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160kph Battery Train Technology In GTHA (Electrification Solution for Kitchener Line)

mdrejhon

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As a longtime armchair GO analyst around here (including my well-known GO article from 2015), I have discovered lots of evidence that Metrolinx is now seriously considering battery trains for Kitchener Line.

Summary (For Those Unfamiliar With Battery Trains):
  • Battery trains have arrived in Europe that goes 160kph
  • Battery trains can be "recharged-on-the-fly" under standard catenary.
  • Metrolinx owns trackage in Kitchener and Toronto but not in Brampton. CN owns a section that can't be electrified.
  • Batteries can hop this section.
  • Gigafactories that makes batteries for Tesla cars have massively increased battery train economics in 2019+
  • Battery trains are much less risky than hydrail, as they utilize existing OCS infrastructure.
Kitchener Electrification Study Public Meeting

Metrolinx is now studying electrification between Kitchener and Georgetown! There is a public meeting on November 20.

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Freight Owned Section In Middle of Kitchener Line

As we already know, CN owns freight section.

Metrolinx owns Kitchener thru (near) Georgetown, and from (near) Bramalea through Union.

As CN is pretty stubborn against catenary at the current moment, battery trains are one of the few technologies that can hop the CN section, other than dual-mode locomotives.

212844



There is Precedent About Metrolinx Studying Battery Trains
(i.e. Recharge under Catenary On Both Sides of CN)


Metrolinx is definitely known to be paying attention. As of 2019, the technology is probably finally mature enough in the Horizon (Expansion 2028 service date).

In year 2010, battery train technology was not sufficiently mature, but definitely is by 2025-2030.

There is an earlier 2010 Electrification Study where Metrolinx mentions battery trains.

212845


And also,

Battery Trains Are Mature Enough By GO Expansion 2028 Service Date

There are now emerging battery train options that will pop on the market between now and 2028. Right now, Germany is about to deploy a 160kph battery train that recharges under catenary, to hop large catenary-free section (>70km), in a city with similar weather (Germany)

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Batteries Are Now Durable Enough

Also -- The economic case is much better than many estimated, given newer million-mile-rated lithium batteries are being developed (permitting long lifetime service capacities, equalling to about 50,000 trips through a 20 kilometers catenary-free segment, per trainset).

The new batteries are now practically half a service lifetime for GO trains -- assuming 8 transits across the 20km catenary-free gap per day (a very generous per-trainset estimate) back and fourth, would lead to a 15 year lifetime for modern million-mile batteries, and even that may still go beyond that with good state-of-charge management. If it's only 4 transits per day per train set, that's theoretically potentially a 30 year life cycle for the battery!

By 2028 or 2035, when Kitchener is electrified (Except CN), there is no question about battery durability that will be available.

What About Dual-Modes?

That is a backup option. However, economic efficiencies of battery-backed catenary trains (where the battery behaves like an uninterruptible power supply for a catenary train, to hop short catenary-free sections) are starting to show surprising benefits.

The Georgetown corridor Union-to-Pearson requires extremely high capacities in the upcoming GO Expansion. There is an extremely high number of trains per hour in the GO Expansion Business Case, especially when you also include VIA and UPX type service plans, as well as possible future provisions for frequent intercity train service (thru to London -- whether be HFR, HSR, or GO).

212886

Credit: 2018 GO Expansion Business Case, Page 44. Obviously rough, skimpy and incomplete -- but shows metro-like frequencies being developed. Does not include new stations like Liberty, Breslau, Eglinton -- and doesn't cover UPX/VIA -- so heavily subject to change. The point being, there's a lot of service upgrades coming within 1 to 2 decades, essentially the arrival of metro-like frequencies to GO).

Such a complicated service mix as seen in this diagram, can be somewhat simplified with a battery train (even if initially dual mode electric locomotives are used).

Dual modes don't seem to warrant funding expensive electrification in Kitchener, but they could be initially introduced at the beginning while battery train technologies improve as an option -- e.g. dual modes 2028 and battery trains 2035+.

Low-Risk Technology Capability Has Arrived: Speed, Distance, Capacity, Weather-Resistance

Speed: There are now battery train technologies that go 160kph.

