coal - we have hydro and wind. I have to say, I haven't heard a peep about power constraints from our new light rail system - 35 light rail vehicles, each 90 tons. I suspect you're talking about a problem that really isn't part of the public discussion here - let's address that if it actually *becomes* a problem. If we're building in urban areas, new transmission lines probably won't be necessary.

Note that CA's HSR project hasn't run into any discussion of electrical capacity.
Remember that urban LRT tram cars and 15,000t freight trains require somewhat different amounts of energy to power (yes, they run them that heavy here in North America).

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Old February 1st, 2008, 07:34 PM   #366
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It's fine for the short term, but if we ramp up, we'll drive up uranium prices (and peak out, like we're probably doing with oil). It's not an issue anyway - we can get more than enough power with renewables.
True, but with uranium and reprocessing fuel, the peak isn't in terms of years or decades like oil, more like 300-500 years, possibly millennia. I can send copies of the appropriate studies if you want... .

It would only be expensive in the US if we continue the policy of not reprocessing fuel, thus driving up demand for pure uranium. The lack of plant construction for the last 30 years is also an issue. If all the capital costs were out of the way (like in France), electrifying the rails would probably already have been done.

So in conclusion, bad policy decisions in the past have left us in a pickle today. A common theme unfortunately.

Oh, and renewables aren't really viable in all parts of the country, and even where they are, you get problems putting them in (environmentalists in Oklahoma have a big problem with the wind farms out here).
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 04:54 AM   #367
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Remember that urban LRT tram cars and 15,000t freight trains require somewhat different amounts of energy to power (yes, they run them that heavy here in North America).

Mike
Sure, but again, it's not really an issue. It's something that will solve itself outside the policy problem.

By the way, here's a shot I took in Japan. Sure, they're not double stacked, but it's not as if they have to be:

image hosted on flickr
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 04:55 AM   #368
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True, but with uranium and reprocessing fuel, the peak isn't in terms of years or decades like oil, more like 300-500 years, possibly millennia. I can send copies of the appropriate studies if you want... .

It would only be expensive in the US if we continue the policy of not reprocessing fuel, thus driving up demand for pure uranium. The lack of plant construction for the last 30 years is also an issue. If all the capital costs were out of the way (like in France), electrifying the rails would probably already have been done.

So in conclusion, bad policy decisions in the past have left us in a pickle today. A common theme unfortunately.

Oh, and renewables aren't really viable in all parts of the country, and even where they are, you get problems putting them in (environmentalists in Oklahoma have a big problem with the wind farms out here).
Notice that on the one hand, you're saying that it would be expensive in the US because we don't reprocess fuel, but we can change that. On the other you're saying that environmentalists are NIMBYs - but you must realize you can just as easily change that. You don't even have to, as solar gets cheaper. Just offer some tax credits!
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 10:17 AM   #369
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I don't think it would easy to convince the likes of BNSF, UP, etc to abandon double stacking for the sake of overhead wiring. The cost of installation, new locomotives, additional track capacity and the ongoing operational costs would have have to be far far cheaper than the present costs of fuel to make it worthwhile.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 02:51 PM   #370
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Why can't you have double stacking and overhead wires? What you do is work out how high the double stacked train is, and put the wires a little higher than that. Then put a pantograph on the loco that can reach the wires. Am I missing something?
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 05:49 PM   #371
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Why can't you have double stacking and overhead wires? What you do is work out how high the double stacked train is, and put the wires a little higher than that. Then put a pantograph on the loco that can reach the wires. Am I missing something?
You're not missing anything at all, you just need enough overhead clearance. The reason why the containers on that Japanese narrow-gauge railroad are single-stacked is due to tunnel clearances. The same problem exists in Europe (except for the Channel Tunnel, which should be able to clear double-stacks).

The situation with electifying the freight railroads in North America is purely the cost vs. benefit thing. If the economic 'numbers' are there, it'll be done in a heartbeat.

