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Heated Airport Runways

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heathead
heathead Member Posts: 234
Today show had segment on heated airport runways with carbon fiber and electricity in concrete. Why doesn't a Pex manufactures get on board to do this with hydronics? What am I missing, except super cost to operate, but the electrical costs would be huge also.
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Comments

  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
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    I’m not sure you can cost effectively add plastic tubing in a runway and still maintain the required load rating without dramatically increasing costs. This system can probably go closer to the surface and therefore is more effective so operating costs may be lower. No impact to concrete strength. Might even improve it.
    delta TCLamb
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
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    Also, the piping distribution and size of boilers would be immense. Electricity has much much better energy density, especially if they run it at 277v or even higher. Airports are fed 13.2k like large factories. So lots of power available.

    Sounds expensive on electric bills but compare
    That to lost revenue from cancelled flights and
    less passengers in terminals. Then consider the labor and chemical costs to remove snow.

    Factor in that with hot water I need glycol and I have to heat all of that water before it does anything. Also, this system would be used mainly at night with off peak rates which can be $0.03/Kwhr incrementally for a large user like this so it’s actually cheaper than natural gas at that point especially with lower installation costs.
    delta T
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    Runways are HUGE! DIA (nearest international airport to me) has 6 runways that total 12,200,000 sq ft. Most of the runways are 12,000' x 150' (5 of these) and one that is 16,000' x 200'. This is just runways, the taxi ways add a ton more area. Distribution of electrical heat is much easier to achieve than using hydronics. I could see a small municipal airport maybe working with hydronics, but not a large one.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,574
    edited January 2018
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    I can't find the article but I don't know of any complete runways that have snowmelt.
    Denver International has some big deicing areas that have snowmelt. Not sure how they heat them.
    Electric snowmelt is really problematic. I have done a handful of small ones. The life expectancy is 10-15 years and they are crazy expensive to run.
    Today you can buy NG in the west for less than $5/Decatherm you would have to be able to buy electricity at $0.019 cents/Kw for it to be a wash. It does not just snow at night so there would be demand charges as well.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    Conductive concrete has been around for at least 10 years. We had it in the Thursday newsletter a bunch of times. It makes more sense for roads and runways. I hope to stick around to see better batteries arrive.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,574
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    That is cool!
    Still think the cost of electricity is going to be the limiting factor keeping it from going large scale.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    @Zman, think PV.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,574
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    @DanHolohan
    Solar Panels generate about 2 watts per square feet. Snowmelt requires 30-60 watts per square foot depending on conditions.
    Not much sunshine when it is snowing. Real expensive to store the energy. What am I missing?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    It's all very simple, don't fly in the winter - take the train. Postpone overseas flights till spring.

    Can you imagine the energy you would save?

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    ZmanCanuckerj a_2
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    Yes. That’s why I’m hoping to be around for the big batteries.
    Retired and loving it.
    ZmanCanucker
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
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    Maybe in 50 years we will all have self guided personal aircraft.

    Imagine, no noisy streets, no roads and no airports. When it snows, we can enjoy it's beauty without snow plows destroying the landscape and leaving a dirty toxic mess behind that is slowly invading our clean water supplies.

    Instead we'll have a sky full of raucous man made birds zipping around in patterns that will dizzy even the dead.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,590
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    they already exist


    https://youtu.be/F8shiw6zY_A

    @30 min battery time, @200mph top speed,
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
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    All they need for assisting runway snow removal is to break the bond between ice and concrete, and then the plows can be more effective.
    There must be such a problem as to where the melted snow would flow, so it would be much easier to push the snow out of the way.—NBC
    CLamb
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    Portable melter, 30 million BTU/hr.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmDl_nETs8U
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Zman
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
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    Doing it the old fashioned way:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LSGCvfaMRHo
    ratioSolid_Fuel_Man
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    Oh, my.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    Excellent idea, snow melting, with the most expensive energy available. Who do you think is going to pay for this? Yup, the flying American public...

    If they'd do it hydronically, they wouldn't even need a boiler. The Japanese used a water well to melt the snow in the parking lot of an Olympic venue with 40 degree F water.

    The only cost of operation was that of the electric pump motor. A simple pump and dump back into the same aquifer that they draw the water out of. Have to keep the water moving for obvious reasons, but STILL a lot less expensive that what they are proposing.

