Metrolink F125s Delivered?

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Metrolink F125s Delivered?
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, May 01, 2017 11:18 PM

Hey all, kind of new to railfandom, but curious if anyone knows the status of Metrolink's EMD F125s? I know the first was delivered a while ago, and I've seen references to the bulk of the order to have been delivered over the last month.

I sadly don't have a car and the local station is a bit out of my way by bus, but if I ever make my way there or take the line down to LA, I'll certainly update this thread with any information I gain!

Side note: been lucky enough to see a good amount of Pacific Surfliners and Metrolink Bombardier Bilevels led by F59PHIs, they certainly are beauties! Have yet to note a Metrolink MPI, and not a huge fan of the new Hyundai cars' aesthetic (lol)

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, May 04, 2017 10:00 AM

More have been delivered, but they're sitting in limbo as they aren't being tested for road service. Word on the street is their order was a political decision, and the operating and mechanical departments are quite happy putting off their entry into service...

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, May 04, 2017 11:22 AM

It is unknown exactly what the problem is, but it is surprising the F125’s aren’t being used.  A lot of things about Metrolink have to be wondered about.

tI is unknown what the status is now of the South Perris stop, but as seen above, the NEW South Perris stop’s parking lot on November 18, 2016 was being overgrown with weeds!

As to the F125 power themselves, the following photo link is quite telling:

http://www.railpictures.net/images/d2/3/3/0/9330.1468986588.jpg

Did you see in the back of the F125 the first commuter car is so high?

Is it possible Metrolink found that the new HIGH car fleet is incompatible with the low F125, possibly with severe wind vibration?  Maybe that is not an issue, but I can’t help wonder if it is.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, May 04, 2017 11:42 AM

With Metrolink, it's like a turntable, good things happen and bad things happen so it goes both ways.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, May 04, 2017 11:50 AM

Regarding the Perris Stop, I wouldn't be surprised, it's isolated and the station was built in the middle of freakin nowhere!

Why not use the current ATSF station vs spending piles of $$$$ on a station in a remote area?

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 05, 2017 9:46 PM

Certainly very interesting! I'm starting to think it's operating costs; just filled out a survey for Metro that covered everything from local bus to Metrolink as well as Metro Rail. It was very budget-focused, and I know they're about to conduct some track improvements on the Antelope Valley line in the Calgrove pass; is it possible these are related?

I'm somewhat doubtful that wind is playing a part, given freight trains and plenty of short locomotives handling bilevel cars in Amtrak service, but perhaps it's something else?

If the F125s have been delivered in some numbers, and Bombardier cars are remaining in service in some numbers - at least I have seen some in fairly recent pictures, in mixed consists which they were supposed to as far as I understand - I'm really thinking that their lack of us as well as the fact that the IE extension to South Perris is still listed by many sources as "in planning" that Metrolink is facing cost overruns and funding reductions. I'd guess that the state's current focus on freeway improvements throughout much of Metrolink's area of operations has negatively impacted its prospects for continued state funding.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, May 06, 2017 6:44 AM

ATSFGuy

Regarding the Perris Stop, I wouldn't be surprised, it's isolated and the station was built in the middle of freakin nowhere!

Why not use the current ATSF station vs spending piles of $$$$ on a station in a remote area?

 
Since many commuters drive their cars to the station to catch the train, new stations may be built away from built-up areas to provide space for parking.  A well-known local example is the Route 59 station on Metra's BNSF line to Aurora.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:37 PM

The problem with this is that in SoCal, making us drive anywhere generally gets us to just drive wherever we want to go for convenience. It's all the hills and weird disjointed growth related to them. Especially in light of Metro's continued push to go green and attract even more commuters, that for many of us in the outer suburbs, that Metrolink station may be as much as half the total distance of our commute away, and buses are not always convenient - in my valley commuter buses are more expensive on a monthly basis than Metrolink, but more sensibly and conveniently routed. Additionally, SoCal commuters tend to be higher-income, meaning cost benefits have to be more significant to be enticing, given the cultural stigma around diesal engines vs how common hybrids and full electric cars already are. Until feeder services are improved, Metrolink will continue to face severe competition from more direct modes of transportation in many communities outside of Metro's service area. Almost everybody here owns a car, that's including adolescent and dependent adult children, so we overwhelmingly just drive. Buses are largely relegated to students, working-class folk, people with jobs directly on routes, riders of the commuter buses who need to get to the transit center to transfer, and seniors. Commuter trains are more heavily used by people who live physically closer to the actual stations, as far as I know, but are still not very popular. Metrolink's fare from SCV to SFV is $3; commuter buses are $2.75 to Warner Center, NoHo, UCLA, and Union Station. These are approximately competitive in price to driving, depending on current gas prices, but excepting the destinations directly served by those buses, unequivocally less convenient. Metrolink further south is even more expensive; transferring to Metro Bus to reach anywhere outside of a short walk from any of the stops on the aforementioned commuter lines takes even more time, as well as possibly money, depending on whether you have a commuter TAP pass; figuring out what sort of passes you'll need, making the purchases, figuring out the lines you'll take, all also take time; around here we'll just get in the car if we have that option. There's a reason even as Metro expands service within the actual metropolitan area, freeways are still receiving massive improvements. Public transportation infrastructure improvements in SoCal have one basic tenet: decrease automobile congestion.

