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

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

Postby Vorpal » 5 Mar 2020, 11:21am

Cyril Haearn wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:Might be easier to dig into the ground to lower the tracks

Besides, there shall soon be problems with customs clearance for imports from the EU, the Guardian reported that the UK needs thousands more customs clerks, but nobody knows how to do the job, hasnae been done since 1991 :?

That's simply not true. There are many customs clerks who deal every day with imports from non EU countries.
..


Ford in Bridgend is closing too, any more to add to the list?

The Bridgend closure was, IMO, almost inevitable. The factory has been running under capacity for years. The last new production to begin there, the 'dragon' engine is too large for the small car models, and market share has dropped steeply in the models it is suitable for. Ford are discontinuing C-max. People are buying more hybrids & electric cars. I think Ford did a poor job of product planning on that engine. But it was, IMO, the last chance to save that factory.
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby rareposter » 5 Mar 2020, 9:41pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Might be easier to dig into the ground to lower the tracks


That generally results in the track flooding in wet weather.

UK rail, mostly because it's some of the oldest rail in the world, was never designed or built for modern freight. The ever-reliable Wikipedia has some good info on freight gauges: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge

Basically, if you want to run full refrigerated container freight on UK rail, you'd need to rip the entire thing up - every tunnel, bridge, viaduct and station and rebuild the whole network, and every train on it, from scratch. This is in spite of the actual track width (the distance between the two rails) being largely standard (and the popular internet myth about it being the same as Roman chariot wheels is, sadly, [rude word removed]).

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

Postby SA_SA_SA » 5 Mar 2020, 9:49pm

rareposter wrote:\
Cyril Haearn wrote:Might be easier to dig into the ground to lower the tracks
...

Which was why the OP was suggesting steeling motorway lanes for some pair(s) of mega gauged rail lines to carry entire HGV trailers / large containers.
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby fullupandslowingdown » 6 Mar 2020, 2:01am

.......and the popular internet myth about it being the same as Roman chariot wheels is, sadly.....


with a gauge like 4 foot 8 inches, it can only be one of those things. Archaeologists have found similar gauged stone wagonways predating the railways which suggests it was trial and error. Maybe someone first used a narrower gauge but found the wagons tip sideways too easily. Then they proceeded to increased the width as wagon design improved and was resilient enough to stand up to the loading and unloading of stone or coal. Eventually a maximum width of wagon was reached beyond which it required too much extra framing to stop the thing from falling apart.

When the engineers started experimenting with steam engines on rails, they probably thought it was easiest to sell the whole concept to colliery owners if the gauge was kept the same and hence the loading platforms wouldn't have to be changed. Or, maybe the engineers did consider other gauges, but it turned out that the widest wheelset they could practically make without the axle snapping under load, happened to be 4' 8". In use the extra half inch was added after, to the track gauge as a fudge to improve running. So the true gauge of the wheelset is less than the track.

About 6 or 7 years after Stephenson laid the first main railway, Brunel having improved on the engineering chose the wider gauge of 7 foot for his lines. Trouble is he had started later and his system only covered less than a quarter of the UK. Parliament eventually intervened and after an enquiry decreed that Stephenson's 'standard' gauge was to be adopted country wide.

So blame the government all the way back in 1846 who prohibited any new broad gauge lines been laid outside of Brunel's little empire. Eventually the GWR had to convert all it's broadgauge to standard. If only the government had had the foresight to do the opposite. Maybe Stephenson had more friends in parliament, then Brunel did.

Digging down to extend the gauge? Not just flooding, but for single line tunnels particularly, the tunnel is shaped in a oval like er shape. In the days of brick lines tunnels, having an oval shape gave the brick lining strength to resist the surrounding earth. And the oval was planned so it was just wide enough at the bottom for the trains plus clearance. Digging down means you are then lower down against that oval where it starts to narrow further. So if my understanding of civil engineering is right, you either need to change the bottom of the oval for something else and calculate for earth pressure, or broaden the whole tunnel and reline again. But I'm not civils trained, maybe someone who is could say.

geosciences-09-00518-g002.png

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

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Mar 2020, 7:03am

Simples, stop buying bottled water, drink tap water :wink:
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 6 Mar 2020, 8:29am

Cyril Haearn wrote:Simples, stop buying bottled water, drink tap water :wink:



Probably the most realistic suggestion on this thread... which means it will be ignored.

They would rather have ‘crack pot’ ideas that the country cannot achieve or afford.

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

Postby Bmblbzzz » 6 Mar 2020, 9:00am

fullupandslowingdown wrote:In use the extra half inch was added after, to the track gauge as a fudge to improve running. So the true gauge of the wheelset is less than the track.

See the similar fudge between Finnish and Russian railways, both built on a 5-foot gauge but now officially a few mm apart due to varying measurement techniques and tolerances.

