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Desperation

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  • Todd Edelman
    Hi, How many average nuclear power plants would it take to produce enough electricity to produce enough hydrogen power to enable USA to continue at current
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 22, 2005
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      Hi,

      How many "average" nuclear power plants would it take
      to produce enough electricity to produce enough
      hydrogen power to enable USA to continue at current
      state/rate of automobilisation (or with small
      increases)? Base it on that Mercedes mentioned In
      Kunstler article, but with 200 million of them, much
      cheaper due to economy of scale.

      Any other criteria just make up.

      What I am getting at is that aside from mining methane
      on Titan and focusing our love-energy on the moon and
      turning it into a big ball of clean coal wont people
      find nuclear acceptable again before they de-car?

      Truth in Advertising: I work for an consultancy
      operating in 3000 A.D and we are studying "Peak Oil".

      Todd,
      Timetravel Cities Network

      ---

      Ads below? Strange if there are, as when world reached
      peak oil in 2006 advertising was banned which let more
      people drive. Synthetic clothing, many plastics, some
      medicines, everything else made from oil... all
      banned, so people could drive.

      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!?
      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
      http://mail.yahoo.com
    • Doug Salzmann
      ... Oh, sure, they ll find it acceptable. Whether they find it achievable or not is another matter. 1. Nuclear plants are very expensive, very
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 22, 2005
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        On Fri, 22 Apr 2005, Todd Edelman wrote:

        > What I am getting at is that aside from mining methane
        > on Titan and focusing our love-energy on the moon and
        > turning it into a big ball of clean coal wont people
        > find nuclear acceptable again before they de-car?

        Oh, sure, they'll find it acceptable. Whether they find it achievable or
        not is another matter.

        1. Nuclear plants are very expensive, very energy-and-resource-intensive,
        and very slow to build. If there is to be any hope of continuing the
        global car party, an immense number of them need to be built right away,
        while we can do it with relatively cheap oil.

        2. There is not nearly enough readily-available fissionable uranium to
        fuel the nuke-on-every-block scenario that would be necessary to replace
        dinosaur sauce in the world economy. Choosing this option would require
        building fast breeder reactors to produce all that fuel. As an
        extra-special "bonus," those fast breeders would also produce a
        nearly-limitless supply of plutonium for world markets (of various kinds).

        3. Then, there's the hydrogen storage and distribution problem. It was
        not a coincidence that Hindenburg explosion ended hydrogen-based
        airship development. We're talking *very* volatile stuff; gasoline
        doesn't come close. It won't be too long before an explosion at the
        local hydrogen fueling station takes out a school.

        -Doug


        --
        "There must be some way out of here,"
        said the joker to the thief.
        "There's too much confusion,
        I can't get no relief."

        -Bob Dylan, "All Along the Watchtower"


        =================
        Doug Salzmann
        Kalliergo
        P.O. Box 307
        Corte Madera, CA
        94976-0307 USA

        www.kalliergo.net
      • Jym Dyer
        ... =v= The anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s thrived despite there being an (oil) energy crisis. Enough people were smart enough to know that running to one
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 22, 2005
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          > [Won't] people find nuclear acceptable again before they
          > de-car?

          =v= The anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s thrived despite
          there being an (oil) energy crisis. Enough people were smart
          enough to know that running to one wasn't a solution to the
          other. I take heart in that fact.

          =v= Though the basic facts have not really changed, the lessons
          learned from the anti-nuclear movement are a generation or two
          in the past, and more likely to be found in a library than with
          Google. The showstopper was calculated by Amory Lovins, and
          bears repeating: the expense of deploying nuclear energy to
          meet our supposed demands exceeds the world's GDP. So no matter
          how desperately it's wanted, it's not affordable.
          <_Jym_>
        • J.H. Crawford
          Ah, yes, Amory can t-get-the-decimal-in-the-right-place Lovins. He announced once that all the corn in Iowa would power the US auto fleet. Well, turns out that
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 23, 2005
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            Ah, yes, Amory can't-get-the-decimal-in-the-right-place Lovins.
            He announced once that all the corn in Iowa would power the
            US auto fleet. Well, turns out that was TEN Iowas.

            >Google. The showstopper was calculated by Amory Lovins, and
            >bears repeating: the expense of deploying nuclear energy to
            >meet our supposed demands exceeds the world's GDP.

