Trains.com

Possible future expansion of Amtrak electrifications system wide

3755 views
39 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 598 posts
Posted by Gramp on Monday, May 3, 2021 2:54 PM

Planting a trillion trees seems a wiser action to take rather than trying to track slippery CO2 numbers. 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 823 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Monday, May 3, 2021 8:19 PM
True!  A significant number of coal-fired power plants have been mothballed since 2014.  My former employer has shut down approximately 60 percent of its coal-fired generators.
 
I ran a search against the EPA’s databases.  The latest numbers, as cited by the president, are for 2014.  They are, admittedly, old.  However, I suspect the country comparative percentages are relatively unchanged. 
 
The EPA figures include cement production. 
 
Some of the reduction in emissions from the shuttered coal fired power plants has been offset by the increase in gas-fired steam electric stations and by American’s mania for big pick-ups and SUVs.  Texans have gone whole hog for four door, gas guzzling pick-ups and hug SUVs. 
 
The best source of dependable electric energy is nuclear.  During the recent Texas winter storm, our plant hummed along without missing a beat.  Oh, Unit 1 of the South Texas project had to shut down to replace a feed water pump, but it was up and running in a relatively short period of time.  Our nuclear station, which contained two of our 77 generators at the time I retired, was online an average of 93 percent of the time.  It beat every other form of generation hands down. 
  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 10,248 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, May 3, 2021 8:52 PM

Certainly the NEC is not going to be carbon free but the hydroelectric at Safe Harbor is.  Although it only generates a portion Amtrak needs at 25 Hz  who knows what can be planned by 2030 ?.  Unlikely but Might even be a partial conversion to 60 Hz on the NEC south end ?  What if Amtrak requires the freight trains on its tracks to use some form of electric insteas of diesel locos ?  As I understand it much of the 60 Hz converted to 25 is hydro ?

a. Since when has Amtrak not considered the NYP - Albany part of the NEC. This report among others does. 1.  Amtrak owns the west side access from NYP past the Spuyten Duyvil bridge ( which Amtrak rehabed in the past ) to the intersection of MNRR Hudson division .  From Poukeepsie north thru Albany thru schenectady to Hoffmans Amtrak has a long term lease from CSX.  Amtrak is already improving the signaling by eliminateing pole lines among other items.

Now if Amtrak plans to electrify any of that to Albany I have no idea neither will any one else.

b.  Amtrak certainly has rehabbed parts of the line to Harrisburg but no further.  Again Amtrak calls it part of the NEC.

2. I agree that until MBTA takes over Woochester to Springfield it will not be electrified but in the longer run who knows if MBTA's long term plans will hold up to electrification. MBTA's long range plans call for major electrification projects.  For New Haven to Springfield electrification is very iffy until the Hartford station mess is solved.  Also the 2nd main track is finished from Hartford to Springfield then maybe that line would be electrified especially if BOS - Springfield is electrified.  Remember New Haven -Springfield is owned by Amtrak.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 10,248 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, May 3, 2021 9:37 PM

Here are sections 11306 and 11307 of the fast act

(Sec. 11306) Directs the Commission to develop:

  • a capital investment plan for the Northeast Corridor main line between Boston, Massachusetts, and the Virginia Avenue interlocking in the District of Columbia, and the Northeast Corridor branch lines connecting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Spuyten Duyvil, New York; and
  • a Northeast Corridor service development plan, updated at least once every 10 years.

Requires Amtrak and each state and public transportation entity that owns infrastructure providing intercity rail passenger transportation on the Northeast Corridor to develop an asset management system and develop, and update as necessary, a Northeast Corridor asset management plan.

(Sec. 11307) Directs DOT to implement a pilot program for the competitive selection of a rail carrier or rail carriers owning infrastructure over which Amtrak operates a long-distance route, a state (or group of states), or state-supported joint powers authority or other sub-state governance entity providing intercity rail passenger transportation over such long-distance routes in lieu of Amtrak to operate three long-distance routes.