    The University of Oklahoma did almost the same thing using nothing more than a large pit with buried tubing, using an alcohol/water solution on some bridges on the interstate. Still operational to the best of my knowledge. They did the same thing on I-80 in Wyoming.

    Heck, why not consider using some of the waste heat that they reject out of the airport with their cooling towers?

    There are better ways. Just need to think outside the regular box. They need to hold a contest to see who comes up with the best, unique ideas to melt snow. Large centrally located pit, using waste heat, well based pump and dumps, lots of less expensive, environmentally favorable ways.

    Denver International has a company called Aero that uses the same set up that HR showed. They nearly killed two operators due to carbon monoxide poisoning...

    Hydronics Rules!

    ME

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    adasilva
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    Great post, Mark. Thanks!
    Retired and loving it.
    Mark Eatherton
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    I wonder if a geo snowmelt could be encouraged to flow via gravity?
  • adasilva
    adasilva Member Posts: 144
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    Very good ideas but what about delays due to deicing the jets???
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    Will still require spraying planes with hot glycol to remove the snow on them, but at least the run ways would be open.

    Time required for de-icing is minor compared to complete closures. Manageable.

    ME

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    Um... couple of thoughts. As usual. First, complete closures of an airport for snow removal are really pretty uncommon. Closure of one runway, yes. The whole show? Not so much. And it only happens when it is really snowing hard -- you have to balance the energy required to melt several inches of snow per hour with that required to push it off with a battalion of plows... then, ice or water on the runway is a more serious problem than an inch or two of snow. Good pilots, in modern aircraft, can cope with astonishingly slippery conditions -- provided they are uniform (landed a 727 once at Boston when it was literally too slippery to stand on the ramp. But uniform. Taxiing in from the runway was... ah... interesting).

    Then... have you added up the area involved? An Interstate bridge is one thing (and they can be a hazard -- check YouTube!) but it's perhaps 200 feet by 80 feet. A decent runway at an air carrier airport is 200 feet... wide... by 8000 feet.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ZmanCLambSolid_Fuel_Man
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,155
    edited January 2018
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    Oh, my.

    =====================================================
    Hello Dan,



    That unit is a " baby" diesel powered self propelled Rolba Narrow gauge railway snow clearer used on the Swiss Railway Bernina line.
    It has twin snow clearing heads with two 2 stage snow throwers that are designed to be moved laterally to help clear the right of way to a wider width.

    This same unit is somewhat like the Beilhack units it copies except the Beilhack unit has two single stage snow clearing heads, with two boom mounted snow and ice breaking propellers and two snow and ice breaking propellers mounted on the snwo clearing heads.

    Both units are self propelled and use a hydraulic lift/landing pad that is lowered to the middle of the trackbed/flangeway to raise it up and allow it to turn in its own length to travel in the opposite direction,

    With both the Beilhack and the Rolba units they would have to switch the snow clearer and the B unit on their balloon track, Wye or locomotive turntable to allow it to travel in the opposite direction with the B unit attached.

    The overhead high voltage electric pantograph powered B unit behind it provides additional traction to allow this diesel powered unit to climb the 7 percent grades on the line.
    ========================================================

    The first Picture I attached is of the HB1000S Beilhack snow clearer with a single chute and spout system attachment that was one of two units purchased by CONRAILthe second unit is an HB900S.

    The second picture is of an Beilhack HB1600S railway snwo clearer and it can clear 22000+ tons per hour snow on a standard gauge railway line on the first pass.

    =====================================================
    In northern japan and Hokkaido Island they have huge snow melting pits that are used to melt and dispose of the heavy snow that they have to get rid of every year. The dump trucks haul the snow to the melting pits and dump it into the water and the water is so hot it is steaming and melts quickly allowing them to dump snow around the clock to keep the streets open.

    I believe they use the natural geothermal heat that is used locally for local heating plants at this snow melting pit-shame on me I did not save the video like I should have ;^0, I think I found it on youtube and I still kick my self for not saving it.

    Back to runways and geothermal:

    The Water Furnace folks use both semi open loop heating methods-well water to the heating and cooling load and then the same water is pumped back into a secondary well that is used to receive the water.
    The open loop methods for their geothermal systems
    use an open water course for its feed water and the same water is returned to the water course.