            Well, if it only took one year of the world's GDP to solve
            the energy problem, that would be a pretty good deal. If.

            >So no matter
            >how desperately it's wanted, it's not affordable.

            So, no matter how desperately it's wanted, it's affordable.
            If Amory got the decimal point right. And if we can put
            all of the high-level waste in, say, Iowa.

            Oh, yeah, there's LOTS of plutonium looking for something
            useful to do. Burning it in a nuclear reactor is the only
            way to get rid of it.

            So, look for nukes headed your way, whether you like it or not.
            (I'm sure Bush has plenty of friends selling nukes....)

            Regards,


            ------ ### -----
            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
          • Christopher Miller
            ... On this topic, it is worthwhile looking at what ExxonMobil says on pages 17-18 of a February 2004 report A Report on Energy Trends, Greenhouse Gas
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 24, 2005
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              On Apr 23, 2005, at 7:08 PM, J.H. Crawford wrote:

              > Ah, yes, Amory can't-get-the-decimal-in-the-right-place Lovins.
              > He announced once that all the corn in Iowa would power the
              > US auto fleet. Well, turns out that was TEN Iowas.

              On this topic, it is worthwhile looking at what ExxonMobil says on
              pages 17-18 of a February 2004 report "A Report on Energy Trends,
              Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Alternative Energy" that I can send (as a
              PDF) to anyone interested:

              "One potential option for alternative fuel is the production of ethanol
              from corn or other crops. Cultivation of crops for use as fuel requres
              substantial land that would otherwise be available for food, forests or
              other use. With current technology, ethanol also costs consumers more
              than gasoline does, unless it is subsidized, and it requires
              substantial inputs of fossil fuels for both the production of the crops
              and the conversion into fuel."

              This is accompanied by three visually striking graphics (on a black
              background, bright yellow pie charts of percentages of US gasoline
              demand together with "lower 48" maps of the US with states
              corresponding to a given percentage of the US's surface area
              highlighted in bright red.). The text from each:

              "If you wanted to supply 10% of the U.S. gasoline in 2020 it would
              require 3% of the area of the United States — an area the size of
              Illinois, Indiana and Ohio."

              "If you wanted to supply 33% of the U.S. gasoline in 2020 it would
              require 11% of the area of the United States.
              This area is more than three times as much as current corn cropland."

              "If you wanted to supply 100% of the U.S. gasoline in 2020 it would
              require 33% of the area of the United States.
              Today, cropland makes up only 19% of all the land in the United States."

              I think they wanted to make the point about ethanol very clear.
              Remember, this is an ExxonMobil report for consumption by investors
              among others.

              Oh, and then they move on to hydrogen. Some choice quotes (after
              dwelling for some time on the extreme safety issues and the high
              production costs):

              "Interest in the use of renewable energy to make hydrogen is high, as
              this is the only option that would result in a "zero emissions"
              transportation fuel system on a total supply-chain basis. There are,
              however, a number of additional challenges associated with the
              manufacture of hydrogen from renewable energy. Currently, using average
              costs for renewables in the U.S., hydrogen is five times more expensive
              than gasoline when produced from wind and 17 times more expensive when
              produced from solar energy. Land requirements are also significant.

              Finally, one must consider whether hydrogen use for transportation fuel
              is the most appropriate use of renewable resources. A unit of wind or
              solar energy that is used to displace coal in power generation saves
              2.5 times more carbon dioxide than using the same unit of wind or solar
              energy to replace gasoline with hydrogen."

              (...)

              "We and others believe that resolving the issues surrounding hydrogen
              will take many years, perhaps decades. Therefore, significant
              commercialization or broad marketplace deployment is not likely for
              some time. This general view is shared by DOE and Honda, among others."

              >> Google. The showstopper was calculated by Amory Lovins, and
              >> bears repeating: the expense of deploying nuclear energy to
              >> meet our supposed demands exceeds the world's GDP.
              >
              > Well, if it only took one year of the world's GDP to solve
              > the energy problem, that would be a pretty good deal. If.
              >
              >> So no matter
              >> how desperately it's wanted, it's not affordable.
              >
              > So, no matter how desperately it's wanted, it's affordable.
              > If Amory got the decimal point right. And if we can put
              > all of the high-level waste in, say, Iowa.
              >
              > Oh, yeah, there's LOTS of plutonium looking for something
              > useful to do. Burning it in a nuclear reactor is the only
              > way to get rid of it.
              >
              > So, look for nukes headed your way, whether you like it or not.
              > (I'm sure Bush has plenty of friends selling nukes....)

