Amtrak may order modern, lightweight trainsets

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Amtrak may order modern, lightweight trainsets
Posted by longhorn1969 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:05 AM
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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 1:44 PM

Thanks for posting.

It is a bit confusing. Neither the mentioned SMART Nippon-Sharyo DMUs nor the Siemens Brightline sets are lightweight. Both are stainless steel and FRA Tier 1 crashworthiness compliant with buff loads of 800,000 lbs.

Only the TexRail (Denton) Stadler DMUs are lightweight with a buff strength of about 337,000 lbs. They are aluminum cars according to European crashworthiness standards. They got a FRA waiver from Tier 1 and follow and comply to the EFT-1 or AVT alternative design. I'm not sure if these design requirements are finally published. At the time of the waiver it was a draft.

The TexRail line carries little freight and the RR would have separated freight and passenger traffic if the waiver wasn't granted.

The question is why the PRIIA passenger car specifications require FRA Tier 1 crashworthiness compliance? There would have been a chance to try for a waiver.

Perhaps the speed was the reason: PRIIA passenger cars 125 mph, TexRail Stadler 80 mph. Though it seems more a psychological reason as the standards take care of maximum speeds.

We'll have to wait and see.
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:03 AM

I'd like to see Amtrak put a DMU on the Canadian Pacific line without some heartburn back at CP Rail HQ.   Understood they are approved by the FRA but I am not sure all American / Canadian railroads are going to accept them without conditions.    We'll see.

I remember back when Chicago to Milwaukee was run by Milwaukee Road.    Milwaukee Road had concerns with the Turbo Liner trainsets but got over them, then along came the SPV2000 for testing.........concerns one car was too short to trigger Milwaukee signaling so they added a second no rider car.   I think both were approved by the FRA.

Whatever they get for Chicago to Milwaukee has to be able to safely run at 90 mph which is part of their upgrade to 10 trains each way.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:14 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
The TexRail line carries little freight and the RR would have separated freight and passenger traffic if the waiver wasn't granted.

I believe that is true for TexRail.   DMU's cannot operate in conjunction with scheduled freight trains.    The DMU's have a specific window of operation if I am not mistaken and after that, they are not allowed to run.......unless I read it wrong long ago.

I think it is great that FRA approved light rail passenger trainsets.    However, I personally would never ride a Talgo on the BNSF Freight Line in the NW.     Nor would I have ridden the trainset if the purchase went through for Wisconsin.   I would rather drive than ride on a trainset in constant anxiety it could be crushed like a Soda Can by a Freight Train especially given the potential for human error in the United States.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:46 AM

CMStPnP
especially given the potential for human error in the United States.

Unfortunately true.  "only because of the potential for human error on American rails, Amtrak and private."

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:29 AM

CMStPnP
I would rather drive than ride on a trainset in constant anxiety it could be crushed like a Soda Can by a Freight Train especially given the potential for human error in the United States.

The potential for human error is a world wide phenomina - wherever human are, human error follows!

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:47 AM

CMStPnP
I believe that is true for TexRail. DMU's cannot operate in conjunction with scheduled freight trains. The DMU's have a specific window of operation if I am not mistaken and after that, they are not allowed to run.......unless I read it wrong long ago.

You didn't read it wrong. But the first waiver expired and DCTA asked for a new one. FRA granted this new waiver without the condition of separated freight and passenger traffic on May 31, 2012: https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2010-0180-0019&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf

The complete FRA docket is here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FRA-2010-0180

Here is technical crashworthiness information of the Stadler Flirt: https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2010-0180-0006&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf

The Stadler Flirts are allowed in mixed traffic on TexRail. If lines with predominant freight traffic and higher than 80 mph passenger train speed might get waivers remains to be seen. Technically there is nothing to be said against it.

CMStPnP
. However, I personally would never ride a Talgo on the BNSF Freight Line in the NW. Nor would I have ridden the trainset if the purchase went through for Wisconsin.

That is interesting as the Talgo 8 is FRA Tier 1 crashworthiness compliant:
https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/2125

But even if it were European standard I wouldn't see a reason not to use it. I don't remember how often I have posted the following link. It would be helpfull if someone would read itSmile: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/2125

They analyzed crash scenarios of five differently crashworthiness equipped trains always against a train with a conventional locomotive leading. On page 3 is Table 1 showing calculated fatalities at a closing speed of 30 mph.

Higher speeds and higher masses will change the numbers but not the tendency.

But everybody does what he is comfortable with.
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by JL Chicago on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 3:37 PM
I've ridden the Talgos and they are fantastic trains. Amazing some people have irrational biases. Oh well. I guess that's why we get old and die. Makes room for more modern ideas.
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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 5:04 PM

CMStPnP
I would rather drive than ride on a trainset in constant anxiety it could be crushed like a Soda Can by a Freight Train especially given the potential for human error in the United States.

