The end of Diesel

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Scoff you may, but in 1950 how many industry professionals or railfans assumed Australian steam would be all but gone in 1970. Now, in 2020, are we seeing the same end unfolding for diesel? With widespread permanent bans of new conventionally powered road vehicles across Europe, the Middle East and Asia beginning as early as 2025 and the NSW EPA now planning to ban "high emission" legacy diesel locomotives within 10-years of new legislation being passed - the Australian diesel locomotive fleet may now have an use-by date.

First to the NSW EPA - always the toughest Australian administation for rail operators, it has new tougher noise and exhaust emission standards on the way that will see any locomotive unable to obtain accreditation banned from operating in New South Wales. How onerous the accreditation process will be is still not public, but it would appear likely any Alco, older GE FDL or EMD 645 will struggle - meaning almost any locomotive built before the early 1990s will no longer be able to enter or operate in NSW. The standards could well impact on even more recently built locomotive types if something like the American Tier-4 standard is adopted.

Since no one, other than the EPA, knows what these new standards will be, it's hard to quantify the outcome, but it's likely any rail operator operating in NSW will have some locomotives that will be need to be replaced or remanufactured in the ten years after the clock starts ticking.

And now, to the rest of the world - with most of Europe banning the sale of conventionally powered vehicles by 2035, and India - plus possibly China - by 2030, it's likely demand for and the production of refined fossil fuels will fall dramatically during the 2030s. With almost all of Australia's refined fuels currently imported, availability of diesel - regardless of Australian energy policies - will be a significant issue for any local industry, including rail. It's almost a certainty that by the 2030s, Australian rail operators will have to begin finding alternative fuel sources in response to diesel supplies - be it bio-fuels, hydrogen, batteries or electrification - which, is likely to have a very significant impact on what locomotives we see around us today surviving into the 2040s.

So get ready - like the end of the steam, there's very likely an end of diesel on the way.

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  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
The n$w epa can get stuffed, absolute dimwits of the highest order. If I were a rail company running, say a C class on a freight, if just put a banner on the side & write something that will tell the epa to get lost. Would they rather a lot more trucks clogging up roads thus more air pollution?

They’ve got absolutely no idea.
  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

greasyrhys,

You've completely missed the point, it's not about more trucks on the road, it's about updating the old and outdated to newer.
Getting rid of the old, noisy, carcinogenic spewing pieces of s%!t, scrapping them and turning them into razor blades.
It's eventually going to happen, the world has to keep moving forward as does technology, even though you want to live in the past.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
greasyrhysThe n$w epa can get stuffed, absolute dimwits of the highest order. If I were a rail company running, say a C class on a freight, if just put a banner on the side & write something that will tell the epa to get lost. Would they rather a lot more trucks clogging up roads thus more air pollution?

They’ve got absolutely no idea.
greasyrhys  Sulla's post mentioned the widespread permanent bans of new conventionally powered road vehicles across Europe, the Middle East and Asia beginning as early as 2025.  

Translated, that means road trucks must change and become more environmentally friendly. Sulla asked the honest question about how that will force changes on similarly powered rail diesels.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Those truck drivers and owners are not going to appreciate the ban and may need to consider moving to rail.

Time to look more to electrification in Australia dor the main interstate routes like was planning in 1980’s ?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The n$w epa can get stuffed, absolute dimwits of the highest order. If I were a rail company running, say a C class on a freight, if just put a banner on the side & write something that will tell the epa to get lost. Would they rather a lot more trucks clogging up roads thus more air pollution?

They’ve got absolutely no idea.
greasyrhys
Yeah, great idea. There's just the small problem of accreditation which all locos go through every year. No accreditation, no way you are allowed to run. If you accreditation is automatically refused because your loco doesn't meet the standard then guess what?
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Those truck drivers and owners are not going to appreciate the ban and may need to consider moving to rail.
freightgate
It will be the customers moving, not the divers and owners!
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
And what of the many road freight vehicles that don't meet current standards , I vote sick up to date standards on them as well .
Country grinds to a halt - and once again the eco Nazis prove their true worth .
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
How many 30 and 40 year old trucks are on the road? I think road transport has moved a lot faster and further then rail. I genuinely would be curious at the efficiency of road v rail in 2020. My suspicion is road is less efficient, but not as much less as it used to be.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

You have to look at what the tighter emissions standards have done for the USA trucking industry.

