Sometimes, the 'new' is just an upgrade of the 'old' - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.gizmag.com/csr-project-13...comotive/22670






You might think that a coal-burning locomotive built in 1937 had nothing left to offer the modern rail industry, short of being a nice museum piece. In the case of Locomotive 3463, however, that appears to be far from true – now in the hands of engineers from the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), it is set to become the world’s first carbon-neutral higher-speed locomotive.


It won’t be electric, however. Instead, it will run on steam generated by the burning of biocoal.


CSR is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE) and the nonprofit Sustainable Rail International (SRI). The group’s current CSR Project 130 has one goal – to create “the world’s cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive, proving the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology.”



The “130” in the name comes from the fact that part of the project will involve an attempt at breaking the world record for steam locomotive speed, by pushing the very-overhauled locomotive to at least 130 mph (209 km/h).


Locomotive 3463 was donated to CSR by the Great Overland Station Museum in Topeka, Kansas, in November of last year.



While it originally ran on plain old mined-from-the-earth coal, it will be adapted to burn biocoal – a biomass-derived solid fuel with an energy density and handling properties similar to those of coal, but that contains no heavy metals, and produces less ash, smoke and volatile off-gases.



Additionally, it’s carbon neutral, meaning that it releases no more carbon when being burned than was originally absorbed by the plants that it’s made from.


CSR’s early research suggests that the test locomotive will be cheaper to fuel and maintain than regular diesel-electric models, while also offering quicker acceleration and better horsepower output at higher speeds ... and, of course, it will run cleaner. If the demonstration project is successful, however, trains could be merely a starting point for biocoal-fueled steam power.


“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,” said IonE’s Rod Larkins.


~ John


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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I would dearly love to see this venerable locomotive coming down the tracks at the west edge of my home property.

~ John


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:54 AM
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I am a fan! Been contributing to the maintanance of the Freedom Train the SP 4449. currently under UP.

They are all perfect
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 01:41 PM
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Nothing new there. Heck even nuclear power plants are just a big old steam engine generating electricity.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 03:26 PM
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There are actually very few "virgin" ideas. Most inventions are nothing more that someone taking someone elses ideas and refining them.

The problem with steam trains is that they suffer from poor efficiency. Too much heat energy is left when the combustible gasses leave the stack. The ideal would be to have it back at ambient temperature. Early steam engineers tried several schemes to capture the last of the heat. Reverse flow boilers where the gasses reversed their flow and traveled back thru the boiler. Some steam tractors did that. You see a stack just in front of the operator is a good clue to a reverse flow boiler.

Other steam engines were double compound engines (many locomotives) that took the exhausted steam from the primary cylinder and used it in a second cylinder. Some steam engines are triple compound and a few quadruple compound. The idea is to use every BTU possible.

I hope they have that speed attempt 4-6-4 Locomotive is balanced to within a nat's hair of perfect. Steam engines while developing max torque at the first movement will continue to gain speed til they fly apart or run out of steam. I have heard old timer rail men tell of driver wheels litterly flying apart from centrifugal force and the shrapnel punching a hole in the boiler with disastrous results.

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There is a story to everything we have, everyone we have met and everything we have done or we will do or dream about doing.

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