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Tim Richards on December 3rd on the oil shortage, 2006

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Subject: Dont get rid of rails!!

It seems people are forgetting that oil running out is coming rather soon. Then most cars buses ect are going to be off the road FACT.
Bio fuels are good (i use bio diesel myself) but we would need an area the size of England to produce as much as we'd need for half our consumption.

Its unavoidable there is no getting away from it. And i am sure many of you are thinking technology can save cant we aren’t that advanced!! the internal combustion engine is crude and wasteful and always will be. So some sort of public transport will be needed (unless your very rich or a farmer)

As for slating rail.. metal on metal has traction difficulties but has far less friction than a tire and if u can prove otherwise please do. Also railways stock/rails don’t wear out nearly as fast as any road going machine they just keep going worn or not. Look at all the old steam loco’s still going

I believe after the oil shortage rail will be the only way round the country for average Joe so to speak. Also rail boasts the only machine to move hundreds of tons at 90+mph burning wood/coal/practically anything you can find. Steam engine's are big and heavy but modern ones can return efficiency well over what any internal combustion engine can achieve.

It would be hard to build a bus with one of these units but that’s what "out of date Victorian engineering" was built to do. Britain used to have the best rail network in the world fares were cheap ect because thousands worked on the railways and it was needed! Accident were very rare.

Admitably the current railways system seems out of date but the reasons for railways been built in the first place will once again come back. I am only a 20 year old engineering student but I wish people would wish been so short sited as my generation (and yours) will be living i n a world far different form what we are used to and the pie! ce of en gineering you are trying to destroy will probably save thousands of lives and enable us to hang on to a little of our way of life.


Following Tim Richard's piece we comment.

  1. Whereas everything will eventually run out, oil reserves may last for decades and coal for hundreds of years. Oil can be made from coal and electricity, however generated, may be used to fuel electric road vehicles.
  2. We do not "slate rail" instead we research the facts. Contrary to expectation those show that, if express coaches and lorries had access to the rights of way occupied by the trains, costs would be cut by a factor of at least four, the death rate to passengers would be halved, fuel consumption would be reduced by 20-25% and carbon emissions by 15%. Further those express coaches and lorries would fill only a small fraction of the capacity available. For example, even in London and in the peak hour, the passenger flow , if carried all seated in 50-seat coaches , would occupy only one fifth of the capacity available. Hence the spare could be taken up by the many thousands of lorries and other vehicles that currently clog unsuitable rural roads and city streets so bringing very substantial environmental benefits to the nation. See facts sheets 1 to 12.
  3. And now,  2012, we have shale gas.

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