Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Friday, November 24, 2006
wood you believe it?
From vilification to vindication - wood burning steam is not solely an idea from my (apparently) drug-addled mind, but is now being considered by yet another start-up line. The Kielder Railway is intending to use waste wood from Kielder Forest to power its steam locomotive.
Of course when I manage to tear myself away from my beloved wholesale quantities of crack cocaine this makes perfect economic sense, particularly in an oil-less future. The price of coal will rocket as demand increases. Coal is finite, wood - when carefully managed - is not only infinite but can be carbon-neutral.
And yes, I am keeping my eye on fusion, which will of course be the ultimate key to a solar economy, but there is only a 50% chance it will work, and it will still be high-tech in a low-tech world. You'll never get a locomotive-sized fusion reactor, let alone a car-sized one, and who would seriously want to see catenary over Midford Viaduct in any case? It's rather missing the point ...
The lovely irony of course is that nuclear fusion will be yet another form of steam power, as it will be steam generated by fusion that will drive the turbines ...