Mike
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:22 PM   #372
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In Europe some main routes cannot even handle single-stack container...the most important being the Fréjus line between Italy and France. It is being enlarged, but at the moment high-cube container (9'6'') cannot be used.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 10:30 PM   #373
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Notice that on the one hand, you're saying that it would be expensive in the US because we don't reprocess fuel, but we can change that. On the other you're saying that environmentalists are NIMBYs - but you must realize you can just as easily change that. You don't even have to, as solar gets cheaper. Just offer some tax credits!
Yep, that's exactly my point. Though the NIMBY thing is more than that, since they don't like the wind power in ANYONE's backyard. Seems the turbines kill some birds. However, wind is by far the best renewable option up here, though photovoltaic cells on houses are starting to be subsidized.

Either way, it'll take some political wrangling to get any of this done, which makes the upcoming election especially important.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 12:51 AM   #374
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The same problem exists in Europe (except for the Channel Tunnel, which should be able to clear double-stacks).
Nope. Double stack container is at 5,2 meters high and overhead lines (even on brand new tracks) are about 6-6,5 meters high above rail (and even less in older tunnels and under overpasses). Needing a wagon underneath containers and some clearance between overhead cable, there is no space for doublestack containers on electrified line.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 02:36 AM   #375
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i was hoping for the Electrifing the Main Railways Corridors in the United States the ones that carry alot of Rail Traffic, Amtrak, Regional (Communter) Rail, Rail Frieght
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 06:05 AM   #376
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i was hoping for the Electrifing the Main Railways Corridors in the United States the ones that carry alot of Rail Traffic, Amtrak, Regional (Communter) Rail, Rail Frieght
Another issue is the fact that other than the NEC (and the water level route, to a lesser extent), there are very few rail corridors that could be classified as "main line", given the disperse nature of the population centers of the United States. It's easier in European countries where there is one primate city, with various satellite areas to devise a rail structure primed for electrification. With the broad web of US railroads (centered on Chicago, but with innumerable regional hubs), it is hard to come up with a distinct set of "main line" railroads.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 11:14 AM   #377
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The Betuweroute culd apparently handle double stack trains, even if it is electrified.

http://en.betuweroute.nl/home/veel_g...setlanguage=en

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Why are only the tunnels on the Betuweroute made suitable for double-stack trains?
The basic decision was that the Betuweroute would not be made suitable for double-stack trains because the track in Germany would not be converted to double-stack for the time being. However, all tunnels on the route have been made higher to allow double-stack trains (with two containers stacked one on top of the other) to run in the future. The double-stack height was not allowed for on the rest of the Betuweroute, such as viaducts and overhead lines. If it is decided to run double-stack trains in future, these structures can easily be raised. This is not the case with tunnels of course; these would require to be constructed anew. The cost of building new tunnels would run into to billions, which why it was decided to make the tunnels suitable for double-stack trains as a precaution.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #378
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Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
I don't think it would easy to convince the likes of BNSF, UP, etc to abandon double stacking for the sake of overhead wiring. The cost of installation, new locomotives, additional track capacity and the ongoing operational costs would have have to be far far cheaper than the present costs of fuel to make it worthwhile.
They only have to be cheaper than the projected costs of fuel. And what you count and when matters a lot when defining "cheaper" - it's not easy to compare capital costs to operating costs.

Regardless, there's no "convince". It's economic.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:36 AM   #379
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You're not missing anything at all, you just need enough overhead clearance. The reason why the containers on that Japanese narrow-gauge railroad are single-stacked is due to tunnel clearances. The same problem exists in Europe (except for the Channel Tunnel, which should be able to clear double-stacks).

The situation with electifying the freight railroads in North America is purely the cost vs. benefit thing. If the economic 'numbers' are there, it'll be done in a heartbeat.

Mike
We have low tunnels as well. Plenty of our tunnels have cut-outs for the corners of stacks already.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:37 AM   #380
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Yep, that's exactly my point. Though the NIMBY thing is more than that, since they don't like the wind power in ANYONE's backyard. Seems the turbines kill some birds. However, wind is by far the best renewable option up here, though photovoltaic cells on houses are starting to be subsidized.

Either way, it'll take some political wrangling to get any of this done, which makes the upcoming election especially important.
Indeed. I'm quite active in working on the election.
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