Discussion:
OT: Trains - how green are they?
(too old to reply)
Tim Streater
2010-11-29 10:12:21 UTC
Permalink
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.

On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.

This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.

Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?

So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
--
Tim

"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" -- Bill of Rights 1689
harry
2010-11-29 10:25:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
--
Tim
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"  --  Bill of Rights 1689
"Green" is about saving fuel/preventing pollution.. There are other
costs and investments too. "Green" is almost never the cheapest way
to achieve anything. Or we would already be doing it.
So it's about cost-money or cost-environment.
Allegedly.

Investors like to get back any capital investment ASAP. Unlike in
Victorian days, they are not prepared to take a long term view. Hence
train fares are expensive.
The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 11:13:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by harry
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
--
Tim
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" -- Bill of Rights 1689
"Green" is about saving fuel/preventing pollution.. There are other
costs and investments too. "Green" is almost never the cheapest way
to achieve anything. Or we would already be doing it.
(a) I wouldn't bet on it.
(b) you are wrong. 'green is about APPEARING for POLITICAL and MARKETING
purposes to be ' saving fuel/preventing pollution..'
Post by harry
So it's about cost-money or cost-environment.
Allegedly.
Investors like to get back any capital investment ASAP. Unlike in
Victorian days, they are not prepared to take a long term view. Hence
train fares are expensive.
That's not correct either. Train fares are expensive because
unsubsidised trains are expensive and subsidised ones even more so.
There is an attempt to pay for the 'social' lines by squeezing the pips
out of the profitable ones. i.e. some routes are auctioned to the
highest (reputable) bidder, the rest are Dutch auctioned to the operator
who will accept and run them on the least subsidy.

ROI on trains is not great. Typical investors are funds who have a very
long term view, and much of the investment is debt, not equity, so its
if you like a guaranteed rate long term loan.
Huge
2010-11-29 10:27:21 UTC
Permalink
Follows set to uk.transport, where this debate belongs.
Post by Tim Streater
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
No.
--
Today is Pungenday, the 41st day of The Aftermath in the YOLD 3176
"Always mount a scratch monkey."
The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 11:06:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
More than most 'green' people realise.
The trains themselves are efficient, but the infrastructure is a
significant cost in man hours, vehicle trips, and materials.
Post by Tim Streater
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
My guess is that is probably better than aircraft at least in terms of
CO2 in the longer term.

You can run a train off nuclear power. But not aircraft.

BUT like all things green that are going to save the planet there are
downstream or upstream costs that are inconvenient truths, so they get
ignored.
d***@gglz.com
2010-11-29 11:10:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
--
Tim
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"  --  Bill of Rights 1689
The answer isn't simple, and there are a lot of factors. If you want a
high-quality examination of the facts, look at Sustainable Energy -
without the hot air. ISBN 978-0-9544529-3-3, David J.C. McKay, Prof in
the Dept of Physics, Univ of Camb.

The book is available as a free pdf:

http://www.withouthotair.com/

"I'm concerned about cutting UK emissions of twaddle", says the author
- and he does - packed with solid reliable data (sources quoted and
referenced), and totally cuts away the greenwash and eco-bollix to
bring the facts of life into clear view.

Along with, "I didn't write this book to make money"

The book is free in both the free-speech and free-beer sense, the
author encourages readers to freely re-use his materials for
educational purposes.

---

IIRC, in terms of energy consumed per passenger-journey:

Aircraft are terrible, especially short-haul and not fully-laden
(engine pre-heat, taxiing and take-off consumes a lot of fuel).

Traditional trains, not that great. Modern light-rail, quite a lot
better.

A modern fuel-economic car *full of passengers* can sometimes be a
better option - if there's no congestion, and rail routes are long-
winded.

But rail is better for commuting-to-work.

Best of all is use communications rather than transportation.
Tim Streater
2010-11-29 11:17:35 UTC
Permalink
The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 15:53:48 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Tim Streater
Post by Tim Streater
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my
"oft-quoted
Post by Tim Streater
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good
thing or
Post by Tim Streater
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
The answer isn't simple, and there are a lot of factors. If you want a
high-quality examination of the facts, look at Sustainable Energy -
without the hot air. ISBN 978-0-9544529-3-3, David J.C. McKay, Prof in
the Dept of Physics, Univ of Camb.
http://www.withouthotair.com/
Thanks, I have this - I hadn't recalled he dealt with the issue so I'll
look there. Good pointer.
yep. last print run took total copies to 55,000. Not all sold yet..
The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 15:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gglz.com
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
--
Tim
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" -- Bill of Rights 1689
The answer isn't simple, and there are a lot of factors. If you want a
high-quality examination of the facts, look at Sustainable Energy -
without the hot air. ISBN 978-0-9544529-3-3, David J.C. McKay, Prof in
the Dept of Physics, Univ of Camb.
http://www.withouthotair.com/
"I'm concerned about cutting UK emissions of twaddle", says the author
- and he does - packed with solid reliable data (sources quoted and
referenced), and totally cuts away the greenwash and eco-bollix to
bring the facts of life into clear view.
Along with, "I didn't write this book to make money"
I spoke to him yesterday,. he's made..a little bit :-)
Post by d***@gglz.com
The book is free in both the free-speech and free-beer sense, the
author encourages readers to freely re-use his materials for
educational purposes.
---
Aircraft are terrible, especially short-haul and not fully-laden
(engine pre-heat, taxiing and take-off consumes a lot of fuel).
Traditional trains, not that great. Modern light-rail, quite a lot
better.
A modern fuel-economic car *full of passengers* can sometimes be a
better option - if there's no congestion, and rail routes are long-
winded.
But rail is better for commuting-to-work.
Best of all is use communications rather than transportation.
Vortex7
2010-11-29 11:22:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
David McKay's book covers this.

Looking at the table on
http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c20/page_128.shtml
individual trains come out pretty well.......so long as they're full.



D
pete
2010-11-29 11:52:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Vortex7
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
David McKay's book covers this.
Looking at the table on
http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c20/page_128.shtml
individual trains come out pretty well.......so long as they're full.
And there's the rub. Trains are hardly ever full.
Outside of get-to-work/school times they have very few passengers.
The last train I took (Reading to Paddington, weekday 11am-ish) had
three or four passengers in my coach. I assume all the other coaches
were the same - with the exception of a completely empty 1st class
section.

ISTM the same applies to buses. When they're packed tight with
strangers that you are getting to know much better than you or
they would ever wish, they probably make money. However, for the
other 12-14 hours a day I expect it would be cheaper and greener
for the driver to ferry passengers around in a taxi - and cause
less traffic congestion, too.
--
http://thisreallyismyhost.99k.org/2820101116372712528.php
harry
2010-11-29 17:07:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by pete
Post by Vortex7
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed? Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
David McKay's book covers this.
Looking at the table on
http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c20/page_128.shtml
individual trains come out pretty well.......so long as they're full.
And there's the rub. Trains are hardly ever full.
Outside of get-to-work/school times they have very few passengers.
The last train I took (Reading to Paddington, weekday 11am-ish) had
three or four passengers in my coach. I assume all the other coaches
were the same - with the exception of a completely empty 1st class
section.
ISTM the same applies to buses. When they're packed tight with
strangers that you are getting to know much better than you or
they would ever wish, they probably make money. However, for the
other 12-14 hours a day I expect it would be cheaper and greener
 for the driver to ferry passengers around in a taxi - and cause
less traffic congestion, too.
--http://thisreallyismyhost.99k.org/2820101116372712528.php- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
This is what we reallly need. Common in virtually every third world
country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolmus
Huge
2010-11-29 11:57:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Vortex7
Looking at the table on
http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c20/page_128.shtml
individual trains come out pretty well.......so long as they're full.
So, given that (wet finger in the air) 80% of trains run as near
empty as makes no difference, trains suck. No surprise there, then.
--
Today is Pungenday, the 41st day of The Aftermath in the YOLD 3176
"Always mount a scratch monkey."
Man at B&Q
2010-11-29 13:09:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
But from the title you want green.
Post by Tim Streater
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
But you wanted green.
Post by Tim Streater
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
So what is it ypou want? Green or cheap?
Post by Tim Streater
Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
Dunno, but your thinking seems to be as muddled as greenwash.