Capacity / Distance: The 20 kilometer distance of the CN-owned freight section is pretty small, and easily covered by a battery train that recharges Kitchener-Georgetown and Bramalea-Union. Current battery-train routes are now being deployed that have much larger catenary-free sections than this. The horsepower (multiple megawatts) and speed (160kph) is now well within the GO performance envelope.

Weather: Nonissue. Battery-warmers are built into battery trains, kept warm while going under catenary, as tested in Europe. This keeps capacity high, while “recharging-on-the-go” in motion.

Maintenance/Operating Costs: Shockingly lower, similiar to an EMU. There are many Tesla cars zooming through 100,000km odometer with no maintenance except tire and brakes. An electric vehicle has few moving parts. Batteries add no additional moving parts unlike a hybrid. The complicated multi-piston-engine nature of a DEMU means a battery train has less than 1/10th the moving parts of a DEMU or even a DMU like Union Pearson Express. Dual modes have more moving parts than a regular locomotive. The economics were a breakthrough discovery in Europe, creating sudden enthusiasm for battery trains which will develop really rapidly in the 2020s. Homer Simpson duh zero brainer.

Recharging Time: Non-issue. Battery trains recharge on the fly while going under catenary, and sufficient catenary exists in existing GO Expansion plan to have zero charging downtime. Also, sufficient safety margins now exist for stalled trains (including heating mid-winter) if stuck. The Brampton section is only 20km, and the German battery train is going to hop 70km in similiar weather without catenary. So we have a bigger safety margin here. And side bonus, battery means trains can reach the next station during a power outage.

Train Size: A wildcard is the size of battery trains (single deck versus doubledeck, and lengths) but GO is already planning shorter trains during offpeak operations, as seen in multiple GO documents -- for example, 4-coach EMUs and 8-coach EMUs have been frequently mentioned in many Metrolinx documents, and Metrolinx has frequently considered single-deck EMUs for offpeak metro-style operation. (UPX should have used longer trains though...). It is anticipated there is going to be a boom of availability of battery trains in the 2020s-2030s window, and vendors may bid to electrify GO with the battery train option.


Flexibility: It's Much Less Risky Than Hydrail

Metrolinx is also studying hydrail. Standard catenary technology means regular EMUs and dual-modes are also options. EMUs can still be used on Bramalea-to-Union, and for UPX.

Dual-modes can also hop the catenary-free section. Existing infrastructure is still useful even if battery train technology ends up not yet being good enough specs, nor mature enough yet. And battery trains can come later, too.

And if the Freight Bypass is later built (that will take time), and Brampton is electrified, then battery trains can be redeployed on other lines such as Hamilton or Bowmanville, etc. Such flexibility lowers risks!

My Conclusion

Although Metrolinx has not explicitly specifically mentioned battery trains specifically for Kitchener, the evidence is increasingly becoming clear that it is a newly legitimate option.

Dual modes are also an option. Having only dual-modes as an option, is probably not enough to make Metrolinx prioritize studying electrification in Kitchener-Georgetown.

However, I believe that the combined widening choice (battery trains & dual modes) has given Metrolinx the confidence necessary to study electrifying beyond former freight limits.
 
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Leo_Chan

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I have posted a question for Metrolinx Town Hall.
Feel free to vote on this question.

To see if Metrolinx will spill more beans about this topic.

View attachment 212888

(In all likelihood, it will be a superior sequel trainset by 2028 -- even BiLevel -- so whatever is available then will be unquestionably superior)
How did you get that upvote/downvote link?
 

mdrejhon

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For completeness sake, in the department of Metrolinx’s open mind about “alternative” solutions (from sensible battery breakthroughs thru risky Hydrail, etc).

In 2017 Metrolinx decided to use (centralized) multi-megawatt-scale lithium battery storage as a power buffer for Crosstown LRT


The stunning boom of grid storage batteries — booming all over the place like kudzu — is because of the miracle economics they are showing. That is WHY I am stupendously enthusiastic about battery trains; they provide shocking surprise cost-saving economics in early battery trials (when using modern industrial-scale lithium batteries.

Did you know that a single “size-18650” (18mm x 65mm) lithium battery cell is now cheaper than a Duracell AA battery on sale? Look at this graph:

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(credit)

1KWh = approximately 250 Duracell AA batteries (4 watt hours each).