    One of their first water first installations was done in Manhattan in a non profit business that has 2 drilled wells deep into the granite there to create a semi open loop system with a deep drilled well using a water well pump to pull cold well water deep in the granite and then it is returned to the same well and allowed to cool and eventually fall back to the bottom of the well to be used as a heat exchange medium.

    They have done this several times in NYC after the first system was installed.

    The open loop method is used at the Cornell University lake source cooling system with a heat exchanger building on East shore drive with a cooling loop that comes down lake street to East Shore Drive.

    They created the loop to the lake water using twin HDD drilled
    tunnels lined with steel casing to connect a low suction pipe and a higher discharge pipe using polyethylene fused pipe that was submerged and buried and kept in place with concrete blocks to hold it on place to keep it from floating.

    They based their design on the one used at the University of Hawaii and Toronto is doing the same thing for district heating and cooling. I am not sure if the system in Toronto has been completed.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Museum Of The Earth had a pair of drilled Geothermal wells to 1,550 feet to heat and cool the museum and they drilled through tw salt seams to complete the wells before they used hydraulic fracturing to break the rock in the bottom of the two wells to allow more salt water to be move through the rock to make more salt water and to shed heat to the rock or gain heat from the rock and they are pumping salt water through their heat exchangers ;^0.

    I would imagine that they have replaced the heat exchangers and well pumps more than once by now.

    Its Ironic as the NYSDEC told them it was perfectly fine to drill through the salt beds to create thier 2 geothermal wells.

    They were told by the well driller and "me" that drilling through the salt was a mistake and would destroy the geothermal heating system.

    They were also told that for every one hundred feet of well depth they would have one ton of cooling and heating power in a drilled well.

    =====================================================





  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    Here's another one for rotary plow fans...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo-mA5KCsyI
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    @leonz Thanks for the education! Fascinating stuff.
    Retired and loving it.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    @Jamie Hall The Donners could have used that. ;-0
    Retired and loving it.
    kcopp
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,155
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    Here's another one for rotary plow fans...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo-mA5KCsyI

    Hello Jamie,

    There is an interesting story to go along with Uncle Petes Rotary plows(Union Pacific Rail Road)

    The UPRR operations on Donner Pass run in this manner:

    The freight "consists" depend on rigid non adjustable nose plows on the locomotives for the first three feet of snow in the two track main across Donner Pass. They follow this with the one or two flange plow M.O.W. (Maintenance Of Way) train sets consisting of two locomotives and a flange plow car between the two locomotives if the snow is coming down heavily. if the flange plow sets cannot keep up with the snowfall they bring out the Jordan plows to push the snow back up to 12 or so feet high. the Jordan plow trains have 2 Jordan plows, one on each end of the plow train and up to five locomotives for traction/adhesion to climb the pass.

    If the Jordan plows cannot keep up with the snows they bring up the rotary plow trains and these plow trains can have 5 or more locomotives with rotary plows on each end and each rotary plow has a B unit to provide electricity and a steam generating car to provide steam to the rotary plow to keep the rotary plows wing plows free of ice.
    The plow train has a dining car, tool and maintenance car and a sleeper car as the volunteers on the plow trains live on the plow trains while they are working on the mountain.

    With up to 4 plow trains running up and down the mountain they will have 14 men on each rotary plow train and 5 or more locomotives on each train and if you take the locomotives and the B units on the rotary plows as a whole they can consume
    over 300 gallons per hour of diesel fuel per train set to keep the mountains double track route open.

    They hire private contractors to clear the sidings on the mountain with backhoes, small bulldozers and plow trucks and the plow trains will stop and pump off diesel fuel into the contractors bulldozers and other equipment as it is not possible to bring a fuel truck to where they are working.

    The Beilhack HB1600S railway snow clearers weigh 82 tons without fuel, both two axle railcar trucks are self propelled and the HB1600S can rotate in its own length to travel in the opposite direction. The HB1600S can clear more than 22,000 tons per hour with the new engines and the hydrostatic transmission. They can be operated by one or two persons and can travel up to 50 miles per hour. The beilhack units have a flange plow mounted on the carrier as well to clear the flangeway (distance between each rail rail) as they clear snow at any speed.

    I asked a UP manager why they have not scrapped the rotary plows and he told me that they do not get that much snow to justify buying new railway snow clearers from Europe, go figure. BNSF told me the same thing yet they spent more than it would cost to buy a pair of HB1200S units and they rebuilt and repowered the two existing Great Northern rotary plows that were still usable and added new/rebuilt diesel locomotive engines and they still need locomotive power to push them

    Sorry about the boring trivia.