MBQ
Tim Streater
2010-11-29 13:22:56 UTC
Permalink
Ronald Raygun
2010-11-29 14:34:27 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't
understand our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
But from the title you want green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an
Easy flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can
make a profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the
UK, is subsidised.
But you wanted green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
I think you miss the George's point. You may not "want green", but
the question you're asking is about how *green* trains are, yet in your
exploratory discourse you're talking about how *cheap* they are. You
seem to be conflating these two different concepts.

In what way does an answer to how cheap they are help you answer how
green they are?
Tim Streater
2010-11-29 15:36:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ronald Raygun
In article
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't
understand our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
But from the title you want green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an
Easy flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can
make a profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the
UK, is subsidised.
But you wanted green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
I think you miss the George's point. You may not "want green", but
the question you're asking is about how *green* trains are, yet in your
exploratory discourse you're talking about how *cheap* they are. You
seem to be conflating these two different concepts.
In what way does an answer to how cheap they are help you answer how
green they are?
They are in fact not different concepts, they are probably related. If a
transport mode costs more (actual cost, that is, not fake subsidised
cost) than another, then it must be using more of society's resources
than the other, and so is likely to be producing more CO2 per whatever
than the other mode.

To drive an extra train from London to Edinburgh (just to make it a
one-stage journey example) may well require less fuel per passenger than
flying an extra plane. But that's just the marginal cost. If you have to
include a fraction of the maintenance cost of 500 miles of track,
overhead wires, bridges, signals etc, then things *may* look different.
--
Tim

"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" -- Bill of Rights 1689
Grimly Curmudgeon
2010-11-29 15:56:07 UTC
Permalink
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
drugs began to take hold. I remember Tim Streater
<***@waitrose.com> saying something like:

<Lodnon to Embra>
Post by Tim Streater
If you have to
include a fraction of the maintenance cost of 500 miles of track,
Fuck, no wonder it's so expensive with a ghost section of line. Maybe it
goes to Hogwarts.
The Other Mike
2010-11-30 11:31:41 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 15:56:07 +0000, Grimly Curmudgeon
Post by Grimly Curmudgeon
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
drugs began to take hold. I remember Tim Streater
<Lodnon to Embra>
Post by Tim Streater
If you have to
include a fraction of the maintenance cost of 500 miles of track,
Fuck, no wonder it's so expensive with a ghost section of line. Maybe it
goes to Hogwarts.
One track there, one track back.

It's nearer 800 miles of track,


--
Roger Chapman
2010-11-30 11:56:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Other Mike
On Mon, 29 Nov 2010 15:56:07 +0000, Grimly Curmudgeon
Post by Grimly Curmudgeon
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
drugs began to take hold. I remember Tim Streater
<Lodnon to Embra>
Post by Tim Streater
If you have to
include a fraction of the maintenance cost of 500 miles of track,
Fuck, no wonder it's so expensive with a ghost section of line. Maybe it
goes to Hogwarts.
One track there, one track back.
It's nearer 800 miles of track,
But the original point was:

"To drive an extra train from London to Edinburgh (just to make it a
one-stage journey example) may well require less fuel per passenger than
flying an extra plane. But that's just the marginal cost. If you have to
include a fraction of the maintenance cost of 500 miles of track,
overhead wires, bridges, signals etc, then things *may* look different."

