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AMTRAK fleet plan feb 2010

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AMTRAK fleet plan feb 2010
Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, February 7, 2010 3:16 PM

AMTRAK fleet plan Feb 2010

Amtrak has released their long range fleet plan (99 pages). This plan is originally for years 2014,2019,2024,2030. It appears comprehensive and well thought out. It is copy-righted so no direct quotes will be presented here.

  http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/Page/1241245669222/1237608345018

.  http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/Page/1241245669222/1237608345018

Edit::  This is AMTRAK reports. Go half way down page to Comprehensive Business Plans: Click on Fleet Strategy Plan 

 

With few exceptions most people will agree with their premises. All figures come from Oct 2009.

1.      It will be an ongoing document to be revised as conditions change.

2.      A long term constant ordering/delivery of equipment instead of batch ordering is emphasized. This will allow suppliers to bid on equipment on a long term basis

3.      There is need for a multi - year source of funds that not subject to ups and downs.

4.      Next 14 yrs Amtrak needs 780 single levels, 420 bi-levels, 70 electric motors, 264 diesel locos, 25 Acela type sets; $11B estimated cost in present day dollars,

Some Amtrak assumptions.

The NEC is considered to be from BOS – Richmond (pg 10). Note that goes along with Boardman’s stated desire to electrify WAS – RIC.  Growth rate 2 – 5% annually and can be covered by adding cars to both Acela and NEC trains. That addresses for the short term the 2/hr limits of MN and MBTA on tracks north of NYP.

Baseline fleet plan is a very conservative 2% growth based only on existing services. Horizon cars need to be moved to other climates (where?). They are using Commercial not useful lifetimes --  coaches  30yr, Train sets 20 -25, Electric motors 25, Locomotives 20Yr.

Costs – Single level 3.5M, Bi – level 4.5, Electric motor 8.0, Diesel 4.5, Talgo? set 20.0, Acela power 8.0, Acela car 4.0M, management costs 5%, spares 10% other items 10%.

Proposed initial construction rate is 65 single level and 35 bi  levels  per year. Another number 5 – singles and 2.5 bi-levels/yr for state programs already slated. Batch sizes around 150 cars.

These numbers are subject to changes towards more bi levels except the report states that many states do not feel bi-levels are the way to operate. Page (41 ).  This appears to be the states in and around Chicago and maybe the Piedmonts? but no locations are stated. The Surfliner design is the preferred bi-level design and it is already qualified to 125 MPH. More bi levels would lower the per seat mile cost both by purchase and operating costs (pg 41  ).Now the acquisition of Acela sets is different as 5 more are needed by 2014 and 20 replacement sets by 2019.

Retirements start in 2012 (pg 40) with the Heritage fleet first. If ridership growth jumps then the retirements will be slowed and if demand shows a long time growth then construction rates would be increased.

Acela – 2 additional cars are needed on each set between now and 2019. Also an additional 2 complete train sets. Many different approaches to solving this problem (pgs 42 – 44) but one not mentioned Purchase additional cars (some systems differences) for train sets of 8 cars each. Power them if possible with present power cars and if not and the extra sets use HHPs on each end (total HP actually more) on the NYP – WAS segment. Then take 4 train sets and split the 24 cars 2 each to 12 train sets for the new 8 car requirement. Not pretty but maybe can be done? If Amtrak can design and build an Acela that will work for other high speed projects then the costs for all may go down and build rates smoothed out.

Retirements plans were interesting. Would hold some in storage for a time but recommends being scrapped instead of sold so would not be put back into regular service ( PV not mentioned) so new car supplier base would not be degraded by an unsteady construction program.

DMUs only get a nod if over 100 units can be ordered.

Common equipment is discussed but I feel not enough emphasis on modular design was noted. Any parts need to be quickly removed for bench repair. Items like Air conditioners, toilets and tanks, lights, doors need one common connection and space requirement specification for both single level and bi-level equipment. Cannon plug connections not hard wired or plumbed.

Ridership projections for equipment purchases.

As a rule I felt the 2%/yr was very conservative. Figures given are FY2009 – 2030. (pg 67-68)

Acela                     3M –    5.9M

NEC                       6.8 -    11.1

NH – SPG                .3           .8

NY state                  .9         1.8

Harrisburg             1.2        1.9

WAS – RIC               .35        .8

Surfliner                 2.5       5.1

Capitol                   1.6       3.1

San Joaquin             .9        1.8

WAS – LYH            n/a                      83,640

I wonder if total NEC seems too high, also California too high since HSR may be operating by that time.  The Lynchburg traffic is way too low since Dec 2009 had almost 11,000. That conservatively would be 120,000+/yr.

               _

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 8:45 PM

Edited full report sequence.

.  http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/Page/1241245669222/1237608345018

Edit::  This is AMTRAK reports. Go half way down page to Comprehensive Business Plans: Click on Fleet Strategy Plan 

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Posted by aegrotatio on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 10:18 PM

 I want to see this new-generation train that can achieve 150+ MPH on existing infrastructure, curves and old catenary in all.

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 8:24 AM
At the very least, the report is a good strawman - a place from where a real plan can take shape.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 8:16 PM

aegrotatio

 I want to see this new-generation train that can achieve 150+ MPH on existing infrastructure, curves and old catenary in all.

It was called the United Aircraft TurboTrain (didn't it set its speed record under catenary -- with turbine power, but underneath wire)?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by HarveyK400 on Thursday, February 11, 2010 1:59 PM

The UA Turbo Train hit 170mph in the same straight stretch the Westinghouse Metroliners exceeded 150mph.  Later tests with the ICE and X-2000 in the same area also approached or exceeded the 150mph mark.  Otherwise, NY-DC curves need 8.5" tilt with the existing 4" cant (elevation of outer rail above inner) just for 135mph.  150mph would require 11.5" tilt, 165mph would need 14.5", and 180mph would need 18" with 4" cant. 

Maybe cant could be increased a couple inches to mitigate the amount of tilt. That's still shifting much of the vehicle weight and increasing lateral forces against the outer rail.  I wonder if Pueblo made any evaluations of wheel-rail forces, tracking, wear, and surface and alignment degradation? 

To some extent, active tilting may roll the vehicle body which may reduce the lateral displacement and clearance envelop.  The problem encountered on the old New Haven and may apply to the Pennsy was lack of space and cost to widen track centers for clearance to allow full tilting.  It will be interesting.

Catenary improvements for higher speeds seem moot if 135mph is the limit; but service reliability and damage repair costs argue for conversion to constant tension.

Paul Milenkovic

aegrotatio

 I want to see this new-generation train that can achieve 150+ MPH on existing infrastructure, curves and old catenary in all.

It was called the United Aircraft TurboTrain (didn't it set its speed record under catenary -- with turbine power, but underneath wire)?

 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, February 11, 2010 4:21 PM

HarveyK400
Catenary improvements for higher speeds seem moot if 135mph is the limit; but service reliability and damage repair costs argue for conversion to constant tension.

Harvey: Correct again. If the supports have a new supplemental at the half way point the variable tension sag will be much less. (speeds up to 150MPH) Then after that upgrade the constant tension will reduce sag even more. (150+ MPH).

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Thursday, February 11, 2010 6:30 PM
HarveyK400
Otherwise, NY-DC curves need 8.5" tilt with the existing 4" cant (elevation of outer rail above inner) just for 135mph.  150mph would require 11.5" tilt, 165mph would need 14.5", and 180mph would need 18" with 4" cant. 
NEC (and the upper end of the Hudson Line) have 6" superelevation. The legal limit is 6" but the frt RRs generally limit to 4" to keep maintenance costs down. The Altanta to Greenville portion of the old Southern main line still has 5" superelevation to allow 60 mph running on 3 degree curves with no overbalance.

