Worst and least polluting UK diesel trains currently in passenger service

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Mitchell Hurd, 12 Apr 2019.

  1. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Hello. I thought I'd create a thread on the worst and least polluting UK diesel trains currently in passenger service and see what different views are said. There's no wrong or right answer :).

    In my opinion, the worst polluters are the Class 142 and 143 Pacer trains (although the 143's top a 142). The least are MTU-powered HST's, Class 800 and 802 and Class 165 and 166 Turbo trains on a good day. That's the only problem I find with Pacer trains.

    I'm not sure why but those Perkins engines, even at 25-30 years old hardly chuck out anything most of the time when at idle. That's probably why the TfW Class 158's with Perkins engines would have been allocated to Birmingham services instead of Cummins-powered Class 158's ages ago.

    But the greenest diesel trains have to be the Class 800 and 802 trains - catalytic converters which I'd rather smell than from older diesel trains.
     
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  3. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    Class 37s and VP185 HSTs.
     
  4. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    I know the VP185's aren't the greenest engines of trains - I'd forgotten about the Class 37's which I believe still run to and from Norwich and Lowestoft (given other threads on here) !
     
  5. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    How are you defining “greenest” or “polluting”?
     
  6. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    It should be expressed in terms of gm CO2/NOx/particulates per km per passenger or tonne payload. On that count, a class 37 pulling 3 MKIIIs would probably fare badly, whereas a fully loaded class 142 wouldn't be so bad.
    However some will use this as yet another thread to wave a flag, or a fist, at their own favourites.
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2019
  7. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Fully agree. It should be some objective measure, not “I once had a Class xyz and it clagged a lot”. Given that the measures you suggested are not widely known (or that accessible) this does seem a bit pointless as a meaningful discussion.
     
  8. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    A lot of the dangerous pollutants aren't visible...

    You'd assume that the newest trains (the 80*, 195s and 230s) will be the least polluting, but after that it's unclear. For the likes of NOx and particulates, the air quality has got worse in recent years despite diesel engines being visibly cleaner.
     
  9. anamyd

    anamyd Established Member

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    The fumes I seem to smell and breathe from Sprinter family and Pacer DMUs (and therefore also theoretically 165/166 Turbos) can't be good if people know the sort I mean!
     
  10. aiden_g1

    aiden_g1 Member

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    I think the OP is more referring to the amount of visible exhaust muck/clagg rather than anything actual in-terms of fuel efficiency / emissions.
     
  11. anamyd

    anamyd Established Member

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    i got off a 170. i went into a lift. the 170 departed onwards. *filthy black smoke enters lift* "doors closing!" :p
     
  12. nat67

    nat67 On Moderation

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    I see know one has cared to say class 68's. Apparently class 67's are very bad with emissions even though you cant see any clagg!
     
  13. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    A slight bit of miss information that has continued to perpetuate due to an EWS spreadsheet error circa 2 decades ago...
     
  14. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Exactly
     
  15. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    What about whole Of Life emissions. Or trying it per lifetime per mile. Or adding in the concrete (bad) and other environmental costs of setting up the infrastructure for a type of trains. Needing new train sheds is environmentally bad. Precious metals need digging out of the ground and transporting round the world for higher tech as well (bad). Electric clean until you add back the power generation emissions (one bad nuclear accident would change all of that as well...)

    Similar to the car world, what’s more environmentally friendly - a modernish euro4 or similar turbodiesel or petrol car in say a galvanised body that is already ten years old, or scrapping it and buying a whole new electric car with all of the environmental costs of getting raw materials, shipping and building and scrapping the old one? To do 5-8k a year. Plus a 66 will emit more than a modern passenger unit, but it can be shifting 2500tonnes. It’s 40 HGVs and more. Or you found have dire emissions but miles are low. I run three cars and three motorbikes. A large SUV, a small diesel and a 6.0 litre petrol. The bikes are 1000, 650 and 125cc. The emissions on the 6.0 are lowest - because it does so few miles .... but they tax me like hell on it even though I am already paying it in fuel duty ....
     
  16. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Surely Hull Trains' 180s will be the least polluting (apart from when they catch fire, that is)? ;)
     
  17. DPWH

    DPWH Member

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    A more polluting train that's full will also do better per passenger km than a less polluting train that's empty.
     