And it keeps falling. It's now $139 per kwh this year (2019), and could fall to between $62 to $76 per kilowatt-hour in 2030. A megawatt-hour battery for only five figures! The new Stadler battery trains don't even have a battery that big -- batteries will be a relatively cheap add-on to a regular catenary EMU in quite rapid order.

Tesla and other manufacturers have pushed mega-dominoes in cutting costs of lithium battery manufacturing. It's stunner, it's shocking -- like windmill booms, or solar booms you keep hearing about -- that kind of gigantic boom league of revolutionary lore.

Canada's going to run one of the world's first fleet of passenger electric airplanes (Harbour Air electric seaplanes will begin trials soon to Vancouver Island). Very, very head-turner economics. Record low maintenance needs. Sure, they don't have the stamina for thousands of kilometers -- but that's not necessary for GO trains (freight-segment hopping) or sea airplane shuttles (island hopping). The economics are, just literally -- pardon me for using this word -- a real miracle for these use cases.

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(credit)

Metrolinx is already building lithium battery facilities
It's rare when Metrolinx revises as quickly as they did, slapping a battery backup into Eglinton Crosstown mid-construction -- something originally unplanned when they begun Eglinton Crosstown construction! They recognized the suddenly now-superior economics of using a battery instead of a natgas peaker plant. Thankfully they smartly avoided a gasplant scandal (this time) and went the right route. Metrolinx's lithium battery planet for Crosstown is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. (photos! Not even cancelled by Ford).

Miracle ROI
The ROI of Australia's 100 megawatt battery backup for high-voltage power transmission lines paid over half of capital costs in a single year. Miracle-league ROI!

Not Wimpy Tech Anymore: Electric Cars Are Faster Than Gasoline Cars Now
In the last two records, records were broken by the world's fastest vehicles. And guess what. ELECTRIC. Did you know that the electric car is now the world's fastest 4-door sedan on Nurburgring (unofficial surprise, 2019), now the all-time fastest record for Pike's Peak (official, 2018) and a hybrid electric car was the all-time fastest ever Nurburgring lap time (official, 2018) on German's torturing Nurburgring track?
Yes, sure, this isn't much relevant to airplanes and trains -- but the point being, batteries are not wimpy tech anymore -- lately, it has been mic-drop by the dozen. Shattered myths is causing a sudden gold rush to milk the miracle performance & durability economics of now-cheap durable powerful batteries. Metrolinx even (rightfully) jumped aboard the battery hype, too.

Economics weren't possible 5 years ago
These economics wasn't possible even merely 5 years ago. Just look at the magical ROI economics of lore. Number crunchers in 2015 are redoing economics in 2018 and finding that what was boondoggle tax-waste numbers are incredible cost-saving numbers now. Trainset designers at Stadler, Bombardier, Alstom, etc have already panic-scrambled their engineering teams to design battery train models and retrofits -- I've heard big rumblings (impending RItcher 9 earthquake of battery train announcements are coming in the next 3-4 years). Consider that "size-18650" lithium rechargeables are now cheaper than a single disposable Duracell AA battery -- that's how much prices have fallen per single cell.
$1100 per kilowatt hour in 2010 (actual)
$176 per kilowatt hours in 2018 (actual)
$139 per kilowatt hours in 2019 (actual)
$62 per kilowatt hours in 2030 (estimated)

Battery may cost only a few extra tens thousand dollars per coach in 2030
Look at the price drops! These giant price drops of lore, don't happen often. For only $62000 in year 2030 (bulk cost, excluding inverter electronics and ruggedization packaging) -- a megawatt-hour battery. That's enough battery for a whole 4-coach train that only need to hop the Metrolinx freight gaps! Chain them up for 12-coach. At these numbers, batteries could rapidly become only a small cost-add premium on a regular EMU.

2010 electrification study's now partially outdated
The lithium battery gold rush already started because lithium battery prices have dropped by ~90% in the last 10 years. When it comes to new lithium battery trains -- it's a viable solution for freight line hopping. Viable solution for Brampton, Hamilton, Niagara, Bowmanville Battery trains would be ideal for difficult-to-electrify segments of the GO train network. Given Metrolinxs' recent willingness to unexpectedly pivot to battery tech, it will not be surprising if Metrolinx begins trialing battery train solutions in less than 15 years.

