Freight terminal electrification prototype.

zwk500

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Not necessarily. The reach wagons can be kept on an adjacent siding and just pulled back and shunted onto the end of the train. If the freight facility is quite close to the running lines the loco may even be able to stay on the main line while positioning the load.

Think simple. Let's not Gold Plate solutions.
You'd be very lucky to find the gap to have a loco hanging about on the main line while coupling/uncoupling wagons. Especially at Oxwellmains. If keeping clear of the main line you'd need a long headshunt. It might not have to be 2x the length of the train, but you wold need it to be long enough for Loco + longest number of reach wagons.

The simple solution is battery-equipped locos. No need for idle (wasted) rolling stock at each and every siding then. The batteries don't even need to be very big (they could be charged when running under OLE), and provide the resiliance benefit that in the event of an OLE or Pantograph isolation/damage the train would not be left totally stranded.
 
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furnessvale

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Not necessarily. The reach wagons can be kept on an adjacent siding and just pulled back and shunted onto the end of the train. If the freight facility is quite close to the running lines the loco may even be able to stay on the main line while positioning the load.

Think simple. Let's not Gold Plate solutions.
Indeed, think simple. You have just added another siding to store the reach wagons in. This siding has a cost.
 

The exile

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Indeed, think simple. You have just added another siding to store the reach wagons in. This siding has a cost.
And if you’re going to use a battery shunter you need, at the very least, a siding for it. As those “solutions” already exist, there will be a reason why they’re not being used. The F&F idea will not be suitable everywhere - but they have presumably done enough research to establish that it will have enough uses to make development work viable.
 

Legolash2o

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The simple solution is battery-equipped locos. No need for idle (wasted) rolling stock at each and every siding then. The batteries don't even need to be very big (they could be charged when running under OLE), and provide the resiliance benefit that in the event of an OLE or Pantograph isolation/damage the train would not be left totally stranded.
Agreed. The solution needs to be with the locomotive rather than infrastructure.

It doesn't necessarily have to be battery (would make most sense), it could be Hydrogen or even a smaller diesel engine.

And if you’re going to use a battery shunter you need, at the very least, a siding for it. As those “solutions” already exist, there will be a reason why they’re not being used. The F&F idea will not be suitable everywhere - but they have presumably done enough research to establish that it will have enough uses to make development work viable.
Why are they not being used and what does F&F mean please?
 

ac6000cw

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Interesting idea, but surely last-mile batteries would be the sensible solution - you've just converted every terminal at once then.
Exactly - and it avoids the installation, inspection and maintenance costs of a specialised piece of infrastructure.

Also the majority of the UK electric freight loco fleet is getting old now (cl. 92 is about 25 years, cl. 90 is 30+ years), and I think any new ones are highly likely/certain to include some form of 'last mile' capability - which cl. 88 and upcoming cl. 93 already have.
 

The exile

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Why are they not being used and what does F&F mean please?
What I meant is that the various “more obvious” solutions proposed in the thread are already possible. The fact that there are countless freight sidings where those solutions are not currently deployed suggest that there is something about those sidings / the traffic using them that means that they aren’t the “ perfect solution” In most cases that is probably simply cost, in which case this equipment is unlikely to make much difference. This will always be a niche product / but there may well be niches for which it is the best solution Furrer and Frey presumably think so.
 

furnessvale

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What I meant is that the various “more obvious” solutions proposed in the thread are already possible. The fact that there are countless freight sidings where those solutions are not currently deployed suggest that there is something about those sidings / the traffic using them that means that they aren’t the “ perfect solution” In most cases that is probably simply cost, in which case this equipment is unlikely to make much difference. This will always be a niche product / but there may well be niches for which it is the best solution Furrer and Frey presumably think so.
Given that it is government funded, I will reserve judgement on what F & F think of the everyday practicalities of the proposal.
 

Ken H

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Scraping my brain here. but wasnt there a system that was trackside that could move rail vehicles. Just a 'thing' on narrow gauge rails trackside that would put a probe into the train then move to push it along. Maybe in 3rd rail depots. The 'thing' could be a small electric loco, or a device made to move by a big threaded shaft between the tracks. Might have been when there were unfitted wagons tho....
or maybe I am talking rubbish...
 