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Friday, February 12, 2010 1:48 AM

I saw 4" cant for the Northeast Corridor somewhere and it coincided with reverse engineering the question with conventional (Heritage) equipment limited to 100 mph with an allowable 2.78" cant deficiency.  A cant of 6" on the NEC would allow 110 mph for Regionals with 2.20" cant deficiency and a negligible 0.78" cant deficiency for long-distance Heritage-equipped trains. 

A cant of 5" for a 3-degree curve on ATL-GRV would result in a 2.32" cant deficiency at 60 mph or equilibrium at 49.6 mph.  I'm rather interested in that because of the opportunities I see for expanded Amtrak service to Atlanta: CLT-ATL, RAL-ATL & WAS-LYH-ATL.  That same 5" cant would allow 75 mph (76.8) for a Cascade Talgo (eu=-7") or, as an example, 90 mph for a 2nd-generation Acela-type tilt train allowing 11.5" cant deficiency.  Thankfully, there are relatively few such severe curves; but nevertheless some very auto-competitive trip times could be realized with extensive running at 110 mph.

Such high cant is problematical for freight service on the NEC of which apparently little is left.  I remember a UP engineer being quoted in Trains some years ago that they tried to keep cant 2" or less and cant deficiency 1.5" or less.

I don't see the billions needed for two more Hudson River tubes in the immediate future; much less the construction time new capacity would take.  For that reason, the only way to improve capacity short-term is to go tri-level for the NEC with a NJT/LIRR-type car.  Trains like the Palmetto and Carolinian could be coupled end-to-end NYP-RIC, or a peak period combined Keystone and Norfolk or Delmarva train NYP-PHL.  These also need to be high speed (150+ mph) for the NEC and tilting trains.  Some, if not all new Acelas need to be tri-levels as well.  A tri-level Acela/East Coast car may represent a larger manufacturing run than separate types of single-level cars.  These could be modularized for a Mid-West, Northwest or California bi-level variant. 

Then there are the Talgos that would be compatible for many emerging corridors.

All in all, the flaw in the Fleet Plan is taking the single-level model for the NEC and bi-level California car and presenting them as a take it or leave it proposition for the rest of the country   Single level will not work on the NEC where capacity is, and will continue to be, a significant issue.  The additional revenue for less cost, and the relevance of the service for more travelers have got to be more important considerations than anxiety of acceptance of a bi-level car.  I think if there is a seat, they'll ride.  Furthermore tilting equipment is essential on and off the NEC for virtually all applications.

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Posted by Dakguy201 on Friday, February 12, 2010 4:44 AM

I was amused by the section of the report on disposal of the current fleet (page 47).  In short, once a vehicle is declared surplus to the operating fleet, including a prudent reserve, it is to be scrapped but not sold.  The stated reason is that if it were sold, another party (say a state) might very well refurbish it and request Amtrak to operate it.  That would have a negative effect on the various suppliers of new equipment by lowering the total potential market for their component.

I understand the reasoning but distrust Amtrak's motive.  I believe every time VIA turns a wheel of their heritage fleet it is a silent rebuke of Amtrak and their past equipment policies, and this is an attempt to prevent that from recurring.        

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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, February 12, 2010 6:29 AM
Dakguy201
I was amused by the section of the report on disposal of the current fleet (page 47).  In short, once a vehicle is declared surplus to the operating fleet, including a prudent reserve, it is to be scrapped but not sold.  The stated reason is that if it were sold, another party (say a state) might very well refurbish it and request Amtrak to operate it.  That would have a negative effect on the various suppliers of new equipment by lowering the total potential market for their component.
That wasteful and arrogant position makes me grind my teeth every time I think of it!

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Friday, February 12, 2010 8:41 AM

I guess we need a "Two-minute Hate" for Amfleet cars, perhaps with an orchestrated chant "Amcan, Amcan, Amcan, sardine can, sardine can, sardine can!"  After that, we can move on to Horizon cars and then the rest of the fleet.

Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island advanced the "Pell Plan" or the US Department of Transportation Northeast Corridor Demonstration Project.  Under that plan, the US-DOT supplied new kinds of passenger trains to the New Haven and Pennsylvania Railroads (later Penn Central) to operate.  A turbine-powered train tilting train was to operate between New York and Boston, an electric MU-car train between NY and DC, and a bi-level auto ferry was to operate between DC and Florida.  Only the TurboTrain and the Metroliner were built, and the auto ferry concept was later initiated in somewhat different form (passenger riding in coach seats vs in their own automobiles inside air conditioned car carriers) by the private Auto Train corporation.

Both the TurboTrain as well as the Metroliner train were experimental designs built in small quantities that did not hold up well in service.  Amtrak under the leadership of Paul Reistrup acquired what were called "metro-shells", Metroliner "trailer" cars, which where dubbed "Amfleet."  These Amfleet cars were assigned imported Swedish electric locomotives, later built here under license, dubbed "Toasters."  These lightweight, compact, high-horsepower high-adhesion locomotives, pretty much an "off-the-shelf" purchase of what worked in Sweden, were assigned short (four-car) Amfleet trains and were operated on "Metroliner" schedules and were called "Metroliners" in the timetable.  This much more reliable replacement for the original Metroliners is pretty much what "saved" Amtrak.

As to the knocks on the Amfleet, back in the late 70's I made frequent trips between Chicago and Detroit on the imported French Turboliners and later on Amfleet as that was phased in.  The Turboliners rode smooth as silk -- never been on anything before or since with that stable of a ride.  They also has large panoramic windows.  The conformed to the European loading gauge and were narrower (slightly) than other passenger cars, but I didn't notice that.  The Amfleet cars are wider, even 6" wider than "conventional" US passenger cars, which should give more elbow room or aisle width, but I suppose that too is unnoticed.  Amfleet, like Metroliner, has those curved sides and somewhat lower roof profile than an "AAR lightweight coach."  It gives a somewhat "airliner-ee" feel to the cabin, but back in the day, that was considered a feature, not a bug, because the idea was to imitate the airline experience (including the reek of Jet-A the one time I rode the United Aircraft TurboTrain -- my mom was complaining it made her sick, but back in the day, to me, the smell of airline fuel was the smell of "progress").

Oh, and the Amfleet and Metroliner has/had those "rifle slit" windows.  That, of course, says more about the social millieu of our urban landscape than anything about train design -- why having people throw rocks at trains is even something a person in our society would even consider speaks to "alienation" and a "sense of other" and unhealed rifts in the social fabric.  So the Amfleet did have a somewhat more "enclosed" feel than the bigger-windowed flat-sided Turboliners.  The also rode a bit stiffer, but nothing like the jounce and sway of the Northwestern gallery cars.

I even got to ride on an Amfleet II, I believe, because it had fewer seats and larger bathrooms.  Yes, as Don Oltmann has attested to, even the larger Amfleet II bathroom can be problematic changing clothes on an overnight trip, but again, what do people want, one of the old 44-seat "chair cars" with the "smoking lounge" men's and ladies' rooms?  What is problematic is riding coach on overnights, especially as Don points out on the Crescent, it is crew policy to stuff whatever passenger they have into a limited number of seats, keeping entire cars "closed off", presumably to save work on cleaning the cabin after the passengers have disembarked.  No sleeping across a pair of coach seats for you!  Next!

Yeah, hate those stainless-steel Amfleets for lasting forever, not that anything out there is a substantive improvement (their outboard airsprings make them "cheap tilt equipment" -- they have an FRA waiver to operate faster and with higher "cant deficiency" on NY-Boston).

