lsayre wrote:A different thread has drifted to where it is discussing the history of trains. This has me thinking that with the astronomical cost of diesel fuel these days, will there come a time (or perhaps is now the time) when it will make economical sense for coal powered steam locomotives to stage a comeback?
The above is the first G scale mile(287 feet) of my garden railroad (I hope).
Having read the white papers about the re introduction of steam for rail traffic
it can be done.
But saying that, the simpler solution would be to electrifiy the main lines and
use smaller steam co generation plants which would use a coal fired or nuclear
plant at the half way points to efficiently transmit the power generated 350 miles
one way and 350 miles the other direction.
The Milwaukee road was electrified but they stopped stringing wire at the base of the
mountains on the routes they traveled and then never extended them over the mountain routes.
The current models of electic locomotives would be a huge asset for the class one
railroads if they converted to electic power for thier locomotive fleets and they could also
afford to have excellent crew living qaurters on the long distance trains with several
crews living on the trains as is done on the australian railroad operators(the government owns the
railroad routes there and the railroad operating companies own the trains in thier operating model)...