How can you drive knowing your car can be crushed like a soda can so easily? Even if you drive a one-ton pickup witha  ranchhand on the front, it's no match if you get squeezed between a pair of gravel trucks, for example.

I know.  It's a false equivalence.  But my curiosity is still there.

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 5:16 PM

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 5:31 PM

I am actually sympathetic to the general argument, having lost a good friend exactly this way (she was in a small beer-can compact going through a tollbooth between Class VIII trucks)

But in the great majority of cases, driving, you will not be crushed between high-mass vehicles, and moreover will be able to avoid straight-on impacts into relatively immobile obstacles, or vehicles coming the other way.  That is different from rail vehicles which, as so often noticed, can't 'jump out of the way' to mitigate an impending contact or collision.

On the other hand we have seen a couple of very recent high-speed Amtrak accidents involving rapid axial deceleration with minimal lateral displacement leading to interesting carbody failure; I have not yet seen hard calculations showing, for example, how CEM in an equivalent train of Flirts would have handled the forces involved in the recent 91 accident at Cayce.  On the other hand, it would be appropriate to factor in the potentially better braking rate of the lighter-weight equipment as part of crash energy management.

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 5:53 PM

Overmod
But in the great majority of cases, driving, you will not be crushed between high-mass vehicles, and moreover will be able to avoid straight-on impacts into relatively immobile obstacles, or vehicles coming the other way. That is different from rail vehicles which, as so often noticed, can't 'jump out of the way' to mitigate an impending contact or collision.

But which is more likely to happen?  A wreck with a truck or a wreck while riding a train?

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:33 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
CMStPnP
I believe that is true for TexRail. DMU's cannot operate in conjunction with scheduled freight trains. The DMU's have a specific window of operation if I am not mistaken and after that, they are not allowed to run.......unless I read it wrong long ago.

 

You didn't read it wrong. But the first waiver expired and DCTA asked for a new one. FRA granted this new waiver without the condition of separated freight and passenger traffic on May 31, 2012: https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2010-0180-0019&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf

The complete FRA docket is here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FRA-2010-0180

Here is technical crashworthiness information of the Stadler Flirt: https://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=FRA-2010-0180-0006&attachmentNumber=1&contentType=pdf

The Stadler Flirts are allowed in mixed traffic on TexRail. If lines with predominant freight traffic and higher than 80 mph passenger train speed might get waivers remains to be seen. Technically there is nothing to be said against it.

 

 
CMStPnP
. However, I personally would never ride a Talgo on the BNSF Freight Line in the NW. Nor would I have ridden the trainset if the purchase went through for Wisconsin.

 

That is interesting as the Talgo 8 is FRA Tier 1 crashworthiness compliant:
https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/2125

But even if it were European standard I wouldn't see a reason not to use it. I don't remember how often I have posted the following link. It would be helpfull if someone would read itSmile: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/2125

They analyzed crash scenarios of five differently crashworthiness equipped trains always against a train with a conventional locomotive leading. On page 3 is Table 1 showing calculated fatalities at a closing speed of 30 mph.

Higher speeds and higher masses will change the numbers but not the tendency.

But everybody does what he is comfortable with.
Regards, Volker

 

 

Interesting and easy to understand paper.  I'm good with riding Talgo.  Have ridden one.  They're nice equipment!

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:57 PM

When do we expect to see them in service?

Geez Mr Anderson, you really know how to shake up the railroad! Smile

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:59 PM

zugmann
How can you drive knowing your car can be crushed like a soda can so easily? Even if you drive a one-ton pickup witha  ranchhand on the front, it's no match if you get squeezed between a pair of gravel trucks, for example. I know.  It's a false equivalence.  But my curiosity is still there.

You know for some reason those big and heavy trucks avoid the toll roads that I mostly use when I do drive, which is rare, but.....   

Additionally and sadly,  I had a really good stock gain that allowed me to buy a fully loaded Mercedes ML350 with Bluetec Diesel, then I got a job where i work at home almost 100% and I am very lucky if I put 8,000-10,000 miles a year on the darn thing.......it sits in the Garage mostly.     I bought prepaid maintenence and it is sad going in for the 50,000 mile check with only 18,000 miles (still the prepaid maint was a very good deal).   I am going to have it for at least 2023 when the main plan runs out.....if not longer.     The Dealership said because I got the Diesel......it will just get broken in at around 50k........lol.    It's a real nice SUV and warns me of everything while I am driving, like a second pair of eyes.     If the crush scenario ever happened at least a proximity alarm would alert me before the impact......lol.    I don't know how much it ways my guess is over or close to a ton.

I travel once every 5 weeks to my employers HQ in Kansas City for one week.    My employer pays for a car to the Airport, car to the hotel, hotel, per diem, etc.   And they told me not to drive to the Airport because  they do not like the parking fees at the terminal at DFW.    So even that travel is someone else driving.

Working on the next stock gain, this time I am going to spend it on something more intelligent like paying off the rest of the mortgage.    Even though I am enjoying it (and the smooth ride) the SUV was an over indulgence.

My last accident I was hit by a 5 ton dump truck by some guy in a T-Shirt, Shower Shoes (flip-flops) and a good layer of dust on his glasses.   The first hit the car went into a flat spin, second hit he threw me into the flat median strip just short of oncomming traffic.    It totalled my Buick Lucerne but I was impressed the passenger compartment did not crumple at all.    Was all the Truck Drivers fault as he crossed into my lane just as my trunk was almost clear of his hood.    I suspect from the look of him he feel asleep at the wheel.    Not a scratch on me there though the Buick absorbed the crash.

Before that some teenage kid ran a red light and nailed my Buick LeSabre.   Again all that metal on the Buick did it's job and no injury to me.    Just totalled the car.

So I know what they say about PU Trucks and SUV's in Texas but I found out the hard way the reason why they are so popular in Dallas at least.

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:09 PM

CMStPnP
So I know what they say about PU Trucks and SUV's in Texas but I found out the hard way the reason why they are so popular in Dallas at least.

But a lot of people have accidents at the home.  So you're screwed either way.  Ultimately, life is fatal.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, April 12, 2018 1:42 PM

Vehicles of similar size and weight can destroy each other just as well as a gravel truck wrecks your car.

The recent Humboldt Broncos crash (bus vs semi, 15 dead) in Saskatchewan is an especially chilling example.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Saturday, April 28, 2018 10:11 PM

I wander if this is what Anderson has in mind and is off the shelf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_802

https://www.railengineer.uk/2017/10/24/bi-mode-trains-unlocking-opportunity/

This concept would replace alot of Amfleet and Genesis locomotives.

 

 

 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Sunday, April 29, 2018 4:26 AM

longhorn1969
I wander if this is what Anderson has in mind and is off the shelf.

It is a possible candidate but there are numerous trainsets available outside the USA.

Off the shelf? I don't think so. As long as FRA and European crashworthiness standards are not harmonized there is no off the shelf. The Alternative Design for Tier 1 Passenger Equipment is still not part of the law so FRA has to grant a waiver from 49 CFR Part 238 Subpart C or parts of it. Guideline is: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/90

It requires measures the European standard EN 15227 doesn't contain. European equipment might by chance meet these but it isn't necessarily so

One waiver was for the above mentioned Stadler DMUs on TexRail which only carries light freight traffic. We have to wait and see how the FRA acts when equipment for predominantly freight traffic is jugded.

I think there is no off the shelf equipment available.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, June 25, 2018 6:02 PM

Those new euro type as pictured trains have seats that I cant pass out and spread out on. They look like airine seats. Try being stuck on airline seats for 12 hours..

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:36 AM

Amtrak is looking at integrated trainsets/DMU self-propelled cars and unpowered cars meeting the following criterias:

- 79 - 110 mph capable, with provisions for a 125 mph option for the NEC
- 85' maximum car length
- 165,000 lbs maximum weight per car
- minimum seating capacity 60 seats per car

A RFI will be released arounf end of June.

As example Brightline coaches have 58 or 66 seats.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:49 AM

CandOforprogress2

Those new euro type as pictured trains have seats that I cant pass out and spread out on. They look like airine seats. Try being stuck on airline seats for 12 hours..

 

You should be thrown off trains for drunken, obnoxious behavior.

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:27 AM

CandOforprogress2
They look like airine seats. Try being stuck on airline seats for 12 hours..

There are numerous airline flights longer than 12 hours.  Those flights are generally full.

One should also note that Brightline has closer-to-airline-coach-seat width because they chose ADA compliant aisle width.  Nobody has not ridden because of that that I've heard or read....

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 7:08 PM

The newswire post that Amtrak is starting to replace Amfleet-1s has 2 items to consider.

1.  Mr. Anderson does not realize the AM-2s have much more mileage and there fore as an average have more wear, tear, and metal fatigue than AM-1s.  Of course the AM-1 LD lounges are an exception as they have the mileage of the -2s.

2.  Single level LD trains are on the way out so why replace the AM-2s ?

As well -2s on the average run on rougher track than -1s ?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:12 AM

Bi-level or Hi-Level long distance trains are precluded from operating in the Northeast because of clearance limitations on the Northeast Corridor.  The "Cardinal" and "Capitol Ltd" can operate with Superliners since they both terminate in Washington.

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 longhorn1969 on Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:25 AM

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