Donate Bitcoin

Donate Paypal


PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 10 Dec 2019, 10:28:26

Worst thing to me is the obsession with speed. If we were smart enough to stop flying voluntarily and set a speed limit of say 80 kph for all passenger locomotives our energy use per passenger transported would drop like a rock.

Unfortunately our modern culture is obsessed with speed to the point that most passengers will avoid taking a turboprop airliner because it is thought of as slow when the arrival time and fuel efficiency over any trip less than say 1600 km is all in favor of the turboprop. That actual speed difference is about 120 kph, but the time to and from the airport, getting through security, and circling in the holding pattern at the congested airport destination remain the same and make up about 50% of the total trip time. In effect your flight time point to point might be 100 minutes longer, but your whole trip time is only about 10% longer, and your fuel use is significantly less.

You can do the same kind of math for rail travel, at 80 kph you need X kWh of energy to move the entire mass of train and passengers but make that into high speed rail and takes more than 2X kWh of energy to move the same mass in less time.

It is even true of cargo ships on the ocean. Up until WW II a typical cargo ship would cruise at 12 knots or less. If you took the exact same hull and mass and accelerated it to 18 knots fuel use roughly doubled, at 24 knots it was quadruple the 12 knot rate and at 30 knots it was a massive octuple fuel consumption. Ships are like aircraft in that they move through a fluid that resists their passage, however water is a great deal more resistant than air so the effect is much more quickly realized. Modern cargo ships balance themselves between fuel cost and labor cost, when fuel is cheap they go faster to save on labor costs for a given trip duration and vice versa, high fuel costs slow things down until added labor costs balance the equation for a longer trip. This effect was blatantly shown in 2008 when world oil prices shot sky high the first time, suddenly many ships at sea received radio orders from home base to slow down and conserve fuel.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
User avatar
Tanada
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15873
Joined: Thu 28 Apr 2005, 03:00:00
Location: South West shore Lake Erie, OH, USA

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 10 Dec 2019, 15:57:02

Many years ago now Scientific American had a short article on speed of transportation. Their point was any technology that increases the speed of transport will be adopted and will be successful. The Concord be the only counter example.
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 14942
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 04:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 10 Dec 2019, 16:03:02

Newfie wrote:Many years ago now Scientific American had a short article on speed of transportation. Their point was any technology that increases the speed of transport will be adopted and will be successful. The Concord be the only counter example.

Many years ago things like AGW weren't generally big inputs, re negatives. I wonder how their calculations would go if they re-did them now looking at things like pollution, crowding, climate change, etc. given modern predictions and data points.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 8574
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 21:26:42

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 10 Dec 2019, 16:11:34

Newfie wrote:Copied from l: THINKING; FAST AND SLOW

A 2005 study examined rail projects undertaken worldwide between 1969 and 1998. In more than 90% of the cases, the number of passengers projected to use the system was overestimated. Even though these passenger shortfalls were widely publicized, forecasts did not improve over those thirty years; on average, planners overestimated how many people would use the new rail projects by 106%, and the average cost overrun was 45%. As more evidence accumulated, the experts did not become more reliant on it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00555X8OA/re ... TF8&btkr=1

This is a common phenomenon, re more bad predictions following bad predictions by group X with set of assumptions S and biases B.

An example I noticed in my 20's, when I was investing in some utilities, was how the predictions of the PSC re energy usage and growth was HIGHLY skewed toward the attitude of the PSC (how hostile they were to the local utility).

For example, LG&E (Lousiville Gas and Electric) had consistently had much better estimates for demand and growth for their products than the PSC they had to answer to. But would the idiot PSC even consider changing their methods or assumptions to try and make more reasonable estimates over time?

Of COURSE not. :roll: 8)

And did any of TPTB intervene to try to fix that? Of COURSE NOT. After all, the only people suffering were rate payers and shareholders, and who cares about THAT? After all, there are elections to win, etc. :x

The human tendency to ignore even blatant bias in favor of thinking that protects perceived self-interest may well be our greatest overall fault -- AND the consequences over time are of course, disastrous.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 8574
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 21:26:42

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 10 Dec 2019, 18:51:52

Newfie wrote:Many years ago now Scientific American had a short article on speed of transportation. Their point was any technology that increases the speed of transport will be adopted and will be successful. The Concord be the only counter example.


Concorde is NOT the only counterexample. For another, we have had the technology since the 1950's to equip merchant ships with nuclear energy which would let them travel at 28 knots or faster for 25 years like a modern nuclear aircraft carrier does. The powerplants on a Nimitz class supercarrier are designed to operate for the period from construction until midlife rebuild at 25 years without need of refueling. They are capable of propelling a 105,000 ton ship at speeds in excess of 32 knots 24/7/365 for much of that time between crew rotations and routine dockside maintenance. And yet here we are more than 60 years after nuclear powered shipping was invented with fewer nuclear powered ships at sea today than there were in the 1980's.

Another example if you need it, again from shipping. In the 1970's the USSR developed Ekranoplan which was in competition to American Hydrofoils. Ekranoplan Hydrofoils
Both designs are extremely fast compared to a regular boat that drags its hull through the water. Both designs were built and proven successful, and by 1995 both designs had been decommissioned by their respective governments.

So now you have multiple examples of Faster=Better being put into question. Heck we can even say it about railroads. In the 1930's the last generation of super speed steam locomotives came on the market and proved they could make speeds of up to 100 mph over well maintained track while hauling significant numbers of boxcar cargo cars at speed. By 1975 what was the average speed of a cargo locomotive over well maintained track? Yup, 45 mph.

So forgive me if I disagree with this short article you remember from some time ago in Scientific American Magazine.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
User avatar
Tanada
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15873
Joined: Thu 28 Apr 2005, 03:00:00
Location: South West shore Lake Erie, OH, USA

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 10 Dec 2019, 19:42:11

That’s OK Tanada, its SA you are questioning, not me. :-D
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 14942
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 04:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 07 Feb 2020, 15:51:38

Welcome aboard RAJ31.
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 14942
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 04:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby dissident » Sat 22 Feb 2020, 12:37:30

Going for a TGV or Shinkansen option as the only one is stupid. Even a 200 km/hr speed is already a vast improvement on the rubbish we have in Canada and the USA where the passenger trains travel mostly under 130 km/hr and always are in some milk run mode even if they are called "express". In Canada, the main Toronto-Montreal route is shared with freight traffic. That is basically a banana republic development level. A proper passenger-only rail link with 200 km/hr trains not stopping in every station would provide under 2.5 hour travel time, which is no worse than flying considering all the time wasted on security. And it would be over twice as fast as going by car.

Both car and air transport burn more fuel per passenger than even 200 km/hr rail. High speed rail can be electrified which makes it even more efficient even if it uses coal power plant electricity (42%).
dissident
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat 08 Apr 2006, 03:00:00

Previous

Return to Conservation & Efficiency

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests