Author Topic: Green railways?  (Read 3874 times)

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Offline brokentrak

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Green railways?
« on: April 27, 2016, 05:31:00 pm »
So I just stumbled across this Italian company's website claiming that they could make railway sleepers out of recyclable materials (not unrealistic) and integrate solar panels (solar roadways anyone?) OR piezo transducers to generate energy from trains passing by.

http://www.greenrail.it/en/

This should be interesting to bust   :)

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Offline helius

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 05:55:41 pm »
It's one of those badly designed sites that loads multiple megabytes to display a few words of text. no thanks.
Solar roadways? I don't think there are too many trucks driving over the tops of railcars, are there?
But it is not cost effective to place PVs on vehicles due to poor solar tracking.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 06:06:54 pm »
What is not green and recyclable about modern rail sleepers, they are only steel and concrete, both recyclable a near infinite number of times. The solar rail cover has already been done in Belgium, and seems to be working.
 

Offline vodka

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 06:19:18 pm »
Quote
railway sleepers out of recyclable materials

I see the page and the  recyclable materials are ELT(old tires) + plastic , the unique inconvenient is that the plastics at countries very sunny,the plastics if it isn't good it's desintegrated with the sun.

The idea from  put solar panels to railway sleepers, for me it is a bad idea. Because ,the cost maintance  task will grow, the companies will  have to travel for all railroad inspect the panels and cleaning from the grease,oil,grass,dust,etc.

Beside for the people the bad living ,a solar panel is a gift. These is as to give up a candy on school front .
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 08:45:41 pm »
What is not green and recyclable about modern rail sleepers, they are only steel and concrete, both recyclable a near infinite number of times. The solar rail cover has already been done in Belgium, and seems to be working.

Actually not - a lot of lines still use wooden sleepers or in combination with concrete ones. They actually have some advantages over concrete/steel. On the other hand, it is very hard to consider them "green" by any measure despite being made from wood because they are commonly impregnated with some very toxic stuff (think something akin to heavy mineral oil) and are considered to be dangerous waste.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 05:58:56 pm by janoc »
 

Offline The Soulman

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 09:23:25 pm »
The sleepers themselves look plausible but the solar and piezo options..  :palm:
Anyone interested in actual green railways shout take a look at the mariazellbahn in Austria (that is not the upside down one).
They have build a dedicated hydro plant and substations to power the electric trains. Over a hundred years ago!!!  :scared:
Where are the true inventors of these days?? Just quick money making marketing A..HOLES.  :--

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariazell_Railway
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 09:45:05 pm »
I think probably the pupose here is not "solarrailways" but incorporating a single solar/piezo sleeper at intervals to power rail network sensors.

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Offline janoc

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 06:03:04 pm »
I think probably the pupose here is not "solarrailways" but incorporating a single solar/piezo sleeper at intervals to power rail network sensors.

Considering you have long distance cables running along the track anyway which carry all the signalling data and power for the signals, then I am not sure what a solar or a piezzo (!) would achieve there. It is not like someone wants to make wireless railway signalling (or if they want, they likely have no idea what they are talking about - there are very strict safety norms in place there).

Not to mention that a lot of lines are electrified with overhead wires, so plenty of power is readily available, if really needed.
 

Offline helius

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 07:08:09 pm »
I misapprehended that it was a proposal to put solar panels onto the cars, which doesn't seem like it could work. I don't hear the term 'sleepers' very often. A clear advantage over crazy ideas like solar roadways, is that the light gathering surface doesn't also have to be strong and durable. The stiff linkage between the rails can be underneath it. PV efficiency won't be great due to the flat angle, but at least you could say that nobody will complain that PV panels in such a place are too ugly. One potential problem: besides debris shading the panels, there is a greater risk of clogging the drainage. You would want to make the panels cover as much of the area as possible, which makes it harder to provide good drainage in all conditions. Of course the same problems with solar roadways are also present when it comes to power transmission and the idea of heating the surface to melt snow, which are wildly inefficient.
The piezo generator idea is crazy, any energy that can be taken from the motion of a train will simply slow the train down.

The wood sleepers used here are soaked in creosote, which is not especially toxic. It's even used as medicine some places. Telephone poles are similarly preserved.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 07:28:34 pm »
Older wooden sleepers used hexavalent chromium compounds as a preservative, because it is incredibly effective as a preservative, and literally stops everything, bacteria, fungi, ferns, moss, weeds and animals from growing or gnawing on the wood. That is toxic waste for sure, and the easy way to tell is the sleeper inside is pale green, though by the time you have cut it you are already contaminated.