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by schlimm on Friday, February 12, 2010 9:15 AM
Paul:  Nice history.  But frankly, when all's said and done, mostly what I hear about the future is this won't work, there's this problem, ad nauseam.  Other than the Talgo trains, most of what passes for passenger equipment and service here seems like something from some backwater nation 20 years ago.  Problems with speed on curves are solved in other countries, but they sound insurmountable here.  Maybe what is put forth on this forum and in the Amtrak and FRA and STB publications is too close to the system and can't grasp the bigger picture.  Sorry to sound so philosophically negative and solipsistic, but it sure seems to be a rather grim picture for up to date passenger service in the next 20 years.

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Posted by schlimm on Friday, February 12, 2010 12:19 PM

By contrast, an article on China's Guangzhou-Wuhan HSR. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/13/business/global/13rail.html?pagewanted=1&hp

Several sentences put things in perspective: 

"The Chinese bullet train, which has the world’s fastest average speed, connects Guangzhou, the southern coastal manufacturing center, to Wuhan, deep in the interior. In a little more than three hours, it travels 664 miles, comparable to the distance from Boston to southern Virginia. That is less time than Amtrak’s fastest train, the Acela, takes to go from Boston just to New York.

"Even more impressive, the Guangzhou to Wuhan train is just one of 42 high-speed lines recently opened or set to open by 2012 in China. By comparison, the United States hopes to build its first high-speed rail line by 2014, an 84-mile route linking Tampa and Orlando, Fla.

"For Americans, a comparable trip would involve a Boston resident who catches a train to Philadelphia, has lunch near the Liberty Bell, goes to dinner in colonial Williamsburg, Va. and returns home by bedtime."

Maybe we need to remember the words of RFK & JFK borrowed from G.B. Shaw:  "Some men see things as they are and say, 'Why'? I dream of things that never were and say, 'Why not'?" 

 

 

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Friday, February 12, 2010 12:52 PM

I can see the argument for disposal as a means to prop up a domestic manufacturing capability; but this seems too simplistic and costly.  Couldn't there be a commercially viable re-manufacturing capability to make needed modifications for ADA and FRA compliance, tilting, and modular components?  This may reduce the overall need for new equipment; but as I stated in the previous post, an NEC tri-level would consolidate the Acela and single-level car type, hopefully in sufficient numbers for commercial production. The Carolinian, Palmetto, Newport News, Lynchburg and potential Norfolk, Delmarva, Washington-Atlanta could be tri-levels compatible with both the NEC and south of Alexandria. 

Talgos may be problematic originating from Washington - I don't know for sure whether the lower level at Washington Union and Alexandria have high level platforms.  Trains originating in Raleigh and south would be other candidates for Talgo services. 

Given the relatively small Florida fleet, this would be an appropriate case for re-manufacture and not be the tail that wags the dog.

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Posted by 4merroad4man on Friday, February 12, 2010 1:08 PM

HarveyK400
Talgos may be problematic originating from Washington - I don't know for sure whether the lower level at Washington Union and Alexandria have high level platforms.  Trains originating in Raleigh and south would be other candidates for Talgo services. 

 

That shouldn't be a problem.  The Talgos we ran in Wahingtson State did just fine on unmodified platforms when step boxes were used prior to the physical plant improvements made after 1998.

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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, February 12, 2010 1:46 PM
HarveyK400

I can see the argument for disposal as a means to prop up a domestic manufacturing capability; but this seems too simplistic and costly.  Couldn't there be a commercially viable re-manufacturing capability to make needed modifications for ADA and FRA compliance, tilting, and modular components?  This may reduce the overall need for new equipment; but as I stated in the previous post, an NEC tri-level would consolidate the Acela and single-level car type, hopefully in sufficient numbers for commercial production. The Carolinian, Palmetto, Newport News, Lynchburg and potential Norfolk, Delmarva, Washington-Atlanta could be tri-levels compatible with both the NEC and south of Alexandria. 

Talgos may be problematic originating from Washington - I don't know for sure whether the lower level at Washington Union and Alexandria have high level platforms.  Trains originating in Raleigh and south would be other candidates for Talgo services. 

Given the relatively small Florida fleet, this would be an appropriate case for re-manufacture and not be the tail that wags the dog.

