Freightliner Class 90s Mothballed?

jayah

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Err, no it doesn't - 70% of Network Rail's revenue comes from Government 'Network Grants' - see https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/how-we-work/how-were-governed-and-managed/how-were-funded/

Only 25% comes from track access charges, and 5% from property income.

So direct taxpayer funding of rail infrastructure maintenance & renewal costs (based on your figures) would be £3.3bn in 2019 - for a rail transport system that carried 8% of domestic freight tonne-km (roads 79%, water 13%) and 9% of passenger-km (roads 89%) in 2019, based on official government statistics.

That's a huge disparity (about 7 to 1) in maintenance & renewal costs per tonne/passenger km of traffic carried on rail and road...
That is a fairly pedantic point as the whole system is just a circular money flow.

The railway makes what it earns and anything more it spends come straight from government.

None of this alters the basic economics of rail vs road nor the continual myths about road transport not paying it's way.
 
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Grumbler

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This is only to be expected with an unrealistic pie-in-the-sky energy policy. Coal fired power stations have been shut down and replaced by wind turbines and solar panels which are useless when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine. So we are dependent on gas the cost of which has gone through the roof because the policy forbids developing our own gas resources in favour of imports. Traditional nuclear power stations take ages to commission and are inefficient as they use only a tiny percentage of the fuel before the canisters have to be removed for reprocessing, yet there is no willingness to use factory-built small modular reactors or highly efficient and safe molten salt reactors which were demonstrated over fifty years ago. The chickens have at last come home to roost.
 

jayah

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Err, no it doesn't - 70% of Network Rail's revenue comes from Government 'Network Grants' - see https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/how-we-work/how-were-governed-and-managed/how-were-funded/

Only 25% comes from track access charges, and 5% from property income.

So direct taxpayer funding of rail infrastructure maintenance & renewal costs (based on your figures) would be £3.3bn in 2019 - for a rail transport system that carried 8% of domestic freight tonne-km (roads 79%, water 13%) and 9% of passenger-km (roads 89%) in 2019, based on official government statistics.

That's a huge disparity (about 7 to 1) in maintenance & renewal costs per tonne/passenger km of traffic carried on rail and road...

This is only to be expected with an unrealistic pie-in-the-sky energy policy. Coal fired power stations have been shut down and replaced by wind turbines and solar panels which are useless when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine. So we are dependent on gas the cost of which has gone through the roof because the policy forbids developing our own gas resources in favour of imports. Traditional nuclear power stations take ages to commission and are inefficient as they use only a tiny percentage of the fuel before the canisters have to be removed for reprocessing, yet there is no willingness to use factory-built small modular reactors or highly efficient and safe molten salt reactors which were demonstrated over fifty years ago. The chickens have at last come home to roost.
Very true.

Yet the railway is actually doing quite well out of the new craze for transporting wood pellets halfway across the world to burn in a power station sitting over massive coal deposits.

Apparently this is better for the environment and we are paying a fortune to subsidise it!
 

92002

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The optics of this look dreadful for the Government which talks about it's Green ambitions.
Presume the Class 88s are also not being used judging by a report a pair of Class 66'swas on the Daventry-Mossend today.
News from Saturday. The Northbound Freightliner to Coatbridge was 2 x 90s.

The Northbound Daventry to Mossend was a 88 on Electric.

So nothing out of the ordinary.

Given the timing (COP26 is looming), might the action be a publicity stunt to try to force different energy tariffs or calculations?
Well the NR contact for OHL electricity is with EDF. Who just happen to operate a good number of nuclear power stations.
 
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ac6000cw

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LNW-GW Joint

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Decide for yourself - statistics for oil: https://www.iea.org/reports/oil-information-overview/supply-and-demand
...and for coal: https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/world-total-coal-production-1
(My take on it, as a lay person, after allowing for Covid effects - is we've probably not reached peak production yet, for either oil or coal)
In terms of domestic UK production, oil and gas is down to about 1/3 of its peak production around 1999.
So while global production is still rising, the UK share of that has fallen back significantly and we import over half of our needs.
That has an impact on energy security if not supply.