Best is the solar on top of the existing poles if you want to power the signalling, as those are already there on all railways, using the existing telegraph poles running in the right of way.
 

Offline Delta

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2016, 01:25:32 pm »
Utter ridiculous.

Just put ground mounted PV panels along the sides of the track!  :palm:

...then you don't have to worry about one train with a chain / hose / whatever danging below destroying thousands of panels in one run...
 

Offline oldway

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 01:48:40 pm »
Some crazy ideas... :-DD

The railways are based on traditional technology that dates back to the time of the first steam engines: very heavy and robust equipment.

This is perfectly valid for the transportation of goods.

But for the passengers, we should dare to revolutionize the technology applying aeronautical technologies to make very light vehicles.

Indeed, the train is intended to replace the cars even over short distances because it is a very economical means of transportation on energy used per passenger per km (moving horizontally)

The friction of the wheel on the rail consumes 6 times less energy than the tire on the asphalt.

Some (crazy) ideas on economic train of the future: railcar body and frame entirely of composite materials and aluminum alloys, carbon fiber wheels, no more bogies but independent suspension.

Energy Sources: Batteries, solar power, ability for passengers to ride to recharge the batteries and reduce the price of their ticket.

 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2016, 05:55:33 pm »
Years ago British Rail ( before they were torn apart and tossed to the wolves) made some lightweight 3 ton passenger cars. They were perfect, and performed well and did save a lot of energy. Sadly they did not survive being shunted with the regular 30 ton cars, as they were damaged so badly in fly shunting that they had all been destroyed in short order. As a coupled unit that only goes to the service yard as a unit they would work, but not as a mix and match style.
 

Offline oldway

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2016, 07:17:07 am »
This problem does not happen because in my design, it would only be unique rail car that can not be shunted.

Schedules are flexible, ie that the departure is delayed up to 15 minutes if the autorail is not sufficiently filled with passengers.

The principle of signaling would be totally different: it is based on GPS with radar and transponder and would be completely autonomous.

There would thus be no signaling equipment installed on the tracks.

The station stops would only be upon request, ie the passengers on the train or in the station should request the stop via SMS or a push button.
 

Offline helius

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2016, 04:26:29 pm »
This problem does not happen because in my design, it would only be unique rail car that can not be shunted.
Schedules are flexible, ie that the departure is delayed up to 15 minutes if the autorail is not sufficiently filled with passengers.
The principle of signaling would be totally different: it is based on GPS with radar and transponder and would be completely autonomous.
There would thus be no signaling equipment installed on the tracks.
The station stops would only be upon request, ie the passengers on the train or in the station should request the stop via SMS or a push button.
There have been systems for modernized forms of automated transit for decades. Some have been technically very successful:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgantown_Personal_Rapid_Transit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Véhicule_Automatique_Léger

In particular, the Morgantown system dispatches cars on demand between stations selected by users. All these systems use guideways, that is, the car steers itself in a channel with side facing tires. Constructing these is more expensive than steel rails, so they are only used in metro areas.

I don't see any way of building traditional steel rails (with their lower friction and higher load capacity) without switchgear in the track, which, along with travel on grade, is the reason that trains are not able to be automated. If you have to construct very expensive guideways so that the car can steer itself, then communication is the least of your worries.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 04:28:09 pm by helius »
 

Online chris_leyson

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Re: Green railways?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2016, 10:18:17 pm »
In the UK the Great Western Region, GWR, line from London to Cardiff is being upgraded from diesel to electric. I travel from Oxford to Cardiff every few weeks and have been keeping an eye on what's going on from a civil and electrical engineering point of view. It all looked a bit quiet in 2015, not many piles going in, not that I could see, great piles of piles going rusty for months, a few bridges being raised to allow for the overhead lines, substations poping up (that might have been 2014 also).

This year, 2016, steel galvanized gantries are spreading from Didcot railway station, they're moving faster towards Reading as far as I can see down the track. I'm looking at this stuff being built and thinking shit man that's a lot of steel and concrete, to be fair it's not much concrete when you compare it to a motorway for example. It's nice watching the infrastructure go in bit by bit, it's a big project.
Trains are or will be Hitachi hybrid diesel/electric so they probably run them on diesel through the Severn tunnel and a bit more. In Green terms it's a lot of steel.

And GWR now changed their livery to dark or flat olive green, nice colour I like it.
 


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