Didn't know all these battery developments? You were under a rock. This stuff is happening brain-scorchingly FAST.
 
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ssiguy2

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Well after years of offering alternatives to standard catenary EMUs {and taking a fair amount of insults in the process} it's nice to know I', not the lone fox in the hen house. For the entire network I don't see what catenary has over battery. Battery technology has developed so incredibly fast over such a remarkably small amount of time that any studies about their potential that is even 5 years old is now completely out of date.

Obviously the biggest benefits of using battery is that they don't require the massive funds, time, and disruption required for catenary wires and infrastructure. This however maybe the reasons why battery does NOT get chosen. As I understand it {and correct me if I'm wrong} the 4 competing companies are only concerned about service quality and price of the operational costs but not the initial infrastructure ones as that will be born 100% of the government.
 

mdrejhon

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Obviously the biggest benefits of using battery is that they don't require the massive funds, time, and disruption required for catenary wires and infrastructure.
A percentage of Catenary will be absolutely necessary for battery economics.
  • Battery size for the size of trains GO runs
  • No space wasted by trains being recharged
  • Recharge-on-the fly
  • Recharge slower and gentler, since you can recharge-on-the-fly
  • Safety margin for downtime (train stuck behind freight in midwinter)
  • State of charge management.
  • More environment friendly because batteries are replaced much less often
Advanced state-of-charge management (SoC controllers) makes it possible for lithium batteries to last the lifetime of vehicles. An iPhone battery can last 30 years if you never let it discharge below 40% and never recharge above 60%. Even Tesla cars don’t let you recharge above 90% unless you push a confirmation button. Those 0%s and 100%s are fairly damaging to lithium batteries. More lifetime mileage comes out of a battery if you do careful battery charge management. It’s key to the multi-million-mile battery that doesn’t need to be replaced for the lifetime of the vehicle. Tesla batteries last the lifetime of the vehicle nowadays.

<1% catenary (Railyard charge for a full day battery) will likely require huge batteries and frequent battery replacements.

75%+ catenary will likely mean reasonable size batteries that are babied very well to last lifetime of vehicles.

Goldilocks Option
If you only catenary stations, slopes, high-energy-usage trackage, and just before/after stations for acceleration power requirements — the.n you could get by with just 10-20% catenary while keeping batteries small. That may be a viable option, but at this stage of massive amounts of fragmentary catenary, might as well consider full catenary at least within the Oakville-Brampton-Aurora-Whitby zone for ability to choose full EMUs within the metro frequency areas, which will drive battery trains quickly into the ground. It will be a long time before allday battery life is available for a large GO train that does not have major compromises (wasted space, shortened battery life, etc). Centralized power is more environmentally friendly than having worn-out batteries that needs full replacements

Catenary is a safety net
I believe that baseline full electrification will proceed on all the inner sections (and all the way to Whitby yard), but batteries will make freight catenary electrification unnecessary. If you electrify enough catenary, then battery capabilities are sufficient to add compact batteries that won’t need replacement in their lifetimes (or only one replacement).
 
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crs1026

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^ I can’t offer a single theoretical reason why a line electrified between Union and Wice and again between Georgetown and Kitchener, with battery bridging the gap, wouldn’t work.... eventually.
But I can offer more than one practical reason why none of the parties would be willing to try.
One is that the motive power is not in production yet, and would potentially have no applicability to any other GO line. No one wants an oddball in an otherwise standard fleet.
A second is that CN would likely not accept a battery locomotive unless it had a backup prime mover.
The third is that a 15 km gap on a 100 km route is not going to save much capital investment, especially after buying those oddball and first-of-kind vehicles.
The Kitchener line is not a playpen for high school students to use as a science fair. ML should only use tried and true technology that has millions of miles of performance data behind it and can be procured readily in fully-tested-and-proven state of development. Nor should ML undertake experimentation that would add delay to expansion. By all means, buy new models for beta testing under controlled conditions. But get on with the tried and true.
I expect that CN may be comfortable with a dedicated electrified track running alongside its own lines, particularly if flyover(s) are used rather than crossovers at grade. The obstacle is likely finding the money for the third track through Brampton and over the Credit, and for the flyover. That’s Doug’s problem, not CN’s.
- Paul
 
