I'm willing to bet the T's next locomotive purchase will be electric precisely because the Commonwealth has decided that, as a major government organization, they actually do have an imperative to reduce carbon emissions, which includes (1) getting more people out of cars and onto trains and (2) decarbonizing the trains themselves. The sheer fact of the matter is that in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change, we will need to collectively change the way we do things. One of the casualties will have to be fossil fuel–powered vehicles, including rail. I personally think the T will be fine. They can contact the dozens of electrified urban rail systems in Europe which provide high-quality, low-emissions service to millions of people daily if they have any questions.
Your point about electric cars (which are rife with issues in and of themselves) is also misleading, and I'm willing to bet was not entirely serious. Future grid management will likely shift electric car charging to overnight where there is less demand. This sort of "leveling out" of the daily fluctuations in electricity demand is why renewables and nuclear are becoming so attractive; you no longer have to worry about such huge deviations between nighttime baseload and morning/evening peak conditions. (It's more difficult, but not necessarily impossible, to "demand follow" with renewables/nuclear than with a "peaking" gas or oil power plant. The lower the fluctuations, the more you can rely on low-carbon energy sources and storage.)
All of this, of course, is assuming you believe that climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed.
mbrproductions wrote: ↑Mon Jan 24, 2022 9:58 am
Electric locomotives may be more efficient than diesels and that isn't something I was talking against. what I was mainly referring to is the cost of electrifying and annually maintaining the electrification, which would still be incredibly high no matter where you get the power generation from, and with the alleged 'Fiscal Calamity' the MBTA is headed for, this would be very fiscally irresponsible for them to invest in, considering that the MBTA is in a time where they should be doing everything they can to fix the financial position they're in which is only slated to get worse even without huge investments like this. I use the Commuter Rail and the fumes are barely noticeable most of the time, just like when you walk by a street with gasoline cars going by you, you don't even notice it unless you try to notice it, and as modern diesels release fewer and fewer emissions with each new generation and renewable fuel sources possibly becoming commonplace, this is going to become a smaller and smaller issue as time passes. If electrification was as easy as it is made out to be it would have happened decades ago along with the NSRL, and we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
My comment about efficiency and particulate matter was not addressed to you; my mistake for not quoting in that post to clarify that.
While we're here, the issue with particulate matter is precisely that you cannot see it. PM2.5 particles are less than 2.5 microns wide, which makes them incredibly effective at both getting into your respiratory system and causing problems once they get there. Diesel engines are getting cleaner, yes, but there are still many combustion byproducts that have adverse effects to human health (both from a physiological and climate perspective). As a side note to respond to your example, gasoline-powered cars are a massive source of particulate matter emissions in urban environments, both from combustion byproducts and from tire wear. The tread on your tires doesn't just disappear; it wears out and ends up in the atmosphere.