              Christopher Miller
              Washington DC/Mount Rainier, Maryland
              USA
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... please, Chris ... I haven t seen the numbers, but this sounds like it s in the right ball park. What s missing is that there would be little or no net
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 25, 2005
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                >On this topic, it is worthwhile looking at what ExxonMobil says on
                >pages 17-18 of a February 2004 report "A Report on Energy Trends,
                >Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Alternative Energy" that I can send (as a
                >PDF) to anyone interested:

                please, Chris

                >"If you wanted to supply 100% of the U.S. gasoline in 2020 it would
                >require 33% of the area of the United States.
                >Today, cropland makes up only 19% of all the land in the United States."

                I haven't seen the numbers, but this sounds like it's in the
                right ball park. What's missing is that there would be little
                or no net energy gain, as the cultivation and processing of
                all that corn takes approximately as much energy as the ethanol
                contains. There has been considerable debate about the actual
                ratio, but everyone agrees that lots of energy is expended in
                the process.

                >Oh, and then they move on to hydrogen. Some choice quotes (after
                >dwelling for some time on the extreme safety issues and the high
                >production costs):
                >
                >"Interest in the use of renewable energy to make hydrogen is high, as
                >this is the only option that would result in a "zero emissions"
                >transportation fuel system on a total supply-chain basis. There are,
                >however, a number of additional challenges associated with the
                >manufacture of hydrogen from renewable energy. Currently, using average
                >costs for renewables in the U.S., hydrogen is five times more expensive
                >than gasoline when produced from wind and 17 times more expensive when
                >produced from solar energy. Land requirements are also significant.

                Yes, but:

                5x current price of gas is not all that expensive
                17x current price is still affordable with efficient vehicles
                the land used is mostly not in productive use

                >"We and others believe that resolving the issues surrounding hydrogen
                >will take many years, perhaps decades. Therefore, significant
                >commercialization or broad marketplace deployment is not likely for
                >some time. This general view is shared by DOE and Honda, among others."

                and me. "many years" may be "never" if the cost issues can't
                be resolved. We may need 1000% of the world's palladium supply
                to build a global fleet of fuel-cell cars. (I don't have numbers,
                but palladium is usually more expensive than gold, which suggests
                short supply.)

                Regards,


                ------ ### -----
                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
              • Richard Risemberg
                In the report they also mention the large land cost of solar arrays...however the growing and certainly future practice (conveniently ignored) is to put them
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 25, 2005
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                  In the report they also mention the large land cost of solar
                  arrays...however the growing and certainly future practice
                  (conveniently ignored) is to put them on rooftops, currently almost
                  entirely wasted space. This utilizes land already obscured, and of
                  course minimizes transmission losses greatly. It would also scale back
                  our need for hydro/gas/nuke/etc electrical generation as it would be
                  needed primarily for trains and night lighting--part of the latter
                  certainly to be handled by storage batteries.

                  In terms of city design this poses interesting architectural problems,
                  since pitched roofs--necessary in many places--would be better off with
                  a clerestory design (that is the high point at one ned, not the middle,
                  to allow for full exposure to t he south or north, depending on which
                  side of the equator one was on); this however would also allow for
                  maximal lighting of at least the upper floors. Some might find it
                  ugly, though.

                  BTW, here's the link to the report for anyone who wants to read it all:

                  http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/files/corporate/Energy_Brochure.pdf

                  RR

                  On Apr 25, 2005, at 1:07 AM, J.H. Crawford wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  >> On this topic, it is worthwhile looking at what ExxonMobil says on
                  >> pages 17-18 of a February 2004 report "A Report on Energy Trends,
                  >> Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Alternative Energy" that I can send (as a
                  >> PDF) to anyone interested:
                  >
                  > please, Chris
                  --
                  Richard Risemberg
                  http://www.rickrise.com
                  http://www.newcolonist.com
                  http://www.living-room.org
                • Andrew Dawson
                  Thought this would of interest for the list. Andrew Dawson http://nationalcorridors.org/df/df04252005.shtml#Amtrakis Editorial... Amtrak is not the enemy By
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 25, 2005
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                    Thought this would of interest for the list. Andrew Dawson

                    http://nationalcorridors.org/df/df04252005.shtml#Amtrakis

                    Editorial...
                    Amtrak is not the enemy

                    By James P. RePass
                    President and CEO
                    The National Corridors Initiative

                    Amtrak�s latest equipment crisis has brought out the predictable round of
                    �end of the line� headlines and blame-Amtrak columns and quotes from the
                    usual suspects, as well as a torrent of telephone calls and e-mails from
                    journalists around the country to NCI.