    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    Not boring at all for me, a long time rail buff... How did you get so knowledgeable on this stuff? Train Engineer?

    ME

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    @leonz Definitely not boring! Thanks.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    Not boring trivia at all -- but then, I'm a rail fan. On the various ways of clearing snow -- one has to remember that Donner Pass (or Marias Pass, for BNSF) are both long and high elevation -- and they have to be kept open for freight. Snow fall rates can be high, and total amounts can be quite impressive. Most storms, however, can be handled with the plows on the engines, with very little impact on operations which is really important (when you're running that much tonnage over the mountain, you don't want to wait for a special train if you can possibly help it!)(20,000 tons per hour each way...)

    The Jordan spreaders do a very fine job of removing the snow; I've watched them in action. They do almost all of the really heavy lifting. Using them, however, takes a track out of service for the time it takes to clear -- which can be several hours given the length of track involved (well over 100 miles). They don't move quite as fast as the rated speed of the European units, but routinely operate at 30 or so. I might point out that a heavy Sierras snowfall will weigh on the order of 3 tons of snow per foot of double track -- so at 22,000 tons per hour... the European units could clear... about a mile and a half of double track per hour. Which just won't do.

    The biggest problem on both passes is later in the season, when the snow banks get too high for the Jordans. That's when the contractors are called out to push the banks (which can easily top 20 feet) back. Contractors are also used on some of the sidings, as you say -- but I wouldn't regard the equipment they have to use for the job (Cat D8s and up) as small...

    The European units are wonderful, and are very well suited -- as they should be -- to the European railroads and conditions. I have grave doubts, however, that they would be able to handle the problems on either pass -- the guys who are doing the work really have figured it out. The rotaries, incidentally, are as much whimsy as anything. But they're kind of fun to have around... I doubt that anyone regards them as a last resort, though -- anything over 16 feet deep on the track they just can't handle. The Jordans can, if the banks are far enough back. So you try to keep them that way...

    It's fun watching them operate though, isn't it?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    Um... couple of thoughts. As usual. First, complete closures of an airport for snow removal are really pretty uncommon. Closure of one runway, yes. The whole show? Not so much. And it onlyhappens when it is really snowing hard -- you have to balance the energy required to melt several inches of snow per hour with that required to push it off with a battalion of plows... then, ice or water on the runway is a more serious problem than an inch or two of snow. Good pilots, in modern aircraft, can cope with astonishingly slippery conditions -- provided they are uniform (landed a 727 once at Boston when it was literally too slippery to stand on the ramp. But uniform. Taxiing in from the runway was... ah... interesting).

    Then... have you added up the area involved? An Interstate bridge is one thing (and they can be a hazard -- check YouTube!) but it's perhaps 200 feet by 80 feet. A decent runway at an air carrier airport is 200 feet... wide... by 8000 feet.

    Jamie, what airline did you fly for, I was I mechanic at Eastern till we went on strike...there was a world airways DC10 in the early 80s that slid off the runway due too ice on the runway couple people died...the plane was sold to a scraper and they hired a bunch of us from the heavy maintenance crew to disasembe it...there was a huge snow melter over by b terminal that they dumped the snow into...deicing was always a blast, I was amazed that just a slight frost on the wings could kill the lift...I loved the B727, but not as much as the phantoms I crewed. F4 C D E AND RF...
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    Our hangers had heated groved floors and the aprons leading into them...I could not even imagine a heated runway
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    Northeast. That was one of their beautiful Yellowbirds. I loved the 727 -- sweet flying airplane (even if it did have a couple of gotchas).

    That whole flight I mentioned was dodgy -- it was Washington National (as it was in those days!) to Boston. Deice, took off in freezing rain. Absolute maximum performance climb out of that bird to get out of the ice (the stewardesses told me the folks in back were a bit perturbed at the deck angle... can't blame them). Fortunately very little wind, and right straight down the runway at Boston. Taxiing in was differential thrust on 1 and 3, 2 shut down. Braking action was nil.

    I remember that DC-10. Those guys never really had a decent chance.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,155
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    Hello Jamie, Dan and all,

    The european railroad scrapped all their rotary plows and there are a couple that they bring out of the museums in Germany and there are two or three left in the eastern block countries. Romania has at least one.

