Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

SA_SA_SA
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby SA_SA_SA » 28 Feb 2020, 3:23pm

Smudgerii wrote:The thing to remember is that everything we buy in the UK will have been moved by an HGV at some point in it’s journey within the UK.

With that in mind, how does the ‘railroad’ plan stack up?

I would like to point out the the OP suggestion was for a drive-on motor-rail system following(ie actually on) the routes of UK spine/spar motorways, so an easy win for companies already using HGVs:
drive HGV to start point 'station' on(adjacent to) motorway, load and either driver has a rest on train or only the trailer/trailer with empty cab is loaded (ie unattended) and another driver picks it up at other end then completes journey:

metal wheel on rail saves a lot of fuel over rubber wheel on tarmac/concrete:
according to rail issue 844 page 40, for every 35 miles an HGV can haul one tonne, a train can haul it 100miles for the same amount of energy....

You could still discourage HGVs compared to container rail freight a bit by making container freight cheaper than the above Motorail. (Containers could also be transported along the above on-motorway rail routes)

Alternatively, at the risk of sounding like the canal advocates in Ben Eltons Gridlock, you could always send HGVs by coastal ro-ro (mega ParaHandys) for non-perishables?
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Smudgerii
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 28 Feb 2020, 5:35pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
You assume that since that is the way we do things now, then it is the only possible way of doing things.
But it is generally agreed that our present course is leading to climate disaster, and we shall have to do things differently in future.
We have to put a value on the things we are now destroying. This will change the economic considerations.
Unless, of course, we lack the imagination to avert disaster.


Please don’t tell me what I assume, you’re not qualified to.

What we do now is not what have done in the past, it will likely not be what we do in the future.

My question remains, how does the ‘railroad’ stack up when you compare it against the needs?


I can see you need to be given more detail.
There are costs to emitting CO2 which are not fully paid, so that it appears more economic (in the short run) to favour higher emitting modes. When these costs are accounted for the modes of transport which do less damage to the atmosphere will be a logical choice for (for instance) moving goods.
Your assumption, I'm sorry if I misunderstood, is that the present framework within which transport choices are made is immutable. If you understood that we can change this framework to produce less destructive results perhaps I have given you a hint as to how we can change.
There are other ways in which we are doing unsustainable damage to our environment, mass extinctions being one. If we cannot change the way we collectively make decisions then the race's future will be ended.


There you go again with assumptions.... don’t assume on my behalf.

Maybe answer my question, how does the ‘railroad’ stack up? How is powered? Is there no environmental impact, is it feasible?

Change is needed, but the change has to be the right one, and so far you offer nothing.

Smudgerii
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 28 Feb 2020, 5:37pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:Thats not how it works. The increased transport cost goes on the products retail price and the consumer pays. Only when the consumer ceases to purchase will change happen..


The idea is that those goods which have a higher transport component in their price will tend to cost more than locally produced goods which cause lower CO2 emissions. The consumer can then choose on price.
Isn't that how it works?



Or you could grow/catch/kill your own food to help reduce the emissions.... Do you?

Smudgerii
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 28 Feb 2020, 5:39pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:The thing to remember is that everything we buy in the UK will have been moved by an HGV at some point in it’s journey within the UK.

With that in mind, how does the ‘railroad’ plan stack up?

I would like to point out the the OP suggestion was for a drive-on motor-rail system following(ie actually on) the routes of UK spine/spar motorways, so an easy win for companies already using HGVs:
drive HGV to start point 'station' on(adjacent to) motorway, load and either driver has a rest on train or only the trailer/trailer with empty cab is loaded (ie unattended) and another driver picks it up at other end then completes journey:

metal wheel on rail saves a lot of fuel over rubber wheel on tarmac/concrete:
according to rail issue 844 page 40, for every 35 miles an HGV can haul one tonne, a train can haul it 100miles for the same amount of energy....

You could still discourage HGVs compared to container rail freight a bit by making container freight cheaper than the above Motorail. (Containers could also be transported along the above on-motorway rail routes)

Alternatively, at the risk of sounding like the canal advocates in Ben Eltons Gridlock, you could always send HGVs by coastal ro-ro (mega ParaHandys) for non-perishables?


So the train stops at every junction to let off the HGV that needs that specific point. Could be problematic...

Mike Sales
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Mike Sales » 28 Feb 2020, 5:45pm

Smudgerii wrote:

Or you could grow/catch/kill your own food to help reduce the emissions.... Do you?


Don't be silly, or do you genuinely imagine that the only alternative to a transport system making a huge contribution so several different environmental problems is a kitchen garden?

