• Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present.
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present.
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

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  by electricron
 
Is that duplex TGV train powered with diesel locomotives?

Which brings up an observation all too frequently seen on train forums.
Why do most American railroads use diesel power vs electric power locomotives?
The price for diesel fuel in the USA averages $3 per gallon, $0.79 per liter, or E0.72 per liter
The prices for diesel fuel in France averages $5.98 per gallon, $1.58 per liter, or E1.44 per liter.
Both data points discovered by a quick google search, conversions using google as well.
That's the retail price for diesel at the pump, railroads buy diesel by the truckload at wholesale prices.

The observation I see most Europeans do is assume fuel prices in America is just as expensive as in Europe. That assumption is a major error, because fuel prices in America are usually half of that in Europe. When the cost of power or fuel is a significant share of the costs of doing business, that magnifies those costs differences. What may be economical in America may not be in Europe, and likewise for the opposite.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by JimBoylan
 
electricron wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:38 amThe price for diesel fuel in the USA averages $3 per gallon, $0.79 per liter, or E0.72 per liter.
That's the retail price for diesel at the pump, railroads buy diesel by the truckload at wholesale prices.
Railroads also don't pay the highway taxes included in that "pump price".
  by R&DB
 
Has anyone considered the cost of installing the infrastructure to change from diesel to electric? NOT-COST-EFFECTIVE except in the NEC and metro areas.
  by Arlington
 
If TriRail wants to intermix, there might come a time where they get to the service density where need the speeds and acceleration of electric, and I could imagine the state & counties helping at that point, but not yet.
  by electricron
 
R&DB wrote: Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:18 am Has anyone considered the cost of installing the infrastructure to change from diesel to electric? NOT-COST-EFFECTIVE except in the NEC and netro areas.
That was the point of my earlier response. the more expensive diesel fuel is it makes switching over to electric more cost effective. But as long as diesel fuel is so cheap, it makes switching over to electric more non cost effective.
The only two locales in the USA that will have electric catenaries over inter-city trains is the Northeast Corridor and the Caltrain corridor. The NEC was electrified generally a century ago to meet New York City's laws to reduce pollution in railroad tunnels, and Caltrain is being electrified now so it can accommodate CHSR high speed trains when they ever become a reality.. Another possible inter-city rail corridor with catenaries might be in Texas, where Texas Central is in the planning stages to build its high speed trains.
So in the USA, there has to be another reason to hang catenaries over inter city rail lines other than being cost effective - because using cheap diesel fuel is the cost effective way to go.
  by EuroStar
 
mtuandrew wrote: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:43 pm MARC currently runs Bombardier MLV-IIs (the MARC IV series) at 125 mph. It wouldn’t have been an issue to run them in Florida too, had Brightline gotten a package deal from BBD instead of Siemens.
Do they really? This is certainly the first time I hear that. With which power? The old electrics or the new diesels under catenary?
  by mtuandrew
 
EuroStar wrote: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:18 am Do they really? This is certainly the first time I hear that. With which power? The old electrics or the new diesels under catenary?
Either and both. I’m having trouble finding a picture but they are available.
  by electricron
 
MARC does not own the NEC within Maryland, Amtrak does. MARC has not spent one penny electrifying the NEC.

The other two lines MARC runs commuter trains on are owned by CSX, a freight railroad company. Neither CSX or MARC has spent one penny electrifying either line.

MARC's locomotive roster today includes 40 diesel and 10 electric locomotives.

Meanwhile, Virgin (Brightline) locomotive roster in Florida includes 10 diesel locomotives, without a single electric locomotive.
  by BandA
 
France, for example, has lots of nuke plants which produce cheap electricity, but you have the store the waste for thousands of years.

I think the cost of copper & equipment, and the costs of installing catanery / infrastructure have increased faster than the cost of diesel.

The cost of diesel-electric locomotives seems to be lower than electric locomotives, despite the diesel-electric having more complexity. This seems to be an economy-of-scale problem.

California has very high fuel costs, but I think they have access to some cheap hydroelectric, photovoltaic or solar-thermal in the desert, so the economics of electrification may be more compelling than the rest of the country. And the famous air pollution in LA - want to ship the problem elsewhere in the electric grid.
  by electricron
 
Wildfires in autumn will always be a problem in California. It doesn't matter what is used to generate the electricity, if the electric grid is going to be turned off at the slightest chance it might cause a wildfire, how reliable will your electric train network be?
Name one other place in the rest of the world where electric grids are turned off to prevent wildfires? If they did, would they continue to use the electric grid to power their trains?
Last edited by CRail on Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by BandA
 
They turned off the traffic lights, smh. It is unclear from the reporting, and this should be under the California forum, but I speculate the power lines don't have modern ground fault interrupters, so when a line falls down it can spark a fire. PG&E declared bankruptcy due to the liability from last year's fires. Much of California is incredibly dry, especially when there is a Santa Ana wind blowing west out of the desert area or when you don't have any rain for like two months.

If they build a new train line they would make sure power didn't have to be shut off. Florida is tropical & humid so much less of a problem.
  by David Benton
 
Not just a California problem it seems .
https://wildfiremitigation.tees.tamus.e ... -wildfires

I have power lines running through my property , they need a clear corridor 4 metres each side. Its a nuisance because i Plant a lot of trees.
Last year , they decided the 70 -100 year old Totara Trees needed cutting back. I jokingly told them I didn't think the trees had moved. Seems someone decided to up the 4 metres to 5 metres on the 33kv lines.
  by EuroStar
 
mtuandrew wrote: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:19 pm
EuroStar wrote: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:18 am Do they really? This is certainly the first time I hear that. With which power? The old electrics or the new diesels under catenary?
Either and both. I’m having trouble finding a picture but they are available.
Yes, both the rebuilt hippos and the Chargers can do 125mph, but the MLV-IIs at 125mph? I am remain sceptical of that claim. Any sort of reference?
  by Ridgefielder
 
BandA wrote: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:10 pmCalifornia has very high fuel costs, but I think they have access to some cheap hydroelectric, photovoltaic or solar-thermal in the desert, so the economics of electrification may be more compelling than the rest of the country. And the famous air pollution in LA - want to ship the problem elsewhere in the electric grid.
Actually, CA has some of the highest power costs in the nation. Always has. The geography of CA-- with the populated parts of the state separated from the other populated parts of the US by 10'000-foot-tall mountains and hundreds of miles of desert-- means it has few links to the grid of the rest of the US. If you're going to electrify an LA-LV railroad you'd probably be better off building your own power station in NV rather than relying on the commercial grid.
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