The Electric Locomotive Rant

I shudder at degree of ignorance on the current comparison rant over the beautiful and ugly trains of Ethiopia and Kenya vis-a-vis our SGR Project #smh

Of course the onslaught is being led by the RASA affiliated fellas, who only see things from a very “rasa-istic” point of view…..

…..I mean how does a national transport infrastructure get reduced to an “ugly or beautiful looking” fervent debate?

One of the basic principles of comparisons in statistics is – it’s got to be a comparison of “Apples to Apples”…!!!

You can’t compare therefore an electrified rail system to a diesel one and just orgasm at the fact that electrified trains are beautiful – Kenya should have bought those, so tume cheswa…, like seriously 😳

Quick analysis : 👇

Consider the costs involved

The electrified trains have a HUGE one time cost of installation of electrifying lines so that the trains can make a meaningful run under electric power (as in, not requiring an engine change).

Then there’s the CONTINUOUS cost of MAINTAINING the overhead electric power wire and it’s supporting infrastructure

Then you have the cost of buying electricity, or operating your own power plants

Real life Reference :👇

……Conrail, the largest (and last) operator of electrified freight, cancelled its electrified operations in 1981, the costs of simply going all diesel was much less than keeping its electrification.

……there’s Milwaukee Road, one of the former largest electrified US railroads, that discontinued its electrification in 1974 DURING an oil and gas crisis that had driven up the price of diesel fuel, but even with higher prices, it was still cheaper to convert their running costs from electrification to diesel engines.

Incase you didn’t know: 👇

Electrified Locomotives by the way isn’t a new 🎆waaaaaooow🎆 concept as the ignorant noisemakers would like us to believe :

The USA enacted the electrification of trains in the 1910’s!!! due to smoke and safety laws enacted at the time, as well as performance issues.

Electrified railroads were clearly superior in terms of smoke emission, passenger transit time and during this time, the US had the largest amount of electrified route-miles in the world.

But by 1980 Conrail, the LARGEST and LAST standing of the electrified locomotives fleet operators changed their ops to diesel.

Now if it was expensive for the US to operate electrified trains in the 1910s and 1980s – how much more expensive would it be for a developing Country like Kenya today?

……nani ame cheswa? 😯

Is it any wonder that the Ethiopian line costed less than ours? They ain’t economical thus not popular, they’ve got to be cheap! ……

****basic law of supply, demand and the pricing equilibrium msea!!! ****

Obviously they were sold to (beautiful to sight) ARCHAIC EXPENSIVE to OPERATE system with a LESS POWERFUL ENGINE, useful with only ONE luxury use…..

…Passenger transit 😕

……while Kenya obtained a STRONG albeit “ugly looking” trains, but INEXPENSIVE to run diesel cargo engine that can haul tonnes and tonnes of cargo even containers placed on top of each other:

……the Kenyan option has massive engines with DUAL PURPOSE functions:

……FREIGHT FORWARDING and Passenger transit in 5 and 4 freaking hours respectively……

Sometimes it’s important to get the facts:

…next time, rather than just wasting bundles to post “booohoo! My neighbor has a better looking wife”…..

……consider yet that the village elders have brought you a broad who’s not got the looks, but has a booty so tight you could ride her with your neighbor and still feel the grit

This post is an extract of a facebook comment by Kennedy Kyalo