                    Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Amtrak is struggling to present a coherent
                    solution to the long-running saga of not-so-benign neglect that has
                    characterized its existence, all the while trying to fend off the malicious,
                    elitist ideologues in the Bush Administration who simply don�t believe in
                    government, but who hide behind the veneer of �marketplace� surface validity
                    to cover their partisan hatred for anything that might serve the shrinking
                    American middle class, as Amtrak does.

                    The Acela trainsets brake rotor defects are not the problem, and the wildly
                    popular Acela Express service is not the problem either. Both are merely
                    symptoms of what happens when a society chooses to systematically disinvest
                    in one type of transportation, as we have done in America, and over-invest
                    in another.

                    The problem has been and is the funding mechanism for Amtrak, which provides
                    almost no capital, but mandates trains that operate where politicians want
                    them. It is a formula for failure, and what is worse, it does nothing to
                    address the crying need for transportation mobility � freight and passenger
                    � that is raising the cost of doing business in America, especially combined
                    with the growing congestion on the nation�s highway system.

                    By utterly neglecting rail for over 60 years, while building tens of
                    thousands of miles of taxpayer financed highways that compete for both
                    freight and human transport, the government has created a slow-moving but
                    deepening crisis that wiped out the American passenger rail industry, so
                    that when we finally do make a purchase, for the newly electrified Northeast
                    Corridor � Acela Express was the first purchase of its kind in 35 years � we
                    have to use European designed but heavily modified technology, and then try
                    to operate on American tracks under American operating conditions. What you
                    get is what we�ve got: a brilliant train whose basic suspension components
                    are getting their prototyping in the field, with highly predictable results.
                    If you don�t have a rail car industry, or enough money to re-invent one, you
                    do what Amtrak did, or else you get nothing, ever, in the way of new
                    equipment. Could things have been done better?

                    Sure.

                    Would the outcome have been different?

                    No, not with the resources at hand.

                    Out of all of this movable famine, there is at least one and possibly more
                    bright news item: the proposal by the Senate�s Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to
                    create a national bonding authority for infrastructure to issue
                    low-interest, government-backed bonds to build rail infrastructure.

                    �If we�re going to have a national system, we�ve got to figure out a way to
                    pay for it,� Lott said.

                    Lott has been a transportation advocate for many years, and was the
                    principal force behind the National Forum for Passenger Rail a decade ago,
                    which called for similar action. It is time to move on those ideas, and stop
                    pretending that we can have a national rail system on the cheap.
                  • mauk_mcamuk
                    I see several replies, but nobody seems to have answered the question. Please allow me. ... http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/pdf/ucrlID129990-00.pdf Let s start with
                    Message 9 of 15 , Apr 25, 2005
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                      I see several replies, but nobody seems to have answered the question.

                      Please allow me.



                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Todd Edelman
                      <traintowardsthefuture@y...> wrote:
                      > Hi,
                      >
                      > How many "average" nuclear power plants would it take
                      > to produce enough electricity to produce enough
                      > hydrogen power to enable USA to continue at current
                      > state/rate of automobilisation (or with small
                      > increases)?


                      http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/pdf/ucrlID129990-00.pdf

                      Let's start with the baseline.

                      Everyone who is interested should really pull up that .pdf and look
                      at the "Net Primary Resource Consumption in Quads" chart. This is
                      simply awesome info. The colored lines are resources, the square
                      boxes are conversions (from oil to miles traveled, for
                      example) and the end results are waste heat (the large majority) and
                      usable energy.

                      Now, from that paper, we get this info:

                      In 2000, the USA consumed 98.5 Quads of energy. Of that, 8 quads
                      came from Nuclear, and was used completely for making electricity.

                      We also used a whopping 26.6 Quads for transportation.