If you were talking about a "one-stage" car journey to Edinburgh you
wouldn't even think of 800 miles of road even though the whole route is
probably dual carriageway by now.
m***@privacy.net
2010-11-30 23:17:16 UTC
Permalink
On 30 Nov,
Post by Roger Chapman
If you were talking about a "one-stage" car journey to Edinburgh you
wouldn't even think of 800 miles of road even though the whole route is
probably dual carriageway by now.
Controversially the A1 in parts of Northumberland is still single
carriageway.

Or there's the longer route via the M6 and Glasgow which may be dual
carriageway.
--
B Thumbs
Change lycos to yahoo to reply
Roger Chapman
2010-12-01 09:07:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@privacy.net
Post by Roger Chapman
If you were talking about a "one-stage" car journey to Edinburgh you
wouldn't even think of 800 miles of road even though the whole route is
probably dual carriageway by now.
Controversially the A1 in parts of Northumberland is still single
carriageway.
Not a part of the country I am familiar with. Just had a look at the map
and surprisingly the majority of the A1 north of Morpeth is single
carriageway.
Post by m***@privacy.net
Or there's the longer route via the M6 and Glasgow which may be dual
carriageway.
Almost all Motorway and the rest dual carriageway.

My ancient copy of AA Milemaster would give a shorter route bypassing
Glasgow on the A702 which is only single carriageway.

The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 16:10:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Post by Tim Streater
In article
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should
have
Post by Tim Streater
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight
London-Paris
Post by Tim Streater
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or
lowish. The
Post by Tim Streater
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't
understand our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at
what
Post by Tim Streater
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
Post by Man at B&Q
But from the title you want green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
Post by Tim Streater
Post by Man at B&Q
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I
looked into
Post by Tim Streater
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an
Easy flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can
make a profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even
in the
Post by Tim Streater
UK, is subsidised.
Post by Man at B&Q
But you wanted green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
I think you miss the George's point. You may not "want green", but
the question you're asking is about how *green* trains are, yet in your
exploratory discourse you're talking about how *cheap* they are. You
seem to be conflating these two different concepts.
In what way does an answer to how cheap they are help you answer how
green they are?
They are in fact not different concepts, they are probably related.
They would be if politicians didn't get in the way.

Rail fares are set by politics, not by cost.

The 'real' cost of a commuter train is about 1/8th of the fare. The
'real' cost of the branchline from little pusddleswick to newcsatle is
about 1000 quid a mile, to the three grannies and the war veteran who
use it once a week only.


If a
Post by Tim Streater
transport mode costs more (actual cost, that is, not fake subsidised
cost) than another, then it must be using more of society's resources
than the other, and so is likely to be producing more CO2 per whatever
than the other mode.
Exactly. 'social' transport is empty busses and empty trains roaming
around as a 'service' to people who stay away in droves.

Robin Hood: here poor forester, have this deer I stole from his
lordship's wood.
Poor Forester: How much you want fer it than?
Robin Hood: Why tis free my good man!
Poor Forester: cant be fit forra dog if yer gin it away.
Robin Hood: its the finest venison arrow can bring down, my good man !
Poor Forester: Don't you fucking patronise me you snooty toff. Dog meat
that's all it is.
Robin Hood: Tis the very best Soshul meat!
Poor Forester: (opens doublet and pisses on carcase). Not now it aint.
Post by Tim Streater
To drive an extra train from London to Edinburgh (just to make it a
one-stage journey example) may well require less fuel per passenger than
flying an extra plane. But that's just the marginal cost. If you have to
include a fraction of the maintenance cost of 500 miles of track,
overhead wires, bridges, signals etc, then things *may* look different.
Indeed they do.

