To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Subject: response to gerben Wulf from Netizen kevikens
Actually the question of building brand new coal fired steam locomotives did come up at the conference. Steam turbine technology apparently is very efficient and if run using coal would supposedly be able to replace diesel on most lines. The problem appears to be with American industry. There no longer exist any factories capable of making such locomotives. China was the last country to make coal fired steam locomotives and they stopped about ten years ago. To make such locomotives the US would have to retool what few steel mills still operate to fabricate the parts and then build erection shops to put them together. There may be a few abandoned erection shops on presently existing railroads but we may not have any trained personnel who know what to do with steam technology. Our dependence on petroleum fuels may have killed the knowledge of how to produce energy using other technologies. The ATC pretty much dismissed the proposal as impractical in the short term and questioned whether either industry or the federal government had the will to commit to a long term solution. Perhaps if the bottom drops out of the economy with soaring oil costs this will necessitate a domestic Marshall Plan that would mobilize the resources required to adapt to other fuel sources and energy producing technologies.