On cleaning the air, a very cautionary tale

There isn’t a person following the air-pollution story (situation) closely who shouldn’t also be aware that millions worldwide annually are dying early from its effects. A truly sad state of affairs if ever there were one! It’s not as if we humans aren’t aware of the problem, in this case such being pollution – quite … Read more

Bad-air tales: It is my experience …

Actor, comedian, pianist and singer Jimmy Durante once said: “I got a million of ’em.” He was no doubt referring to “experiences.” I make reference to the above for the simple reason that experience is invaluable. A lot of experience is gained through direct observation via the eyes. More of it is acquired through sound … Read more

Earthmoving: Balto.-to-D.C. Hyperloop tunnel would be world’s longest

Yes, it’s true: Tunneling for a future Hyperloop between the City of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to commence. Or, so it would seem. It would be the world’s longest (tunnel) at around 45 miles. Indeed, earthmoving. Relatedly, after reading Michael Laris’ Oct. 19th Washington Post article “Elon Musk’s East Coast Hyperloop will launch digging in … Read more

EPA’s Clean Power Plan dead or are better days ahead?

On Jun. 5, 2014 I penned the “EPA has plan to lower emissions, raise energy efficiency, save money” post. In this I wrote: “In its news release, titled: ‘EPA Proposes First Guidelines to Cut Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants/Clean Power Plan is flexible proposal to ensure a healthier environment, spur innovation and strengthen the economy,’ the … Read more

No new natural gas plants for California?

When it comes to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, California doesn’t take the matter lightly. In this respect, in fact, the state means business – not that other states and places don’t, mean business (in this same sense), that is. As it happens, in the U.S., California is a proven leader when it comes to … Read more

Calif. high-speed rail: Regarding ‘fast-track’ building, progress steady

There appears to be a concerted push in different parts of the world to electrify the motor vehicle fleet. All well and good, but that likely seems years or decades away if at all. Still, the interest and effort appear strong. In California, a state, it is more of the same. According to Sacramento Bee … Read more

436,000 Europeans yearly dying early from particulate matter alone: Air audit underway

In “America’s air: In a state of unhealthy repair?” posted on the Air Quality Matters blog on Aug. 31, 2013, the assertion, “… one finding of a more recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is that there is a total American air-pollution-related premature death rate of approximately 200,000 annually, …” was made. To repeat: that’s … Read more

Trains and bicycles: A winning combination. Bicycles and trains: The epitome of modern-day transportation

The two oldest modes of mechanized land transportation are also two of the best – still – even after all these years. Not surprisingly, it is the train and bicycle we are talking about here. The latter, about 180 years1 in the making and the former, 20 years the bicycle’s senior; about a generation difference.2 … Read more

High-speed trains + autonomous electric vehicles or HSTs and no AEVs: What will it be?

High-speed trains have been part of the landscape, a fixture, if you will, since 1934, with Pennsylvania Railroad’s (PRR) model GG1 electric locomotive whose top speed was 100 miles per hour and for a non-electric, Union Pacific’s M-10001 diesel-electric trainset, its maximum velocity, a reputed 120 mph. Certainly not to be overlooked were the many … Read more

Hydrogen-powered train to hit the rails running in 2018

Fuel cells have been around for a while now. So, it would make perfect sense that fuel-cell technology would eventually find application in the railway domain. And, now it has. Alstom, the French company, is one manufacturer getting into the game. “The Coradia iLint is the first low floor passenger train worldwide powered by a … Read more