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mdrejhon

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One is that the motive power would potentially have no applicability to any other GO line. No one wants an oddball in an otherwise standard fleet.
It’s far less oddball than Hydrail:
- A battery train can double as a standard EMU (disable the battery).
- Infrastructure for battery trains can be used with regular EMUs (no need for battery).
- Variants of batteries are a mature technology that is generally well understood for more than 100 years
- The green infrastructure for batteries are now far ahead of hydrogen at the moment

GO is already planning fleet diversification (EMU, electric locomotives, diesels). Also, it does not necessarily happen by 2028, but 2035 when multiple mature train sets are available, including full size BiLevel EMUs. Such fleet means they can just use a diesel or dual mode by default, but introduce battery train service to save on costs and increase frequencies sooner.

It’s not like “depend on battery train to make this work” type of thing, that you’re setting this out to be....
A second is that CN would likely not accept a battery locomotive unless it had a backup prime mover.
A battery train has many backups, being a Multiple Unit. Even if 1 battery fails, there’s many other battery powered axels to bring the train to the next station. Designed right, it is much more reliable and redundant than a single diesel locomotive, by many orders of magnitude. CN would be silly to use that yardstick. Instead of one catenary outage, you will require literally something like 24 separate battery outages in order to kill a BiLevel battery train. Each EMU can independently motive-power itself with its own battery.

How can CN refuse such level of backup redundancy once lots and lots (by 2030) statistics in other countries borne itself out?

Also, even there’s a concept of reserve power, Tesla car equivalent of “headroom below the E under the gas meter” — which is discouraged (wears battery) but can be used in a pinch to limp the vehicle out of the way, out of the freight corridor. Modern SoC management in mission critical equipment is very aggressive. It’s not like the train is dead when the battery hits 0% in the same way as an iPhone.

The way safety margin planning — is a goal of SoC management to max out the lifetime of a battery. Works in the favour of having lots of reserve. This is where batteries are charged to 80% and discharges down to 50% in the worst possible winter congestion over the hop, and even a stall of a few hours, pushes it down to only 30% including winter heating overnight on a stuck train. The safety margins are critically managed on these kinds of things. There’s lots of reserve room to limp a train out of the way with the modern mission-critical packs. It Is not like an iPhone that suddenly goes dead. These things are truly mission-critical planned with hefty safety margins because they want the battery to be durable, and these management practices accidentally automatically works in the favour of redundancy/safety.

The lithium battery fires you hear about (less often than petroleum fires on a per-mile-travelled basis, but much more news-sensational) is not a reason to mistrust the newer, more durable lithium batteries. Also, these are Li-On batteries, not the more explosive Li-Po that Samsung used. There are many different lithium battery types, and the ones used here are highly stable compared to the miniaturized thin-foil batteries used in smartphones.

Trust in battery powered transport is going to skyrocket. (From “It sounds high school experiment” straight to “wow, it’s definitely worth including in our mobility mix” when it comes to trains). I say this even if Metrolinx does not plan to use battery trains. Precisely the “experimentation” naysayer tone you said, is quickly dominating out of the way. Much like the Crosstown battery plant.

The third is that a 15 km gap on a 100 km route is not going to save much capital investment. The Kitchener line is not a playpen for high school students to use as a science fair. ML should only use tried and true technology that has millions of miles of performance data behind it. Nor should ML undertake experimentation that would add delay to expansion. By all means, buy new models for beta testing under controlled conditions. But get on with the tried and true.
You just described Hydrail. ;)

But we are talking about battery trains.

It’s not Windows 1.0 or Windows 3.0 Beta, but more like a Release Candidate of a stable Linux branch. The underlying components of the tech is much more mature than you think, and I am a software developer...

Batteries are very old tried and true technology. Lithium is relatively new (though not that new) but are showing stellar economics and by 2030s or 2040s, will be considered a mature technology in rather short order. Let’s consider that battery trains and battery powered cars did exist over 100 years ago — just were not powerful enough nor economics superior to petroleum based fuels. It’s only more recently that it’s begun to be viable to consider this solution.

