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Last Coal Train 2022

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by hyboy, Jan 1, 2022.

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  1. hyboy

    hyboy New Member

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    Its probably too late to suggest this but l understand the last UK coal train is going to leave Ffos-y-fran this year so ending something seen in this country for well over 200 years. Wouldnt it be appropriate if it was steam hauled? I believe the branch is freight only, could a 9F be cleared to take it ? ( last steam loco type built for BR use ). Its an incredibly significant event and should be marked by something special.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  2. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

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    This might just be opening old discussions (wounds?) but 9F's have flangeless centre drivers and there are problems with raised check rails on the national network. 9F's are vacuum brake only and the HTA coal hoppers are air braked.

    The best bet is a preserved 56xx to shunt the sidings which is more typical of the South Wales Valleys for about 40 years. (That is if the customer even wants to make a show of the event. It's probably not a good idea attracting wanna be Greta type protestors to the area. The locals understand what coal did for South Wales. Middle class kids from Weybridge or Helsingborg (other locations available) don't comprehend heavy industry or how it changed the environment or provided a living wage for many folks.)

    Many railfreight last workings have passed without any commemoration, the best thing is to photograph it, record it and archive the records for future generations to consider the importance of the event. ( Not just on line or on facebook, that will get lost. ) Archived with a county record office or well established local history group is about the right level. I'm not certain that the NRM would take interest unless it helps coffee sales or judging by recent comments can be interpreted in dance and mime!

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    It is staggering to realise that this is happening on the main line. Perhaps our ambitious plan to have a train of 30 Windcutter wagons running this year (30@30) on the Great Central has even more significance?.....and of course we do have a 9F on site!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  4. John Merry

    John Merry New Member

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    Is every one really that interested what these climate loonies think? Yes there is probably a need to look after our environment better. But all this political clap trap, no thank you and in opinion it doesn't have a place on this forum.
    Let's celebrate our heritage!
     
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  5. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I am staggered given the evidence around us that there is still a debate on the man-made industrial effects on climate. The "loonies" are no longer the climate activists, but those who oppose them and wish to do nothing.

    It is really simple: we use a carbon intensive fuel for our locomotives. We are going to have to adapt our fuel use, change it, or die out (by way of ceasing working those locomotives). Those are the options. I know that there are several railways and societies looking into bio-fuels and carbon footprint already: eventually we will all need to be doing it.

    Part of which we can all contribute to by focusing on making our railways and services more enticing than driving. One easy win for preserved railways, I reckon, is starting the process of including electric car charging in car parks, combined with renewable sources of powering said stands. It is doable. We need an industry wide debate and plan to initiate such things.
     
  6. John Merry

    John Merry New Member

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    The pressure now needs to be applied to China, India and the likes including the USA who have openly stated that jobs won't be lost. As far as the UK goes progress is being made but are we creating another hornets nest with lithium batteries, mined abroad and brought in to manufacture batteries and fitted to vehicles.
    What about when the batteries are life expired? Recycle them, probably abroad so will have to plant more trees as a carbon offset, which is what dirty industries do.
    As far as burning coal for mainline and preserved steam its a drop in the ocean as far as carbon emissions go, but feel free to plant a few trees. Give the future generations something to hug when there are few if any jobs. Industry is a necessary evil, otherwise society collapses and the anarchists have succeeded.
    Just my point of view and obviously you don't agree. So let's agree to disagree and move on. Believe me I have given this more run time than politics and religion put together. Have a nice day. John.
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    If your aim in employing such intemperate language was to cause offensive to fellow members who don't share (let alone concur with) your views, congratulations .... job done.
     
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  8. John Merry

    John Merry New Member

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    No offence intended to anyone.
    My opinion.
     
  9. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Unfortunately it’s a 9F in an incorrect livery carrying an equally incorrect nameplate. Can we start a whip-round to buy a tin of black paint?
     
  10. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Yes I am interested in what such people think. I don't necessarily agree with everything they say, and certainly even less about what they do, but I always like to have an informed opinion about all sides of an arguement.
    I agree that most of it has no real place on a forum about heritage railways.
     
  11. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    One I agree with. These climate change fascists are hate figures to me.
     
