samhill wrote:MCB, I have had the pleasure to operate quite a few steam cars, trucks, tractors & even what we called thermos engines(basically a loco that got steam from the boiler house rather than on board) one of the big drawbacks I knew of was maint. they were built so heavy to withstand the torque that they were a lubrication nightmare. With the modern tech we have today I think they could refine & improve steam engines & maybe make a go of it, I would try one in trucks first, more than enough power & room for a good size engine & whatever the choice of fuel.
That being said GE has a new Evolution Series diesel-electric engine that is billed as a fuel saver & they make a ton of them right here in Erie but most are all being bought overseas. For some reason the U.S. doesn't seem to want to modernize. Another thing I question is diesel price, most of my life diesel was always cheaper than gas & now it's reversed.
I think if anything they could have more small regional power plants
that would generate electricity for pantograph(overhead power lines)
fed electric locomotives.
We have so many power plants that are now shut down and mothballed in
New York that could feed electric powered rail lines with a bit of effort on
governments part as we are never going to get rid of coal or oil.
I know most of the electric trains in Europe are hydro power fed units but we have
coal that could be used to generate electricity to move freight and passengers.
Everything has its opportunity cost:
-meaning what are you willing to give up,barter/ trade
or pay for to obtain a desired result/item for your use.