Sort of off-on subject, the Boston area (MBTA) there was a push to get CNG buses. In the end the local area people, to the bus garage, were against the CNG fueling facilities so only two garages ended up with CNG. Then we looked at hydrogen fuel cell buses, first public comment "Hindenburg!" so that died on the vine.
So it maybe a great idea but getting the public to go along with it.....
I mean the Ford Pinto ignited, the DC-10 cargo door exploded and the 787 had battery fires, we make fixes to prevent accidents.
MelroseMatt wrote:Not sure why people are concerned with hydrogen manufacture. It's produced on industrial scales already, Wikipedia says 70 million tons/ year worldwide. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production
Well, sort of. The USA does not have the distribution facilities, and the majority of Hydrogen distribution is in California, Texas and Louisiana because 70% the current Hydrogen production is used for Petroleum refineries https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/f ... ted-states
and 20% for agriculture. Additionally, hydrogen is made from coal gasification as opposed to electrolysis which is where hydrogen runs into trouble in terms of being a "green" energy
Again spitballing a coal gassification plant could be put at the former refinery in south Philly
My concern is that septa doesn't have the money to be a risk taker with new technologies. Septa needs to provide safe, reliable transportation. They need mature designs, equipment that's already proven itself reliable. If fuel cells are breaking down, crippling trains, it'll be a disaster. Septa can't afford to buy conventional equipment as a backup, so we'd be stuck sputtering along, or cancelling service altogether.
Fuel cells are reliable, https://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/assets/pdfs/58676.pdf
I do concede it is relatively unproven tech in trains. Modern Fuel cells have been around since 1959 and were used in Apollo and Gemini programs.
As for the cost, assuming the winds of change hit Washington we could be looking at a green new deal which would incentivize investment in the railroads to reduce carbon footprint, especially green tech. Those hydrogen trains being built in Europe are done for carbon emission reduction.
I know this tech in trains is new and I am reaching here, but at some point we got to start dreaming big. This is the same country that built Apollo and the Eisenhower Interstate system and the best railroad system in the world