There is one railway line in the World which is a net producer of electricity. Which one?


14 Responses to “Quiz”

  1. Nick Says:

    Every electrified railway is a producer of electricity — locomotives generate power when go downhill.

  2. da-boss Says:

    Correct, but when they go uphill they consume electricity. Because of friction, wind drag and other losses most railway lines are net consumers of electricity – meaning they use more than they produce. There is one however which generates more than it uses…

  3. Nick Says:

    Coefficient of efficiency > 100%? Perpetuum mobile? =) Interesting.

  4. da-boss Says:

    Watch this space…

  5. Nick Says:

    Actually, I think that there is no miracle – they just have both diesel and electric locomotives in the same train and climb uphill on diesel power and then recuperate the energy during descends and stopping. But i don’t know where it is. Switzerland? China? Some mountain parts of Russia?

  6. Nick Says:

    South Island? =)

  7. da-boss Says:

    Clever – diesel/electric hybrids could be a possible answer. But no, the line I am referring to only runs electric locomotives. OK – a hint. In what circumstances would a train rolling downhill recuperate more power than it uses to climb the same hill?

  8. Nick Says:

    When it goes up empty and down loaded?

  9. da-boss Says:

    Getting hot…

    There is iron ore bounty
    At a place with no gum tree
    But to sell it offshore
    They have to get it to port
    Which is in another country

  10. Nick Says:

    Wow, that’s a poem =) Will you give us an answer?

  11. da-boss Says:

    Most of the iron ore dug out at Kiruna, Sweden is transported by train to the port terminal in Narvik, Norway. The ore-laden trains cross the border at some 500m above sea level for a final descent to Narvik. They use recuperative brakes on the down slope, meaning the power generated is fed back into the grid. When the same trains return to Sweden they are empty and use less power to get to the border than they had generated on the way down. So the Norway end of the Kiruna-Narvik iron ore railway line is a net producer of power.

    I thought that was interesting.

  12. Nick Says:

    Cool! It is very interesting indeed. I’ve been to Sweden and Norway, in Bodo, not far from Narvik. Very impressive place.

  13. da-boss Says:

    I worked in Norway for 6 months in my late teens. Stayed mainly in Oslo but also traveled to Trondheim. I still have a soft spot for the Nordic countries. In many ways Norway is like NZ – 4 million people, beautiful landscape, isolation, two official languages, 80+% of hydro power generation…

  14. Nick Says:

    Yes, but in many other ways like very strong government influence on people’s lives, very regulated pretty much everything, church which is not separated from the state, strange car policies, etc. NZ, happily, is not like Norway.
    Nevertheless we decided to emigrate from Russia right after we came back from there =)

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