GBRF confirms conversion of Class 56s to Class 69s

hwl

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What do you mean by "value for money" in this context?
lowest cost per unit quantity of NOx /PM / CO / THC reduced overall.

For the same money cleaning up a larger number of locomotives to a lesser extent is more effective than buying a far smaller number of even cleaner new locomotives. Well proven and practiced in the states.
 
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Grumpy Git

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What do you mean by "value for money" in this context?


Is this based on any kind of calculations you can share? The implication is that the emissions created by building a steel bodyshell for a loco are far greater than those which the loco will be responsible for in its lifetime of burning fossil fuels. That sounds very unlikely to me but maybe I'm wrong.
Just think about the energy required to simply melt the steel when casting a new pair of bogies. Miles more "green" to update an existing loco.
 

BRX

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lowest cost per unit quantity of NOx /PM / CO / THC reduced overall.

For the same money cleaning up a larger number of locomotives to a lesser extent is more effective than buying a far smaller number of even cleaner new locomotives. Well proven and practiced in the states.
Well I think we can agree that it's cheaper for GBRf. But is it better value for the people who breathe the air pollution? And isn't it a bit of a fiction that it's cleaning up existing locos? I think we all know that if the 69s are successful they will see lots more use than the donor 56s they replace would have seen.

You might say, well, but increasing capacity will help take traffic off the roads and I can agree with that in principle but rail emissions are not improving anywhere as fast as lorry ones are. There needs to be a long term plan to improving emissions and allowing these kinds of loopholes goes no way to achieving that. In fact it removes the demand that might bring a properly compliant new design to market.

Just think about the energy required to simply melt the steel when casting a new pair of bogies. Miles more "green" to update an existing loco.
We're talking about air pollution rather than energy here. But either way - again, what are the numbers, or are you purely speculating?
 

hwl

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Well I think we can agree that it's cheaper for GBRf. But is it better value for the people who breathe the air pollution? And isn't it a bit of a fiction that it's cleaning up existing locos? I think we all know that if the 69s are successful they will see lots more use than the donor 56s they replace would have seen.

You might say, well, but increasing capacity will help take traffic off the roads and I can agree with that in principle but rail emissions are not improving anywhere as fast as lorry ones are. There needs to be a long term plan to improving emissions and allowing these kinds of loopholes goes no way to achieving that. In fact it removes the demand that might bring a properly compliant new design to market.
No one is going to bring a new diesel only design to the UK given the 2040 "diesel only" ban.
 

Richard Scott

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Is this based on any kind of calculations you can share? The implication is that the emissions created by building a steel bodyshell for a loco are far greater than those which the loco will be responsible for in its lifetime of burning fossil fuels. That sounds very unlikely to me but maybe I'm wrong.
The majority of carbon dioxide emissions for virtually anything is in its manufacturer. No, it isn't based on any calculations I can lay my hands on but is generally an accepted idea. The saving from reusing the body shell and bogies will be significant.
 

Grumpy Git

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We're talking about air pollution rather than energy here. But either way - again, what are the numbers, or are you purely speculating?

What about the pollution caused by a blast furnace melting either iron-ore and/or scrap steel to cast new bodies? Doesn't that cause air pollution?
 

Richard Scott

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What about the pollution caused by a blast furnace melting either iron-ore and/or scrap steel to cast new bodies? Doesn't that cause air pollution?
Not forgetting that generated by moving raw and then the finished product materials around.
 

BRX

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The majority of carbon dioxide emissions for virtually anything is in its manufacturer.
Firstly, that's just not true and it's especially unlikely to be true for a machine whose sole purpose is to convert fossil fuel into usable energy, and in this case we are only really using the shell of that machine.
Secondly, we're talking here about air pollution rather than CO2. But the same would apply either way.

I think the embodied energy in a car is generally reckoned to be something like 25 or 30 percent of its life-cycle energy use. That's a modern passenger car. A diesel locomotive in intensive use with a much longer lifespan is surely going to be less than that.
 