                      Replacing vehicle fuel with nuclear hydrogen is complicated, but
                      assuming we use a system of non-reversible metal hydrides such as
                      NaBH4 and water, we can probably produce hydrogen from water at 50
                      percent efficiency and then jam it into the sodium borohydride at 50
                      percent efficiency. That takes a lot of Quads of thermal power, such
                      that it would require around 900 dedicated hydrogen fuel makers to
                      replace our 2000 levels of fuel. Each of those would be about the
                      same size as a current powerplant, or roughly 4 gigawatts thermal
                      power.

                      I have in the past done this with more math, but this is a good rough
                      approximation.



                      >Base it on that Mercedes mentioned In
                      > Kunstler article, but with 200 million of them, much
                      > cheaper due to economy of scale.
                      >
                      > Any other criteria just make up.
                      >
                      > What I am getting at is that aside from mining methane
                      > on Titan and focusing our love-energy on the moon and
                      > turning it into a big ball of clean coal wont people
                      > find nuclear acceptable again before they de-car?


                      You betcha. The government is forging ahead with nuclear powered
                      hydrogen makers and 4th gen powerplants even as we speak.



                      >
                      > Truth in Advertising: I work for an consultancy
                      > operating in 3000 A.D and we are studying "Peak Oil".
                      >
                      > Todd,
                      > Timetravel Cities Network
                      >
                      > ---
                      >
                      > Ads below? Strange if there are, as when world reached
                      > peak oil in 2006 advertising was banned which let more
                      > people drive. Synthetic clothing, many plastics, some
                      > medicines, everything else made from oil... all
                      > banned, so people could drive.
                      >
                      > __________________________________________________
                      > Do You Yahoo!?
                      > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                      > http://mail.yahoo.com
                    • Fred M. Cain
                      - In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Todd Edelman ... How many nuclear power plants would it take? I d like to respond to that although I have no idea what
                      Message 10 of 15 , Apr 26, 2005
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                        - In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Todd Edelman
                        <traintowardsthefuture@y...> wrote:
                        > Hi,
                        >
                        > How many "average" nuclear power plants would it take
                        > to produce enough electricity to produce enough
                        > hydrogen power to enable USA to continue at current
                        > state/rate of automobilisation (or with small
                        > increases)? Base it on that Mercedes mentioned In
                        > Kunstler article, but with 200 million of them, much
                        > cheaper due to economy of scale.
                        >
                        > Any other criteria just make up.
                        >
                        > What I am getting at is that aside from mining methane
                        > on Titan and focusing our love-energy on the moon and
                        > turning it into a big ball of clean coal wont people
                        > find nuclear acceptable again before they de-car?
                        >
                        > Truth in Advertising: I work for an consultancy
                        > operating in 3000 A.D and we are studying "Peak Oil".
                        >
                        > Todd,
                        > Timetravel Cities Network

                        How many nuclear power plants would it take? I'd like to respond to
                        that although I have no idea what the answer is.

                        Many people seem to be of the impression that *IF* we can just
                        manage to perfect a hydrogen engine and change over to a hydrogen-
                        based ecomomy, that we will in fact have access to limitless clean
                        energy. I just finished reading Newt Gingrich's book "21st Century
                        Contract with America" and even he brought this up.

                        *BUT* as most of you on this list know, you have to have a source
                        of hydrogen! Probably the most available and widespread source of
                        hydrogen is the electrolysis of water. Works well, but takes a
                        tremendous amount of electricity. So, where do we get the
                        electricity? From coal and nuclear, of course. Both coal and
                        nuclear can be made to be economical but both have their own
                        problems. Global warmists object to burning coal and nuclear has
                        the waste problem that's never really been addressed.

                        I have always suspected that a decreased dependance on the
                        automobile should be part of the equation. Many people would use
                        other forms of transportation - if they were only given the choice.

                        Regards,
                        Fred M. Cain
                      • Andrew Dawson
                        ... Fred, you should take a look at some North American railroad electrification proposals from around the 1970 s energy crisis, Calgary to Vancouver, LA to
                        Message 11 of 15 , Apr 26, 2005
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                          Fred M. Cain wrote:
                          >*BUT* as most of you on this list know, you have to have a source
                          >of hydrogen! Probably the most available and widespread source of
                          >hydrogen is the electrolysis of water. Works well, but takes a
                          >tremendous amount of electricity. So, where do we get the
                          >electricity? From coal and nuclear, of course. Both coal and
                          >nuclear can be made to be economical but both have their own
                          >problems. Global warmists object to burning coal and nuclear has
                          >the waste problem that's never really been addressed.
                          >
                          >I have always suspected that a decreased dependance on the
                          >automobile should be part of the equation. Many people would use
                          >other forms of transportation - if they were only given the choice.

