California PG&E power shut offs -- How does that affect Amtrak??

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Rover, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. Oct 9, 2019 #1

    Rover

    Rover

    Rover

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  2. Oct 9, 2019 #2

    Just-Thinking-51

    Just-Thinking-51

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    My local electric company keeps getting surprised ever winter, when the there wires go down. However the dividend they pay out keeps getting better ever year.

    The railroad do use commercial power, they also have batteries, and truck loads of generators available.

    Had a storm passed by in Kansas in the evening with loss of power. The Union Pacific RR had there MOW personnel out in force with generators and fuel. The power was restored the next daylight period, but for the UPRR that was too long of a wait.
     
  3. Oct 9, 2019 #3

    PRR 60

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    These are not outages caused by storms. These are intentional power shutdowns to prevent wildfires in the event a line comes down into dry vegetation. Transmission lines and substations are switched off resulting in large areas losing power. Power is not restored until weather conditions reduce the wildfire risk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  4. Oct 9, 2019 #4

    Skyline

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    Even after weather conditions improve, it is my reading that it could take almost a week longer as every inch of transmission lines must be inspected to insure no breaches that could ignite a fire. Welcome to the new reality.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2019 #5

    TiBike

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    It's both distribution and transmission lines. PG&E (and SCE and SDG&E) cover their butts by saying that it could take a week to restore power, but up until now they've gotten the inspections done in a few hours. The question is how long the outages need to last, and that's a function of weather conditions. Whether they turn power back on and back off as weather changes through the day is an open question. This is new stuff for PG&E – SDG&E has been doing it for years. They just started proactive power cuts last year, and fumbled with it. They've never done anything as extensive as what they're doing today, so there's no way to predict what'll happen.

    Last October, PG&E did a relatively limited public safety power shutoff, and people complained bitterly. They didn't do a proactive cut later in November, and the Camp Fire started and killed 85 people. All of California's investor owned utilities issued new wildfire prevention plans earlier this year, and a common theme was err on the side of safety, and NIMBYs be damned. The forecast today is still for 50 MPH winds with single digit humidity. It's no joke.
     
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