Though a litre of battery capacity is not as efficient as a litre of petroleum fuel, the large reduction in moving parts and decreased bulk of motors, and more direct motive drive of axles, as well as now superior power surge output (the surge horsepower of a battery now exceeds the horsepower surge of an fuel engine in the same vehicle — important for things like acceleration — which is why batteries are now breaking speed records over petroleum nowadays). Thus, the venn diagrams of two separate MATURE technlogies recently collided in a spectacular economics way.

I expect that CN may be comfortable with a dedicated electrified track running alongside its own lines, particularly if flyover(s) are used rather than crossovers at grade.
That would be an ideal scenario if that happens. Given sufficient haste, it can make battery trains unnecessary.

If they are balky about it, then it is possible battery trains may actually hasten that, and be redeployed to copious number of other unelectrified legs that are within the specs of the battery-EMU train.

I should note, this is not a “depend on the Battery Train” situation, given the flexibility explained. I also mentioned that this could be right after dualmodes too — I did mention 2035 a few times in earlier posts instead of 2028 initial in-service date. It could also a way to add capacity much more quickly than initially planned, given potential appropriate mature trains on the market already by then.
 
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crs1026

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How can CN refuse such level of backup redundancy once lots and lots (by 2030) statistics in other countries borne itself out?
If it were 2030, we wouldn't be having this conversation, I'm sure.

The issue is, there isn't a prototype running on the rails in North America yet. There is no data from an in-service, tested-til-it-bled model that is beyond the drawing board.

I would very much like to see ML contract with someone to provide a battery powered test bed, to demonstrate both the practical ability of batteries to deliver acceleration-enabling current, and to demonstrate the ability to store and regenerate. I'm confident that kind of test bed could fit in a "standard" locomotive carbody, which could ride along on a L12 trainset much as a second locomotive does today. Equip it with a low-capacity diesel to "trickle charge" the battery (thus simulating the overhead catenary feed), and circuitry that will cut it in for dynamic braking and acceleration. If it fails, just cut it out and carry on with a diesel train. Run it for a year. I bet the regen energy collected alone would pay for the fuel and wear and tear of hauling it around (in all likelihood, it would be hauling the train around rather than vv much of the time!)

But that's a test, not a decision to deploy. We can't deploy based solely on hopes and theory.

Electrification, if it happens, won't come to all GO routes at once. Certainly if we started now, we might have enough data to decide on battery before some lines would ever see catenary . LSE and LSW have such heavy use that full catenary is hardly a waste of money, so let it happen. Kitchener is a critical route, so again I'm not concerned if we string wires and then find battery does work well. In a perfect world, we might find that overnight charging at Milton, Barrie, Lincolnville, and Richmond Hill might allow service all the way to wires at Aurora, Mount Joy, or even to Union on the non-2WAD routes. Niagara to Hamilton, also.

- Paul
 
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ssiguy2

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Jhon……………..I'm not exactly following you. What's the point of running battery trains if you are going to electrify the entire system anyway? The whole point of battery is that you don't have to spend huge sums on catenary infrastructure in the first place.

Certainly catenary/overhead power points would be needed at all terminus stations, the Union station corridor {ie Spadina to Jarvis} and a one other stations in roughly the middle of each route preferably the busiest ones where dwell times are longer ie Oakville on LSW but it's not needed otherwise. Could you be more specific on what you mean by catenaries on the system in terms of km?
 

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Is there a MU, regardless of power, that is approved by TC for use in mixed traffic? Is any of that line ready for 160kmh or even planned to be? I share Paul's cautious approach.
 

mdrejhon

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Electrification, if it happens, won't come to all GO routes at once. Certainly if we started now, we might have enough data to decide on battery before some lines would ever see catenary . LSE and LSW have such heavy use that full catenary is hardly a waste of money, so let it happen.
That’s my preference too — catenary all the way to Burlington.

While I am more enthusiastic about battery trains, I do view it as strictly a revolutionary solution to expanding onto the freight lines long before they’re easily able to be electrified. Unless electrification is delayed (cost cuts, etc) the full catenary solution for the Metrolinx owned segment is my strongly preferred scenario.

My view is this will be mature tech very quick (i.e. 2030s maturity decade) in the age of GO Expansion probable well before CN becomes comfortable electrifying (given need to pay CN the capital, to do the electrification in current arrangements, and may end up being a premium vastly exceeding cost of a battery train fleet),.