Truck drivers as a whole, particularly the owner drivers prefer the older trucks that are more bullet proof than the new ones that meet emissions standards.

The new trucks tend to be unreliable (due to the greener add-on parts), they can be in the workshops for a considerable period of time, are a nightmare out of warranty, all while the owner suffers a loss of income. That's why glider trucks (factory trucks without engines) are preferred to new trucks. The owners drop the remanufactured engine of their choice  and have trouble free running.

I wonder what kind of costs and downtime fleet owners of greener trucks like Toll or Linfox experience.

Just look at the problems DPFs have caused diesel car owners.

How would this all translate to locos? Would greener diesel power cause reliability issues?
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The fun thing to consider is how optional having a transport industry is . Believe the saying that when all trucks stop - the whole country stops .
No available technology is going to replace long distance road and rail transport - and be affordable .
Unfortunately , for the inner city latte lappers , in a country with SFA manufacturing everything has to be imported and transported . Including their coffee and recreational substances .
  Trans-Siberian Station Master

Location: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
In Russia, the Russian Railways [RZD] M62 diesel-electric locos in the majority that had their original reverse-engineered 4-stroke Fairbanks-Morse 38 8-1/8 based engine designs replaced by Caterpillar diesels and the Kolomna powered 2TE10 are being steadily phased out.  

However, the other Kolomna powered 2TE70 and TEP70 diesel-electric locos that had further developed versions of the original opposed piston Turbo-charged 4-stroke Fairbanks-Morse 38 8-1/8 are being replaced with ALCo/GE like based designs equipped with higher efficiency sequential turbo-chargers and exhaust gas scrubber systems that will bring them into T3 compliance.  Visible at Krasnoyarsk (especially in Winter) are the cleaner exhausts of 2TE70 and TEP70 series indicating the retro-fits of the newer and more efficient prime movers noting that annually these locomotives operate in temperature ranges from -30C to +30C.

Also, between 2020 to 2022 Russian Railways [RZD] plans to introduce the type GT1h-002 Turbo-electric de-rated from 11,130 hp (8,500 Kw) for continuous rating = 9040 hp (6,650 Kw) and max. throttle rating = 10,000 hp (7,355 Kw) which has already hauled a 7000-tonne train over 636km and a 9000-tonne train over 532km, route sections with undulating terrain and without the need to refuel.

The type GT1h-002 gas turbine locomotives will comply with European Union Stage V emissions standards.

Interestingly, in Germany….the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen or HSB) daily services are steam powered and in addition to being a tourist railway also provides locals with vital service connections to Deutsche Bahn network at Nordhausen and Wernigerode.

I am told that....The EPA having released a DRAFT paper is seeking responses; and, they are targeting Emissions, Noise & Vibration from rail operations....but, Emissions is the first target because of the need to meet emission reduction commitments.

Locos equipped with Four-stroke engines - ALCo 251's and some GE 7FDL's with single-stage Turbo-chargers experiencing “turbo-lag” during throttle-up, resulting in low air intake manifold pressure....hence the cloud of unburnt fuel...!  The GE 7FDL and ALCo 251 prime movers will need to be modified and there are off-the-shelf solutions plus using Bio-diesel fuel blends or using CNG so they can meet T2/T3 emission requirements.  Since there is no OEM test data for the ALCo 251's and some GE 7FDL's the average PM emissions have to calculated as described Sec 3.1 of the RISSB Code of Practice.

The situation gets a bit awkward for the Two-stroke EMD 567C & 645E engines where it may be a changeover to 645E3 or 710 Series turbo-supercharged engines plus an emissions upgrade kit and using Bio-diesel fuel blends or using CNG so they can meet T2/T3 emission requirements. Where there is no OEM test data the average PM emissions have to calculated as described Sec 3.1 of the RISSB Code of Practice.

There's already testing that has occurred and Australian operators have known that this day was coming. See reports:

Also the EPA will have to be realistic with respect to noise especially since their apparent adverse reaction to Aurizon's GE FDL powered 2800 Class loco - Exhaust noise control case study for 2800 class locomotive - https://www.acoustics.asn.au/conference_proceedings/INTERNOISE2014/papers/p43.pdf

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