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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:19 am 

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I believe it was clear in the initial material that the primary purpose of the torrefied-fuel development concerned the HEP-size generator application, and not a new generation of reciprocating passenger locomotives. Project 130 is intended more as an attention-getting exercise, not a demonstration of new and exciting steam technologies. As previously noted (ad nauseam, perhaps) there are far better approaches for external-combustion locomotives that burn the torrefied fuel. It just costs more to develop a prototype, and there is no 'fun' in most of the results.

I do not think the part of the old Web site discussing reciprocating passenger locomotives is entirely serious. (And I speak as someone whose hobby for 40 years has in part been designing high-speed reciprocating passenger locomotives...)

Dinwitty, according to Louis Newton the TE-1 was largely unworkable in practice; even when everything ran properly, it wasn't enough usable HP to justify its cost. On-demand heat isn't a good idea for most conventional boilers, as the thermal cycling would damage the boiler structure to far more extent, and with far more maintenance cost, than the fuel saving would provide. In addition, most of the high turndown designs involve liquid or gaseous fuel, which provide better efficiency when burned elsewhere than in an external-combustion boiler burner (e.g., you want something like GTCC). To an extent, you could adapt GPCS but the control issues become too much to justify, and the latency of heating up and cooling down is still too high compared to alternatives.

Perhaps a better approach all around is to use supercritical or ultrasupercritical genset motors, which can provide diesel-like overall efficiencies while preserving many of the inherent advantages of external combustion. The enginion AG site is long gone, but here is a link to the engine description (downloadable PDF). Note that this has modulation not only to the primary 'boiler', but also to the superheater. So the approach you mention is sensible... just not in large reciprocating locomotives.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:55 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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Overmod wrote:
I believe it was clear in the initial material that the primary purpose of the torrefied-fuel development concerned the HEP-size generator application, and not a new generation of reciprocating passenger locomotives.


That surely was not clear to me when I read it. They did mention a HEP generator as part of developing a new locomotive. But if they were only intent on developing a HEP generator, why acquire the 4-6-4?

There website says this:

“CSR Project 130 has a simple goal: create the world's cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive, proving the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology.”


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:09 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
Their website says this:

“CSR Project 130 has a simple goal: create the world's cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive, proving the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology.”


But I'll bet a hat their grant proposals say something different.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:39 am 

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Overmod wrote:
Quote:
Their website says this:

“CSR Project 130 has a simple goal: create the world's cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive, proving the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology.”


But I'll bet a hat their grant proposals say something different.


On what basis would you make that bet?

Why would you assume that they are saying they will do one thing, while they actually intend to do something else?


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:18 pm 

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If you reread the thread from a year ago, those with connections to the project clearly state that their primary goal is the development and promotion of the biofuel. The locomotive is to be an advertising tool to get the message out about their product. Dave explains it all at the bottom of page 7 of that thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:51 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
On what basis would you make that bet?

Why would you assume that they are saying they will do one thing, while they actually intend to do something else?


Let's just say 'because I read all the material on the site, and in the initial round of grant applications' and leave it at that.

The locomotive is a demonstrator. Project 130 is a publicity exercise, to demonstrate the viability of their research into torrefied fuel. The reference to 'modern steam locomotive technology' is to the work done by Chapelon, Porta et al. in developing what Porta called 'second-generation' steam technology -- and a fair amount of that would be necessary to take a 1937-era locomotive with frankly awful ports and passages and get it to run that fast, as you can readily understand.

Will the revised 3463 be the world's cleanest locomotive? If talking about renewable fuel with minimal smoke and waste -- probably. Will it be the world's most powerful passenger locomotive? In terms of reciprocating locomotives, I'd certainly think so, even if we don't rule out 3985. Note that they are comparing 3463 with modern passenger diesels (John Rhodes has some numbers on comps). In some of the original material, Davidson Ward seemed to be thinking of selling a fleet of improved reciprocating locomotives ... but the serious market for those is far likelier to be close to the 5AT footprint than something purporting to be a replacement for P42s to Amtrak, and would certainly not be something derived from 3463 (which has a cast bed, way too much frontal area, and a variety of other details that make it unsuited as a high-speed locomotive -- I believe it's been substantiated that a 3776 or a 2900 class is a faster locomotive despite the 4" lower drivers.

Quote:
"Participation in the Coalition for Sustainable Rail has enabled our team to pursue one of the more exciting and potentially groundbreaking research projects in the history of IonE," said Rod Larkins, Special Projects Director of IonE's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. "Once perfected, creating the world's first carbon-neutral locomotive will be just the beginning for this technology which, we hope, will later be used for combined heat and power energy in the developing world as well as reducing the United States' dependence on fossil fuels."


Project 130 is not the torrefied-fuel project, or the be-all and end-all of the research. But it already has recovered the last Ripley Hudson from a slow, rusting death, and I look forward to what happens even if the 130 mph goal can't be met.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:09 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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So, when they say the following, I am supposed to interpret it to mean that all of this is only intended to be a rolling billboard for bio fuel, and is not intended to mean that they will actually introduce a new type locomotive for the market?

“CSR Project 130 has a simple goal: create the world's cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive, proving the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology.

Preliminary research shows that CSR's test locomotive will cost less to maintain and less to fuel, and will exhibit greater train handling performance than any diesel-electric locomotives available today. The modern steam locomotive has relied on technology that has been neglected for decades. This is about to change. With the ability to burn biocoal efficiently and without negative impact on the environment, CSR's modern steam locomotive will also exhibit significantly better horsepower output at higher speeds than the current diesel-electric locomotives that pull the majority of passenger trains in the United States.”


