NS Consortium Bilevels

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:02 PM

longhorn1969
This Viaggio Comfort will be the defacto standard, outside of Viewliner cars, what other off the shelf car do you think Amtrak is looking at to replace 400 or so Amfleet cars? Talk about economies of scale? And frankly, with Amtrak not spending much on LD trains, would not be suprised if the former Delta now Amtrak number driven CEO, thinks it might be a good idea to replace Superliners with Viewliners.

The Amfleet design is history and I don't see Amtrak going back to it.  It fit a need in the 1970's and 1980's for single level car replacements.   I don't see anymore of the Amfleet design being replicated.   New single level cars are probably going to look more similar to Viewliners.     Unless the design of the single level cars are flipped around once again and Amtrak leaps to another new design.

I don't have any idea how you come to the conclusion that now folks are going to jump to the Viaggo Comfort design just because they temporarily might have swapped out the Corridor bi-level design for the Simens single level design.   No indication that Siemens switch a permanent decision yet and it looks like a decision made for expediency of getting new cars in the field faster more than one that is based on the design being desired for the Midwest.

Also, disagree that Amtrak has moved away from spending money on LD trains.   I would say that Amtrak has moved away from spending money on LD trains by itself and outside of any kind of partnership.    $100 Million being spent to preserve the SW Chief route is nothing to discard.   Niether are Amtraks encouragment of Dallas to Kansas City service.    Amtraks partial embrace of New Orleans to Orlando service (with New Orleans to Mobile service as a potential add on).    If Amtrak can get a coalition of states to provide funding or add to it's own funding I would expect them to add more new to the LD equipment than what they have on order.........which isn't much.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:19 PM

schlimm
Why should that be?

Because right now, the unmodified Siemens cars are just end vestibule only.     Would be nice if they had two sets of sliding double doors on each end but in my view that is a significant car redesign from what they are marketing now and also in my non-engineering view NOT what they are offering the Midwest Consortium.     2 large holes on either side of the carbody (for double sliding doors) would impact a compression test unless done right.    Also you expose that much of the car to the outside environment your going to need more powerful HVAC on each car, etc, etc.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, September 02, 2017 3:24 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

The bi-level coach is limited to a dry weight of 150,000lbs. I don't know how this compares to the California cars.

Per UMLER the original 8000-series cars range between 154K and 158K lbs. The newer 6000-series cars card between 151K and 154K lbs. Take it for what it's worth.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Saturday, September 02, 2017 12:13 PM

CMStPnP
My understanding was the Midwest Corridor Cars were based on the California Surf-Liner car type with just a few modifications made to them and they largely followed the Amtrak future standard for corridor cars. Which makes the NS failure to largely apply some reverse engineering to a past car that was already built even more surprising. So not a totally new type of car.

At first glance it is surprising but there are changes. We concentrated on the 800,000 lbs buff load that both have to carry.

The California cars were built before the APTA crashworthiness requirements were introduced in 1999. After building the Surfliners were at least three revisions of APTA rules. Last but not least the PRIIA bi-level cars are required to have pushback couplers as one of several CEM elements.

So there are enough changes to get into difficulties. And with all other requirements in the PRIIA specification the weight limit might have been to tight.

I have looked into the board meetine minutes. From the test failure to mid January 2017 the is always the same bi-level procurement update: The carshell is still re-designed. From mid January the updates are tabled.

BTW Siemens stated that there Brightline coaches are based on the PRIIA spec but heavier. That was the reason for their presentation I linked.

If you see that a Siemens Viaggio Comfort coach in Europe weighs about 102,000 lbs compared to the PRIIA limit of 104,000 lbs it might be near impossible to stay within this limit as the American crashworthiness requirements can bring up to 20,000 lbs more weight.

On the other hand a Viaggio bi.level is just 11,000 lbs heavier than the single-level compared to 46,000 in the PRIIA specs.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Saturday, September 02, 2017 1:05 PM

CMStPnP
Because right now, the unmodified Siemens cars are just end vestibule only. Would be nice if they had two sets of sliding double doors on each end but in my view that is a significant car redesign from what they are marketing now and also in my non-engineering view NOT what they are offering the Midwest Consortium.

From your point of view it might be nice to have but according the specs not necessary. The bi-level specs require a door width of 52'', the single-level specs a width of 32''. The Brightline coaches have 34''. Bi-level cars require wider doors because of the more complicated passenger flows.

Here is a photo of the structure of the Brightline car. You look onto the door post.
http://www.railway-technical.com/_Media/siemens-florida-ss-bodyshel_med.png

American crashworthiness requirement are much easier to achive with single-level than bi-level cars. So a larger door might be possible but not necessary and unlikely as it might cost seating capacity.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by gregrudd on Monday, September 04, 2017 8:35 PM

So,did NS basicly use Pullman-Standard design principles in their first American cars?

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, September 07, 2017 10:31 AM

gregrudd
So,did NS basicly use Pullman-Standard design principles in their first American cars?