Even though Linux was released in the early 90s, lots of it’s components (UNIX) were already extant in components for a couple decades prior. Some Linux shell commands date back to the early 1970s. The tech of battery trains, individually apart, are pretty mature, being used separately (inverters, batteries, etc) elsewhere. It’s the assembly of all that together is a bit left field now, but will not be soon.

I’m not sure society’ll successfully electrify all GTHA freight in less than 15 years of the first electric line opening approx 2028ish. There will be a point where it is a no brainer to trial the battery trains here given our complicated situation.
Jhon……………..I'm not exactly following you. What's the point of running battery trains if you are going to electrify the entire system anyway? The whole point of battery is that you don't have to spend huge sums on catenary infrastructure in the first place.
My name is Mark, and my last name is never shortened.

My view of battery trains is to serve unnelectrified areas outside the main metro-frequency catenary area (the current GO Expansion core). I know we disagree on that. Nothing more to say about that difference of opinion.

In theory catenary can be scaled back a bit as I described, but not fully — especially engineering favours slow charging for more durable batteries so need more on-the-fly charging — however my overwhelming preference is a strong base catenary network that’s fully compatible with non-battery trains.

Also, battery trains are a possible key to simplifying matching the performance characteristics of the complex fleet in the GO Expansion Business case (red, yellow, blue colour coded lines are different train types!).

However, it is not practical that battery trains become the only fleet, and remove catenary, and it would be too expensive/unaffordable and potentially bad for environment to use that much battery (potentially 50x-100x more battery bulk needed, given full fleet and much, much bigger battery per train).

Economics of battery trains (for the foreseeable future) are currently more advantageous for catenary gaps in an otherwise mostly catenary network.
 
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ssiguy2

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Sorry Mark.
As far as using battery non-catenary routes again, seems like a waste of money. Catenary contact-less overhead charging at each or most stations would solve the problem but would not be susceptible to wind/snow/ice, would be vastly cheaper and easier to build,, would be much cheaper to maintain, and would get rid of the visual pollution.
 

lenaitch

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That’s my preference too — catenary all the way to Burlington.

While I am more enthusiastic about battery trains, I do view it as strictly a revolutionary solution to expanding onto the freight lines long before they’re easily able to be electrified. Unless electrification is delayed (cost cuts, etc) the full catenary solution for the Metrolinx owned segment is my strongly preferred scenario.

My view is this will be mature tech very quick (i.e. 2030s maturity decade) in the age of GO Expansion probable well before CN becomes comfortable electrifying (given need to pay CN the capital, to do the electrification in current arrangements, and may end up being a premium vastly exceeding cost of a battery train fleet),.

Even though Linux was released in the early 90s, lots of it’s components (UNIX) were already extant in components for a couple decades prior. Some Linux shell commands date back to the early 1970s. The tech of battery trains, individually apart, are pretty mature, being used separately (inverters, batteries, etc) elsewhere. It’s the assembly of all that together is a bit left field now, but will not be soon.

I’m not sure society’ll successfully electrify all GTHA freight in less than 15 years of the first electric line opening approx 2028ish. There will be a point where it is a no brainer to trial the battery trains here given our complicated situation.

My name is Mark, and my last name is never shortened.

My view of battery trains is to serve unnelectrified areas outside the main metro-frequency catenary area (the current GO Expansion core). I know we disagree on that. Nothing more to say about that difference of opinion.

In theory catenary can be scaled back a bit as I described, but not fully — especially engineering favours slow charging for more durable batteries so need more on-the-fly charging — however my overwhelming preference is a strong base catenary network that’s fully compatible with non-battery trains.

Also, battery trains are a possible key to simplifying matching the performance characteristics of the complex fleet in the GO Expansion Business case (red, yellow, blue colour coded lines are different train types!).

However, it is not practical that battery trains become the only fleet, and remove catenary, and it would be too expensive/unaffordable and potentially bad for environment to use that much battery (potentially 50x-100x more battery bulk needed, given full fleet and much, much bigger battery per train).

Economics of battery trains (for the foreseeable future) are currently more advantageous for catenary gaps in an otherwise mostly catenary network.
Are you proposing/speculating that our Class 1 rail carriers will electrify their networks, or at least the part in the GTA through some form of motive power transfer yards on the periphery? Where's the money going to come from for this?
 

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