The exile

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Given that it is government funded, I will reserve judgement on what F & F think of the everyday practicalities of the proposal.
Presumably they're convinced enough to have funded a bid for funding (if that makes sense). Also - I doubt a company would want its name splashed about quite so much in the way that it is in connection with a project they were convinced was a non-starter. "Furrer and Frey to help deliver DfT's experimental method of electrifying freight sidings" would leave me much more sceptical about whether they thought it was a "go-er". Successful or not, it's always going to be a niche product - but the Swiss seem to be good at those...
 

mcmad

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Since Oxwellmains has its own internal shunter, this proposal is presumably more aimed at allowing the main line loco to run under the wires far enough into the sidings to hook up/drop off the train. To my mind the class88/93 solution seems better suited than this but until there is some better detail its hard to tell
 

The exile

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Scraping my brain here. but wasnt there a system that was trackside that could move rail vehicles. Just a 'thing' on narrow gauge rails trackside that would put a probe into the train then move to push it along. Maybe in 3rd rail depots. The 'thing' could be a small electric loco, or a device made to move by a big threaded shaft between the tracks. Might have been when there were unfitted wagons tho....
or maybe I am talking rubbish...
Don't think you are - but can't find references. Of course, with (single) unfitted wagons - anything powerful enough trackside would do: tractor, horse, human. More difficult once continuous brakes and/or long trains come into the picture.
Some of these solutions seem more complicated than a device to move the wires out of the way, though. One advantage of the "put the solution in the wires" - particularly if on a loop rather than on a dead-end siding is that the loop is then available for other electric hauled trains (emergency stabling, passing loop etc).
 

Ken H

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Don't think you are - but can't find references. Of course, with (single) unfitted wagons - anything powerful enough trackside would do: tractor, horse, human. More difficult once continuous brakes and/or long trains come into the picture.
Some of these solutions seem more complicated than a device to move the wires out of the way, though. One advantage of the "put the solution in the wires" - particularly if on a loop rather than on a dead-end siding is that the loop is then available for other electric hauled trains (emergency stabling, passing loop etc).
Remember at Horsforth many moons ago there was a landrover in the yard there. No tyres on the wheel rims. I think it was used for shunting the odd wagon! Private siding, not BR tracks.
 

zwk500

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Remember at Horsforth many moons ago there was a landrover in the yard there. No tyres on the wheel rims. I think it was used for shunting the odd wagon! Private siding, not BR tracks.
Pickup type road/rail vehicles are seen shunting individual wagons in American industrial sidings quite often, I think.
 

pdeaves

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The proposal works 'now' and is hopefully relatively low cost. There are existing electric locos that can use it, so are ready 'now', ages before suitable new battery/hydrogen/clockwork/any other system is available. If manufacturer A's product does not readily match operator B's requirements, there will be further delays designing/procuring/building/accepting new stock. Being able to use existing stock gets round some of the issues.
 

norbitonflyer

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This "simple" solution predictates that the siding has to be twice the required working length. With a 775m train that make the siding 1550m long!
Its length only has to be the distance from the end of the wires to the nearest point a crane needs to get to - one wagon length might be enough
 

furnessvale

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Its length only has to be the distance from the end of the wires to the nearest point a crane needs to get to - one wagon length might be enough
Correct. The wording of #24, which I was replying to,confused me by suggesting a "long" line of reach wagons was required.

Another siding would still be required, but the "reach" wagons stored could be as few as one! This reach wagon siding would of course have to wired in its own right to permit collection and return of said reach wagon.
 

edwin_m

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Its length only has to be the distance from the end of the wires to the nearest point a crane needs to get to - one wagon length might be enough
Assuming it's a dead-end terminal or trains leave in the reverse direction to their arrival, this sort of solution needs an electrified run-round loop on the approach to the terminal itself, so the locomotive can propel the wagons into the terminal. Reach wagons may not be required if the end of the wires can be close enough to the crane and the train can be reliably stopped within a tolerance of a few metres. But that loop does significantly extend the length of the terminal facility.

The other option would be to coast in and have the locomotive reach some wires at the far end, to re-join the train via an electrified run-round track. But that would need confidence that the train can reliably coast and (again) reliably stop with precision, without significant risk of being stranded in the non-electrified section. Such a terminal would probably need a self-powered shunter available in any case, to rescue any trains so stranded.
 

