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Electric trucks -- with catenary power!


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#1 MARC Rider

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:53 PM

At the first day of the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, I saw an interesting presentation by a guy from Siemens.  They've developed a hybrid class 8 tractor that also has a pantograph, so it can draw power from a catenary, if one is available.  Apparently, they've installed this on a segment of road in Sweden as a test, and they're planning to install one in the Los Angeles area, and somewhere in Germany, too.  This would actually be a great idea for drayage trucks at a port, where they're waiting around to pick up containers, running on electricity from an overhead wire instead of idling their (usually very obsolete and high-polluting) engines.  I had sort of daydreamed about such a concept, I didn't think that people were actually working on it, though.

 

http://www.siemens.c...tm&content[]=MO

 

https://youtu.be/XiOuBrFC8NM

 

Now all you need to do is put a pantograph on your Prius, and you'll never have to pay for gas again! :)



#2 Montreal Ltd

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:51 PM

Remember trolley buses?

#3 FrensicPic

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:17 PM

Remember trolley buses?

In L.A., sure do. Kind of an intermediary between traditional (on rail) street cars and standard (gas/diesel) buses. The trolley buses (on rubber tires) had a double trolley pole to provide a complete electrical circuit. A street car on rails is "grounded" through the rails and only needed a single trolley pole.


John...

22,913 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and Capitol Limited.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

6489 more miles booked

 

Photos: http://www.flickr.co...rensicpic/sets/<p> 


#4 PRR 60

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:17 PM

In Philadelphia, they are called "trackless trolleys."  There are still trackless trolley routes, and they purchased a new batch of equipment about nine years ago.

 

Attached File  638px-Philadelphia_E40LFR_trolleybus_817.jpg   64.99KB   9 downloads

By SEPTA66Route.jpg: Davidt8derivative work: Steve Morgan (talk) - SEPTA66Route.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wiki...?curid=16415274

 



#5 the_traveler

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:53 PM

The Silver Line of the T in Boston between South Station and Logan Airport is the same as the photo above. When underground it operates via catenary, but about 1/2 way it switches to surface streets. From there, it operates on diesel.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#6 trainman74

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:15 PM

In addition to Philadelphia and Boston, the other three U.S. cities with trolleybuses are San Francisco, Seattle, and Dayton. (Yes, Dayton.)

#7 FrensicPic

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:22 PM

The Silver Line of the T in Boston between South Station and Logan Airport is the same as the photo above. When underground it operates via catenary, but about 1/2 way it switches to surface streets. From there, it operates on diesel.

The trolley bus shown by PRR 60 runs on electricity full time ... no diesel engine.


John...

22,913 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and Capitol Limited.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

6489 more miles booked

 

Photos: http://www.flickr.co...rensicpic/sets/<p> 


#8 BCL

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:35 PM

San Francisco Municipal Railway (which is mostly a bus system) operates a large network of these, which was noted.  However, the Siemens system looks more like a pair of caternaries.  Most "trolley buses" use hookups that can possibly come loose.  I've actually seen a driver exit a bus to get the thing hooked back up.

 

The lines are all over downtown San Francisco as well as Chinatown.



#9 FrensicPic

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:10 AM

San Francisco Municipal Railway (which is mostly a bus system) operates a large network of these, which was noted.  However, the Siemens system looks more like a pair of caternaries.  Most "trolley buses" use hookups that can possibly come loose.  I've actually seen a driver exit a bus to get the thing hooked back up.

 

The lines are all over downtown San Francisco as well as Chinatown.

I recall seeing in days past, in Los Angeles, the operator having to get out and hook back up. Usually when making a turn.


John...

22,913 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and Capitol Limited.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

6489 more miles booked

 

Photos: http://www.flickr.co...rensicpic/sets/<p> 


#10 railiner

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:43 PM

I believe MBTA's Silver Line, which uses Neoplan AN460's, is the only "Dual Mode" type in North America...the other's only operate on overhead wires.