  18. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That is what I pointed out in my post (#5) - "It should be expressed in terms of gm CO2/NOx/particulates per km per passenger or tonne payload."
    Iimagine by the way the original poster worded the question that he is looking for endorsement of his views of 'worst and least polluting UK diesel trains currently in passenger service' so my comment merely sought to put it into a factual context rather than a subjective maximum smoke discussion, particularly as harmful pollution isn't necessarily visible, - let alone having any odour.
     
  19. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    Try a Deltic, clag on steroids!
    Class 28 was bad too.
     
  20. DPWH

    DPWH Member

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    Yes, but it doesn't have to be. You could do it in many different ways and still it would be a legitimate measure.
     
  21. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Such as?
     
  22. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    g NOx /PM per kWh you can do everything else you could possibly want from that (easy conversion to g /km or g / tonne km). Especially when you start worrying about real drive cycles!
     
  23. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Agreed that covers the performance of the prime mover(s) in pollutants terms, but not the pollution level of the train. The question was about UK diesel trains, which embraces LHCS through DMUs to railcars. So a 1305kW class37 top and tailed three-car MKIII train ala the GA Yarmouth/Norwich runs, even if full of passengers, will produce a lot more pollutants than a 2 x 168kW class142, similarly full of passengers. As the purpose of a train running is to carry passengers (or freight), the efficiency (including negative efficiencies like pollution emissions) should be expressed per passenger (of average weight) or per tonne of payload.
     
  24. Rail Blues

    Rail Blues Member

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    This isn't directed at you in any way , but i really don't understand why a subset of enthusiasts fetishise clag. Videos of class 37s clearly in a very sickly way chucking out huge amount of black smoke are seen as in some way impressive along with idiotic comments along the lines of 'take that greenpeace'.

    And whilst haulage by 37s make up a tiny fraction of rolling stock in the UK, it doesn't help in attempts to make the case that the railway is good for the environment when some so called enthuiasts start celebrating this sort of stuff.
     
  25. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Established Member

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    I think it's probably a subconscious connection to steam or the nostalgia of the BR Modernisation-80s era. It's is strange though, despite me being very environmentally aware, I confess to a little smile if I see hear and see a VP185 HST claggy and all. It's a reminder of childhood, but if I or a saw a plane hurling smoke, I'd run the other way!
     
  26. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    I wasn't saying that clag is good, just that it exists. All trains need to go electric
     
  27. Rail Blues

    Rail Blues Member

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    I know, that's why i prefaced it by saying, this isn't aimed at you in any way! Soery if you thought that was the case.
     
  28. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    That why I said "easy conversion to ..." as the rest can be sorted with OTMR (blackbox) data which provides the real drive cycle data.
    There is a big difference between installed kW and kWh used.
    High level comparison data e.g. /tonne km has some uses but doesn't allow informed decision making or provide useful learning on how to reduce emissions, you need kWh and micro-level usage data for that.
     
  29. Lanley

    Lanley Member

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    There's an article in Chemistry world highlighting pollution when travelling behind a diesel locomotive :

    https://www.chemistryworld.com/news...y39h9qAXIhIrjAeVVivg4xB6aXExVF4ixojClZ8tTTn4o
     
    Last edited: 18 Apr 2019
  30. ed1971

    ed1971 Member

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    I would be most surprised if the Pacers are the worse polluters as their Cummins L10 engines are the most modern engines on a second generation DMU. Fitted in the mid 1990s, replacing Leyland TL11s, the L10 was first launched in 1982 as a truck and bus engine. It was developed into the M11 for Euro 3 and more recently the QSM11. In contrast, the Cummins NTA855R4 and 5 (that powers all Class 15xs except a minority of 158s), was a marine engine launched in the late 1960s and I believe that was first used for rail use on some 1968 Australian DMUs. The raucous noise from these engines is a giveaway to the age of their design.
     
  31. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Precisely. This thread has a title that appears to address the real problem of (diesel) pollution on the railway. It then degenrates into argumnets about which trains produce the most impressive amount of black smoke along with choking odours, plus of course the usual poke at Pacers which as you say have modern engines that are appropriately sized for the load that they are required to haul. Maybe it should have been prefixed with 'Trivia:' as is the custom on this forum.
     

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