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:16 pm 

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Horse dead stop beating. A fuel development group has adopted this means of demonstrating their fuel's capabilities very dramatically, and shares many brains and ideas with modern steam locomotive developers so there's a crossover which probably won't displace diesel electric or straight electric for many routes, but in some limited and defined service areas may become comptetive AFTER FURTHER DEVELOPMENT.

Wait and see what develops before judging their work.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:40 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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Dave wrote:
Horse dead stop beating. A fuel development group has adopted this means of demonstrating their fuel's capabilities very dramatically, and shares many brains and ideas with modern steam locomotive developers so there's a crossover which probably won't displace diesel electric or straight electric for many routes, but in some limited and defined service areas may become comptetive AFTER FURTHER DEVELOPMENT.

Wait and see what develops before judging their work.

dave


They are putting their plans out there for the public to judge. All I am doing is asking them to explain what their stated plans mean.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
Please remember that all "political" and "sales" speak puts the emphasis on the spin and points that the promoters want to promote, while typically deftly avoiding the issues, points, or topics that a) don't promote the agenda, b) offer evidence directly refuting the mission or cause in question, and/or c) highlight negatives of the proposal in question.

The "stated plans" tell, at best, only part of the story.

And part of being an "investigative" journalist or political/business analyst is being trained to figure out what is omitted in such pitches, and why.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Why do I get the distinct feeling that this is just a vehicle for gathering grants, which the principles can spend until they run out of money, then declare bankruptcy... Kinda' like Solyndra. Look, it even has all the proper buzzwords. The Obumma administration is in love with "renewable energy", and keeps making noises about a "high speed rail" boondoggle. Sure hope they don't get around to actually taking the engine apart before the money runs out.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
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Now I finally know why it is called FOAM! You guys should ALL step back and read this whole thread from start to end. Then you would get an idea of how ridiculous this looks. There is so much hot air here that this thread alone should provide the heat to take the 3463 from coast to coast at least twice!

Sure is silly to be arguing about something NOBODY knows much about. And you know what? All the lightning and thunder has not brought forth a drop of rain. Nobody has added a single NEW fact to the subject and the folks involved with the actual work are probably laughing their ***es off.

These guys are just starting, for goodness sake, and have not yet managed to create a single iota of research or development that they are willing to talk about. Let's stop the wild speculation and unfounded blathering and wait for some REAL news. Let's just leave it alone and argue about something else for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:42 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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hamster wrote:
Now I finally know why it is called FOAM! You guys should ALL step back and read this whole thread from start to end. Then you would get an idea of how ridiculous this looks. There is so much hot air here that this thread alone should provide the heat to take the 3463 from coast to coast at least twice!

Sure is silly to be arguing about something NOBODY knows much about. And you know what? All the lightning and thunder has not brought forth a drop of rain. Nobody has added a single NEW fact to the subject and the folks involved with the actual work are probably laughing their ***es off.

These guys are just starting, for goodness sake, and have not yet managed to create a single iota of research or development that they are willing to talk about. Let's stop the wild speculation and unfounded blathering and wait for some REAL news. Let's just leave it alone and argue about something else for a while.



Well, we have been told here that Project 130 is intended more as an attention-getting exercise, not a demonstration of new and exciting steam technologies. If they are just trying to get attention, I would think they would welcome the attention they are getting in this discussion. If they did not want anybody to question what they are doing, why even go public with their highly provocative proposal?

When I read their website a couple years ago, I just took it at face value. I interpreted them to be saying that they intended to rebuild #3463 into a prototype for a highly advanced reciprocating 4-6-4 that will burn torrified bio fuel, and that they intended to set a 130 mph speed record with it. They mentioned several specific modifications they intended to make to the locomotive, including adding a streamlined shroud and a HEP generator.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Why do I get the distinct feeling that this is just a vehicle for gathering grants, which the principles can spend until they run out of money, then declare bankruptcy... Kinda' like Solyndra. Look, it even has all the proper buzzwords. The Obumma administration is in love with "renewable energy", and keeps making noises about a "high speed rail" boondoggle. Sure hope they don't get around to actually taking the engine apart before the money runs out.

I'd guess you get that feeling because you know little or nothing about the people involved and you haven't read the details of the project. The principals involved with this project work in the rail industry (a boondoggle would NOT do their careers any good) there are FAR easier ways to dupe investors than this.

They've said they won't modify the engine until they have enough cash in hand for the modifications AND the restoration to original configuration, if/when that becomes necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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hamster wrote:
These guys are just starting, for goodness sake, and have not yet managed to create a single iota of research or development that they are willing to talk about. Let's stop the wild speculation and unfounded blathering and wait for some REAL news. Let's just leave it alone and argue about something else for a while.


Those of us who have been around for a few years remember all the hype that surrounded the proposed American Coal Enterprises ACE 3000 project. About four years after they started, they started a month of "tests" on the C&O between Huntington and Hinton, West Va. with Chessie coal trains, ostensibly to collect data from "test bed" Chesapeake & Ohio "614-T".

Project consultant David Wardale later reported in his book The Red Devil and Other Tales of Steam that the entire series of "tests" were nothing more than a publicity stunt, and that no actual usable data, or painfully little of it, was actually collected. The president of ACE no doubt labeled him a "nattering nabob of negativity" or "toid" after that came out. But, needless to say, nothing of note ever came out of the entire ACE project except a bunch of railfan video sales later in 1985.

So you younger folks may forgive us old geezers a considerable degree of skepticism. Granted, this project doesn't appear to have the same folks involved, and "Hey, man, it COULD HAPPEN!!", but......


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