COAL AS A RAIL FUEL: AN ASSESSMENT OF DIRECT COMBUSTION

Railroads are critically important to the United States. More than one-third of the nation's ton-mileage goes by rail. Items such as food, fuels and manufactured goods which are crucial to maintaining a high standard of living and adequate national security depend on rail haulage. Yet, America's railroads are fueled almost exclusively by oil. Thus, railroads are an important segment of the nation's transportation system which should be considered for conversion from oil. Of the several alternatives available for reducing the rail system's dependence on oil, the possibility of converting to the direct combustion of coal has many attractive features. This report presents an assessment of economic and environmental factors involved in such a conversion. General engineering and environmental analyses are presented in which design parameters are taken to be those believed possible using modern technology. The use of coal is found to offer several direct economic benefits to the operating companies as well as numerous indirect benefits to the entire nation. Analyses found that present federal environmental standards can be met by direct coal-fired locomotives provided that modern combustion and control technology are utilized. National security would be greatly enhanced by conversion of the rail system to coal as the fundamental fuel. Moreover, a switch to the direct combustion of coal is shown to offer the quickest possible large scale conversion from oil-an important economic and security consideration. Nineteen specific results are discussed briefly.

  • Corporate Authors:

    West Virginia University, Morgantown

    Morgantown, WV  United States  26506
  • Authors:
    • Aldridge, M D
    • Campbell, T C
    • Galli, A
  • Publication Date: 1980

Media Info

  • Pagination: 42 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00334340
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Energy Research Abstracts
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 9 1981 12:00AM