Gauge Changer

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Gauge Changer
Posted by alloboard on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:49 PM

The Market Frankfort and Bard trains uses a non standard gauge 5ft 6" between inner rails, as opposed to the standard 4ft 8-1/2" between inner rails. I think that it would be cool if the Market Frankford and BART trains had their trucks replaced with gauge changing trucks like Thalgo trains of Spain do and built a gauge changing point somewhere along the line to a ramp that will connect them to the standard gauge national railway system. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:37 AM

Actually, BART is 5' 6" gauge.  At any rate, both lines are rapid transit operations and would not be part of the national rail network even if they were standard gauge.

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 VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:16 AM

If I remember correctly BART choose the 5' 6'' gauge and its loading gauge to keep standard rail equipment (freight cars) from its tracks and for smoother ride quality.

There are other obstacles than gauge. BART is a third rail rail system with the power supply beside the rails. Bart has flat-edge rails with cylindrical wheels. They started to change to conical wheel threads with new trainset in 2016. This measure reduces the noise and rail wear. Old wheel sets are reshaped as train come in for maintenance.

I think these new conical threads are the different to standard rail equipment but I'm not sure.
Regards, Volker

 

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:42 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
If I remember correctly BART choose the 5' 6'' gauge and its loading gauge to keep standard rail equipment (freight cars) from its tracks and for smoother ride quality.

The claim at the time was, because BART was to be an isolated system, it made sense to abandon old 'standards' and go to wide gauge, lightweight construction, and cylindrical treads. 

There were, of course, streetcar and transit systems that chose, or were required to have, gauge different from 'standard' to preclude running freight traffic over their trackage.  To my knowledge BART is not in that category.

BART is a third rail rail system with the power supply beside the rails.

This, and problems with clearances, are important reasons why the OP's idea is dOPey.  There is much more to interchanging transit equipment, presumably to provide some sort of enhanced one-seat ride capability, than just making all the wheels a common gauge.  I encourage the OP to clarify what he was thinking to accomplish with the idea he proposed.

BART has flat-edge rails with cylindrical wheels.

What is a 'flat-edge rail?'

They started to change to conical wheel treads with new trainset in 2016.

We had a fairly extensive thread on this at the time it was initiated.  Oddly enough,  Bombardier engineers, not BART's, came up with the 'reprofile', and then it apparently took them upward of two years to figure out if it would work and be "safe".  That alone argues to me that it isn't a 'standard' wheel taper.

I have not seen a diagram of Bombardier's revised tread profile, but it is likely less than Amtrak's 'standard' 1:40 taper.

(BTW, the English word for the wheelrim contact area is 'tread', not 'thread' -- I'd have PMed this but H.Landwehr has PMs turned off.)

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:50 AM

Talgo 'trucks' are comprised of singular half-axles mounted on their special pendular suspension system. Not practical for a conventional railcar. Since neither system interchanges with any other it doesn't make sense as cars have to be custom ordered anyway.

The Broad Street Line does have a connection to the national network, but I doubt it is ever used any more.

RME
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Posted by RME on Thursday, May 18, 2017 12:33 PM

NorthWest
Talgo 'trucks' are comprised of singular half-axles mounted on their special pendular suspension system. Not practical for a conventional railcar.

Oh, really?  I suppose the next thing you'll be saying is that the power trucks on those gauge-changing trains use stub axles, too.

There are no technical reasons why most of the methods used for shifting-gauge wheelsets can't be applied to a common-axle setup.  It's the cost and convenience, or put a different way, the benefits derived vs. the cost of all the special equipment and the risk of malfunction, that drives automated gauge-changing arrangements.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:36 PM

RME
(BTW, the English word for the wheelrim contact area is 'tread', not 'thread' -- I'd have PMed this but H.Landwehr has PMs turned off.)

Thank you for the correct word. I think I'll have to learn how to enable PMs.

RME
What is a 'flat-edge rail?'

Wikipedia uses this designation in the BART article. I haven't any direct Google results only descriptions in news articles. Following their description the rail isn't tilted inwards like "standard" track. The rail tread seems to be horizontal. Here a link to a Wikipedia photo: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/BART_third_rails_croppedandrotated.jpg

RME
I have not seen a diagram of Bombardier's revised tread profile, but it is likely less than Amtrak's 'standard' 1:40 taper.

