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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:08 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Alberta, Canada
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.


Yeah, well, I'm from the part of Canada that produces and processes large amounts of fossil fuels, and while most people here agree with your views they are, how do I say this politely, exaggerated at best.

Is the industry out here hurting? Yes. Is the current government 100% to blame? No.

The resource economy out here has always been 'boom and bust', and the current bust started when Conservative parties were in power at both the federal and provincial level. Remember when oil prices crashed after OPEC flooded the market? Our dreams of becoming a global energy superpower went with them.

The carbon tax has not helped (and I do not support it), but it has not destroyed our economy by itself either.

We just had a large new export thermal coal mine open in my area, and it is currently shipping a 220 car train almost every day.

Sorry for the political rant and feel free to delete this, but there are multiple perspectives on this issue, both inside and outside Canada.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Kelly Anderson wrote:
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).


Everything is more expensive here in US dollars, but the wages are higher in US dollars too. A Happy Meal at McDonalds is US$6, but the employees get a living wage and 5 weeks paid vacation a year.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 289
Perhaps ATTRM should purchase a moderate size coal mine, and supply coal for various museums, tourist lines, and other heritage operations at an at-cost price?

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:55 pm 

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


Wow! The persons making a living in an Alberta oil drilling site, and the persons making a living in a Welsh coal mine, and the railroaders hauling oil and coal are on a par with slave traders? Interesting comment. I will refrain from responding in the way I would like.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1165
Location: Tucson, Arizona
weekendrailroader wrote:
Perhaps ATTRM should purchase a moderate size coal mine, and supply coal for various museums, tourist lines, and other heritage operations at an at-cost price?


Problem is, if the members cannot pony up the money to purchase a mine, it's not going to happen. Lenders are increasingly cutting off credit and financing to fossil fuel projects. Selling your product "at cost" doesn't work for the producer, unless you include the expenses for future capital expenditures into the "cost". Then there's the environmental remediation cost, which the mine is required to cover. Running a mine involves a lot of constant professional engineering. Producing our own coal would drive the cost up rather than down.

As for gasoline and diesel, they deteriorate quickly due to the additives that are now used. Gasoline will go sour in less than a year. Our museum has found that out the hard way more than once.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:08 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Alberta, Canada
Alan Walker wrote:
As for gasoline and diesel, they deteriorate quickly due to the additives that are now used. Gasoline will go sour in less than a year. Our museum has found that out the hard way more than once.


It never did have a long 'shelf life', but the ethanol found in most current North American gasoline has made it worse, as it attracts water from the air. The extra moisture can cause corrosion, and ethanol itself attacks some rubber and gasket materials that are commonly found in carburetors and older engines.

Some blends do not contain ethanol even today, but you have to check. For example, in our area Shell premium (91 octane) does not contain ethanol, but Petro-Canada super premium (95 octane) attains that rating by adding extra ethanol.

It is worth noting that winter gasoline out here has contained alcohol for decades, making use of its affinity for water to avoid frozen fuel lines.

Diesel 'keeps' longer but also does not last forever, and it may be advisable to use a fuel additive in older engines to make up for the lubrication that low-sulphur diesel lacks.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 am
Posts: 106
Great Western wrote:
softwerkslex wrote:
Great Western wrote:

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.


Wow! The persons making a living in an Alberta oil drilling site, and the persons making a living in a Welsh coal mine, and the railroaders hauling oil and coal are on a par with slave traders? Interesting comment. I will refrain from responding in the way I would like.


There have been many examples of "Stranded Assets" as technology advances changed what was the "Leading" way to do things over time. Somehow the human race has survived, even if they had to find a new way to make a living.

Whaling Ships used to provide plenty of fuel for lighting. Remember coal gas? Kerosene lanterns?

How many times does it have to be pointed out that fracked natural gas has driven that proverbial wooden stake through coal's heart? Just like bees wax, whale oil, coal gas, kerosene technology before them. And now renewable energy is threatening fracked natural gas . . .

You have the freedom to invest your money in coal mining, so have at it.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1165
Location: Tucson, Arizona
SD70dude wrote:
Alan Walker wrote:
As for gasoline and diesel, they deteriorate quickly due to the additives that are now used. Gasoline will go sour in less than a year. Our museum has found that out the hard way more than once.


It never did have a long 'shelf life', but the ethanol found in most current North American gasoline has made it worse, as it attracts water from the air. The extra moisture can cause corrosion, and ethanol itself attacks some rubber and gasket materials that are commonly found in carburetors and older engines.



Very true. The transit coach I'm currently rehabilitating at the museum is an old gas bus. Since it was getting an overhaul, we made the decision to pull the fuel tank and have it cleaned by the pros at one of the local commercial truck shops. That did a pretty good job of getting most of the residual crap out of the tank. We also rebuilt the engine and replaced worn components.

The bottom line is, understand your fuel and follow proper service procedures and you will prolong the operational life of the vehicle, whatever it may be.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
More:

https://www.wales247.co.uk/welsh-herita ... sian-coal/

Quote:
The general manager of the world’s first preserved railway, which is located in Mid Wales, has warned that steam trains in Wales could soon be powered by coal imported from Russian.

The last coal mine in Wales that produces coal for steam trains, at Ffos-y-fran, Merthyr Tydfil, is due to be closed in 2022 and a planning application for a new surface mine at Dewley Hill in North East England was refused by Newcastle City Council last week.

The Dewley Hill decision dashes the hopes of Britain’s heritage railways, which need affordable coal to continue operating. Existing stocks of English steam coal will last into early 2021.