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

Postby Cyril Haearn » 6 Mar 2020, 10:22am

The rails are a bit further apart on curves I think, does a millimeter or two matter?
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby rareposter » 7 Mar 2020, 4:39pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:The rails are a bit further apart on curves I think, does a millimeter or two matter?


George Stephenson discovered, when building the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in the late 1820's, that having an extra 1/2 inch on curves reduced binding. 4ft 8.5 inches plus that extra on curves. Only used on very slow speed or tight turns. If you want to turn a train at higher speed, you use cant (like the banking in a velodrome) where the outside rail is raised up slightly to force the train into a banked turn.

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

Postby Smudgerii » 7 Mar 2020, 6:39pm

Has this thread de-railed

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

Postby Cyril Haearn » 7 Mar 2020, 7:20pm

Smudgerii wrote:Has this thread de-railed

No, there are a lot of railway enthusiasts here

The Watercress Line has a rake of six Bullied carriages in service, much better than the BR Mark 2 vehicles used on certain preserved lines
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Re: Reducing UK HGV miles for loads resistant to rail container traffic?

Postby Smudgerii » 7 Mar 2020, 9:13pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:
Smudgerii wrote:Has this thread de-railed

No, there are a lot of railway enthusiasts here

The Watercress Line has a rake of six Bullied carriages in service, much better than the BR Mark 2 vehicles used on certain preserved lines


Well ^ is a clear indication that the thread has...

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

Postby fullupandslowingdown » 7 Mar 2020, 11:01pm

I do feel the time, money and effort expended in recreating extinct steam and diesel locomotives is wasted when there probably isn't enough good quality rolling stock to be pulled. Let bygone locos rest in peace, after all both coal and diesel powered locomotion is on it's way out for environmental reasons.

Meanwhile back to the light at the end of the tunnel. Are we looking at it all from the wrong angle?

We have all seen how bad the roads have become in recent years, and heard the same tired excuse trotted out by the authorities: "it's the severe winters fault" Except our winter haven't been anywhere as cold as they used to be on the whole. We used to get weeks and weeks of freezing temperatures, snow and ice, and the roads didn't crumble so badly then.

EU stipulated lower tar content tarmac to reduce hazard to roadlayers, and reduce the CO2 emisions involved in producing tarmac. Add the increase in lorry weight, this is what is causing so much damage to our roads. So maybe we should reduce the size and weight of lorrys.

I know this suggests more vehicle journeys for the same demand, but if we reduce our consumption by the 8 million tons plus of wasted food each year, and stop upgrading furniture, clothing and electricals simply to have the latest, then there will be less tonnage travelling anyway. And with lower vehicle weights, electrical propulsion becomes more viable. I'd imagine the battery needed to power a 44T truck is a lot more than a 16T truck. There is the theory of diminishing returns too. The heavier the battery to power a vehicle, the more of it's own power is needed to shift itself, the less, proportionately it shifts the load.

And industry etc requiring very heavy loads such as oil refinery, power stations and steel mills, as well as major warehousing, can all be served by rail if they are producing such high levels of freight. So if trucks are smaller in the future they can be accommodated piggy back on rail easier without major tunnel re-boring. Oh and marginal road safety gains too? Less space needed in cities for smaller lorries.

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

Postby rareposter » 8 Mar 2020, 12:36pm

fullupandslowingdown wrote:We have all seen how bad the roads have become in recent years, and heard the same tired excuse trotted out by the authorities: "it's the severe winters fault" Except our winter haven't been anywhere as cold as they used to be on the whole. We used to get weeks and weeks of freezing temperatures, snow and ice, and the roads didn't crumble so badly then.


Local Authorities (who own and maintain the vast majority of the road network) have had their budgets slashed in the last 10 years so road repairs are being done less often and to a lower standard.

There are far more vehicles (and far heavier vehicles like 4x4s, vans etc) on the roads now compared to 10 years ago so that's a huge extra load.

And what ruins roads isn't prolonged cold weather/snow etc, it's the "hovering around zero" that the UK seems to specialise in now. Water gets into cracks in the road surface (caused from poor quality repairs, excess wear & tear), freezes, expands, breaks the surface up more, thaws, more water gets in, freezes again the next night and so on.

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

Postby Bmblbzzz » 8 Mar 2020, 3:33pm

fullupandslowingdown wrote:I know this suggests more vehicle journeys for the same demand, but if we reduce our consumption by the 8 million tons plus of wasted food each year, and stop upgrading furniture, clothing and electricals simply to have the latest, then there will be less tonnage travelling anyway. And with lower vehicle weights, electrical propulsion becomes more viable. I'd imagine the battery needed to power a 44T truck is a lot more than a 16T truck. There is the theory of diminishing returns too. The heavier the battery to power a vehicle, the more of it's own power is needed to shift itself, the less, proportionately it shifts the load.

This is desirable and admirable, but if we were able to do these things without force of war or dictatorship, we wouldn't now need to discuss HGV weights etc.