Mike Sales
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Mike Sales » 28 Feb 2020, 5:51pm

Smudgerii wrote:
There you go again with assumptions.... don’t assume on my behalf.

Maybe answer my question, how does the ‘railroad’ stack up? How is powered? Is there no environmental impact, is it feasible?

Change is needed, but the change has to be the right one, and so far you offer nothing.


Do you expect a fully detailed transport plan in a forum post?
Charging the real cost of transport alternatives will enable a fair choice to be made, cannot you see how that transforms the options?
How about if I ask you for a detailed plan of how we are going to cut CO2 emissions in the time scale required? Do you have one, or are you only concerned to point out why it cannot be done, in spite of being needed?

SA_SA_SA
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby SA_SA_SA » 28 Feb 2020, 6:27pm

Smudgerii wrote:....So the train stops at every junction to let off the HGV that needs that specific point. Could be problematic...

I never said it had to stop at every motorway junction, the stops would be a carefully chosen compromise just like any other railway...... :)
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rareposter
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby rareposter » 28 Feb 2020, 7:11pm

John Holiday wrote:Excellent suggestion.
Have never been able to understand why we don't encourage greater freight distribution by rail rather than by road.
Several big road schemes in North Wales are only designed to speed heavy vehicles to the coastal ports.
Much of this should be ferried by rail,rather than destroying ancient Woodlands & valuable farm land for more roads.
More roads simply encourages yet more vehicles.


1) Because the existing railway system cannot accommodate it.
2) A couple of big seaports don't even have access to rail, literally everything coming in off container ships is picked up by lorry.

Mixing freight and passenger services is incredibly difficult because of the different speeds. Trying to fit freight onto what is basically a Victorian infrastructure already running at well oveer 90% capacity is a nightmare of logistics.
Passengers get very upset when their 120mph train is doing 45mph while it's stuck behind a load of wagons.

In that respect HS2 will actually help a lot as it's mostly about freeing up capacity. Fast passenger stuff goes onto HS2, the existing regional network gets re-directed towards more local / stopping servcies and more freight. Although admittedly, HS2 doesnt do much for Wales...

And regarding the road schemes in North Wales that you mention - you've got one rail line there, Chester to Bangor and onto Holyhead. Already at capacity with passenger services. To build another railway across North Wales would involvedestroying ancient woodlands and valuable farm land. And drilling through a National Park. There is literally nowhere else to build it other than going through Snowdonia.

Smudgerii
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 28 Feb 2020, 7:45pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:

Or you could grow/catch/kill your own food to help reduce the emissions.... Do you?


Don't be silly, or do you genuinely imagine that the only alternative to a transport system making a huge contribution so several different environmental problems is a kitchen garden?



No I don’t, but it will have an impact and is as feasible as converting an existing motorway into a railway to reduce carbon emissions.

My own allotment saved circa £1200 in groceries last year ( and fed several families ), wish there was some way to calculate the carbon saving.

What single, achievable, action do you propose?

Smudgerii
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 28 Feb 2020, 7:54pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:....So the train stops at every junction to let off the HGV that needs that specific point. Could be problematic...

I never said it had to stop at every motorway junction, the stops would be a carefully chosen compromise just like any other railway...... :)


Ok, that clears that up...

Now how do you propose using the existing infrastructure as mentioned in the opening post? How do vehicles or trains exit the motorway / railroad without massive changes? Changes that will have significant impact on the environment, some of which may never be recovered from.

Imo the answer lies in the fuel source not the vehicle / carriageway, and a less consumer based lifestyle.

Mike Sales
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Mike Sales » 28 Feb 2020, 7:58pm

Smudgerii wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:

Or you could grow/catch/kill your own food to help reduce the emissions.... Do you?


Don't be silly, or do you genuinely imagine that the only alternative to a transport system making a huge contribution so several different environmental problems is a kitchen garden?



No I don’t, but it will have an impact and is as feasible as converting an existing motorway into a railway to reduce carbon emissions.

My own allotment saved circa £1200 in groceries last year ( and fed several families ), wish there was some way to calculate the carbon saving.

What single, achievable, action do you propose?


I don't think any single action, not even feeding your own family, will be enough. Action on all possible fronts is needed.
A realistic carbon price is not really controversial, but international cooperation is difficult to achieve.
You are mistaking me for someone else: converting motorways may well be found expedient, but I do not advocate it as a solution in itself.
When goods incorporate their carbon cost in the price, the market will be changed, and many current absurdities made possible by overcheap transport will cease.
I am not going to boast about the ways in which I have sought to minimise my carbon footprint, but I have been concerned for decades.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 28 Feb 2020, 8:25pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:....So the train stops at every junction to let off the HGV that needs that specific point. Could be problematic...