At the very least, Amfleet could be refitted and sold off as commuter rail equipment, serving as feeders for these emerging HSR corridors. It would greatly reduce the start up costs for cities contemplating service and provide Amtrak with more than cash value in return. Amtrak MIGHT even want to be the contract rebuilder for the equipment and make some more money. After all, who has more experience with this equipment than they do.

They just have trouble thinking like a "for profit"...

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Friday, February 12, 2010 2:26 PM

I would still re-manufacture much of Amfleet with tilting for NEC Regional services that would be the last to be phased out or continue in service beyond the 20-year program.  Not every train needs peak capacity. 

New service start-ups elsewhere may be a valid application; but not to the point of providing a discriminatory newer fleet for the NEC.

Low tunnel clearances and high level platforms pretty much mandate a tri-level design for the East at the cost of ease in moving through a train at one level.  The only other alternative may be a gallery configuration; but I don't know if this is doable.  Then to, a "Western" solution may not be acceptable on the East Coast.

We've been discussing the East, but California in particular has a similar problem in that they have a mix of serviceable conventional bi-level and single-level cars and a need for a high-speed tilting bi-level train. 

oltmannd

At the very least, Amfleet could be refitted and sold off as commuter rail equipment, serving as feeders for these emerging HSR corridors. It would greatly reduce the start up costs for cities contemplating service and provide Amtrak with more than cash value in return. Amtrak MIGHT even want to be the contract rebuilder for the equipment and make some more money. After all, who has more experience with this equipment than they do.

They just have trouble thinking like a "for profit"...

 

 
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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Friday, February 12, 2010 9:35 PM

schlimm
Paul:  Nice history.  But frankly, when all's said and done, mostly what I hear about the future is this won't work, there's this problem, ad nauseam.  Other than the Talgo trains, most of what passes for passenger equipment and service here seems like something from some backwater nation 20 years ago.  Problems with speed on curves are solved in other countries, but they sound insurmountable here.  Maybe what is put forth on this forum and in the Amtrak and FRA and STB publications is too close to the system and can't grasp the bigger picture.  Sorry to sound so philosophically negative and solipsistic, but it sure seems to be a rather grim picture for up to date passenger service in the next 20 years.

Do you think every single passenger train they have in Europe (or in China for that matters) is a 300 km/hr TGV train?  They have a pyramid of service in those places, from the spanking new HSR trains to wheezing secondary-line trains connecting to them.

Don Oltmann suggests that as new trains are acquired, to keep the Amfleet and rebuild or refurbish them to feeder service.  It seems that Amtrak doesn't want to be bothered with "old relics" and some in the advocacy community are "too cool" to have that either.

Tilting trains.  Do you think they have tilting trains in Europe apart from a Talgo here and there, an odditiy even in Europe?  The Europeans simply run ordinary trains around curves faster -- I guess their passengers can hack 6" of cant deficiency without stumbling around.

Guess what.  Amfleets with their outboard springs have the required roll stiffness that they tell me they are qualified under FRA waiver to run 6" cant deficiency on New York-Boston.  Amfleets are a tilt train.  No, they don't bank inward on curves, but they don't wallow outward that much either, and you are not going to run more than 6" cant deficiency with Talgo unless people have a whole other kind of locomotive in mind for them.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by HarveyK400 on Friday, February 12, 2010 10:46 PM

I rode the Lyonnaise from Lyon to Paris in 1974 at 140 kph (87 mph) on a line designed for 120 kph (75 mph).  That may have been comparable to 6" cant deficiency.  Seated, the lean on curves was okay because the track was smooth as glass.  Standing or moving car-to-car was very difficult.  For passenger safety, the faster speeds were allowed only for all-reserved trains such as the Mistral and Lyonnaise that showed up in Don Steffee's Speed Survey. 

Maybe Amfleet would work as a poor-man's tilt train; and trips of only a couple hours would not be unbearable in a seat.  Horizon and bi-level cars also have outboard bolster springs; but the higher center of gravity of the latter group may restrict allowable cant deficiency more.  Given another twenty years service, wouldn't new tilt suspension trucks be a worthwhile investment for passenger comfort? 

The information I had was that the Cascade Talgo F59s were allowed up to 7" cant deficiency.  The allowable tilt for Talgo coaches is a little fuzzy, maybe 9-10" cant deficiency.  Anyone have authoritative information?

Single level cars still are more difficult to board from low level platforms.

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:20 AM
Paul Milenkovic
These Amfleet cars were assigned imported Swedish electric locomotives, later built here under license, dubbed "Toasters."  These lightweight, compact, high-horsepower high-adhesion locomotives, pretty much an "off-the-shelf" purchase of what worked in Sweden, were assigned short (four-car) Amfleet trains and were operated on "Metroliner" schedules and were called "Metroliners" in the timetable.  This much more reliable replacement for the original Metroliners is pretty much what "saved" Amtrak.
Through much of the 1980s and 1990s the typical Metroliner service train was 6 Amfleet and a single AEM7. Some of the peak trains were 7 cars. They had no trouble getting to 125mph and holding down a 3 hour schedule.

They were shorter then the conventional trains which typically were 8 or 9 cars. The clockers typically ran a dozen or so 90+ seat Heritage coaches (non reclining seats, rubber flooring)

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:26 AM
HarveyK400
Given another twenty years service, wouldn't new tilt suspension trucks be a worthwhile investment for passenger comfort? 
Has anybody anywhere retrofitted a conventional coach with tilt? I suppose you could do an active system between the bolster and carbody, but on Amfleet, that is where nearly all the suspension softness is. Not sure how you'd do the tilt and provide suspension....

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, February 13, 2010 11:43 AM

HarveyK400
Talgos may be problematic originating from Washington - I don't know for sure whether the lower level at Washington Union and Alexandria have high level platforms.

The lower level at Washington Union has low level platforms. I do not know for certain, but I doubt that the Alexandria station has high level platforms.

Johnny

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Saturday, February 13, 2010 5:02 PM

I haven't heard of a retrofit with tilt suspension; but that doesn't mean it can't be done.  It would be more complicated than offering the option of inside or outside swing hanger trucks on streamlined equipment. 

I just thought that the truck would meed to be replaced; and not just adding hydraulic pistons ("rams").  Bombardier now owns the X2000 and uses a 2nd generation coil sprung hydraulic active tilting suspension "FLEXX" truck.  Of course, modifications would be needed for mounting on Amfleet.  I imagine the same need for modification (not the same modification) would hold true for the Acela truck; so there may be a choice.

I loved the original elastomeric primary suspension and radial steering of the 1st generation X-2000; and wonder why the change?

oltmannd
Has anybody anywhere retrofitted a conventional coach with tilt? I suppose you could do an active system between the bolster and carbody, but on Amfleet, that is where nearly all the suspension softness is. Not sure how you'd do the tilt and provide suspension....

 

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Saturday, February 13, 2010 5:10 PM

That's mixed news about low level platforms at Washington, DC and probably Alexandria: good for Talgos and VRE, and bad for running Aclea (without traps) through to Richmond or Norfolk.  I didn't see that this issue was considered in the Fleet Plan or that traps were assumed for a new Acela.

Deggesty

HarveyK400
Talgos may be problematic originating from Washington - I don't know for sure whether the lower level at Washington Union and Alexandria have high level platforms.

The lower level at Washington Union has low level platforms. I do not know for certain, but I doubt that the Alexandria station has high level platforms.

 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, February 13, 2010 6:04 PM

HarveyK400
That's mixed news about low level platforms at Washington, DC and probably Alexandria: good for Talgos and VRE, and bad for running Aclea (without traps) through to Richmond or Norfolk.  I didn't see that this issue was considered in the Fleet Plan or that traps were assumed for a new Acela

At sometime in the future some platforms may be made high level however not all would be since freight trains are sometimes sent through there.

