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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:39 pm 

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 184
Location: New Haven Ct area
I found the video I was thinking of https://youtu.be/63pDNMZbtbY. I dont have there time to rewatch it right now but from memory this was a mine that specialized in servicing the heritage industry and not there power industry. Maybe I am off base a little? On a side note the Fred Dibina YouTube's are some of the most enjoyable steam footage out there. I may be due to start rewatching them un the not too distant future as it's been a few years since I last watched them.

I wonder what the economics would be of a smaller scale mine catering to the heritage industry. Would mining in less than 100car/day train loads work financially? If you look at some of the smaller operations in the anthracite regions I would think it would work but maybe I am wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Steamguy73 wrote:
This would probably be a tougher transition for Britain than it would be for the US. Mostly because Britain isn’t exactly a country known for producing a lot of oil. Fuel sources outside of coal for most British steam locomotives (especially the ones for the main companies) was basically only coal. I believe oil has been tested on multiple locomotives there during the days of steam but I can’t think of any dedicated conversion from coal to oil or biofuel for a British standard gauge steam locomotive


The UK is a major oil producer. It is second to Norway in North Sea oil production.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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Reposting what I wrote 10 months ago after coming back from England where I spoke with some steam operators. Then, as now one reads the whole article at the top of this thread, the hope has been focused on Wales figuring something out. No one seemed too worried that domestic coal would totally vanish as the heritage railway industry in England is widely recognized as a serious driver of tourism revenue.

Here’s what I posted from earlier this year. My visit was just before the first UK lockdown:

Speaking with folks who operate steam in England has been quite enlightening.

The issue in England is primarily quality of life: i.e. good old pollution. Coal is NOT the main cause. The concern - as mentioned earlier in this thread - are those who burn wet wood to heat their homes. Coal is just going along for the ride, if you will, as an almost-equally polluting home fuel. Climate change isn’t a driving force of this legislation.

The concern among steam operators seems to be more focused on the cost of coal going forward, rather than fears that somehow coal-fired steam will be environmentally outlawed. While supplies of Welsh steam coal appear to not be in jeopardy, fewer users will mean higher prices. And that may force operators to look for cheaper, inferior, import coal.

Hopefully, there will be a solution that keeps Welsh coal affordable.

Of course, we are all historians here, so we are well aware that the UK has enacted a number of solutions over the decades to recover from extreme pollution in residential areas. And good on them. The Great Smog of London 1952 is still a relatively recent memory.

It was quite a breath of fresh air, if you will, to be able discuss this topic with folks on the basis of science, public need and economics - without politics or polemics.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
70000 wrote:
The last edition of Steam Railway magazine here in the UK had a piece commenting that West Coast Railways have been sourcing their coal supplies from Russia for some time. It rather helps that the owner of said company in also involved in the buying/selling of coal on a general basis, as you have to source your supplies very carefully.
Many years ago, some lines tried Polish coal which was fairly dire and produced an awful lot of smoke.
The problem with importing the stuff is that it is a prime target for having some form of "climate taxation" added to it when brought into the Country, and with the current goings on, they are going to be desperate to get extra revenue in from somewhere in the near future.....


Ten days ago we switched out our Welsh coal for Polish coal in our Swedish 1307, a 2-6-4 tank engine. In the last few years we have been alternately sourcing Welsh and Polish coal. The Welsh supply is frequently discussed as dying, but it gets rescued at the last moment. It is premium low ash coal, and there is a market for it. The two coals do not like to burn together, so we (the crew on duty that day, not me) shoveled out the Welsh remainder before filling with Polish. The two coals are both good when fired correctly.

A quick check of a Danish coal dealer shows a variety of coals available from Poland, Germany, and Wales. We buy it bagged even though it is more expensive because we do not have land and coaling facilities for loose coal piles. The retail price bagged is $980 per US short ton. I don't know what we are actually paying.

https://www.lhm.dk/dk/produkter/kul-og-koks-produkter/

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
softwerkslex wrote:
The UK is a major oil producer. It is second to Norway in North Sea oil production.