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Posted by LensCapOn on Thursday, May 11, 2017 8:50 AM

oiralire

Public transportation infrastructure improvements in SoCal have one basic tenet: decrease automobile congestion.

 

Except there is a long history showing they don't. I could quote or link studies, but instead will just ask you to look at your own experience. Do you think you are unigue, an outlier, or the norm? If there was enough Public Transport for everyone how much would it take, what congestion would that create if every car was off the road. How many transfers would it take if evey car trip you take was on transit? How long would the trips take.

 

And what would your roads be like if all that money was returned to the road budget. Out of staters hear that CA roads are getting pounded to crap and not getting repaired. But we're out of state, what do we know?  Big Smile

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Posted by RME on Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:24 AM

LensCapOn
Except there is a long history showing they don't. I could quote or link studies, but instead will just ask you to look at your own experience.

As someone who lived in the Los Angeles area for some time, and used mass transit there by choice, I find that yes, I can comment.

When I was there, the light rail down Santa Monica Boulevard was still something dreamed about, the subject of rumor.  If it were in today, I'd ride it every day whether I were still living in West Holl or Marina del Rey, using an electric bicycle for the endpoint 'connection'.  I made regular use of buses and did not have any difficulty with my fellow riders perhaps coming from other 'socioeconomic groups'.  There is little question that I would prefer taking a train out of LAX in a number of directions instead of, say, arranging for an Uber pickup and "one-seat ride" from there; but on the other hand I would routinely use the subway/Q10 route at LaGuardia rather than even the Carey bus (which detoured substantially from where I was going) or, heaven forfend, a so-called airport 'limo', so I cheerfully admit that my opinions on using 'pure mass transit' on a prescheduled basis may be unrepresentative of a great number of Angelenos.

No one ever pretended that a city like LA could be accessible for 'everyone' on public transport.  No one ever pretended ... other than the wrong sort of zealots ... that LA should be made 'car-free' even in the CBD.  I think there is a strong likelihood that all the light-rail and busway projects were planned and executed with the primary idea of 'reducing automobile congestion' ... but then again, that was the presumptive aim of the whole Santa Monica Freeway.

Here we need to introduce the possibility of the 'opposite' to the augmenting effect of more high-speed road improvements: the idea that transit might relieve peak traffic at those times that contribute most to actual route and feeder congestion.  That is becoming a significant factor in some parts of the LA region (although of course, arguably not in proportion to the sheer money expended, I have to wonder if it is not cost-ineffective compared to, say, double-decking the Harbor Freeway sections).

Oddly enough, perhaps the best argument that could be made for diverting 'transit' funding to 'road construction' is that much of the future of "public transportation" in LA is going to involve ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft.  As with jitneys in the pre-WW1 era, a 'secondary' effect is going to be the extended availability of the equivalent of 'gypsy cab' services by and for specific "disadvantaged" communities or areas, likely entirely run with older manually-controlled vans or even hybrid cars.  If and when automated-guideway systems and 'PRT lite' become available ... and I'll bet a hat that even in good ol' tax-and-spend NoCal they don't get extended to low-income areas except on 'through routes' for a long time ... they will have a positive effect on the use of hire services for almost any purpose that mass public transit currently serves in that region, as well as providing an effective solution at low nominal public cost for feeding transit that depends on density for its financial and social return... which is where we really get back to an original issue in this thread: where does 125mph peak capacity become valuable in Metrolink's present or prospective served areas?

One thing this might involve would be 'tying' road-improvement budgets to redesign and maintenance that makes autonomous-vehicle operation more robust and safe -- perhaps even installing at least the infrastructure or access (the physical equivalent of 'hooks' in a computer program environment) to facilitate installation of charging-while-driving.  This would be something of a boondoggle if all the gains from autonomous vehicles accrued to those rich enough to afford them; however, I think the true benefits of the technology come in other, and more socially-justifiable, ways...

