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Old 04-19-2013, 08:32 PM   #221
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If we listened to the naysayers we'd all still be riding steam trains
Way off topic but actually there are still a lot of steam trains being built and used in Britain and many parts of Europe and they are fast and efficient. Take a peak. I love steam but I'm old.

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Old 04-19-2013, 10:20 PM   #222
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The "new" steam engines like the one in the video are simply recreations of "old" steam engines. They do not represent any sort of advance in steam technology, they are simply replicas of engines that have long disappeared for all the reasons that they should have disappeared.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:38 AM   #223
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"they are simply replicas of engines that have long disappeared for all the reasons that they should have disappeared."

Lots of tech makes comebacks , an external combustion engine does not require refined fuel as most diesels .

As this regime attempts to shut down fossil fuels , and force sustainable mud huts on us , at least the trains will run for a while ,with deconstructed "old style" wooden house lumber.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #224
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Steam turbines are alive and well in the power plant business. Virtually all of the plug in hybrid cars rely upon steam to replenish their ready kilowatts, not to mention the rest of society's needs - excluding those who get a few very costly kilowatts from wind generators made in China.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:47 AM   #225
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Virtually all of the plug in hybrid cars rely upon steam to replenish their ready kilowatts,.....
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:03 AM   #226
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Follow the wall plug to its source, the Tesla style journey will likely end up at a coal, gas, or nuclear steam turbine - again excepting the small % of ready kilowatts generated by hydro or wind farms.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:54 PM   #227
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Follow the wall plug to its source, the Tesla style journey will likely end up at a coal, gas, or nuclear steam turbine - again excepting the small % of ready kilowatts generated by hydro or wind farms.
...but, Tom...applying the same logic, where does the power to run a petroleum refinery come from?
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:22 PM   #228
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I'm not saying that steam is not a viable source of power. I'm saying that a 1930's style steam railroad locomotive: pistons and rods--- which is what got us onto this subject in the first place--- is no longer a viable source of power. If it was, the railroads would still be using them. They aren't and for good reason. Outside of a quaint tourist and steam enthusiast (of which I am one) attraction, they are about as useful as a dodo.

The Chinese were perhaps the last folks on the planet to use steam locomotives in commercial mainline service. The country was so embarrased to still have them that they would flatly deny that they did. We have a wonderful piece of film on which a Chinese official is stating on camera that the last steam locomotives in China were retired "many years ago" as one chugs by in the background hauling a freight train.

I believe today they are, in fact, all gone and cut up. But I remember thinking when they still had some that the they were really missing a bet. They could have kept them going and promoted them as a tourist/railfan attraction. Big bucks in that sort of thing because people will come from all over the world to see and ride behind them, just as they do in Europe, the UK, etc.

I have arranged for a one-on-one course in the UK to become a "qualified" steam locomotive driver (which will not mean that I am qualified to actually drive it on a mainline, only that I will know how to). Major coin involved in this. The Chinese should have cashed in on this sort of thing while they still had the chance.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:46 PM   #229
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...but, Tom...applying the same logic, where does the power to run a petroleum refinery come from?
It depends on the country and age of the refinery. My experience in the US is gas powered steam turbines at the refinery sometimes combined with hydrogen reforming/cogen to satisfy in-plant power needs, with some electricity sold off site through the connected grid. Refineries are indeed power generators, but with incoming line power to start and stop the process.
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