                          Fred, you should take a look at some North American railroad electrification
                          proposals from around the 1970's energy crisis, Calgary to Vancouver, LA to
                          Chicago, Chicago to New Orleans & LA to El Paso.
                          http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/000/510rpdjg.asp

                          Also the Milwaukee Road had over 600 miles of electrification in the Pacific
                          Northwest, but most of its western lines were scrapped, wire in the 1970's,
                          track in the 1980's. Andrew Dawson
                          http://www.northeast.railfan.net/classic/MILWdata5.html
                          http://www.scn.org/cedar_butte/milw-elec.html
                        • Fred M. Cain
                          ... choice. ... electrification ... Vancouver, LA to ... http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/000/510rpdjg.a sp ... the Pacific ... the
                          Message 12 of 15 , Apr 27, 2005
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                            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Dawson"
                            <m82a1_dawson@h...> wrote:
                            > Fred M. Cain wrote:
                            > >*BUT* as most of you on this list know, you have to have a source
                            > >of hydrogen! Probably the most available and widespread source of
                            > >hydrogen is the electrolysis of water. Works well, but takes a
                            > >tremendous amount of electricity. So, where do we get the
                            > >electricity? From coal and nuclear, of course. Both coal and
                            > >nuclear can be made to be economical but both have their own
                            > >problems. Global warmists object to burning coal and nuclear has
                            > >the waste problem that's never really been addressed.
                            > >
                            > >I have always suspected that a decreased dependance on the
                            > >automobile should be part of the equation. Many people would use
                            > >other forms of transportation - if they were only given the
                            choice.
                            >
                            > Fred, you should take a look at some North American railroad
                            electrification
                            > proposals from around the 1970's energy crisis, Calgary to
                            Vancouver, LA to
                            > Chicago, Chicago to New Orleans & LA to El Paso.
                            >
                            http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/000/510rpdjg.a
                            sp
                            >
                            > Also the Milwaukee Road had over 600 miles of electrification in
                            the Pacific
                            > Northwest, but most of its western lines were scrapped, wire in
                            the 1970's,
                            > track in the 1980's. Andrew Dawson
                            > http://www.northeast.railfan.net/classic/MILWdata5.html
                            > http://www.scn.org/cedar_butte/milw-elec.html

                            Yes, sad isn't it. One could also mention that much of the upper
                            Midwest was once criss-crossed by what essentially amounted to "high
                            speed" rail lines relative to that time. (1900 - 1920). But they
                            have been gone for several generations now. Progress?

                            -Fred M. Cain,
                            Topeka, Indiana
                          • Richard Risemberg
                            ... Yes, there was somewhere (I d guess Chicago/New York) a 100mph service in the steam days. Bullet train speed for the day! -- Richard Risemberg
                            Message 13 of 15 , Apr 27, 2005
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                              On Apr 27, 2005, at 5:55 AM, Fred M. Cain wrote:

                              > Yes, sad isn't it. One could also mention that much of the upper
                              > Midwest was once criss-crossed by what essentially amounted to "high
                              > speed" rail lines relative to that time. (1900 - 1920). But they
                              > have been gone for several generations now. Progress?
                              Yes, there was somewhere (I'd guess Chicago/New York) a 100mph service
                              in the steam days. Bullet train speed for the day!

                              --
                              Richard Risemberg
                              http://www.rickrise.com
                              http://www.newcolonist.com
                              http://www.living-room.org
                            • J.H. Crawford
                              Hi All, ... In 1935, the Pennsylvania Railroad initiated 100 MPH service between New York and Washington. The trains used conventional coaches pulled by the
                              Message 14 of 15 , Apr 27, 2005
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                                Hi All,

                                >Yes, there was somewhere (I'd guess Chicago/New York) a 100mph service
                                >in the steam days. Bullet train speed for the day!

