747400sp
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Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:13 pm

With the worldwide commerce's growing and containerships getting larger, do you think sea train could work? Containerships are pretty much giant sea going trucks, so why not a giant sea going train? With future technology, I thick it would be good and very fuel efficient ideal.
 
petertenthije
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:32 pm

For inland shipping that's already done using push boats. They can push 1 or more barges. Of course the currents and waves are relatively minor on canals, rivers and lakes. I would imagine that the waves and currents at seas and oceans are too strong to keep the "train" reliably together.
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johns624
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:06 pm

Container ships are seagoing trains. Containers spend more time on trains than on trucks. Trucks are usually only for final delivery. All the long distance travel is by ship or train.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:11 pm

Even with powerful tugs and very strong marine grade ropes, towing any sort of large ship in the open ocean is a challenge.

I'm not a marine engineer, but I have trouble imagining a towing system that would be sturdy and flexible enough to allow multiple large and heavy floating hulls to be towed in high seas.

Just like aviation, the solution simply lies in more and/or bigger ships, depending on port congestion and charges...
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Aesma
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:42 pm

A train has an advantage over trucks by having a clear path allowing relatively constant speed, a rigid connection between cars, and low friction between rail and wheel, allowing extremely heavy loads to be transported with relatively little horsepower. Ships would never have a clear path due to waves, can't use a rigid connection, and the sea creates lots of friction. One way to reduce that friction is actually to make bigger ships.

Personally I believe in the return of sails though, either old school ones with masts, or parasails. Maybe solar panels covering the big ships too.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
L-188
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:58 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
With the worldwide commerce's growing and containerships getting larger, do you think sea train could work? Containerships are pretty much giant sea going trucks, so why not a giant sea going train? With future technology, I thick it would be good and very fuel efficient ideal.

I think we call that barge traffic. You often see multiple barges (3) being pulled by a single tug.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
Even with powerful tugs and very strong marine grade ropes, towing any sort of large ship in the open ocean is a challenge.

I'm not a marine engineer, but I have trouble imagining a towing system that would be sturdy and flexible enough to allow multiple large and heavy floating hulls to be towed in high seas

[/quote]

most of the towing is actually done with steel cables not manila lines these days. As you know these aren't the sleekest object in the water so there is a lot of stress on that line. I don't know if you could increase the number of barges being towed with some of the newer spectra lines on the market.
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prebennorholm
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:34 am

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I thick it would be good and very fuel efficient ideal.

No, it won't. Five 10,000 tonnes ships will always make more drag in the water than one 50,000 tonnes ship.

The way to maximize fuel efficiency is to build larger ships.
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Scooter01
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:06 pm

What about a floating conveyorbelt?

Scooter01  
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747400sp
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:25 am

Quoting johns624 (Reply 2):
Trucks are usually only for final delivery. All the long distance travel is by ship or train.

Yes, I have notess that that most containers are pulled by day cabs. I see that a lot container are pulled by Sterling trucks, ( not really good over the road trucks ). I know that most of JB Hunt container ride on BNSF trains, and when their truck pull their containers, it is mostly day cabs, so you may be right. We do not pull that many containers, we mostly pulll dry vans, refers and flat beds. We do some times pull containers, but it is not a big business for us.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:53 am

You are years, if not decades too late. Has been tried before and did not prove to be eocomically viable. There have been "barge motherships" whoch took in the barges piggy back, or better, like mother duck her ducklings.

The actual cargo was on the barges which were pulled inside the partially submerged ship. Nice try but does not work in real life.

Carrying the boxes on Ultra large box carriers is much more eoconomical, including the use of smaller Feeder ships to serve smaller ports on both sides of the box carriers route. In Europe, there is a mix of short sea feeder, barge on Inland water ways, Trains and trucking as well. If I have a cut-off tomorrow at noon I will send the box by truck to Hamburg or Rotterdam, if I have three days to the cut-off I use a Train.

That is partially different in the US. Using a Train for Feeder traffic is the most common practise, doe snot rule out trucks for Long distance. it all depends on several factors to make that decision.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:25 am

It would have to be a pretty impressive seagoing train to be competitive with the CSCL Globe, Mærsk Tripple E, CMA MArco Polo and MCS Oscar all loading over 16000 TEU.

The first 20,000 TEU container vessels are on the drawing boards and it's believed the first will be ordered in Japan this year.


Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
The actual cargo was on the barges which were pulled inside the partially submerged ship. Nice try but does not work in real life.

That's a LASH carrier, it did work in real life, but it's time came and now there's only a few left in service.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:54 am

LASH carriers are what comes as close as possible to the idea of a "sea train". I think we both agree that the ultra large container carriers are the non plus Ultra. Th whole infrastructure world wide is universally purpose made for the concept that intermodal boxes can be carried by various modes of Transport from warehouse anywhere to warehouse anywhere.

Mr.Mclean had a bright idea that revolucionized trade and surface transport around the world.

If something like a sea Train would be viable it would have been done already.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:35 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 11):
Mr.Mclean had a bright idea that revolucionized trade and surface transport around the world.

And thney can be repurposed into some pretty cool houses as well.

http://www.realestate.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/157639_rsd.jpg
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:51 pm

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 7):

What about a floating conveyorbelt?

Slay him.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
That is partially different in the US. Using a Train for Feeder traffic is the most common practise, doe snot rule out trucks for Long distance. it all depends on several factors to make that decision.

Our coastlines are more straightforward than yours. In Europe, you have a long and convoluted coastline with a lot of ports. So when a photocopier needs to be shipped from its manufactory in China to Malta, it makes sense for it to go via a huge containership to a major port in Europe and then to get fed to Malta on smaller ships. In the US we don't have a Malta. Or an Agean. Trains make more sense.
-Doc Lightning-

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D L X
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:07 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 4):
Personally I believe in the return of sails though, either old school ones with masts, or parasails. Maybe solar panels covering the big ships too.

You mean like this?
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2007/09/sailing-ship-re.html
 
57AZ
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:31 pm

One of the other advantages of rail over truck for most containers is that many railroad routes permit the use of stacked containers. All of the major railroads are making major investments to increase clearances and permit double stack containers on more routes.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:16 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 4):
Personally I believe in the return of sails though, either old school ones with masts, or parasails. Maybe solar panels covering the big ships too.

Celebrity has tried this concept on a few of their cruise ships.

Here's the problem: the solar panels on a ship like Celebrity Equinox generate about 25kW on a good day.

The ship's maximum power output is 72.5 MEGAwatts (IIRC). So the solar panels take 0.033% of the load off the ship's generators at maximum output when the sun is shining straight down them. Even in the most optimistic scenario in which the ship is in dock and not moving, the hotel load is rougly 25MW, so 0.1% of the load is taken up...and only if the sun is shining directly overhead.

Now, a cargo carrier has different needs. Its hotel load is much smaller (maybe 2-3 MW) but where would the PV panels go? They can't go over the cargo because that would make loading and unloading impossible. And there's still that enormous propulsion load.

Solar is just not practical for ships.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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L-188
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RE: Could A Sea Train Work?

Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:14 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 11):
Mr.Mclean had a bright idea that revolucionized trade and surface transport around the world

Actually while Mclean gets credit for the standard cube, containerized freight started with the White Pass & Yukon Railroad just before.
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