Richard Scott

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Firstly, that's just not true and it's especially unlikely to be true for a machine whose sole purpose is to convert fossil fuel into usable energy, and in this case we are only really using the shell of that machine.
Secondly, we're talking here about air pollution rather than CO2. But the same would apply either way.

I think the embodied energy in a car is generally reckoned to be something like 25 or 30 percent of its life-cycle energy use. That's a modern passenger car. A diesel locomotive in intensive use with a much longer lifespan is surely going to be less than that.
It may not seem likely but it takes a huge amount of energy to produce steel and other raw commodities. The shell and the bogies are probably around 70 tons all told so quite a significant amount of the raw material is there. If using original traction motors can probably add another 10 tons to that. Using original traction motors will really help as to produce copper will release more carbon dioxide per ton than steel. In reality the difference in air pollution between a stage 3A and a stage 5 compliant loco when it's effectively spreading the gases around and they're getting diluted in the grand scheme of things is absolutely negligible. If going down the car route there was once a comparison of lifetime carbon dioxide emissions between a Land Rover Discovery and a Toyota Prius, the Discovery had lower total lifetime carbon dioxide emissions due to its longer life and, admittedly, using less energy intensive raw materials such as those in battery of the Prius.
 
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Grumpy Git

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I'm sorry but it is the case. It takes a huge amount of energy to produce steel and other raw commodities. In reality the difference in air pollution between a stage 3A and a stage 5 compliant loco when it's effectively spreading the gases around and they're getting diluted in the grand scheme of things is absolutely negligible.
I agree.

That's why the government car scrappage scheme a few years ago was flawed, it sent a lot of perfectly good cars to the scrap heap.
 

Helvellyn

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Firstly, that's just not true and it's especially unlikely to be true for a machine whose sole purpose is to convert fossil fuel into usable energy, and in this case we are only really using the shell of that machine.
Well I think we can agree that it's cheaper for GBRf. But is it better value for the people who breathe the air pollution? And isn't it a bit of a fiction that it's cleaning up existing locos? I think we all know that if the 69s are successful they will see lots more use than the donor 56s they replace would have seen.

You might say, well, but increasing capacity will help take traffic off the roads and I can agree with that in principle but rail emissions are not improving anywhere as fast as lorry ones are. There needs to be a long term plan to improving emissions and allowing these kinds of loopholes goes no way to achieving that. In fact it removes the demand that might bring a properly compliant new design to market.

In short your answer is here:
No one is going to bring a new diesel only design to the UK given the 2040 "diesel only" ban.

GBRf need additional locomotives but not enough to justify building a new fleet with a compliant engine that, by the time it gets into service, would have a lifespan of 17/18 years. So rebuilding older locomotives with more compliant engines makes sense for them.

The long term plan will likely come towards the early 2030s when the freight operators start looking at what can will replace the Class 60/66/67/68/69/70 fleets. Hopefully we will have a plan for more electrification in place, so more locos like the Class 88 (bi-mode) or Class 93 (tri-mode) will be looked at; but we will still have a large diesel fleet that needs replaced and options will have to be looked at. There are better incentives for manufacturers to develop and pitch something for the UK market when they have potentially large orders to win.
 

BRX

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The discussion is getting confused between greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution emissions. We are talking about air pollution here, which is what the stage 3a and stage 5 compliance is about. The difference between them is not negligible - stage 5 cuts the amount of the gases as well as particulate matter very substantially - pretty close to zero in fact.

I'd be willing to be convinced with some actual numbers - and it would have to be combined with looking at where the emissions happen in each case. Actual numbers seem not to be on offer though.
 

hwl

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The discussion is getting confused between greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution emissions. We are talking about air pollution here, which is what the stage 3a and stage 5 compliance is about. The difference between them is not negligible - stage 5 cuts the amount of the gases as well as particulate matter very substantially - pretty close to zero in fact.