Without domestically-produced coal, the heritage steam sector will have to find ways to import, store, handle and distribute the coal it needs. That means it will be forced to import inferior quality and more expensive coal from either Russia.

“When Ffos-y-fran stops coal mining in 2022, there will be no scalable coal provider in Wales to supply our steam railways,” explained Stuart Williams, general manager of Talyllyn Railway at Tywyn on the Mid Wales coast.

“The main alternative coal source is Russia, which is more expensive, increases the nett emissions getting it here and puts money into the Russian economy rather than retaining it here in Wales. In addition, the coal doesn’t burn as well and can be variable in quality.

“Surely, it makes more sense to keep mining the coal we need here in Wales rather than having to import coal from the other side of the world? We shall be raising this issue urgently with the Welsh and UK Governments.”

Mr Williams said he and the Heritage Railway Association (HRA) are now anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Welsh Government’s draft coal policy consultation and hoping that mining will be allowed to continue.

Liz Saville-Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and co-chair of the Heritage Rail All-Party Parliamentary Group, is supporting Talyllyn and other heritage railways. She is urging the UK and Welsh Governments to work together to ensure that coal does not have to be shipped half way around the world to supply heritage railways.

“The APPG undertook an inquiry into the need for coal for our heritage railways last year,” she said. “What we are worried about is that the UK and Welsh Governments are offloading their responsibilities to heritage railways by forcing them to seek suitable coal sources in countries such as Russia and even Australia.

“We are concerned about the nett carbon emissions of bringing coal so far and also about the production methods used in Russia. We need the UK and Welsh Governments to think creatively to allow mining at Ffos-y-fran to continue whilst reducing carbon emissions.

“Steam locomotives are designed to burn a certain type of clean coal which is mined here in Wales and certain other parts of the UK. The danger is that heritage railways will cease to function without this reliable supply of suitable coal.

“We must keep our heritage railways going because they make such a significant economic contribution to our communities and have been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Steve Oates, HRA chief executive, expressed the serious concern of heritage railways across the UK.

“UK-produced coal generates a fraction of the CO2 emissions created by extracting and then shipping coal half-way round the world to the UK,” he said. “ And it costs less in money terms, too.

“Keeping Britain’s heritage railways running with affordable, locally-produced coal would secure the future of a sector which sits at the heart of the country’s industrial and cultural heritage and generates millions for the leisure and travel sector.

“Maintaining consistent and reliable supplies of coal is difficult and expensive. That burden will now fall on our members, whose finances have already been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The inevitable increase in the cost of coal may well be too much for some of our members to bear.”

That the cost of adapting steam locomotives to burn alternative fuels would be far too high for heritage railways to consider, he said.

“Meanwhile, we now have no alternative but to press ahead with our work on developing a coal importing operation, while also supporting US research and development work on biocoal,” added Mr Oates.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1954
Location: Strasburg, PA
Quote:
“Meanwhile, we now have no alternative but to press ahead with our work on developing a coal importing operation, while also supporting US research and development work on biocoal,”
I hadn't heard about this research. Besides, isn't all coal "biocoal"?

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:40 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1506
"Biocoal" is high-carbon fuel from carbon-neutral sources. The torrefied wood that was part of the Project 130 effort is one example. Since almost all the carbon in wood was 'sequestered' from the atmosphere as the plant grew, burning it results in 'no net atmospheric carbon' from the standpoint of most AGW/climate-change players.

"Biodiesel" and other liquid carrier fuels synthesized from other than 'fossil' carbon are also in this category, although in general it would be wasteful to make and use these in a conventional reciprocating steam locomotive. If you look at what is required (in treatment and additives) to use "B100" fuel in modern diesel engines and locomotives, you'll get an idea of what is involved.

A couple of projects, the Oxford Catalysts direct-steam cycle being one, use a bare minimum of carbon (and it can be from renewable or sequestration sources) to produce superheated steam at sensible railroad quality (~750 to 850 degrees of superheat) using catalysis with 30% or better H2O2. This would be better than, say, fuel-cell hydrogen at most if not all levels, were it not for certain alternative uses of that hydrogen peroxide with easily-obtained solvents.

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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Latest Update:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-somerset-55544616

Quote:
A body representing heritage railways in the UK has issued a stark warning after planning permission was refused for a coal mine near Newcastle.

The Heritage Railway Association (HRA) says English coal supplies will run out in early 2021, with Welsh supplies lasting until 2022.

Chairman of the West Somerset Railway Jonathan Jones-Pratt said:"The whole industry is in jeopardy over this.

"We've got so much coal here but the problem is that we can't extract it."

Steam locomotives rely on bituminous lump coal to burn, which is relatively smokeless and comparatively clean.

The opencast mine at Dewley Hill, near Newcastle, would have produced this coal but it was rejected for environmental reasons.

The HRA said the decision "dashed the hopes of Britain's heritage railways, who need affordable coal to continue operating".

The only remaining mine producing lump coal in the UK is Ffos-Y-Fran near Merthyr Tydfil, which is due to close in 2022.

It is estimated the heritage railway industry used 26,000 tonnes of coal per year pre-Covid, accounting for 0.02% of the UK's carbon emissions.


Much more at the link--including one RR already importing coal.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1372
Not sure if this "solution" would work with steam though: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/busi ... 80743.html


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:33 pm 

Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 11:28 pm
Posts: 19
Methinks this is an austerity measure disguised as environmentalism.


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 Post subject: Re: British Steam Railways About To Run Out of Coal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:55 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
PMC wrote:
Not sure if this "solution" would work with steam though: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/busi ... 80743.html

There were attempts at burning peat, dried fish, and animal dung in steam locomotives in various parts of Europe during the Second World War...........


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