Electricity supply has just been boosted by the new connection to Norway, with more to come from Denmark and France* in the next year or so (additional to the current links, one of which is out of action).
These connections work both ways, and at times we export energy to the continental networks.
We also have links to Ireland, which mostly work in the export direction.

* including one via Eurotunnel
 

jayah

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This story is now the front cover story of today's RAIL magazine release.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that demand for other energy has started a surge in oil prices as well. If that continues beyond a certain point it maybe possible electricity costs are comparable again, even if they don't fall much.
Thanks to the fantastic amount of tax, pump prices are only just touching their 2012 highs. Were they to rise 200% like FL's electricity bill, the effects on the economy would dwarf anything yet seen by a magnitude of several times.

We should all be hoping that nothing approaches that happens.
 

D6975

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News from Saturday. The Northbound Freightliner to Coatbridge was 2 x 90s.
I suspected from the earlier post about retaining 3 pairs of 90s that this would be the case. The Coatbridge liner is a very heavy train and was usually a pair of 90s. I think that anything else would have trouble keeping the timings.
 

DannyMich2018

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Maybe if FL used Class 90s singularly on container trains this would save electric? Class 90s I'm sure are more than capable of hauling them singly and have in the past. What's the current obsession with double heading them? It's rare to see diesel hauled double headed freightliner trains. FL trains arent the heaviest and only weight around 1250 tonnes or so.
 

D6975

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Maybe if FL used Class 90s singularly on container trains this would save electric? Class 90s I'm sure are more than capable of hauling them singly and have in the past. What's the current obsession with double heading them? It's rare to see diesel hauled double headed freightliner trains. FL trains arent the heaviest and only weight around 1250 tonnes or so.
Not the Coatbridge, that regularly loads much higher than 1250t. Timed for 1600t IIRC.
edit - I was close - 1650t
 

furnessvale

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Maybe if FL used Class 90s singularly on container trains this would save electric? Class 90s I'm sure are more than capable of hauling them singly and have in the past. What's the current obsession with double heading them? It's rare to see diesel hauled double headed freightliner trains. FL trains arent the heaviest and only weight around 1250 tonnes or so.
Plenty of horsepower, but you have to allow for the possibility of a standing start from half way up Shap in a downpour or blizzard. Slipping would then be the problem.

I had heard that one traction motor in one of the pair of 90s was isolated to avoid overloading the OHLE. Has that practice now stopped?
 

Green tractor

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Plenty of horsepower, but you have to allow for the possibility of a standing start from half way up Shap in a downpour or blizzard. Slipping would then be the problem.

I had heard that one traction motor in one of the pair of 90s was isolated to avoid overloading the OHLE. Has that practice now stopped?

They have now been modified to reduce the current draw when running in pairs.
 

Doctor Fegg

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I think we can safely say that the “Govt (central and local) spends £4.7bn a year maintaining roads” figure doesn’t include the cost to the NHS of road accidents, nor of the cumulative health effects of sedentary car-based lifestyles, nor the land value of all that tarmac... etc. etc. But as Bald Rick says this is probably one for another thread.
 

dk1

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90041/43 working on the GEML today.


More 90s about today (Thursday) so hopefully something/subsidy has been sorted.
 
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92002

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90041/43 working on the GEML today.


More 90s about today (Thursday) so hopefully something/subsidy has been sorted.
From a recent list that I have seen it appears that all the Freightliner 90s are still in use.

The EWS 90s appear to be in store.
 

dk1

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From a recent list that I have seen it appears that all the Freightliner 90s are still in use.

The EWS 90s appear to be in store.
Yes the FL examples where rotating north of Crewe but are now making appearances back in East Anglia.
 

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