Here is a photo of the new wheelset. It doesn't look like a 1:40 taper:
https://www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/images/news/Photo%20Aug%2004%2C%204%2058%2049%20PM.jpg
Regards, Volker

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:43 PM

I was thinking of the trucks on the North American Type Vs and Type 8s. The trucks that the 130s and other power cars use are rather conventional and thus not something I associate with Talgo as much as the unique other system.

The problem is always crash standards and keeping the FRA happy. The BART cars don't meet collision specifications and I doubt the MF cars do either.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:26 PM

NorthWest

...

The problem is always crash standards and keeping the FRA happy. The BART cars don't meet collision specifications and I doubt the MF cars do either.

 

In other words, the non-standard guage would keep the BART equipment safe from collision with heavier equipment.

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Posted by alloboard on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:15 PM

The PATCO system and NYC subway ststem has a connection to the national rail system too.

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Posted by alloboard on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:29 PM

The idea of accomplishment is for standard railroad locomotives to be able to deliver equipment to privately owned railroads like rapid transits directly instead of the piggyback methods via roadways, like the PATH system does now.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:43 PM

PATH has a connection with the national network and the FRA considers it a railroad- it's easier and cheaper to truck cars than it is to try to haul them in regular trains like they used to. They have to be run in special trains with adapter cars for the different couplers. Even the NYC Subway is recieving cars by truck.

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Posted by erikem on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:57 PM

RME

 

 
VOLKER LANDWEHR
If I remember correctly BART choose the 5' 6'' gauge and its loading gauge to keep standard rail equipment (freight cars) from its tracks and for smoother ride quality.

 

The claim at the time was, because BART was to be an isolated system, it made sense to abandon old 'standards' and go to wide gauge, lightweight construction, and cylindrical treads. 

There were, of course, streetcar and transit systems that chose, or were required to have, gauge different from 'standard' to preclude running freight traffic over their trackage.  To my knowledge BART is not in that category.

The story I heard was that BART chose wide gauge for dealing with the winds blowing through the Golden Gate when trains were crossing on the lower level of the Golden Gate bridge. This would have on the line that would have connected Marin and Sonoma counties with San Francisco. Marin voted against the BART initiative, so the line to Marin never left the drawing board.

My understanding was that the Golden Gate bridge was designed to accomodate tracks on the lower level, but rework in the mid 60's to stiffen the deck against torsional oscillations (cf Galloping Gertie) precludes that from being done now.

Going to a higher voltage on the third rail did make sense, 1000V gives three times the power-distance product than 600V for a given conductivity of the third rail and the main rails.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, May 19, 2017 6:42 AM

NorthWest

PATH has a connection with the national network and the FRA considers it a railroad- it's easier and cheaper to truck cars than it is to try to haul them in regular trains like they used to. They have to be run in special trains with adapter cars for the different couplers. Even the NYC Subway is recieving cars by truck.

 
Even a standard-gauge operation like CTA does not have new equipment shipped on its own wheels.  The 6000-series cars were shipped from St. Louis Car Co. in the 1950's on flatcars. I also remember seeing new R-46 cars for the NYCTA being shipped on flatcars.
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 rcdrye on Friday, May 19, 2017 7:25 AM

The last cars CTA got on their own wheels were the 5000 series articulateds from St. Louis Car and Pullman, delivered in 1947 and 1948.  Part of the route for the St. Louis Car units included the Illinois Terminal.  Since they were all-electric PCCs with no air brakes, they had to be handled specially.

Boston's "T" got transit cars from Hawker-Siddely in the late 1970s.  The cars were shipped in CN/CV/B&M or CP/B&M freights with CP gondolas with adapter couplers bracketing each set.  Even though the "T" cars have air-controlled brake systems they're not compatible with standard brake systems, so the cars had to be handled at the end of a train, with the adapter cars supplying braking. Apparently the train line through the automatic couplers was used, as the usual CV or CP caboose followed the train.

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