The Fireless Locomotive

snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:


Yes, I've seen this graph, and recent updates, too. I wasn't aware that some people called it "the" hockey stick graph (I guess I don't read the more polemical screeds.) Kinda silly, if you ask me. Maybe they are thinking of that curious game played on grass with a ball and a bent broomstick.

Daly's argument is that the "hockey stick graph" somehow denies the medieval warming and the little ice age. I think he misunderstands the graph. As I read it, the graph shows a general cooling trend that reverses ca. 1900-1950. Whether that reversal is a the beginning of a new trend, or another variation that will be subsumed by a longer-term cooling trend, we cannot tell, yet. What we can be sure of, though, is that we are conducting a test of the climate models proposed by the climatologists. Unfortunately, you and I are unlikely to see how that test turns out, since confirmation of the worst case scenario (climate "flip". ie, major change on a time-scale of 100 years or so) will occur around 2050 at the earliest, by which time I would be well over 100 years old.
Daly refers to historical anecdotes as evidence for climate (which they certainly are), so here are a couple of anecdotes for you: a) When I moved here to mid-northern Ontario in 1972, there were no raccoons here, as the winters were too long and too cold for them. They are now ubiquitous. b) We used to have frost in the ground by late October - early November. We now get frost in the ground in late November - early December. And it doesn't go as deep: it used to go down to 3 to 5 ft, now it goes down a foot or so. c) Up to the late 70s, the North Channel (between the mainland and Manitoulin Island) froze over enough that one could ride a snowmobile across (it's about 30 miles). Not any more. d) Business from snowmobilers has shrunk from an 8-10 week season in the 1970s to a month (or less) now. The snowmobile clubs that patrol the trails issue warnings as late as February about using the lake crossings - not enough ice to support a snowmobile.
BTW, Daly must be using some "free" HTML program to fancy up his website, because the pages do not display correctly in Firefox. The text wanders past the margins, which makes it difficult to read. Why does he want his website to look like a coil-bound notebook? Silly, if you ask me. He's also more than cheap and chintzy with the graphs, they aren't big enough to see detail clearly. Bah!
--
wolf k.

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wrote:

Dunno, to a non climatologist it seems a reasonable article with some interesting points. Deserves a fair review before being dismissed so lightly - are there any fair ones ?
Cheers, Simon
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Dragon Heart wrote:

They were used in locations where sparks were a bad idea. There was a large collection at Priddys Hard munition depot in Gosport for just that reason. Probably more expensive to run as frequent trips back to the steam room to top up with steam due to limited range. As you say they could be environmentally friendly, depending on the energy source used to raise the steam the same arguments apply to electrification, but even with better insulation still not very efficient.
Chris
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"Dragon Heart" wrote

Chris,
Other have passed comments on those remarks, but one aspect which has been missed is the safety element of a steam locomotive which doesn't have a fire - particularly in high risk areas where there is the risk of sparks from the loco(s) igniting inlammable fumes.
BP at Saltend near Hull used a fireless loco (not quite sure when, but I'm guessing 1950s or 1960s) for just that reason, and this image from one of my websites illustrates their example:-
http://www.53a-pix.co.uk/picture/WB2370-1928-HU-Unknown.jpg
John.
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John Turner wrote:

The other economic case for fireless locos was where the industrial plant had an excess of steam generation, so it would otherwise be going mostly to waste in a cooling chimney. Many chemical plants have spare steam production, so there is a triple-win for the fireless; cleaner, reduced spark risk, cheaper (almost free) fuel. Downside as others have said is the limited capacity of the storage reservoir and the time taken to re-charge.
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Nigel Cliffe,
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John Turner wrote:

There are supposed to be some still running near Vienna and the Balkans, maybe elsewhere. As well as safety factors, fireless locos have an advantage in factories where there is plenty of steam being produced anyway, for other reasons. Efficiency doesn't matter than much, as there is plenty of steam already, and you may as well put it into a loco as just vent it off to the sky or whatever.
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK

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there is rather a witty web site which shows oddball railway motive power, it has a section on fireless locomotives
http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/locoloco.htm
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Good, that. I especially liked this mad idea: http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/fictional/fictional.htm
Guy
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