I’m not sure what to make of this. A team in the US has announced that they are about to build a carbon neutral locomotive that will use a biomass coal-like material. Essentially they will be taking a loco from the 19030s, make the necessary modifications and use the bio-coal as the fuel.
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (05/22/2012) —Plans to create the world’s first carbon-neutral higher-speed locomotive were announced today by the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), a collaboration of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE) and the nonprofit Sustainable Rail International (SRI). CSR draws on the carbon-neutral solid biofuel research expertise of the University of Minnesota and the modern steam mechanical engineering capabilities of SRI to develop the most powerful carbon-neutral locomotive to date.
University of Minnesota, via Inhabitat
An official report published today backed the high speed 2 project that would link London with Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds. The report published by The Transport Select Committee stated that the link would benefit the economy and should go ahead. The next step will be for the government to detail the plan for construction and routing. Additionally, the Scottish government has been urged to start planning for the construction of the line from Glasgow to the borders to link up with the high speed line from the south.
In my opinion, the time line is terrifically pessimistic and will take a painfully long time to have any benefit. Whilst planning for the future can only be a good thing, a time line for completing the project within 20 years is just far too long (okay, I admit I am impatient to try it out). Building the line from Glasgow to Newcastle in an earlier time frame could see more immediate benefits, and I believe if planned and executed correctly could happen a lot sooner than even the London to Birmingham route, which would certainly be a one up for the Scottish government. Now all the UK needs to do is make sure it can employ British contractors to complete the work thus providing good inward investment which is badly needed.
The Guardian | The Telegraph | BBC News
Singapore to KL
The Malaysian government is rethinking the high speed link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The intention would be to provide a high speed connection between the two capitals cutting the journey time from seven to just two hours. The intent would be to provide a number of key stops along the way, and the government is now awaiting feedback from the Singapore government. It is believed that the project would have a high impact on economic growth for the region, hence the rethink on the prioject, which was originally shelved because of the high costs involved.
Meanwhile, Japan and India are each looking into the possibility of introducing high speed freight lines. The plan in Japan is to use existing high speed lines in the country, whilst the study in India is being performed by a Japanese company. Now details yet on when these services would be introduced, although the freight corridors in India would need to be built first. How cool is that!
Rail.co | Zeenews
First off, it was announced today that Manchester is to get 500million in funding towards the tram system that is being built in the city/area. This will be a long term funding loan (at low interest rates) to help run the system over the next 30 years. The Independent I must admit I’m quite impressed with the way the system has developed, it seems like a long time ago I was there when it first opened (it actually has been a long time), and since then they have added more routes and are now extending out to the airport. Metrolink Its really good to see this network actually being expanded, used and relatively successful. A model project for the UK perhaps.
Jerusalem Light Rail
A rather impressive light rail system that runs through the city has been catching my eye this week. Firstly, I’ve no idea how I missed this project, but thanks to a number of articles and an eMail I’ve been catching up. The system uses the very impressive looking Alstom Citadis units and runs almost 14km almost diagonally West to East. There are plenty of plans for expansion for the system, including a rapid bus transit system. Its always good to read about new systems and one day, you never know, I might actually make it out to see them some day (hence the lack of photos).