I'd be willing to be convinced with some actual numbers - and it would have to be combined with looking at where the emissions happen in each case. Actual numbers seem not to be on offer though.
Except the drive cycle changed between Stage IIIA and IIIB (V is the same as IIIB for NOx) making it far easier to comply, a large part of the NOx "reduction" is due to an easier drive cycle not actual reduction...
 
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BRX

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In short your answer is here:


GBRf need additional locomotives but not enough to justify building a new fleet with a compliant engine that, by the time it gets into service, would have a lifespan of 17/18 years. So rebuilding older locomotives with more compliant engines makes sense for them.

The long term plan will likely come towards the early 2030s when the freight operators start looking at what can will replace the Class 60/66/67/68/69/70 fleets. Hopefully we will have a plan for more electrification in place, so more locos like the Class 88 (bi-mode) or Class 93 (tri-mode) will be looked at; but we will still have a large diesel fleet that needs replaced and options will have to be looked at. There are better incentives for manufacturers to develop and pitch something for the UK market when they have potentially large orders to win.

I get that in principle - but incentivising the market away from badly performing diesel engines doesn't have to mean a direct diesel replacement. If it weren't possible for the FOCs to use these rules to effectively produce new, non-compliant locos, which will almost certainly do much more work than the ones the fictionally 'replace' then I'm sure they'd be looking harder at, for example reducing the huge number of miles that are run with diesels under the wires. We know that new electric and partially hybrid locomotives exist - because the 88s and 93s are already a thing - so why not set up incentives for FOCs to invest in more of those, instead of building 66s in disguise.

I don't particularly blame GBRf for doing what they are - they are a commercial entity - I just think that this rule that allows the resurrection of old locos to create something that doesn't really offer a net benefit in environmental terms (compared to potential alternatives) - it creates the wrong incentives and is based on something of a fiction.
 

richieb1971

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There are only about 10-15 units been made, not 5000. The amount of pollution that will go into the air is negligible compared to millions of less greener engines of a smaller magnitude used in cars, vans, trucks etc.
 

BRX

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I'm not sure there any brand new locomotives available for the UK market?
There are electric ones, and GBRf (like other FOCs) runs diesel locomotives hundreds of miles under the wires every day.

It seems that there are few incentives for them to change that though.
 

supervc-10

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If going down the car route there was once a comparison of lifetime carbon dioxide emissions between a Land Rover Discovery and a Toyota Prius, the Discovery had lower total lifetime carbon dioxide emissions due to its longer life and, admittedly, using less energy intensive raw materials such as those in battery of the Prius.
This I highly doubt- if nothing else, just the idea that a Disco will outlast anything built by Toyota!

The current stats show that on the average European grid, an electric car will pass an equivalent petrol/diesel somewhere in the region of 80k miles. On average. Which is noticeably lower than the average lifespan of a car - somewhere in the region of 120k IIRC. And that will only improve as the grid decarbonises.
 

Richard Scott

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This I highly doubt- if nothing else, just the idea that a Disco will outlast anything built by Toyota!

The current stats show that on the average European grid, an electric car will pass an equivalent petrol/diesel somewhere in the region of 80k miles. On average. Which is noticeably lower than the average lifespan of a car - somewhere in the region of 120k IIRC. And that will only improve as the grid decarbonises.
I think it probably would, built like a tank. It was based on the older model with separate chassis etc. like original land rover. Don't forget Prius is hybrid and not a plug in one at that.
Anyway we're getting off topic now. Maybe someone has some stats on carbon dioxide emissions for building a new loco compared to the 56 to 69 conversion? Would be interested, fine if it proves me wrong!
 

Mollman

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There are electric ones, and GBRf (like other FOCs) runs diesel locomotives hundreds of miles under the wires every day.