I never said it had to stop at every motorway junction, the stops would be a carefully chosen compromise just like any other railway...... :)

No need to stop, just use slip coaches/waggons like the GWR did, simples
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fullupandslowingdown
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby fullupandslowingdown » 2 Mar 2020, 1:12am

Youngsters would be amazed at just how many smart ideas the Victorians actually had as the railways developed. For instance. Slip coaches. Once upon a time ( I forget when the last ran, before I was born) various long distance passenger services ran with one or more coaches modified with brakes controlled by a guard on the coach or set of coaches. And a remote coupling release mechanism. Passengers would be told that if they wished to alight at a particular intermediate station to sit in the appropriate coach well before the arrival time. The guard was specially trained in when and how to disengage the coach(es) a few mile before the station, control the braking so the coach stopped nicely in the station while the front of the train continued at speed to it's final destination. I believe the maximum number of sets of slip coaches on a train was 3, i.e 3 different intermediate stations served.

It's not entirely ridiculous to suggest something similar could be done with a freight train except for the considerable increase in staffing costs. Perhaps the process could be automated to save on extra staff. The slipped portion brakes as the train carries on. When the main portion is clear, points to the unloading siding can be flipped and the slipped portion rolls into there where the lorries can be unloaded at leisure.

When public railways first built, they weren't just common carriers, but actually had to allow travellers to use their own rolling stock. Eventually the acts of parliament that guaranteed that right to travellers were changed as it became too problematic to allow random wagons etc to use the railroad. Though for quite a while travellers were still allowed to take their horses and carriages onto railway wagons. Possibly more comfortable riding than in the provided accommodation.

Many railway companies built up sizeable fleets of, first horse drawn vehicles, and then motor vehicles to take goods from station to the customers address. Long before the containers that we now know, there were various designs of smaller containers, typically half a ton upwards, which were carried on railway wagons then specially designed road lorries, the fore runners of todays system.

World war II really broke the railways, they had actually started to struggle before which is why the government had compulsorily amalgamated or grouped them into the "Big Four" groups. After 1945 the system was worn out and road transport started to really eat away at the profitable business, all those ex service men who with their payout bought army surplus trucks and set themselves up as hauliers. The only really profitable freight sectors were the coal and growing oil. Railway couldn't deliver a single wagon load as cheaply as a man in a lorry.

That's why we ended up with a ICI engineer decimating the railways in the 60's. Aided and abetted by a road builder in the government... As health and safety legalisation, and labour costs are so much higher today, any proposal for a major modal shift in transport from road to rail has to find an innovative way to overcome those same economics that nearly saw the railways reduced to less than one fifth of it's size in 1982.

And you can bet your bottom dollar than the lorry drivers will be moaning like mad about any such scheme. Which is a bit illogical as a.) most don't like overnight trunking b.) there are increasing shortages of drivers and c.) it could mean more time to stick their feet up and better family life

edit. I didn't spot Bryn's contribution - least you know I didn't make it up :P

Smudgerii
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 2 Mar 2020, 7:41am

imo an alternative to the vastly more damaging urban LGV journeys is the priority.

Alternatives to fossil fuels being the key to reducing the damage.

mattheus
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby mattheus » 2 Mar 2020, 11:24am

fullupandslowingdown wrote:Youngsters would be amazed at just how many smart ideas the Victorians actually had as the railways developed. For instance. Slip coaches. Once upon a time ( I forget when the last ran, before I was born) various long distance passenger services ran with one or more coaches modified with brakes controlled by a guard on the coach or set of coaches. And a remote coupling release mechanism. Passengers would be told that if they wished to alight at a particular intermediate station to sit in the appropriate coach well before the arrival time. The guard was specially trained in when and how to disengage the coach(es) a few mile before the station, control the braking so the coach stopped nicely in the station while the front of the train continued at speed to it's final destination. I believe the maximum number of sets of slip coaches on a train was 3, i.e 3 different intermediate stations served.

It's not entirely ridiculous to suggest something similar could be done with a freight train except for the considerable increase in staffing costs. Perhaps the process could be automated to save on extra staff. The slipped portion brakes as the train carries on. When the main portion is clear, points to the unloading siding can be flipped and the slipped portion rolls into there where the lorries can be unloaded at leisure.

Wow - I never knew that! Thankyou (on behalf of all of us who missed the Victorian golden age)


It sounds like a crazy Wallace+Gromit scene (or substitute your favourite train-based Western); so I guess fiction was based on engineering fact in this case.