    I grew up in a railroad town-Ithaca, New York and I have been involved with snow removal as a home owner and at the mine job I retired from.

    I have had a life long interest in snow removal of all types and especially with railroads including the Great Northern from 1888 to 1970.

    Conrail purchased an HB100S and and HB900S from Beilhack in 1975-6 and they were shipped from Bavaria, Germany to the United States.

    They had them doing many snow clearing jobs in their Buffalo Yards and the rail yards near Albany as well as acting as a flange plow to clear the flangeway to prevent derailments on many miles of CSX railroad track that is used for freight and passenger service.

    At the time the served many shippers that had difficult access where they had no way to turn around on a balloon track, wye or turntable at the shippers location or on their right of way
    The Lock Haven Sub Division along the Lake Ontario shore line was one major reason where they had to deal with many miles of avalanches along many miles of the right of way and they needed to be able to turn around in a small space and open the right of way further coming back to the crossings along the Lock Haven Subdivision.
    The Buffalo Yards was another choke point where they had to keep the sidings clear to allow the trains to be made up into consists and allow them to keep the east west main line open along the lake and through to Syracuse and Albany as well.

    The fully extended snow moldboards on the HB1000S and HB900S can create a 15 foot plus cleared right of way on the second pass by fully extending both snow clearing heads with the moldboards are fully extended to scrape the snow to the snow clearing heads to clear it. their bigger brothers the HB1200S and HB1600S also have this capability.

    The 2 boom mounted snow and ice breaking propellers are driven independently through a Voith Hydrostatic full reversing transmission that is powered by three Mercedes Benz V 12 turbo charged and after cooled diesel engines the two larger diesel engines are used to power the snow clearing heads and the smaller V 12 engine is use to provide the motive Power for the snow clearer and the electricity for the lighting system and snow clearers control systems including the rotation system that allows it to rotate within its own length to travel in the opposite direction.


    (I had to delete more information as my message was too long)
    ;^(

    The advantages for the use of any Beilhack snow clearer are many:

    1. Labor; only one or two operators are needed to run these machines with mainline qualified Maintenance Of Way personnel.
    2. fuel savings-compared to needing 3 to 5+ locomotive engines and 2 B-units on each plow trains and two steam generating cars with shell and tube boilers, a tool and parts car and a sleeping car on each plow train.
    3 speed of snow clearing; the flangeway can be plowed at the same time the right of way is being cleared saving an extra step.
    4. adaptability to all conditions.
    5. each unit is self propelled with no need for a string of locomotives to push it
    6. a second rotary plow is and B unit is not needed
    7. eliminates the need for two locomotives for a flange plow train set and 5 railway employees on each flange plow train
    8. the HB900S, HB100S, HB1200S and HB1600S snow clearers can clear a 15 plus foot deep snow pack with no restrictions
    as the snow and ice breaking propellers knock down all the snow and Ice on the right of way. The rotary plows cannot clear snow above 13 feet deep and a very small width along the right of way outside the rails.
    9. service and maintenance is easier as the snow clearers can be garaged, serviced and repaired quickly out of the weather where a component failure on the Leslie type rotary plow requires that a crane be used to remove the snow fan to remove the electric motors or to change a bad gear set.
    10. the snow clearing discs create no stress on the mounting frame as it does not have the parts used on a rotary plow including the main bearing and 4 electric motors to rotate the single snow fan on a Leslie type rotary plow.
    11. no steam generator is needed as the snow moldboards are operated by hydraulic power versus compressed air used on the rotary plows to extend and retract the rotary plows equipped with snow moldboard plows on the sides of the snow fan frame.

    The two boom mounted snow and ice breaking propellers
    can be extended fully outward and break the snow pack while making the first pass with the snow clearing heads fully retracted in the closed position and the snow moldboards fully extended to clear a wide path on the first pass.

    The Beihack snow clearers are not limited in their ability to clear deep snows and will clear snow and I that is over 15 feet deep in one pass with no locomotives as power units.
    I have a color picture of the red colored HB900S clearing an 15 foot plus tall avalanche on the Lock Haven Division and its a beautiful thing to see.

    I also have more pictures of one of the Swiss Railways Beilhack snow clearers on a siding next to the passenger line while it was clearing snwo that was over 18 feet deep to clear the siding under the pantograph wire.

