Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by erie910
 
Since trainsets are stored overnight at numerous terminals, the infrastructure needed to charge up many sets of batteries at all of these locations will be substantial, including the transportation of electricity to the overnight storage locations.

As to the comments of increased renewable energy, my electric provider offers the option of having my home supplied with renewable energy. Funny thing, though, it costs more, even though some of the renewable energy sources (wind, solar) are subsidized.

This doesn't even delve into the environmental issues of deriving the materials needed for battery construction and for disposition. And then there are the environmental issues for manufacturing and constructing alternative power sources, as well as their disposition. Where I live, wind power generation is popular, but there is a prohibition on windmills within 3 miles of the Lake Huron shore because of bird and bat deaths. And there is ground contamination from leakage of lubricants from wind turbines. The cost of conventional power includes disposition of residue, such as ash. We have yet to see the cost of the disposal of alternative generation equipment as it wears out. I fear that much will be dumped into landfills.
  by NRGeep
 
All good points that need to be addressed with renewable energy.
Thousands of oil soaked dead birds and fish from spills, chronic methane released into atmosphere from oil and gas pipelines, gods know what impact from jet fuel emissions on our Earth etc, etc and Big Oil still getting unnecessary subsidies from our corporate welfare taxes dwarfs the environmental impact from renewable energy which certainly does need to be tweaked to be more efficient.
  by Red Wing
 
erie910 wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:23 pm Since trainsets are stored overnight at numerous terminals, the infrastructure needed to charge up many sets of batteries at all of these locations will be substantial, including the transportation of electricity to the overnight storage locations.

As to the comments of increased renewable energy, my electric provider offers the option of having my home supplied with renewable energy. Funny thing, though, it costs more, even though some of the renewable energy sources (wind, solar) are subsidized.
Many of the terminals have shore power, so the infrastructure shouldn't be that bad.
  by erie910
 
Yes, it is true that shore power is available, but it is one thing to have shore power to keep a trainset warm in winter or cool in summer, and to keep the engine's starting batteries charged and air pressure up. Charging the batteries for a battery-powered locomotive will require MUCH more power; the current shore power infrastructure is hardly likely to supply the current demanded by charging the batteries of a dozen or so locos.
  by justalurker66
 
At the moment Metra is looking at three as a trial. They are leaving it up to the bidders to figure out things like regeneration. It appears that Metra wants these three to run as if they were regular locomotives providing all of the services a diesel locomotive provides, so I would not expect a two locomotive train.

Metra has redesigned their website - the press release linked in the initial post can now be found here:
https://metra.com/newsroom/metra-seeks- ... ocomotives

Respondents to the RFP will have to address several key questions: Operating distance? Recharge Time? Operations in Chicago weather? Life cycle maintenance costs? Supporting infrastructure?

The answers to those questions will help determine if Metra proceeds with the purchase and where and how the locomotives would be used in the Metra system. The Rock Island Line’s Beverly Branch is a likely candidate for the first use because of its shorter length; a battery-powered train could make several trips before needing to be recharged.


The RFP is due at the end of the month. Hopefully someone will pick up the challenge.
79838 - Diesel to All-Electric F40PH-3 Locomotive Conversion Kits - Due Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 4:00pm

There is also another RFP of interest.
71846 - Diesel and All-Electric Switching Locomotives - Due Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 4:00pm

(Details available to registered vendors.)
  by NotYou
 
BNSF's test run w/ Wabtec battery electric locomotives reduced fuel usage by 10% according to a Railway Age article: https://www.railwayage.com/news/bnsf-wa ... ts-are-in/ .

Seems like a large investment for a small return to me. However, since commuter operations are shorter distance, the fuel savings may be bigger since more of the haul can be powered by batteries.
  by eolesen
 
Unless the batteries are powering the HEP I'm not sure the real benefit of reducing emissions in underground concourses or downtown town stations is being realized.

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  by justalurker66
 
It is clearly stated in the original press release:
The batteries must also power onboard systems, such as lighting, intercoms and HVAC.
  by west point
 
There must not be assumptions about shore power yet ! Will shore power be AC or DC ? If AC single phase or 3 phase ? Will batteries be charged in series or parallel ? Parallel better in case of a bad battery but requires complicated switching. What will be the shore power voltage ? The higher the shore voltage the lower the Amps. If AC will there be a step down transformer with a rectifier ? Will the simple solution be using the HEP connection to supply 3 Phase AC to loco ? Then the conductors are probably limited to 1000Kw. That will require shore the HEP system to be upgraded to the 1000 Kw or more per operating charging connection. That is the present limit of Amtrak conductors. Maybe disconnect loco from cars and supply cars separately.

However if extreme weather during charging car power demand thru loco regular power demand will limit the charging power. The loco will need a power limitation circuit of the charging system to not exceed 1000 Kw at the HEP connection. Can shore power be connected at either end of train or just at loco ?
  by eolesen
 
For regular shore power (lights and climate control), the loads are distributed along the entire train legth so connecting from the rear in a station isn't a big deal.

Adding a charging array into the mix? I'd think that would need it's own feed with higher amperage. At the very least, you'd want the shortest possible path to the highest load because of voltage loss.

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