Running Electric Traction in preservation

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by KingDaveRa, 26 Jun 2018.

  1. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That is interesting to know.

    I have travelled on their thumper a few years back, however I'm limited to when I can get their by public transport.
     
  2. 30740

    30740 Member

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    IMHO there would be nil chance of a preserved line installing third rail, whilst it might be theoretically possible, the safety management implications would kill it for a volunteer run organisation.
    People have mentioned batteries, but I don't believe there is a suitable technology that exists yet. Tell me if I'm wrong.
    What about putting a diesel generator into a coach body and attaching it to an EMU? If a suitable generator existed that would be a very easy solution. But there's that "if".
    ISTR that SR EMUs pulled of the order of 2 000A. Let's relax that for preservation, say 1 000A. So 750V DC at 1 000A = 750kW.
    What does a 750kW gen set look like? Would it fit within a Uk coach body? Is someone going to be able to find one that runs at 750V DC?
    Although I guess that if a 750kW generator of a suitable size and weight existed, but wrong voltage, you could always add a rotary convertor.....
    Does anyone know any more about the practicality of this approach?
     
  3. 30740

    30740 Member

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    I just had a quick google
    A 750kW sound proofed gen set weighs 36t
    Maybe too much to go in a carriage body, but you could buy a containerised one and fit it to a container wagon
    Hopefully mod the wagon air braking to work with the EMU
    I saw that one of the options was for a 600V three phase generator - anyone know how realistic it would be to simply rectify this and feed it to a 750V DC EMU? It would be rather noisy DC but if we are talking about VEPS and older generation EMUs it's all electromechanical anyway so may put up with it......
     
  4. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Why not just use a Class 73 and be done with it?
     
  5. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    What we need is a good old slammer whizzing down the mainline from Charing Cross to Dover non-stop.

    That said, the thumper does a damn fine job !
     
  6. tjlrailblue

    tjlrailblue Member

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    maybe one day some preserved electric units and locos can be converted to battery power?

    if battery powered trains start to run on the mainline successfully, and if this technology becomes cheaper, then it is perhaps an option for the future.

    Tim
     
  7. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    Here in Sweden there are plenty of enthusiast preserved electric locos and EMUs. But, they usually run on the ordinary rail network. The closest thing we have is a part of a former electrified railway converted into a preserved tramway.
     
  8. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    The Motor Luggage Vans can already provide this facility over moderate distances in a manner that is reasonably prototypical for SR slam door EMUs. The EPB Preservation Group had intentions ten years ago to convert one of these, 68008, to a generator van to provide full traction power to their EPB and CEP, though I don't know whether this ever got off the ground:
    http://www.epbpg.co.uk/grouphistory.html

    The North Tyneside Railway also operate their ex-Harton Colliery electric loco using batteries housed in a converted coal wagon. So yes, I think as battery efficiency continues to improve then this will probably be the way forward if individual preserved outfits wish to operate electric stock under its own power.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2018
  9. YankEngineer91

    YankEngineer91 New Member

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    At least Stateside, there are a few museum lines that operate preserved electric stock, though this is largely limited to interurban trains with DC electrification.
     
  10. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    Though not a preserved line as such the Hythe Pier Railway operates some pretty old third rail rolling stock.
     
  11. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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  12. Neil Urquhart

    Neil Urquhart New Member

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    Just a thought... Electrifying a preserved site with 25Kv or 3rd rail is unlikely (see all the sound reasons above), therefore logically the best option for preserved electric traction is on an existing electrified line. Getting an AC loco or unit up to full mainline standard looks to be an awful lot of work (hats off the AC loco group, Les Ross and others who manage this).
    So what about limited running in depots, yards etc? Could a preserved loco give the equivalent of brakevan rides within a depot complex without the need for OTMR etc? Might that present a way of allowing locos/units that are uneconomic to put back to full mainline status a chance to be powered up (assuming that they are electrically sound)?

    Neil U.
     
  13. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    If the thread is broadened to include preserved electric traction intended to run on existing lines then the Brighton Bellle ( http://brightonbelle.com/ ) also deserves a mention.
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    The Belle is unique among EMUs of the era in having very heavily constructed vehicles with all-steel construction, so it's been easy to get the vehicles certified as meeting modern crashworthiness standards. It's also been a bit easier as the traction equipment is non-original, having been nicked from redundant CIGs. So...it's bit of a hybrid beast with a lot of non-original components, but it's certainly the only preserved EMU we're likely to see running for a while.

    The biggest problem with running old EMUs on the main line is not so much the old electrical equipment, which is usually pretty basic and reliable, but it's the crashworthiness standards. The last-surviving 2-BIL unit, now confined to a corner at Locomotion in Shildon, was used on the main line quite regularly until 1993, but was banned from operating after that, because most of the structure of the bodywork is made of wood. It doesn't really bear thinking about how it would end up if it hit something.