HSTEd

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Given that this movable overhead contact conductor is a standard technology in depots, I do have to ask why its taken this long for someone to try it in this application?
 

zwk500

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Why not simply electrify the loading yards with a stud-contact system with a collector plate under the loco?
No overhead catenary, no hazardous third rail

1. 25KV studs would be interesting - would likely need a lower voltage to avoid welding stud to collector. So Dual-voltage locos.
2. Live uncovered studs at ground rail will garner no favour with the ORR and RAIB, so you'll need an APS-type switching system. This costs money.
3. Studs at ground level in a rail yard are liable to get fairly mucky, impairing contact and therefore transmission. Therefore somebody will need to routinely maintain the contact surface, a job likely to need isolations to avoid sending the current through whatever machine is cleaning the contacts.
4. the installation costs for studs in the 4-ft will be huge.
 

randyrippley

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1. 25KV studs would be interesting - would likely need a lower voltage to avoid welding stud to collector. So Dual-voltage locos.
2. Live uncovered studs at ground rail will garner no favour with the ORR and RAIB, so you'll need an APS-type switching system. This costs money.
3. Studs at ground level in a rail yard are liable to get fairly mucky, impairing contact and therefore transmission. Therefore somebody will need to routinely maintain the contact surface, a job likely to need isolations to avoid sending the current through whatever machine is cleaning the contacts.
4. the installation costs for studs in the 4-ft will be huge.
But it's known, reliable existing technology
Unlike moving catenary or demountable overhead busbars
 

zwk500

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But it's known, reliable existing technology
Unlike moving catenary or demountable overhead busbars
I would be willing to bet there are more installations of moveable catenary at Bridges and Depots in the UK and Europe than there are Stud contact systems. Fundamentally, ground level supply isn't safe when people are working around the track at ground level. Even if you solve issues of residual current, etc, you've still got the issue of a rail/plate/stud around the track that will be a massive trip hazard in an environment where tripping over is likely to lead to serious injury or death.
 

Irascible

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I seem to remember a German company building ro-rail shunters too. Of course if the rails are in concrete already they you can just shunt with whatever road vehicle you can find strong enough. In this country we're talking trainload aggregates/chemicals which you'd probably need an ex-quarry dump truck to move, or liners which are effectively rails themselves, the containers are the bits that get shunted, so you're moving either large chunks or all of a train around again. For either of those it seems you might as well forget the hassle of a shunter & just borrow whatever heavy haul is in the yard at the time - if it needs building a few more, fine.
 

edwin_m

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A system such as stud contact needs extra equipment on the loco. If you're going for extra equipment, probably better just to fit a battery that will be of use in every non-electrified terminal not just whichever ones have the stud contact.
 

themiller

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I seem to remember a German company building ro-rail shunters too. Of course if the rails are in concrete already they you can just shunt with whatever road vehicle you can find strong enough. In this country we're talking trainload aggregates/chemicals which you'd probably need an ex-quarry dump truck to move, or liners which are effectively rails themselves, the containers are the bits that get shunted, so you're moving either large chunks or all of a train around again. For either of those it seems you might as well forget the hassle of a shunter & just borrow whatever heavy haul is in the yard at the time - if it needs building a few more, fine.
I think you are referring to Minilok. I think Yorkshire Engine Co. used to be their UK agent. There’s a four wheel one at Sellafield and I went to a presentation on it over twenty years ago. I have a brochure on them but it’s inaccessible at the moment.
 

zwk500

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I seem to remember a German company building ro-rail shunters too. Of course if the rails are in concrete already they you can just shunt with whatever road vehicle you can find strong enough. In this country we're talking trainload aggregates/chemicals which you'd probably need an ex-quarry dump truck to move, or liners which are effectively rails themselves, the containers are the bits that get shunted, so you're moving either large chunks or all of a train around again. For either of those it seems you might as well forget the hassle of a shunter & just borrow whatever heavy haul is in the yard at the time - if it needs building a few more, fine.
a large amount of freight trains in GB are broken down into smaller chunks for unloading and loading then reformed prior to departure. Also a lot of container sets are swapped between trains at big yards like Crewe Basford Hall and Wembley.
 

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