1. This is the last week to take part in the survey commissioned by Network Rail in conjunction with Middlesex University on the subject of suicide prevention on the railways - and as it's such an important topic (and a very well constructed survey) we wanted to give this particular survey a bit more visibility. You can find out more and take part in the survey if you wish by taking a look at this thread - deadline is 16th September.

Diesel fumes and air quality inside trains.

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by superkev, 7 Jul 2019.

  1. superkev

    superkev Established Member

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    During my annual train trip out last week I was struck by the diesel fog which filled both the 142 and thr return 150 while passing through Morley tunnel. It became quite noxious. Perhaps someone should check polution in tunnels as well as stations and city centres.
    With Grayling nailing his colours to bimodes to avoid putting up wires at difficult locations like tunnels I'm not convinced it the right way forward.
    K
     
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  3. w1bbl3

    w1bbl3 Member

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    A modern bimode or actually a modern post privation train for the matter will be pressure sealed with air-conditioning throughout so the fumes shouldn't get into the passenger compartment if the filters work correctly. Pacers and the Sprinters certainly are not sealed, so poor quality air as always been a problem particularly as diesel engines at introduction where far dirtier in general than current fleet.

    The long term goal for zero emissions will ultimately need something to be done about diesel trains including bimodes, I suspect that more many routes this will ultimately be battery storage not further electrification.
     
  4. superkev

    superkev Established Member

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    Not convinced here. I have no experience of trains but building air conditioning and comfort cooling ststems usually have 10% minimum fresh air input. This can rise to 100% if cooling is required and the air outside is colder than inside.
    I'm not even sure train air cooling systems which are of necessity very compact actually recirculate the air.
    K
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    You definitely get diesel exhaust fumes drawn in through the air conditioning within tunnels on some trains. An obvious example is the class 185, at the same location as mentioned by the OP, Morley Tunnel.

    I can usually smell diesel fumes coming through the air conditioning on a class 350 electric unit going through the New Street North Tunnel too. Perhaps it has particular ventilation issues, and there are a significant number of diesel trains passing through it?

    I think in the long term, looking to improve the air quality within trains and at stations should be a much higher health and safety priority for the railway industry, as poor air quality obviously negatively affects both passengers and staff. How does air quality currently feature on risk assessments, if at all?
     
  6. DPWH

    DPWH Member

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    Perhaps there's a solution to this whereby the aircon knows it's in a tunnel (GPS?) and stops sucking air in for the duration?
     
  7. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Haven't some trains had such a capability for hyears of the inlets to the air supply closing as the train enters tunnels?
     
  8. pdq

    pdq Member

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    The 185s shut down the ventilation automatically for the Standedge Tunnel, so surprised they don't for Morley
     
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    395s have this.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Pressure sealing doesn't mean nothing gets in from outside. An aircraft is pressure sealed, but despite what a lot of people think the air does mostly come from outside by way of "bleed air" from the engines, which is why you often get that nasty smell of Jet A-1 on startup.

    Pressure sealing is just a method of ensuring you don't get pressure changes inside from outside e.g. in tunnels or when another train passes.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I would certainly agree. With regard to stations, we really should be looking at shore-supplies (for routes that will never be electrified) and bi-modes (which can just put the pantograph up and use the 25kV in the station even if running a mostly diesel route). And just not leave DMUs idling if they are not in use - DB stop the engines on arrival and restart just before departure and have done for years.

    New St is particularly bad, and while the "pulse jet" fans do clear it to a fair extent they are incredibly noisy and not as good as just ensuring everything that's in there is running on electricity until well outside.

    It is also worthy of note how much less oppressive the interior of Paddington is now it no longer stinks of human faeces and diesel fug. A much, much nicer station. So much so that it's worth putting up with the Class 800 se..... :D
     
  12. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    What's wrong with being caked in diesel fumes? Used to be part of the fun of a day on the rails to return home smelling like a diesel engine, you just don't get that much these days
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Riding a horse is fun (if you like horse riding) but I doubt anyone would use that as a method for getting from London to Manchester in 2019.

    Rock climbing is fun, but if you wanted to get to the top of whatever for work purposes you'd probably hire a helicopter.

    Etc :)
     
  14. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    The one I've encountered more frequently is the smell of hot brakes/brake dust.
     
  15. YorksDMU

    YorksDMU Member

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    Apart from the fumes, when the window vents are open in a 158 on a hot day, I’ve noticed how the diesel particulate gets in and I end up covered in it. Just not nice at all. So having all the windows sealed has to be a good thing whilst we persist with the use of DMU’s.
     
  16. rich r

    rich r Member

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    Indeed - whilst it'd be nice not to get covered in soot and breathe in fumes, for many of us in areas that aren't getting electrified any time soon it's just something we have to live with. Also in a big chunk of Northern-land, we're unlikely to see any new units in the next decade. It'll be 14x until some time next year, and then 15x thereafter.

    At least it's better than coal soot and smoke I guess :)
     
  17. DPWH

    DPWH Member

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    IMHO steam and coal smoke smells nice, but diesel doesn't. Of course, getting covered in it isn't pleasant, but the shower afterwards can be fun.
     
  18. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    What I found strange was that when I caught the 11:05 from London Kings Cross to Peterborough on Monday 19th February last year, it was a full EMT HST. I sat in Coach B (Coach A when EMT) and once the engine opened up in the tunnel outside Kings Cross, there was not one smell of diesel fumes which is odd. A Valenta would have been a different matter!
     
  19. td97

    td97 Member

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    From 2 of my posts earlier this year on GWR 800 thread:

    1

    "A rail industry figure has been conducting tests of onboard NO2 and it's through the roof when on diesel mode - even on the most modern diesel train there is.
    "

    2

    "There was another post published yesterday (a follow up to the one I originally linked) to reiterate the NO2 emissions for 800 diesel vs electric."
     

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