    It's possible to rebuild the structure to get it up to an acceptable standard - this was done with a loco hauled Pullman a few years ago - but it's extremely difficult and expensive to do, and not something I'd want to see done to unique vehicles.
     
  15. Neil Urquhart

    Neil Urquhart New Member

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    How on earth did I forget that...?
     
  16. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    The Brighton Belle cars were amazingly able to meet modern crash-worthiness standards with minimal corridor end strengthening.

    They have also been heavily modified over their lives and even those not being restored to the main line mechanically & electrically bear little resemblance to the 1933 originals, having undergone significant replacement works including bogies, running gear, all electrics & internal fitments at least twice before reaching preservation.

    14/15 cars remain of which 3 are in main line use with VSOE (plus 4 stored) and 5/6 being returned to the main line in resulting in over half of a 1933 EMU fleet still being on the main line.

    Those preserved off the main line are being restored back to the 1960's Pullman condition, back from the late BR condition.
     
  17. KingDaveRa

    KingDaveRa Member

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    I suppose that also applies to a great deal of other rolling stock, un-powered, diesel, steam, whatever? But as they're just trundling up and down private sections of track on their own it's of little consequence.
     
  18. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Yes. The limitation of most heritage railways to 25mph is seen as a reasonable mitigation for running old stock.
     
  19. apk55

    apk55 Member

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    The kit developed for the class 230 may be a solution. On a preserved line with low speeds you would not need that much power so a couple of genset modules could power a unit.
     
  20. Roast Veg

    Roast Veg Member

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    I'd be interested to see how feasible the heritage takeover of a little used (but electrified) branch line would be - Grove Park to Bromley North for instance.
     
  21. E759

    E759 Member

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    Travelled on a 4-CIG on Saturday 4th August at the Spa Valley DG. Didn't know it was going to be running so was a huge thrill. Pushed/pulled by an ED in NSE livery. Stepping inside the CIG was like stepping back in time, very nostalgic indeed. Commuted to London Bridge by 4-CIG from 1986 until replaced by 377s.

    PS: used the open saloon not the compartment :)
     
  22. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I don't see why they couldn't have regular heritage traction on Sundays for example.
     
  23. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    Perhaps the EPB Group would like to donate 5759 for this purpose...?

    Well suited to the line and just like old times
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I'm sure they'd be happy to lend it out, assuming it didn't incur onerous expense !
     
  25. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Would modifying a heritage unit in this way be considered sacrilege. But various tram preservationsts have run their vehicles towing or even propelling a generator on a trailer. Perhaps build something that looks similar to the preserved unit and insert into the formation?
     
  26. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I read that the 2BIL was removed from the mainline to avoid having to fit a headlight, although if you ask me, this would have been a small price to pay to continue mainline running.
     
  27. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    No, it was the body structure not meeting modern standards. When the Class 71 loco ran on the main line it was fitted with a yellow headboard with a light on it, which brought it up to modern visibility standards, so it's easy to fix that problem.

    You also have to fit AWS/TPWS, on-train data monitoring equipment and central door locking, all of which is very challenging on older stock. HDL had to design all this stuff from scratch for the Hastings unit running on the main line, and it was very expensive and tricky to install.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
  28. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I was under the impression that the 2BIL was stuffed and mounted sometime before the clampdown on mk1 and pre mk1 body structures, even though it probably would have been caught up in that whole saga had they remained.

    In terms of central door locking, I don't believe its actually a requirement for charter stock, and HDL fitted it so that the unit could be hired by TOC's.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
  29. 7.62 x 54

    7.62 x 54 Member

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    You either need an open access TOC to run your services, or you need to set one up. Ask the NYMR how much of a ballache that is, and how much it costs. What you are proposing, happens every day in the summer months between Grosmont and Whitby, but it needed an orgnisation with 40+ years of experience, hiring in several ex BR managers to smooth the way and a stretch of line that is effectively totally isolated from the rest of the network. Plus they can fill seven coach trains full of passengers, on their way to the seaside. A 1950's EMU, shuttling between nowhere and nowhere - you'd be lucky to get a dozen dribbling, twitching types turn up, half of whom would walk off in disgust, because you'd got the "wrong" class running that day. Too niche to be financially viable.
    Best hope for these sets, is as hauled stock on a heritage railway, perhaps paired with an ED or 33.
     
  30. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    That, unfortunately, is the biggest problem. However interesting an EMU might be to some enthusiasts, it's going to have next-to-zero appeal to anyone who wants Ye Olde Golden Age of Steam when they show up to a heritage railway.

    I know there was some anger when a 4-CIG was stripped of traction equipment for the Brighton Belle project, but let's face it - the Belle has enough wow factor to attract the normals, and will cater to the popular and profitable full dining market. Very, very few people will be particularly fussed about riding a CIG on the mainline. I'd personally love to, but I know I'm very unusual in that regard.
     

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