As another factor, at least originally they were finding more gas than oil.

As matters stand now, the North Sea fields have peaked in production, with an estimated (known) reserve of another 40 years or so, with decreasing demand as energy production is being shifted to wind, nuclear, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:24 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
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Location: Chicago USA
Is there no steel industry (from raw materials not scrap) in the UK? If so are they importing all their coke?


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:32 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1372
softwerkslex wrote:
The UK is a major oil producer. It is second to Norway in North Sea oil production.

There is the possibility that the UK will not be producing much oil at all a few years from now, but that Scotland is.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:57 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
PMC wrote:
softwerkslex wrote:
The UK is a major oil producer. It is second to Norway in North Sea oil production.

There is the possibility that the UK will not be producing much oil at all a few years from now, but that Scotland is.


You mean, assuming Scotland pursues independence? Of course, Scotland is part of the UK today.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:06 am 

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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
filmteknik wrote:
Is there no steel industry (from raw materials not scrap) in the UK? If so are they importing all their coke?


There is iron production in the UK. The quantity is less than the steel production, which shows how much is re-roll or scrap recycling. There is coke production in the UK.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/475121/pig-iron-production-uk/
https://www.statista.com/statistics/554778/coke-oven-coke-production-uk/

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:58 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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softwerkslex wrote:

You mean, assuming Scotland pursues independence?

Yes.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:27 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Ontario, Canada.
robertjohndavis wrote:

It was quite a breath of fresh air, if you will, to be able discuss this topic with folks on the basis of science, public need and economics - without politics or polemics.



However, we cannot stick our heads in the sand.
An understanding of the politics and polemics is critical. In Canada, for example, the present federal government has declared it wants a "carbon free Canada." This is an ideology-based policy.
The reality has been that a "carbon-based" economy has led to a great generation of national wealth, and the real potential for Canada to have become energy self-sufficient. Under the present socialist, ideology-driven government, these huge investments are now lost. Billions of dollars were and continue to be stripped from our economy when we need those dollars desperately in the recovery from covid.
Carbon taxes will continue to erode the savings and earning of individuals. Americans are about to find out what the rest of us already know, though some will not admit. That tells us who they voted for in the recent election.
Politics is at the heart of this debate, not the periphery. Coal is an artifact of the past so save a few lumps for the memories. Save a few jugs of gasoline and diesel while you are at it.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:04 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
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Great Western wrote:
Coal is an artifact of the past so save a few lumps for the memories. Save a few jugs of gasoline and diesel while you are at it.

More importantly, "A brilliant red Barchetta, from a better, vanished time"


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:23 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
softwerkslex wrote:
The retail price bagged is $980 per US short ton.
Wow! I'll be happy to meet that price! (Not for Welch steam coal mind you, but it is black).

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Scranton Yard wrote:
More importantly, "A brilliant red Barchetta, from a better, vanished time"


Great quote for today!
https://www.rushisaband.com/blog/2020/1 ... l-Rush-Day

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2435
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Great Western wrote:
robertjohndavis wrote:

It was quite a breath of fresh air, if you will, to be able discuss this topic with folks on the basis of science, public need and economics - without politics or polemics.



However, we cannot stick our heads in the sand.
An understanding of the politics and polemics is critical. In Canada, for example, the present federal government has declared it wants a "carbon free Canada." This is an ideology-based policy.
The reality has been that a "carbon-based" economy has led to a great generation of national wealth, and the real potential for Canada to have become energy self-sufficient. Under the present socialist, ideology-driven government, these huge investments are now lost. Billions of dollars were and continue to be stripped from our economy when we need those dollars desperately in the recovery from covid.
Carbon taxes will continue to erode the savings and earning of individuals. Americans are about to find out what the rest of us already know, though some will not admit. That tells us who they voted for in the recent election.
Politics is at the heart of this debate, not the periphery. Coal is an artifact of the past so save a few lumps for the memories. Save a few jugs of gasoline and diesel while you are at it.


Slaves and sailing ships generated a great deal of national wealth, but I think we are OK without them now.

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