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General railway discussions


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Interesting concept - the question is, how much of the energy obtained is “waste” energy eg would otherwise transmit to the track as vibration, versus how much is a parasitic load that represents resistance to the train’s passage. If the latter, the locomotive will have to make up the energy by burning more oil, and we would have replaced a solar cell with fossil fuel.

- Paul
 

This is a very promising development, and hopefully bears fruit - but the most important sentence in the article is

“Extensive research and development work to adapt the vehicle to American infrastructure and standarda”

In other words - still lots of work before it’s ready for prime time”

- Paul
 
Interesting concept - the question is, how much of the energy obtained is “waste” energy eg would otherwise transmit to the track as vibration, versus how much is a parasitic load that represents resistance to the train’s passage. If the latter, the locomotive will have to make up the energy by burning more oil, and we would have replaced a solar cell with fossil fuel.

- Paul
As a concept it is not particularly new. So-called 'energy sidewalks were conceived about a decade ago; some using electromagnetic induction, others were piezoelectric. I'm a little surprised in this case that they went with a mechanical linkage, to turn a generator, which strikes me as maintenance-intensive and more prone to failure.
 
I took a walk along CP's Hamilton Sub today. My most curious find: I assumed it was a consistent cut/berm down the escarpment, but I discovered an interesting bridge structure along the way (couldn't get a clearer shot through the trees).

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You can check out more here.
 
An excellent video showing the use cases for Electrification, Battery, powered and Hydrogen fuel cell trains. In summary:

Electrification is best when the railway owns the ROW and there is frequent train service

Battery power is best for shorter distances at lower speeds, especially when some of the route has been electrified, since you can then charge the batteries while the train is running.

Hydrogen Fuel cells are best for longer distances at slower speeds, when volume is relatively low or the railway doesn’t own the ROW.

 
I took a walk along CP's Hamilton Sub today. My most curious find: I assumed it was a consistent cut/berm down the escarpment, but I discovered an interesting bridge structure along the way (couldn't get a clearer shot through the trees).

2023-02-18_19.jpg


You can check out more here.
Those 'bridges' are fairly common on steep hillsides - I have seen them for both railways and roads.
 
Those 'bridges' are fairly common on steep hillsides - I have seen them for both railways and roads.
I guess I just assumed they had enough of a cut into the slope, or an earthen berm where it fell short. Even a retaining wall if it was necessary. I just found the choice of a bridge this long, where it wasn't even that steep, to be an interesting choice. There wasn't really any water flowing under it either, though the gullies suggest that wasn't always the case.

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I guess I just assumed they had enough of a cut into the slope, or an earthen berm where it fell short. Even a retaining wall if it was necessary. I just found the choice of a bridge this long, where it wasn't even that steep, to be an interesting choice. There wasn't really any water flowing under it either, though the gullies suggest that wasn't always the case.

That is effectively a "bridge", although the gentle gradient means it really isn't very far above anything.

I don't have any material at hand to determine the point, but I would speculate that it might have originally been built as a wooden trestle, which would have been much faster and cheaper to erect than excavating around the topography. Possibly the rock conditions would have required that excavation to be quite extensive, and carefully sloped to prevent rockslides.

And the downhill geometry might have favoured a trestle over filling in as an embankment.

And then, at some later date, it was cheaper and more expedient to replace the trestle with a freestanding "bridge".... and the life cycle of a bridge is long enough that no one is going to revisit all that for a very long time.

- Paul
 
It might have a lot to do with stability. The escarpment is primarily sedimentary rock which typically cleaves on the horizontal plane and can be fairly unstable when cut into; i.e. it doesn't settle or pack well. Add in groundwater and they might have learned (here or elsewhere) that they couldn't maintain a stable bed without constant shifting and maintenance.
 
Obituary:

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Charles Cooper

1933-2023


Charles visiting home turf by the Thames in London

Charles Cooper has many friends in the railfan and railway history community, and it was with great sadness we learned of his passing on February 13, 2023.

In the late 1970s Charles enjoyed exploring Ontario’s many branchline railways, then in decline, and he was determined to record their history. His search for information and period photos led seamlessly to his authorship of four books. The first of these was Rails to the Lakes, the story of the Hamilton & Northwestern Railway, published by The Boston Mills Press in 1980. This was quickly followed in 1982 by Narrow Gauge For Us, detailing the history of the historic Toronto & Nipissing Railway – the first common carrier narrow gauge railway in Canada.

An updated and much expanded history of the H&NW, entitled Hamilton’s Other Railway, was published by the Bytown Railway Society in 2001. The society had been given the manuscript for Omer Lavallee’s Canadian Pacific To The East – the International of Maine Division for posthumous publication, and Charles was asked to become its final editor and see it through to publication. While Charles fully acknowledged this was Omer’s book, both he and Omer were named as Editor and Author respectively on the citation for the Canadian Railroad Historical Association’s 2007 Annual Book Award.

Charles’ most recent interest was certainly his excellent website, entitled “Charles Coopers Railway Pages” at www.railwaypages.com. Researchers of Canadian railway history know that a tremendous wealth of information is contained on the site, and it is referred to constantly by many of us in the railfan community. Among the varied content are entire sections related to period timetables and extensive newspaper clippings, as well as historic station photos. Fortunately for us, Charles’ family is continuing to maintain the site so that its information can continue to be accessed into the future.
 

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