    The snow and ice breaking propeller mounted on each clearing head breaks the snow and ice down even further to a very small portion and the snow clearing discs discharge the snow left or right or forward using the twin chutes on the snow clearer or in the case of the HB1000S in the one picture has a center mounted chute that is controlled with hydraulics and able to throw the snow forward as far as is needed to clear the line if there is no room to discharge it to the left or right on the first pass..

    The twin snow clearing heads also have two smaller snow and ice breaking propellers one in each lower corner to prevent snow and ice building up on the snow clearer.



    The snow clearing discs have 4 scoops welded to each disc and operate at a very high speed of rotation to discharge the snow and ice wherever the operator wishes to put it with the twin chute and spout assemblies that come as standard equipment.

    The rotaries can only discharge the snow left or right.

    The smaller HB units(without the S designation) are also capable of being used as switching and ,mainline locomotives as well.
    They can remove the snow clearing heads and the separate power unit for the snow clearing system for it to do multiple tasks for the maintenance of a rail line like ditching, mowing pantograph line repair, using a dump bed that can be rotated to carry ballast stone, a Hiab Crane can be installed to move railroad ties and rail parts as well as an insulated bucket boom for high voltage electrical work.


    The Bean Counters in purchasing do not want to spend money unless they are forced to as they have stockholder to answer to.

    I still hope to see Donner electrified as the Bombardier Traxx locomotives would be perfect for the hill as they have been hauling iron ore for LKAB Kiruna for almost 20 plus years now with much steeper grades in Sweden.

    I had to delete more stuff :neutral:

    Lots of railroad trivia :smiley:


    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited January 2018
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    One word mass. Runways are 24" thick taxiways 21" thick tarmac are 16 to 21" thick. Plus a 4" asphalt improved sub grade then granular sub base.

    Logistics on placing pex during paving operations would be a nightmare.

    Now do the math on that snowmelt system for 5000 to 10000 foot runways and operating cost.......

    Mark Eatherton
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
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    I’m surprised to hear the most effective railway snow clearing is done with imported machinery. Can’t we make them here? There should be no shortage of American ingenuity, and snow to test it on right here.
    Or is this the result of declining domestic technical education?
    —NBC
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    This thread has morphed into one of the most interesting ones ever. Thanks, guys!
    Retired and loving it.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    I’m surprised to hear the most effective railway snow clearing is done with imported machinery. Can’t we make them here? There should be no shortage of American ingenuity, and snow to test it on right here.
    Or is this the result of declining domestic technical education?
    —NBC

    I don't think it's so much a matter of we can't do it here as it is of run what you brung. Railroads have many demands on their capital, and until fairly recently (say the past 20 years) they had a hard time attracting capital. So... if you have a nice big Jordan (or some other rather amazing home brews) plus three or four temporarily surplus engines (adding up, I might add, to perhaps 12,000 to 16,000 horsepower) it was -- and remains -- easier and less expensive to hook it all together, call a crew, and plow off 60 or 70 miles of track in a shift (100 plus if things go well... which, now and then they do).

    The big rotaries are, as I mentioned, rather a whimsy -- and not all that useful as they do take a big crew. As a result, there aren't many of them (five or six operational, I think) and are used as rarely as possible.

    It's all in scale -- and a freight we would regard as normal (12,000 feet, 15,000 tons, 20,000 horsepower) is unheard of in Europe -- and if you watch any of the six transcons (Union Pacific two; BNSF two, CP one, CN one), you'll see one of those wander by, in each direction, every half hour or so. At 79 mph. On a 2,000 plus mile run (about the same distance as Moscow to Madrid in Europe -- Amsterdam to Rome is 1,000 miles -- more or less the same as Chicago to Denver).

    I'd love to see the transcons electrified, too -- years ago both the then GN transcon and the Milwaukee (now mostly abandoned)were. Maintenance was a killer. Now? The problem is simple -- as @leonz says, the bean counters have a say. They're having enough trouble finding the cash for PTC and upgrading and maintaining the track (it does take a pounding!) never mind the billions (trillions?) it would take to electrify what would amount to over 30,000 track miles. One would not electrify only the steeper portions (on GN and Milwaukee the electrification wasn't for grade, but for tunnels) as the engine changes would be scheduling nightmares -- as it is now, the same engines run through from end to end --- crew changes and refueling take only about 15 minutes.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England