But its a calculation well beyond any politician since Beeching.
Man at B&Q
2010-11-30 10:25:49 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't
understand our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
But from the title you want green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an
Easy flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can
make a profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the
UK, is subsidised.
But you wanted green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
I think you miss the George's point.  You may not "want green", but
the question you're asking is about how *green* trains are, yet in your
exploratory discourse you're talking about how *cheap* they are.  You
seem to be conflating these two different concepts.
In what way does an answer to how cheap they are help you answer how
green they are?
It wasn't just mne then :-)

MBQ
Man at B&Q
2010-11-30 10:23:41 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
But from the title you want green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
Yes, about greenness, then you start talking about cheap.
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
But you wanted green.
How do you figure that out, George? I'm asking a question.
Yes, about greenness, then you start talking about profitability.
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
So what is it ypou want? Green or cheap?
What makes you think I "want" anything? I want to know whether the train
claims are greenwash or not. C'mon George, get a grip.
So why not just ask whether they are green instead of conflatuing the
issue with cheapness and profitability.
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
Dunno, but your thinking seems to be as muddled as greenwash.
Ah, so you don't know and therefore cannot contribute anything useful.
Due to the uinclear question.

MBQ
Piss off then.
--
Tim
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"  --  Bill of Rights 1689
The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 15:57:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Man at B&Q
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
On the continent, they apparently view trains as a "public good",
according to a letter I saw in the Times yesterday or so. This means
they build them and subsidise them so that fares are low or lowish. The
subsidies appear to be hidden, near as I can tell. They don't understand
our "business" approach to railways.
This may be all very well, and the service is often good, but at what
cost? Making something *appear* cheap does not actually *make* it cheap.
But from the title you want green.
Post by Tim Streater
Once I needed to go Cambridge-Glasgow on a business trip. I looked into
a train journey, but it seemed to cost several times the cost of an Easy
flight from Stansted. So I flew. Seems odd that an airline can make a
profit under those circumstances whereas the train, even in the UK, is
subsidised.
But you wanted green.
Post by Tim Streater
Then I think about the huge infrastructure required to get a train from
Cambridge-Glasgow (or as many as needed, with changes). What does this
cost to install and maintain?
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
So what is it ypou want? Green or cheap?
Post by Tim Streater
Does the figure in my "oft-quoted
fact" stand up - or is it just the marginal cost? Is HS2 a good thing or
just an advanced form of willy-waving?
Dunno, but your thinking seems to be as muddled as greenwash.
MBQ
Planes if full are pretty good at passenger miles per lb CO2 actually.

Trais, if ull, are better..but how full are they?
Jules Richardson
2010-11-29 15:12:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
Is anything? I doubt it, somehow. Are they better than some of the
alternatives? Probably, in certain situations.
The Natural Philosopher
2010-11-29 16:11:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jules Richardson
Post by Tim Streater
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
Is anything? I doubt it, somehow. Are they better than some of the
alternatives? Probably, in certain situations.
commuter trains are massively profitable and massively passenger mile
effective.

Social routes are the exact opposite.
Jules Richardson
2010-11-29 18:45:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Natural Philosopher
Post by Jules Richardson
Post by Tim Streater
So, are trains as green as is claimed?
Is anything? I doubt it, somehow. Are they better than some of the
alternatives? Probably, in certain situations.
commuter trains are massively profitable and massively passenger mile
effective.
Indeed, but perhaps still not as green as is claimed, because the claims
doubtless leave out just about everything other than simple point-of-use
calculations assuming an ideal system.
Gareth
2010-11-29 19:47:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Streater
Part of the mantra seems to be that trains are good and we should have
more of them. You get the often quoted fact that a flight London-Paris
takes ten times as much fuel as a train journey.
If you just consider the fuel used for the journey then trains are a lot
better, but if you take into account other factors, like building and
maintaining the infrastructure, trains don't do so well.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17260-train-can-be-worse-for-climate-than-plane.html


The full paper can be found here:

http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1748-9326/4/2/024008/erl9_2_024008.pdf?request-id=f54ec5cd-c204-41b1-8a62-4ce734c07987
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