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US railroad electrification

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, February 10, 2024 3:34 PM

I've heard of solar farms that pump water during the day into a water tower or reservoir that's then drained at night to spin a turbine to produce electricity.

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Posted by Gramp on Saturday, February 10, 2024 3:51 PM

Sounds like Wabtec is going all in on hydrogen powered engines. 

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, February 10, 2024 4:07 PM

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Erik_Mag

A number of electrifications used renewable solar energy in the form of fallling water, with dams being the method for storing the potential energy.

 

How is hydro considered solar energy?

 

Because it takes solar energy to evaporate the water that then becomes rain or snow that supplies water to hydro plants. Pretty much the same thing with wind, solar energy creates the pressure gradients in the atmosphere which then causes wind.

It's just been the last century where solar energy was more directly used to generate mechanical or electrical work, first being using concentrated solar light flux to power heat engines (Steam or Stirling)  and later photovoltaic.

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Posted by FRED CAPPELLER on Saturday, February 10, 2024 5:28 PM

Ride the South Shore in Chicago and Indiana. 1500 VDC. Have thought about eletrifying heavy freight on heavy grades out west and elsewhere. Have two freights, each with several battery and trolley locomotives, one descending, the other ascending at the same time, caternaries on both tracks. Would the downhill ones dynamic braking charging the lines be enough to power (partially) the uphills climb?

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, February 10, 2024 6:43 PM

The Milwaukee electrification saved about 17% in electric usage with regenerative braking. While the energy savings were nice, the main benefit was from reduction in brake wear and fewer accidents.

FWIW, 1500V is much too low of a voltage for a mainline electrification.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, February 11, 2024 10:04 AM

Erik_Mag

FWIW, 1500V is much too low of a voltage for a mainline electrification.

Quite true.  One of the reasons that South Shore dieselized its freight service was that the electrical system could not support operation of NIPSCO unit trains.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, February 11, 2024 10:45 AM

FRED CAPPELLER
Would the downhill ones dynamic braking charging the lines be enough to power (partially) the uphills climb?

Short answer is no.  Too much loss in all the conversions and transmission.  It also requires the trains to be balanced, an up train at the same time as a down train. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by aegrotatio on Saturday, February 24, 2024 11:57 AM

It takes a train "more than a mile to stop" so why not insulate a dead section of catenary under low bridges and tunnels and route the live current under or around the low bridge for continuity?

Seems like a no-brainer for me to have a couple hundred feet of dead catenary when the train can just coast through it.  Amtrak already does this on the NEC in "phase breaks" between power zones.  Amtrak also does this on at least one moveable bridge river crossing.

 

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Posted by rdamon on Saturday, February 24, 2024 12:10 PM

aegrotatio

It takes a train "more than a mile to stop" so why not insulate a dead section of catenary under low bridges and tunnels and route the live current under or around the low bridge for continuity?

Seems like a no-brainer for me to have a couple hundred feet of dead catenary when the train can just coast through it.  Amtrak already does this on the NEC in "phase breaks" between power zones.  Amtrak also does this on at least one moveable bridge river crossing.

 

 

 

Just use a version of this that can charge off of sections of CAT or 3rd Rail.

https://www.wabteccorp.com/newsroom/press-releases/wabtec-and-roy-hill-unveil-the-first-flxdrive-battery-locomotive

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Posted by aegrotatio on Saturday, February 24, 2024 12:23 PM

Yeah, I believe that's like Amtrak's plan with "Airo" trainsets using batteries and/or battery tenders.

For freight, I believe having multiple battery tenders will be in their future.

 

 

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, February 24, 2024 12:25 PM

I've been advocating for using batteries to allow dead catenary in low clearance areas for years now. Also bear in mind that there were several electric locomotives with batteries built in the 1920-30 era where the batteries allowed running over short section of non-electrified trackage. The North Shore line's battery-electrics could travel up to two miles w/o overhead.

For a battery-electric, the optimal battery technology would lean more to a very high cycle life over specific energy (e.g. w-hr/lb). Right now, LFP seems to be the best match, though have reports of new technology with even higher cycle life. Think Uuninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) for a locomotive.

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