                                In 1935, the Pennsylvania Railroad initiated 100 MPH service
                                between New York and Washington. The trains used conventional
                                coaches pulled by the new GG-1 locomotives, capable of about
                                8000 HP for short periods. This service was still essentially
                                unchanged when I used it in the 1960s to get back adn forth
                                to college.

                                And, yes, this is rather off topic!

                                Regards,


                                ------ ### -----
                                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                              • Fred M. Cain
                                ... to high ... service ... Actually, there really was a plan in the early years of the 20th Century to build a high-speed, electric train from N.Y. to
                                Message 15 of 15 , Apr 27, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Richard Risemberg
                                  <rickrise@e...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > On Apr 27, 2005, at 5:55 AM, Fred M. Cain wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > Yes, sad isn't it. One could also mention that much of the upper
                                  > > Midwest was once criss-crossed by what essentially amounted
                                  to "high
                                  > > speed" rail lines relative to that time. (1900 - 1920). But they
                                  > > have been gone for several generations now. Progress?
                                  > Yes, there was somewhere (I'd guess Chicago/New York) a 100mph
                                  service
                                  > in the steam days. Bullet train speed for the day!
                                  >
                                  > --
                                  > Richard Risemberg
                                  > http://www.rickrise.com
                                  > http://www.newcolonist.com
                                  > http://www.living-room.org

                                  Actually, there really was a plan in the early years of the 20th
                                  Century to build a high-speed, electric train from N.Y. to Chicago.
                                  It would've run at speeds of above 100+ and offered an end point to
                                  end point overall time of under 16 hours (or so it was promoted).
                                  In the end, only about a 30 - 50 mile stretch was completed in
                                  Northwestern Indiana at an astronomical cost for that time. Since
                                  it basically offered a service from nowhere to nowhere, it lived out
                                  its few remaining years in relative obscurity.

                                  The whole scheme has been very well documented in the book "Faster
                                  than the Limiteds" which can be found here:

                                  http://www.cera-chicago.org/book_catalog.htm

                                  But in my earlier post, what I had in mind was the system of
                                  electric trains that criss-crossed the upper Midwest, especially the
                                  states of Indiana, Ohio and southern Michigan. Several of these
                                  lines offered speeds of 90MPH or better which was pretty fast for
                                  the time. However, the proliferation of modern highways and, more
                                  importantly, the adoption of a transportation policy that was
                                  friendly to roads and hostile toward rail did in these early
                                  experiments.

                                  I have long suspected that had they been saved, they could've been
                                  incrementally upgraded one section at a time into truly modern,
                                  effficient high-speed rail lines. But sadly, it was not to be.

                                  Returning to the hydrogen issue, if I may, I would like to share an
                                  experience I had in college in the 1970's. There was a guy who
                                  came to speak on our campus about the threat to the environment and
                                  the threat of being dependent on foreighn oil. He had a plan to
                                  develop a "hydrogen economy". This was the first I'd heard of the
                                  idea.

                                  He had plans for hydrogen autos, hydrogen planes, you name it. He
                                  had it all figured out and his speech was immaculate and very
                                  interesting. But something bothered me. Not once, anywhere, did he
                                  mention that efficient, modern, electric rail lines could and should
                                  be part of the equation.

                                  Well, at the end of his speech he held a question and answer
                                  session. I raised my hand in the belief that no one would ever call
                                  on me. But I was wrong! Always a shy person, it was difficult for
                                  me to get my words out in front of an auditorium with over 500
                                  people in it, but I managed to stammer out something like,

                                  "There seems to be many plans for new energy sources and ways to
                                  save fuel and your plan sounds good, but I was just wondering, since
                                  trains are so much more fuel efficient that other modes, why is a
                                  greater use of rail not being advocated? Furthermore, railroads can
                                  be more easily electrified than highways or airplanes".

                                  Well, he was really taken aback. He stood there for an
                                  uncomfortable moment or two thinking of how to respond. It was like
                                  the very idea had *NEVER* even occurred to him! Finally, he got out
                                  a B.S. answer that sounded like, "Well, that's a good point, but
                                  Americans don't like riding on trains. They either want to drive or
                                  fly. But part of what you said is true. Works very well in Europe".

                                  And that's all he had to say and moved on to the next question.
                                  That happened over 30 years ago. And where are we today? Some
                                  progress has been made but basically it seems nothing ever changes.

                                  Regards,
                                  Fred M. Cain
                                  Topeka, Indiana
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