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, May 12, 2017 12:05 AM

I spent 6 years in Carlsbad watching Surfliners and Coasters go by and travelled by train north often enough...and am a train buff, so I speak with non-zero authority. 

Some Quick notes, There's a hinted at but slightly misrepresented truth about transit projects and it specifically applies to highway expansions. The truth is that traffic grows to take up available lanes. Ergo there will never be a reduction in traffic, you'll just get more people driving. Rail transit actually doesn't have the same effect, because it's modality is different. It doesn't have as much of an effect on congestion as one might hope, but It's presence actually has other benefits for quality of life Also, I REJECT the idea that LA's rail transit is under used. The purple red heavy rail transit lines are 9th in Ridership in the nation, The Metro Light Rail lines are the 2nd busiest in the country. Metrolink itself is not very busy relatively, but their business is largely large fair cross county travel and their riders are generally more well off. They have work to do for sure, but I reject the notion that it's because of LA's car culture. Their problems have a lot more to do with poor management. And Surfliner is just killing it for Ridership. Third busiest Amtrak route behind Acela and Northeast regional. So please stop with the SoCal Car culture excuse. All those people riding the rails put the lie to it.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 12, 2017 1:38 PM

LensCapOn

 

 
oiralire

Public transportation infrastructure improvements in SoCal have one basic tenet: decrease automobile congestion.

 

 

 

Except there is a long history showing they don't. I could quote or link studies, but instead will just ask you to look at your own experience. Do you think you are unigue, an outlier, or the norm? If there was enough Public Transport for everyone how much would it take, what congestion would that create if every car was off the road. How many transfers would it take if evey car trip you take was on transit? How long would the trips take.

 

 

And what would your roads be like if all that money was returned to the road budget. Out of staters hear that CA roads are getting pounded to crap and not getting repaired. But we're out of state, what do we know?  Big Smile

 

This is California... where political, not pragmatic concerns tend to drive spending. I didn't say that the tenet was a practical one.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 12, 2017 1:43 PM

RME

which is where we really get back to an original issue in this thread: where does 125mph peak capacity become valuable in Metrolink's present or prospective served areas? 

Actually, I'm pretty sure that my original issue in this thread was to ask if anybody had information on Metrolink F125s.

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Posted by RME on Friday, May 12, 2017 2:06 PM

oiralire
I'm pretty sure that my original issue in this thread was to ask if anybody had information on Metrolink F125s.

I'm also pretty sure that by the third or fourth post, the 'information' was involving why they were not in service, including presumably that Metrolink's management had actual reasons for that.  Some of which involved the need for their speed, the chief operational difference between them and less expensive, less complicated, and better-tried locomotives.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:20 PM

The F125 Gathering and the Bad Force

On Friday, May 12, 2017 I went to the location in Los Angeles where the F125’s were known to be gathered at.  Below is a link to a railpictures.net photo of some of the units there:

http://railpictures.net/photo/616037/

But, my efforts to photograph the gathering was thwarted, and two times too!

The first attempt NO parking spaces were found.  So somewhere else was gone to.  Later, as the sun was setting, surely there would be parking spaces.  But NOT so!  Are the owners of those parked autos all in the nearby jail?  The parking spaces seem to be eternally parked in.

About South Perris

While a new parking lot for Metrolink patrons was put in at downtown Perris, the stop is basically hemmed in.  The ‘illogical’ Southern Perris stop has plenty of room.  I find it the parking lot of choice for riding the PVL.  It is so much easier than wading through the downtown traffic somewhat way off the I-215 Freeway.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:34 PM
Is there a better tried Tier IV passenger engine in the American Market? There are 3. 2 are using Cummins and the F125 using a Cat
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Posted by schlimm on Monday, May 15, 2017 8:24 AM

RME
where does 125mph peak capacity become valuable in Metrolink's present or prospective served areas?

Good question, but are there any answers?

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

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Posted by RME on Monday, May 15, 2017 4:05 PM

schlimm
Good question, but are there any answers?

I'm still hoping to hear some.

At least one potentially big answer came in a post on LocoNotes a few hours ago: a freight was observed with a new Metrolink F125 in tow (separated from the road consist by a gondola idler).  There isn't anything so 'wrong' with them that it precludes physical delivery of brand new ones; whether the new ones have had a physical upgrade or 'fix' of some kind that can't be performed cheaply or 'in the field' on the 'mothballed' units is one of the things I'd like to know...

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