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  12. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    Then you might consider withdrawing your “climate loonies” remark since it looks rather like an insult which could hardly fail to offend :)

    If you want to argue against the climate change science you’re welcome. All you have to do is present your case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It wasn't the opinion, which obviously I don't share, to which I object. Permit me to expand on my own thinking.

    Somewhere down the road, we're highly likely to be facing calls for a blanket ban on coal, from generations who neither remember steam, nor share our collective obsession and even if we don't, sourcing the stuff looks set to become ever more fraught, due to both availability and cost.

    My own view is that, if sufficient progress is made in decarbonising mainstream economic processes, a few dozen glowing grates is unlikely to be seen as beyond the pale, though some 'Plan B' would scarcely go amiss at this point.

    Blithely continuing things the way we have for the last couple of centuries IMHO leaves steam powered heritage operations on course for oblivion, be it in fifteen years, or fifty. For my part, that's not a scenario I find remotely attractive and it's incumbent on us all to find some way of ensuring we're not the last generation to witness steam in operation. Worth a little mutual respect to achieve, wouldn't you agree?
     
  14. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    Much as I detest this mass hysteria over climate change, I do concede that we will have to find some alternative bio based fuel to run steam on.
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I certainly don't deny there's an awful lot of rubbish, whether from viewpoints of opportunism, confusion or ignorance, surrounding decarbonisation. Chancers looking to make a quick buck have been with us since the year 'dot' and the frankly appalling state of mainstream reporting more than explains both confusion and (non-pejorative) ignorance. I've spent the last several years trying to get to grips with the whole shooting match and all I can say for certain is it's complicated!

    So far as substitute fuels are concerned, for as long as no additional pollutants are introduced into the biosphere (with the proviso there's an overall net reduction), recycled or 'carbon-neutral' sources present no insuperable problems.

    I've previously wittered on about torrified bio-pellets, which do seem a promising option .... but .... I've recently seen evidence of pure carbon produced by one capture technique, which may provide the basis for some synthetic coal substitute. What I don't know is the economic viability of that particular process (which needs to be weighed against such bio-chemical carbon capture processes like greenhouse food production). There seem unlikely to be any technical barriers, but it seems probable it'll be more expensive than Welsh steam coal has been (but what's left anin't about to get cheaper!). On the 'plus' side, tailor made fuel ought to mean a lot less fire bars and (quite possibly) longer lasting tubes. Food for thought?
     
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  16. Cartman

    Cartman Well-Known Member

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    Some good points in the last post, coal doesn't do an engine a lot of good, mixed with water ash is corrosive, a cleaner fuel will have an additional benefit of reducing maintenance.

    On the wider topic, I think there is an element of truth in it, but it's being massively exaggerated and over egged. Unfortunately it does seem to attract cranks and the extremist political fringe and it's been turned into a kind of quasi religious cult, which has turned me against it.

    more worryingly I also think it's been infiltrated by anarchists
     
  17. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Looking at the fractious rabble in political movements and on trading floors worldwide, I suspect any such infiltration is not uniquely limited to the environmental movement. :Meh:
     
  18. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    The unthinking environmentalists will be cheering at the end of British coal but it’s still needed for the manufacture of steel and cement so coal trains will still run. We haven’t improved our carbon footprint, just exported a bit of it to somewhere else.
     
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  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Not true. There’s been huge leaps forward in low carbon concrete - and network rail has started using it, in fact.
     
  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    An unthinking environmentalist writes .... do please try and keep up!

    Whilst advances in cement production are now resulting in reduction of emissions, it does remain a substantial net CO2 contributor. A coal-free steel production process now exists. As a result, a complete stage in manufacturing is removed.

    The way in which the transition from a carbon economy still tends to be presented as a problem, ignoring the many and substantial benefits it can bring ..... if not left to vested interests and extremists ..... is, frankly, as much a source of amusement as it is of bemusement or concern.

    Sustainability is a quality of which our present economy demonstrates an obviously declining measure. We can opt to merely bemoan the inevitable decline of something which has ceased to be tenable over even the medium term, or we collectively ensure the transition is implemented in the most widely beneficial fashion. IMO, time to remember the concept of a forward gear.
     
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