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Old 09-20-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
jfslater98 OP
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Steam makes a comeback

This sounds pretty cool: resurrect a steam engined train to run on Bio Coal

http://www.gizmag.com/csr-project-13...omotive/22670/



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Old 09-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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That thing is a beast!
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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And the Chinesse copy everything.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/25/us...-us-rails.html
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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404, but happy to see it posted again.

The group has a website: http://www.csrail.org/

BTW- that article on importing Chinese locomotives is O-L-D (1989). A few more locomotives have been imported since then, but even the Chinese have pretty much shut down steam operations now.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
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Don't forget about the need for water. Unless they're going to collect the waste steam, condense it, and run it back into the boiler, it'll still use a lot of water, which is in increasingly short supply.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by troidus View Post
Don't forget about the need for water. Unless they're going to collect the waste steam, condense it, and run it back into the boiler, it'll still use a lot of water, which is in increasingly short supply.
The modification of this locomotive is mainly intended to showcase biocoal, and to show that a ~1938 steam locomotive with minor modifications can go REALLY fast.

If they get to the next step, they'll be looking at a clean-sheet design, which might well include condensing.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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The modification of this locomotive is mainly intended to showcase biocoal, and to show that a ~1938 steam locomotive with minor modifications can go REALLY fast.

If they get to the next step, they'll be looking at a clean-sheet design,..
Steamlev? (That could work, except I don't see any way to capture the waste steam.)
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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I read something about this a while back, they are going to 'manufacture' coal from something.

I think they need to do something for the aerodynamics like Gresly did on his Pacifics back in the 30's as well

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Old 09-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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Oddly enough, this subject came up at work the other day and we got round to musing about the possibility of using a very small nuclear reactor to heat the water. I dont know much about this sort of thing, but I would imagine the amount of fuel needed would be mere ounces and should last for many years. The locomotive would be more than capable of carrying the necessary shielding and we concluded that this could be a real possibility.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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I think they need to do something for the aerodynamics like Gresly did on his Pacifics back in the 30's as well

Hay Ewe
Streamlining is definitely planned.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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Oddly enough, this subject came up at work the other day and we got round to musing about the possibility of using a very small nuclear reactor to heat the water. I dont know much about this sort of thing, but I would imagine the amount of fuel needed would be mere ounces and should last for many years. The locomotive would be more than capable of carrying the necessary shielding and we concluded that this could be a real possibility.
There were serious proposals for nuclear powered locomotives back in the 1950's. The thickness of shielding required is the main impediment. For the horsepower you need to make for a locomotive (say ~3000-5000 HP), there's just not room to fit the anything close to the required shielding within the railroad loading gauge. Aside from straight forward problems like that, you have to consider what happens in the event of a derailment. They pretty much couldn't live with the potential consequences in the 1950's, they definitely wouldn't let something like this get off the drawing boards now. If you want nuclear powered locomotives, you build a stationary nuclear power plant and use electric locomotives.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #12
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If you want nuclear powered locomotives, you build a stationary nuclear power plant and use electric locomotives.
Even without nuclear power we should be using electric locomotives.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:27 AM   #13
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Even without nuclear power we should be using electric locomotives.
We are. They use a diesel generator though.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:04 AM   #14
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Even without nuclear power we should be using electric locomotives.
Straight electric locomotives definitely have performance advantages, and allow you to "fuel" your locomotives with anything- coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, etc., but the costs to install the catenary (wires) have almost always proven to be cost-prohibitive in the U.S. In ~1978, it was over $1M/mile just to install the catenary. I'd imagine it's MUCH more than that now. Diesel fuel will have to get a lot more costly before it happens.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #15
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In ~1978, it was over $1M/mile just to install the catenary. I'd imagine it's MUCH more than that now.
That sounds like some serious bid-padding. I know what the German system looks like, and outside of switching yards it just doesn't look that complicated.
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