 

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 10,248 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, May 3, 2021 9:38 PM

Here are cites that the NEC includes

Several branch lines are part of the NEC in several contexts, including being subject to capital planning and cost allocation provisions of Section 11306 of the FAST Act and Section 212 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), codified at 49 U.S.C. § 24904 and § 24905. Some statutory and other definitions of the NEC also include the New York, NY-Albany line (Hudson Line ) and the linebetween Washington, DC and Richmond, Va.

You can see this yourself by going to this link and look on page 23.  Also look at the map just below that paragraph that shows Amtrak extent of what they consider the  NEC.

Amtrak General and Legislative Annual Report & FY2022 Grant Request

 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 960 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, May 3, 2021 10:36 PM

JPS1

 
The best source of dependable electric energy is nuclear.
 

No argument from me on that, Cal 1978 MSNE. Using nuclear for baseload, roof top solar for daytime peaks and some energy storage is what I think would be the most environmentally friendly form of "no carbon" electric power. The  amount of electric energy produced per ton of steel and per ton of concrete is much higher for nuclear than wind.

  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 598 posts
Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 12:53 PM

I vote for modern tech nuclear, too. 

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 5,054 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 7:09 PM

JPS1
The best source of dependable electric energy is nuclear. 

I think they should find an alternative to water as coolant but I have no clue how Bill Gates thinks liquid sodium is safer than water.    As it is flammable when exposed to air or water, you really would needed dependable seals and fail safes even with liquid sodium as a coolant.     Bill Gates innovation sounds smart on the surface but a little digging on the internet and you'll find he doesn't think things through before he proposes them.    Granted Breeder Reactors already use liquid Sodium as a coolant but nobody thinks of a Breeder Reactor as "safe" either.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 960 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 11:44 PM

CMStPnP

I think they should find an alternative to water as coolant but I have no clue how Bill Gates thinks liquid sodium is safer than water.

The most successful power reactors that did not use water as a coolant were the British MAGNOX and AGR designs which used CO2. Helium cooled reactors have a checkered operational history, though have a good safety record.

One distinct advantage of water cooling is that the reactor will shut with a significant loss in pressure. The most important safety requirement is keeping enough water on hand for cooling the core as about 6 per cent of the power is generated by radioactive decay of the fission products.

Having followed the development of personal computers since before the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, Bill Gates success has stemmed more from his legal knowledge than technical ability.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,330 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, May 6, 2021 2:10 PM

CMStPnP
I think they should find an alternative to water as coolant but I have no clue how Bill Gates thinks liquid sodium is safer than water. 

You'd actually use a eutectic of potassium and sodium, as on some Russian reactors (the term is NaK, from the chemical symbols for the two elements).  Pure sodium metal freezes near the boiling point of water, well above the ambient temperature of many parts of even a primary loop; in my opinion it makes sense to preserve the ability to circulate coolant through a full circuit, especially if ECCS involves liquid metal, as it almost certainly would in those designs.

This is an old reference, but not obsolete:

https://books.googleusercontent.com/books/content?req=AKW5QadOgr8uI6i4T6PoNVjRWP-p1BsTTHGoa_nJo-59WL63YelgjFCxFM04GbHPIcPlRNryuEQQ8xTMb6oS1-8xXj7zmd-YJcTBN5CQDeCiinKtHKweZSIshLFotYDywn9yaUtvbJi3IsmFTsx6oSjxqsEX6_uKqbG7GDz6xldblKBcPmX__Y8XTkHrO_phpw2N96Y6mkB-cnoyFfM2p3WisUgzdaNyit5LJk6qEIyUFpN-fC4FLmL2T_9YPXO96uL3lT35SySg

I have considered supercritical CO2 an interesting coolant for a number of prospective cycles, but it seems to be underrepresented in modern designs.  Note that increases in LNG production, whether for natural-gas fuel or blue-hydrogen production, also leverage helium extraction.

Had billg continued to run Microsoft the way it was organized at the time the original Mac unit was founded, it is quite possible the company would have become a major 'force' without all the legal profiting.  I confess I've never much cared for Ballmer or his priorities, just as I never much cared for Gassee or Sculley -- although it does have to be said that BeOS has hands-down the best default menu and window-title bar color...

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy