Cotton Belt Corridor - LRT? EMU? DMU? Locomotive-Hauled?

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Cotton Belt Corridor - LRT? EMU? DMU? Locomotive-Hauled?
Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, August 31, 2018 5:09 PM

DART is moving ahead with the 26 mile Cotton Belt Corridor to be up and running by 2022.

Does any forum contributor have information on what type of vehicles will be used on the Cotton Belt Corridor?

Thanks in advance for any intel.

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Posted by PJS1 on Saturday, September 01, 2018 10:02 AM

kgbw49

DART is moving ahead with the 26 mile Cotton Belt Corridor to be up and running by 2022.

Does any forum contributor have information on what type of vehicles will be used on the Cotton Belt Corridor?

Thanks in advance for any intel. 

According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the plan is to use the Stadler GTW.  It is the same type of equipment used for the Denton Transit Authority A Train and Capital Metro's - Austin - Red Line. 

Stadler's also will be used for TEXRAIL, which is the commuter rail line that will run from the TP&L Station in Fort Worth to DFW International Airport.  It is scheduled to begin servicde before the end of this year. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, September 01, 2018 10:45 AM

Thanks for that info! I was guessing that it might be some sort of DMU because with a relatively modest cost (modest for transit projects) of $1.1 billion for a 26 mile route, there is almost no way that an LRT system could be constructed for 26 route miles for that amount of funding. That is based on what I have read about the costs of LRT projects elsewhere. (I know that most of DART is LRT.)

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Posted by PJS1 on Saturday, September 01, 2018 1:00 PM

kgbw49
 I know that most of DART is LRT. 

DART operates approximately 93 miles of light rail.  It is the largest – mileage wise – light rail system in the United States. 
 
DART also is a joint owner with Fort Worth’s “T” of the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), which is a 32-mile commuter line between Fort Worth and Dallas.  It is heavy rail.
 
The TRE owns 9 locomotives:  7 EMD F59PH IV locomotives that it acquired from GO Transit in 1994 and 2 EMD F59PHI locomotives that it acquired in 2001 from EMD.  It has approximately 25 bilevel coaches that were built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley and/or Bombardier.  The RDC cars, which had been part of TRE’s equipment roster, have been sold to AllEarth Rail, which plans to use them for commuter rail service between Montpelier and Burlington, Vermont.

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, September 01, 2018 11:27 PM

Yes, I agree it will be the same as Texrail.   Texrail and DART Stadler cars will share a terminal at DFW Airport.

I had a conversation locally with neighbors on this that mistakenly thought that the future of the red line was already decided to stop in Plano.   No such decision has been made and I can see them connecting Cotton Belt with the Red Line and using Stadler cars between Plano and North McKinney initially........with long-term plans to extend to Sherman.   DART seems fixated on the Stadler because it cuts the cost of expansions almost in half over the electrically powered LRT's they use on the rest of their network.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, September 02, 2018 10:08 AM

Here is an off the wall question.

Can the Stadler DMUs operate under light rail caternary? Or would they be too close  for arcing.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, September 02, 2018 11:12 AM

kgbw49
Here is an off the wall question. Can the Stadler DMUs operate under light rail caternary? Or would they be too close  for arcing.

I would say yes...

You can probably run a regular freight train under them.    Overhead wires when viewed from the ground appear a lot closer than when viewed on top of a train.    That was my experience with Army trains on DB when I had to crawl on top of a M113 loaded on a flatcar, I could stand almost completely vertical on top of that without worrying about arcing and I am 6 foot 5 inches tall.

Also, below video of a freight train on San Diego MTS.......LRT line......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VtfABW_RXY

You would be limited in running a freight train for any distance over DART without a lot of horsepower due to the grades,  though I suspect the bridges and track could handle the weight.......... once you got to the inner city...........forget it, curves are too sharp.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, September 02, 2018 8:59 PM

That is a dedicated youtube photographer-- the transit station clock showed 2AM, althought I guess that might be the only time freights are running on the LRT line.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, September 02, 2018 11:06 PM

kgbw49

Here is an off the wall question.

Can the Stadler DMUs operate under light rail caternary? Or would they be too close  for arcing.

 

That just depends on what the minimum CAT height above  rail is at any location of the route .  If the light rail has to travel under any major height restriction then that may be a problem.  Usuall clearances above double stacks are supposed to be 12(?) inches or more for 25kV CAT.  (Less for light rail 750V).  That would be the standard for double stacks and auto carriers on that route,  Less clearances  who knows what the standard for any route would be ?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, September 03, 2018 3:13 PM

Thanks, all, for the information. The reason I was asking that question is because I was curious about the possiblity in the future of DART being able to offer a one-seat ride on the Stadlers from the outer-ring suburbs to downtown Dallas.

There may not ever be a need for such an option but I was just curious if that possibility exists as DART expands its system outside of the current LRT areas with more DMU mileage. Thanks again!

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Posted by PJS1 on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 12:46 PM

kgbw49
 I was curious about the possiblity in the future of DART being able to offer a one-seat ride on the Stadlers from the outer-ring suburbs to downtown Dallas. 

The Denton Transportation Authority A line offers an across the platfrom transfer to DART at Trinity Mills Station.  This probably would be the practice followed for any connections with the Cotton Belt Corridor. 

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 3:48 PM

kgbw49

Here is an off the wall question.

Can the Stadler DMUs operate under light rail caternary? Or would they be too close  for arcing.

 

 

Here in Utah the UTA Trax system regularly hosts Utah Railway and Savage freights under the caternary after night fall to serve still active industries along the light rail line.

As for the Stadler FLIRT's; I have been around a few of them here in Salt Lake City. They are multiple engine DMU's, they have four engine compartments, and the ones being delivered to TexRail right now have two engines and two empty compartments, with the option of adding additional engines to the compartments if TexRail decides to order more cars. The shells are manufactured in Hungary, then shipped to the US were assembly occurs. The FLIRT model is completely walkthrough, a passenger can go from one end of the DMU to another and walk right past the engine compartments which are located in the middle power car. When I took the factory tour at Stadler they pointed out how they modified the FLIRT design for TexRail via including USB charging ports along the walls so commuters can charge their phone while riding the train.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 5:03 PM

kgbw49

Here is an off the wall question.

Can the Stadler DMUs operate under light rail caternary? Or would they be too close  for arcing.

 

The questions are what is the voltage and what is the safety distance. Here are some dimensions from on of my posts in a different thread:

It depends on Voltage.
Germany: 15 kV 16.666 Hz; standard height contact wire 18'-0.5'', minimum 16'-3''; height bi-level cars 15'-2.4''. Standard safety distance is about 3', minimum about 1'

United Kingdom: 25 kV 50 Hz; Standard safety distance 2'-4'', minimum 1'-3''

The EMU/DMU are well earthed.

DMUs run under catenary in Germany every day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT1qCzB01Ac

It is not generally a problem. It just depends on above mentioned parameters.
Regards, Volker

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