Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Probably a stupid idea…

Posted in America, Great Britain, Infrastructure, Metro, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 12 March 2013

I saw something come up yesterday on the Railway Gazette which intrigued me. It seems that there is a proposed streetcar line that will run fron Union Station in Dallas to Oak Cliff that will require the rolling stock to be self powered for part of its route. This is due to it having to cross the Houston Street Viaduct, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and so would not be permitted to have the OHLE installed. So, DART have ordered a small fleet of vehicles from the Brookville Equipment Corporation that will be fitted with storage batteries that will power the vehicle when it comes off the wires, principally when it is on the viaduct. This got me to thinking. There has been a lot of discussion regarding the electrification of the Great Western Main Line, not least because of the large number of listed structures along the route. This has especially caused debate on the route through the centre of Bath, which is a World Heritage Site. There are concerns that stringing wires up on the viaducts that carry the line through the city centre would damage the appearance of the city, and has even led to the suggestion that the electrification could be achieved by laying third rail (which frankly isn’t an option). So, would it be possible therefore to fit some kind of energy storage, be it batteries, or flywheel, to allow the planned IEP units to make their way through Bath if it turns out there’s too many objections to the wires? Probably not, but hey, I’m just doing some blue sky thinking here.

“Dallas to get off-wire capable light rail vehicles”

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