Considering that millions of commuters have been riding those trains for decades around the world and that the health risks, if any get lost in the noise, I’m not sure what the issue is. The fact is that the modern well maintained diesel locomotive is about as efficient as any electric when it comes to pollution aspects. When you have a heavy traffic situation like the NY region, parts of Europe and Japan, electrics pay off in faster acceleration and top speeds depending on the requirements and lose because of the higher up front costs for infrastructure. Wind and solar would just add intermittency to an already bumpy load curve. The load curve issue has been around as long as electric railroads. That and the transmission losses over long distances are why electric railroads have never predominated after dieselization.
Diesel trains may expose passengers to exhaust
Levels of certain airborne pollutants are up to nine times higher in train cars directly behind diesel locomotives than on a busy city street
A new study from U of T Engineering finds that diesel trains may expose passengers to elevated levels of certain pollutants, especially if they are sitting directly behind the locomotive.
“Imagine yourself driving down a busy highway in a convertible, and spending your entire commute sitting behind a very large diesel truck,” said Greg Evans, a professor of Chemical Engineering and director of the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR). “That’s comparable to the levels we see here.”
View original post 940 more words