Britain’s steam trains could soon be powered by POO

Adlington

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3 Oct 2016
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The Sun, an extremely reliable source of railway information o_O reports:
Scientists have worked out how to turn human, and food, waste into synthetic coal to replace fossil fuels on locos.
The “biocoal” is produced by pressurising sewage under water at 250°C before condensing it into solid lumps.
The smokeless alternative was successfully tested on a line in West Yorks and may be adopted by the Heritage Railways Association.
A comment from a train fireman follows:
shovelling the biocoal involved a completely different technique. He said: “You’ve got to make sure you get it really hot to start with.”
How do you pre-heat the biocoal? With an ordinary coal fire, I presume :D
 
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Peter Wilde

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Excellent news! When the tech is fully developed we can look forward to on-train processing; with the effluent from the train toilets all plumbed to an on-train biocoal producing plant, and then a conveyor belt to the tender.

Almost a perpetual "motion" system in fact! So it might also catch on as a 22nd century power source for Network Rail trains.

Of course all those traditional notices in the loos warning people not to use them in stations would have to be changed ... to something like "It is now COMPULSORY for all passengers to use this loo before the train leaves the station".

Well done The Sun.
 

341o2

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Recently Southern Locomotives Ltd had an April Fools item in that 34010 Sidmouth was being converted to use fatburgers removed from the local sewers.
 

MarkyT

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Excellent news! When the tech is fully developed we can look forward to on-train processing; with the effluent from the train toilets all plumbed to an on-train biocoal producing plant, and then a conveyor belt to the tender.

Almost a perpetual "motion" system in fact! So it might also catch on as a 22nd century power source for Network Rail trains.

Of course all those traditional notices in the loos warning people not to use them in stations would have to be changed ... to something like "It is now COMPULSORY for all passengers to use this loo before the train leaves the station".
Endless complimentary snacks with a very high fibre content will need to be offered along with plenty of strong coffee to encourage the desired 'behaviour'.
 

GusB

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So the trains will quite literally be going like s*** off a shovel :)
 

61653 HTAFC

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Another planet...
Of course all those traditional notices in the loos warning people not to use them in stations would have to be changed ... to something like "It is now COMPULSORY for all passengers to use this loo before the train leaves the station".
Well... it would stop the waste tanks filling up so quickly!
 

AndyY1951

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Don't forget that if you consider the situation on a global scale, everything we eat and drink and breathe is composed of molecules which have passed through countless other creatures.........

Andy
 

VEP3417

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i quite like the smell of a steam engine......for the moment anyway o_O:lol:

im sure theres a joke about a brown 5 (black 5) in there somewhere :lol:
 

Roast Veg

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With POO in all capitals as per the thread title, my fear was that preserved railways will soon be entering Passenger Only Operation.
 

Mikw

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Poo into coal! That's a great way to end the energy crisis - just wat All Bran and use it to hear the home. fuel the car, power the steam train.

Good for out creaking sewer system as well.
 

Spartacus

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You just know what the firemen are going to get nicknamed…

I wonder if it will encourage lineside vegetation growth?

It’s a brave man who first hoses out the ashpan!
 

Grumbler

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If we get regular power cuts again as we did in the 1970s, people will be buying up poo coal for domestic heating and cooking.
 

Calthrop

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I'm sure I've read about a narrow-gauge mineral line in the high Andes long ago: whose locos burned, as a regular practice, a mixture of dried moss and dried llama dung.
 

DJ_K666

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I wouldn’t want a fry up cooked on that shovel.
Maybe they'll use a different shovel for that. As long as they don't forget which is which of course.

Endless complimentary snacks with a very high fibre content will need to be offered along with plenty of strong coffee to encourage the desired 'behaviour'.
Maybe an enhanced selection of the spicier take-away variety too. Turned ip to ring-stinger proportions. It'd certainly help reduce wear on the seat moquettes...

Seriously though I know they're using recycled rubbish so all this trial is a good thing where steam railways report back and they tweak the recipe accordingly and after a few goes they'll come ouf with something that works really well. In theory anyway. I just hope the producers can allow for different firebox steaming properties given that some engines fire better on Welsh anthracite coal and some on Midland coal etc.
 
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Wilts Wanderer

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Seeing as most of the (nominally) steam hauled railtours I’ve seen recently are actually being powered by diesel traction, I guess poo is an improvement.
 

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