 

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, February 13, 2010 8:37 PM

oltmannd
HarveyK400
Given another twenty years service, wouldn't new tilt suspension trucks be a worthwhile investment for passenger comfort? 
Has anybody anywhere retrofitted a conventional coach with tilt? I suppose you could do an active system between the bolster and carbody, but on Amfleet, that is where nearly all the suspension softness is. Not sure how you'd do the tilt and provide suspension....

How about http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=19920219&CC=EP&NR=0471304A1&KC=A1

. . . European Patent EP 0471304 (A1) N Kobayashi, Y Uozumi, Pendulum Vehicle?

The arrangement of the Amfleet Pioneer-III truck is that the bolster pivots on the truck frame but is kept transverse to the carbody through the radius rods that are prominent in photos -- one end of the rod connects with a bushing to the bolster, the other end with a bushing to that bracket that hangs down.  You have those big fat airsprings (or maybe coil-airbag combinations) that deflect up and down, but there is also resiliancy side-to-side to provide lateral cushioning without reverting to swing hangers.

All you do is tip those airsprings inward by some amount.  Bam, instant passive "pendulum" tilt system.  You could probably hire out the license holder Kawasaki Heavy Industries to bid on the rebuilds.

Active, shmactive -- passive tilt is good enough for the application.  Control the side resiliancy to compensate maybe an inch or two of cant deficiency.  You can't operate with that much cant deficiency anyway unless you get whole new low-axle load locomotives.  Problem solved.  Take that, you Amfleet haters . . .

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by schlimm on Sunday, February 14, 2010 8:07 PM

Paul Milenkovic
Do you think every single passenger train they have in Europe (or in China for that matters) is a 300 km/hr TGV train?  They have a pyramid of service in those places, from the spanking new HSR trains to wheezing secondary-line trains connecting to them.

 

Paul Milenkovic
Tilting trains.  Do you think they have tilting trains in Europe apart from a Talgo here and there, an odditiy even in Europe?  The Europeans simply run ordinary trains around curves faster -- I guess their passengers can hack 6" of cant deficiency without stumbling around.

 

Actually, there are HS trains other than Talgos: in Italy, Switzerland, Germany,Japan, Denmark and others.  Wiki has a long list.  Frankly, I don't think tilting trains, active or passive, are what is needed here.  The key is upgraded infrastructure (track and cat) as I've posted before.  In China, on the HSR lines (as opposed to VHSR track - 215 mph), those tracks will host both passenger and freight at 155 mph.  But I suppose that sort of speed wouldn't interest any shippers here.

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

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Sunday, February 14, 2010 10:09 PM

The link didn't work for me; but then yahoo has a new look that is buggering my computer.  I can't get Yahoo maps now either.

Paul Milenkovic

How about http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=19920219&CC=EP&NR=0471304A1&KC=A1

. . . European Patent EP 0471304 (A1) N Kobayashi, Y Uozumi, Pendulum Vehicle?

 
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Posted by HarveyK400 on Sunday, February 14, 2010 10:21 PM

Even when a corridor can be improved to very high speed, high cant and cant deficiency allow for a more forgiving alignment in the sense that costly deep cuts, high fills or long viaducts, and tunnels can be minimized.  Tilting simply affords a more comfortable ride.  Furthermore, if there is a consolidation of traffic for viable high speed improvements, odds are that through services on lower volume branches not justifying high speed investments can be improved with tilt suspension.

schlimm
Actually, there are HS trains other than Talgos: in Italy, Switzerland, Germany,Japan, Denmark and others.  Wiki has a long list.  Frankly, I don't think tilting trains, active or passive, are what is needed here.  The key is upgraded infrastructure (track and cat) as I've posted before.  In China, on the HSR lines (as opposed to VHSR track - 215 mph), those tracks will host both passenger and freight at 155 mph.  But I suppose that sort of speed wouldn't interest any shippers here.

 

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