steam train

Can Steam Trains Get Clean Energy on Track?

Well, this is a complicated subject the one that we got here. We are talking about the mixture of a steam locomotive from the past century together with one of the new “bio-coal” energy foundations and the result can be… impressive! But unpredictable. It’s a case worth studying. The combination of antique train machinery and a new biofuel would lead to a locomotive that has the need for less fuel, costs less and still has more horsepower than diesel-electric locomotives.

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train tracks

There’s this project, the “CSR Project 130”, currently in development that would in due course provide a locomotive that can reach 130 miles (209 km) per hour.

Yes, as you hear it, it would break the world speed record for the fastest steam locomotive.

Investigators from the University of Minnesota teamed up with the public Sustainable Rail International to create the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR) and CSR Project 130. Rod Larkins, the special projects director at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, declared: “Once perfected [the project], creating the world’s first carbon-neutral locomotive will be just the beginning for this technology which, we hope, will later be used for combined heat and power energy in the developing world as well as reducing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels.” The top goal of all of this is to create the cleanest, most potent passenger train locomotive in the world.

steam train

The renovated locomotive would run on “bio-coal”, a plant-derived material that is heated to shake off a darkened mass with the same energy concentration and substantial similarity as coal. Then again bio coal has the ecologically friendly advantage over real coal as a “carbon-neutral” energy foundation that as well makes fewer residue, smoke, and off-gases.

All of this project with the involvement of the old locomotives begun when CSR acquired a steam locomotive put together in the year 1937, and gave it an improving renovation at its present position in Topeka, Kansas. There’s a plan to move the operation to Minneapolis as soon as possible, which would consent the alliance to put the last touches to the engineering refurbishment for the locomotive.

According to CSR, the success of all of this project and manufacture would mean more than just beating a world speed record and seeing more steam locomotives pulling passenger or carriage trains traveling around. The CSR Project 130 ambitions to conceive power cisterns and electric generators adept of running homes in both the U.S. and in elaborating world villages. Such byproduct technologies could direct to three times the gains for every dollar expended on the project’s engineering energies.

See what I meant? Impressive! But unpredictable.

A project of this magnitude certainly can bring lots of benefits for everyone involved, but up until everything is said and done, we can’t speak much about the effect that it would have. We never know how the most recent scientific and mechanical advances will result. We have never known, that’s why everybody was so in awe when steam trains first appeared and were ever more in awe when diesel energy came out. I guess we’ll have to do what we did back in those times: wait to find out. 

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