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 Post subject: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomotive
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:09 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8391
Location: Baltimore, MD
This just came in on my newsfeed. Thankfully I can read bureaucratese:

Quote:
ALTOONA, Pa. April 1 (PRNewswire): A consortium of industrial corporations is proud to announce a new partnership intended to advance American energy independence and reduce the nation's carbon footprint by bringing traditional transportation technology to the 21st Century.

Named American Gas Enterprises (AGE), the consortium, which includes partners such as Norfolk Southern, Foster Wheeler, Multipower International, ACF Industries, Pennsylvania State University, and the American Natural Gas Alliance, is planning production of a new generation of natural gas fueled railroad locomotives, with nature-friendly gaseous dihydrogen monoxide propulsion systems. The enterprise will initially be centered in Altoona, Pennsylvania, centrally located in the Marcellus Shale region of the northeast and close to both the main Penn State campus in State College and its Altoona campus.

"I can't think of a more patriotic gesture than to come out of retirement to spearhead a new age of using America's own resources for transportation and ending dependence on foreign oil," said the project's chief executive officer and self-professed "instigator," Hector "Hoss" Bowland, a former Texas commodities broker and rail enthusiast. Bowland, a rail enthusiast, has had a long history in past railroad-centered projects, such as the American Liberty Train, the Silver Spike Train (SST), and the Sesquicentennial Steam Specials.

"We are now producing fuels here, with advanced technologies, that can not only run our transportation networks without the intensive capital outlays of electrification, but do away with the toxic pollution emitted by the present dismal propulsion methods forced on the railroads by the extortionary methods of the likes of General Motors and General Electric," Bowland said.

The plans of the consortium involve the construction of a "new generation" of locomotives, using gasified dihydrogen monoxide to convert heat into linear and rotary motion using "Stephensonian" theorems the consortium's leaders note have been tested by "nearly 200 years of continuous industrial application." As an interim, experimental step, the group plans to acquire and refit for testing a 1985 test locomotive currently stored in Clifton Forge, Va. The locomotive, former Greenbrier Presidential Express 614, has already been repainted green prior to shipment to reflect its participation in a future "green" role in American energy independence and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Further plans involve the leasing and testing of a pair of identical locomotives from Ohio and Indiana owners, to be numbered 763-T and 765-T and to be named "Frick" and "Frack," to deliver control data between solid carbon gasification and natural gas systems. Future locomotives will include combustion, traction, and transmission automatically controlled and adjusted by computer modules and sensors to maximize efficiency and reduce emissions. The locomotives' controls will also include interfacing with Positive Train Control to allow access to the entire national rail network.

"We decided to locate in the Altoona area not simply because of its central location in the gas fields, its access to good test routes, and its superior railroad shop facilities, but also because of its historical railroad heritage," said Bowland. "Not only will we be able to test locomotive technology on a variety of grades and sound trackage, but we'll be testing it by hauling products crucial to the procurement and transportation of the very fuel these locomotives will be consuming. It's a synergy not unlike NS predecessors Norfolk and Western and Pennsylvania Railroad hauling the coal they used to power their earlier locomotives."

AGE is working with a diversity of partners to address technical concerns. For example, ACF Industries, the former American Car & Foundry, is reopening its shuttered Milton, Pa. facility in part to produce liquid dihydrogen monoxide and compressed natural gas support units to fuel the locomotives. Plans are to use easily-swapped support units to supply the fuels and reduce refueling times. Larger support units, potentially using liquified natural gas, could extend range and permit refueling at gas field sites to reduce fuel transport costs and prices. Multipower International is expected to utilize international methodology to license, construct and acquire advanced hardware such as combustion modules, liquid/gaseous heat exchange medium conversion modules, and reciprocating/rotary power/thrust conversion modules, power transmission couplings, and auxiliaries.

Further information is available at the company's new website, http://www.americangasenterprises.com .

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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:17 am 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 611
Location: Bucks County, PA
Damn, that was a quick opening salvo to the days festivities on RYPN ;)

Can't wait to see more!


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:26 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8391
Location: Baltimore, MD
I just double-checked; apparently the Altoona Mirror had advanced notice and an "embargo" on the story, but it's on the website and, I'm guessing, the "dead-trees" edition:

Quote:
Steam Locomotive Construction To Rerturn to Altoona?

April 1, 2013
The Altoona Mirror

Blair County residents were abuzz today with the news that a consortium including Norfolk Southern was planning to develop and construct natural-gas-fueled steam locomotives, possibly at NS's former Pennsylvania Railroad Juniata Shops.