At one time New Jersey's Public Service Coordinated Transport (predecessor to New Jersy Transit), had an extensive fleet of what they called "All-Service Vehicles", that could operate dual mode...that was mostly pre- World War II,,,

 

 

Edit:  Here's a link to a site with lots of photo's of various from lots of locations....   http://www.trolleybu...2_1950_pcbv.htm


Edited by railiner, 16 June 2017 - 01:40 AM.

metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#11 bretton88

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 10:30 PM

I've always found Dayton's system to be quaint. They did debate shutting it down a while ago, but it's become a point of Civic pride.

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#12 BCL

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:05 AM

 

San Francisco Municipal Railway (which is mostly a bus system) operates a large network of these, which was noted.  However, the Siemens system looks more like a pair of caternaries.  Most "trolley buses" use hookups that can possibly come loose.  I've actually seen a driver exit a bus to get the thing hooked back up.

 

The lines are all over downtown San Francisco as well as Chinatown.

I recall seeing in days past, in Los Angeles, the operator having to get out and hook back up. Usually when making a turn.

 

 

Where I've seen them come off is often where the lines split up when different bus routes diverge.  I guess they can't exactly use a switch like with rails.



#13 cirdan

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:26 AM

The idea of a freight version of a trolleybus is old. Examples have operated in Switzerland, the Soviet Union and in China. I don't know if there are any extant operations surviving.

 

FILOCA3-640.JPG

 

What is different about the new Siemens one is that they are talking about a much higher catenary voltage, meaning it's going to suitable for long distances rather than just a short trip as with the previous examples.



#14 fairviewroad

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:48 PM

I believe MBTA's Silver Line, which uses Neoplan AN460's, is the only "Dual Mode" type in North America...the other's only operate on overhead wires.

 

The new buses in Seattle and Philadelphia have auxiliary power units that allow them to operate "off-wire" for short distances -- up to 3 miles, I think. But these are only used to allow them to make short detours, such as when the regular route is blocked due to an accident, etc. So I don't think those are true "dual-mode" buses like in Boston.



#15 Hotblack Desiato

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:46 AM

 

Where I've seen them come off is often where the lines split up when different bus routes diverge.  I guess they can't exactly use a switch like with rails.

 

 

They absolutely can and do use switches.  It just takes a bit of precision, and if the driver messes up, the poles go one way when the bus goes the other.

 

There are a few different types of switches.  There's the selectric switch, where two contactors are staggered on the opposite wires, a short distance before the switch.  As the bus enters the turn, one pole is slightly forward of the other along the wire, and if the two poles hit the two contactors at the same time, it closes a circuit which activates the switch for the turn.  If a bus is going straight through, one pole will pass through a contactor before the other, and the circuit never closes, leaving the switch in the straight-through position.

 

These can be more common in cases with right turns from a standard turn lane.

 

There's the power/coast switch, where, in order to activate the switch, the driver must power through the contactors (coasting through them leaves the switch in the normal position).  These are often in places where wires diverge but having the bus at a turning angle right at the switch would be impractical.

 

There are other versions as well, such as switches that are controlled using a toggle switch (which sends a signal into the contactors, or perhaps acts similar to a power/coast switch, but leaves the driver free to power or coast as necessary for traffic conditions) or other setups (such as turn signals activating switches through a similar manner).



#16 Hotblack Desiato

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:48 AM

 

I believe MBTA's Silver Line, which uses Neoplan AN460's, is the only "Dual Mode" type in North America...the other's only operate on overhead wires.

 

The new buses in Seattle and Philadelphia have auxiliary power units that allow them to operate "off-wire" for short distances -- up to 3 miles, I think. But these are only used to allow them to make short detours, such as when the regular route is blocked due to an accident, etc. So I don't think those are true "dual-mode" buses like in Boston.

 

 

Seattle used to have dual-mode buses to operate in the tunnel, long before the current LRT was built.  Those buses were replaced with hybrids, and the diesel engine was removed/disabled and they became regular trolley buses.






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