It seems that there are few incentives for them to change that though.
Indeed partly due to the lack of 100% electric routes. There aren't any spare electrics really unless you want to rebuild one stripped for spares or use 1960s locos. We still don't know what ROG are doing with their new 93s, it might be that some will be available for spot hire allowing FOCs like GBRF to hire two or three, much more cost effective than them buying only a handful of them.
 

supervc-10

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I think it probably would, built like a tank. It was based on the older model with separate chassis etc. like original land rover. Don't forget Prius is hybrid and not a plug in one at that.
Anyway we're getting off topic now. Maybe someone has some stats on carbon dioxide emissions for building a new loco compared to the 56 to 69 conversion? Would be interested, fine if it proves me wrong!
The chassis may be fine... but the entire rest of it will have disintegrated! A Prius will do 200k miles of Uber driving- don't think there's anything tougher than that as a test of durability. Land Rover products are not known for reliability (as much as a I do love a Landie!)

Anyway- as you say, off topic.

As @Mollman says, the big issue is the lack of 100% electric routes. That won't be changing any time soon, and in the case of HS2, these locos are for built for the construction work on HS2, where the wires aren't possible.
 

BRX

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Indeed partly due to the lack of 100% electric routes. There aren't any spare electrics really unless you want to rebuild one stripped for spares or use 1960s locos. We still don't know what ROG are doing with their new 93s, it might be that some will be available for spot hire allowing FOCs like GBRF to hire two or three, much more cost effective than them buying only a handful of them.
There are routes that are not 100% electric, but could be worked with a loco changeover, and have been worked like that in the past. Of course, that's more hassle/expense for the operator but it's the sort of thing that could be changed with appropriate incentives. As another example I might point to the DB workings from the Channel Tunnel that used to see a class 92 used all or most of the way but are now diesel hauled throughout. While I know the reasons for that might not be simple, I can't help but wonder how decisions might be made differently if there were strong incentives to use electric power wherever possible.

And it does seem that there are electric locos of various types sitting in sidings, at different stages of disintegration/spares stripping but would they have been allowed to get into that state if the past 10+ years had seen the kind of incentives I am thinking of applied?
 

Spartacus

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There are routes that are not 100% electric, but could be worked with a loco changeover, and have been worked like that in the past. Of course, that's more hassle/expense for the operator but it's the sort of thing that could be changed with appropriate incentives. As another example I might point to the DB workings from the Channel Tunnel that used to see a class 92 used all or most of the way but are now diesel hauled throughout. While I know the reasons for that might not be simple, I can't help but wonder how decisions might be made differently if there were strong incentives to use electric power wherever possible.

And it does seem that there are electric locos of various types sitting in sidings, at different stages of disintegration/spares stripping but would they have been allowed to get into that state if the past 10+ years had seen the kind of incentives I am thinking of applied?

Trouble is railfreight is often very marginal, a stick won't work as if you increase those costs one bit then the traffic's likely to be lost to road haulage, with much greater emissions.
 

DavidB

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Trouble is railfreight is often very marginal, a stick won't work as if you increase those costs one bit then the traffic's likely to be lost to road haulage, with much greater emissions.

In which case, some sort of subsidy is probably the answer - if the government is serious about this then they need to be taking pro-active measures to make it happen - and should also be looking at wiring short sections which would make a big difference to the ability to use electric locos on freight, e.g. the Felixtowe branch.
 

Elecman

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In which case, some sort of subsidy is probably the answer - if the government is serious about this then they need to be taking pro-active measures to make it happen - and should also be looking at wiring short sections which would make a big difference to the ability to use electric locos on freight, e.g. the Felixtowe branch.
The Government won5 subsidise Freight the answer is proper taxation of Road Freight to cover all the true costs of road usage
 

supervc-10

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In which case, some sort of subsidy is probably the answer - if the government is serious about this then they need to be taking pro-active measures to make it happen - and should also be looking at wiring short sections which would make a big difference to the ability to use electric locos on freight, e.g. the Felixtowe branch.

The Felixstowe branch is a no-brainer IMO, it's only 12 miles long, could enable lots more electric running, and the passenger stock on the line is bi-mode anyway!
 

XCTurbostar

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Spoiler below regarding the livery of 69002:
69002 has been spotted in Full BR Blue with Large Logos outside Eastleigh Works
 
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