The consortium, American Gas Enterprises (AGE), includes partners Norfolk Southern, Pennsylvania State University, and the American Natural Gas Alliance, is planning production of a new generation of natural gas fueled locomotives, based on the steam locomotive technology used by railroads years ago. The company plans to establish operations in Altoona, and is in discussions with Norfolk Southern to construct the first generation of such locomotives at NS's Altoona Shops.

The move follows last month's announcement by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, that it would begin testing conventional diesel-electric locomotives converted to burn compressed natural gas. BNSF expects to have its first converted locomotives in service by the end of this year.

The project's chief executive officer, Hector "Hoss" Bowland, a former Texas commodities broker and rail enthusiast, said in a press release, "I can't think of a more patriotic gesture than to come out of retirement to spearhead a new age of using America's own resources for transportation and ending dependence on foreign oil." Bowland, a rail enthusiast, has had a long but checkered history in past steam locomotive projects, such as the American Liberty Train, the Silver Spike Train (SST), the B&O Sesquicentennial Steam Special, and the stillborn 21st Century Special and Veterans Thanks Express.

"We decided to locate in the Altoona area not simply because of its central location in the Marcellus Shale gas fields, its access to good test routes, and its superior railroad shop facilities, but also because of its historical railroad heritage," said Bowland. "Not only will we be able to test locomotive technology on a variety of grades and sound trackage, but we'll be testing it by hauling products crucial to the procurement and transportation of the very fuel these locomotives will be consuming. It's a synergy not unlike NS predecessors Norfolk and Western and Pennsylvania Railroad hauling the coal they used to power their earlier locomotives."

Bowland stated that negotiations were under way to arrange for the transfer of a former 4-8-4 steam locomotive from Virginia to be put into operation as an experimental gas-fueled prototype. The company is also exploring the possibility of leasing Nickle Plate 765, currently on lease by NS for excursions in May through Altoona and around Horse Shoe Curve, along with another locomotive of the same design from a railroad in Ohio, for conversion to natural gas firing. The locomotives would be operated in tests on freight trains out of Altoona upon completion of refitting.

A spokesman at the Railroaders Memorial Museum, who requested anonymity because the museum board had not yet met to discuss the matter, suggested that the enterprise would be welcomed to town, "as neighbors or even possible tenants" of the Museum's new roundhouse. However, he emphasized that there were "no plans whatsoever in the works" to restore and reactivate former Pennsylvania Railroad K-4-s "Pacific 1361," the "official state steam locomotive," because of its "special protected status."

NS public relations spokesperson Sparrow Tapman had not yet returned calls for comment.


Read the full story at http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/conte ... FIRST.html


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:45 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3050
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Well, I wonder how this will go with a proposal to rebuild the fourth track up Horseshoe to accommodate the new tourist train that's to run between Altoona and Gallitzen. Power is to be whatever Pennsy steam can be had; current contenders are a leased Long Island Rail Road 4-6-0 and the 1361.

Whose proposal? Mine, of course. . .

(Hightails to White Sulfur Springs and the atomic bomb shelter there.)


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:41 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Great ideas and what a beautiful test locomotive. Let's all wish them every success!!

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:11 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:24 am
Posts: 57
Ehhh YA , and the Chinese make the worlds best Steel Too!,

Nice Try!

Happy April Fools

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Christopher S

http://www.FRA.gov"

"Danger 600 VOLTS"


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:39 pm
Posts: 77
Mr Mitchell IV

Please post the American Gas article over at the Classifieds. Some company will buy into it I'm sure. Thank you

Thomas Travis La Porte IN


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8391
Location: Baltimore, MD
To whoever relocated this story:

Oh, you're no fun anymore.

Sincerely,
Sopwith the Camel-Spotter


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:51 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
Maybe somebody should look into using the technology of Stirling engines as well. That way we could have a steam locomotive powered by hot air, a renewable resource with a seemingly unlimited supply.


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
Posts: 475
I'm sitting in class at the moment, and now everyone is staring at me after I laughed aloud at seeing the name Hoss Bowland

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Mark Z. Yerkes
Amateur Rail Historian


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 Post subject: Re: American Gas Enterprises Announces NG-Fired Steam Locomo
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Maine
Mark, as a retired teacher, allow me to say, "Shut that thing off and pay attention in class! I'm not gonna explain this twice!"

"Hoss Bowland" (snicker)

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"It's only impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela


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