It would be interesting to find out exactly what they did to make the design fail the test.    Though I don't think we will ever know.    Europeans and Japanese both have a far different design philiosophy than we do when it comes to passenger carrying equipment and it is not just rail equipment, it's automobiles and passenger aircraft as well.     Hence you see the bumper stickers like  "If it ain't Boeing, I'm not going"......one of my favorites because the traveling public largely doesn't care.....if it is Boeing or Antonov.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, September 07, 2017 3:39 PM

CMStPnP
It would be interesting to find out exactly what they did to make the design fail the test. Though I don't think we will ever know. Europeans and Japanese both have a far different design philiosophy than we do when it comes to passenger carrying equipment

It disturbes me much more that N-S tried for over a year to find a correction to the problem.

I don't think it has to do with the different design philosophy regarding passenger rail equipment. N-S is used to handle design of CEM element for a long time. And they know stiffness requirements too. The difference is they are lower in Japan than the USA.

Sometimes you can run into problems if the owner defines too many design limits.

As Siemens stated they were not able to keep the PRIIA weight limit for the Brightline car and question if it is possible for the single-level PRIIA cars.

The difference of just 2,000 lbs as posted above between a Siemens European car and the PRIIA single-level coach weight limit seems too low. In the past it was between 10,000 and 20,000 lbs.

Perhaps similar happened with the bi-level cars.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, September 08, 2017 1:24 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
It disturbes me much more that N-S tried for over a year to find a correction to the problem. I don't think it has to do with the different design philosophy regarding passenger rail equipment. N-S is used to handle design of CEM element for a long time. And they know stiffness requirements too. The difference is they are lower in Japan than the USA. Sometimes you can run into problems if the owner defines too many design limits. As Siemens stated they were not able to keep the PRIIA weight limit for the Brightline car and question if it is possible for the single-level PRIIA cars. The difference of just 2,000 lbs as posted above between a Siemens European car and the PRIIA single-level coach weight limit seems too low. In the past it was between 10,000 and 20,000 lbs. Perhaps similar happened with the bi-level cars. Regards, Volker

OK then.   If the PRIIA standards are the issue then why not make the case to the standards body instead of just throwing in the towel on the whole deal.    Seems rather strange to walk away instead of resolving the issue.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, September 08, 2017 3:13 PM

CMStPnP
OK then. If the PRIIA standards are the issue then why not make the case to the standards body instead of just throwing in the towel on the whole deal. Seems rather strange to walk away instead of resolving the issue.

I agree. That was what I meant when I said it disturbes me. Maybe N-S took a commercial emergency exit trying to limit the losses.

All I wrote is still speculation. There are additional numbers I found today that fit.

In the minutes of August 2nd 2016 executive board meeting is states that the N-S bilevels are still 1,000 lbs overweight.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, September 11, 2017 4:37 PM

If Nippon Sharyo is proposing the same number of single level cars as bilevel cars, shouldn't there be some adjustment for the reduced capacity? Like 15 to 20 per cent more cars since the trains would need more cars to handle the riders expected.

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Posted by gregrudd on Monday, September 11, 2017 6:34 PM

I think that NS were probably looking for some economies in production. John Dunn in his history on Comeng found flaws in the pre-production the Kawasaki LIRR C3 design which of course is derivative of the Comeng designed C1. So perhaps the due dilligence wasn't done by not hiring people with good experence with DD car design.

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=fc5UAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236&dq=john+dunn+kawasaki&source=bl&ots=hqNQTOD6HB&sig=iwmY6gRDNUSb-1B7uWGr2WRfE6E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivjIT8o57WAhVLhbwKHRUuCjQQ6AEIQjAH#v=onepage&q=john%20dunn%20kawasaki&f=false 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 3:16 AM

Electroliner 1935

If Nippon Sharyo is proposing the same number of single level cars as bilevel cars, shouldn't there be some adjustment for the reduced capacity? Like 15 to 20 per cent more cars since the trains would need more cars to handle the riders expected.

That would make sense in a renegotiation in business but possibly might escape a state planner.   So you might want to send in a Email on that suggestion.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 8:58 AM

The first IDOT announcment with Sumitomo's proposal of single level cars was deleted. Here is the new one: https://www.illinois.gov/cpo/dot/Documents/Railcar%20Procurement%20Subcontractor.pdf

Here is the text from IDOT:

The following is being provided as information and for transparency purposes to a procurement led by the California Department of Transportation
Railcar Procurement Contract No. 75A0362
The Midwest bi-level passenger railcar procurement (Contract No. 75A0362) of 130 bi-level passenger railcars is led by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in joint agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), which represents the Midwest Coalition.


In order to satisfy its obligations under the Contract, Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA), proposed to (1) substitute Siemens Industry, Inc. (Siemens) in place of Nippon Sharyo as SCOA’s prime subcontractor and railcar manufacturer, pursuant to Section SP7.2 of the Contract and (2) manufacture 130 single-level railcars in place of 130 bi-level railcars.


Caltrans/IDOT are reviewing SCOA’s proposal. By moving from bi-level to single level railcars, Caltrans/IDOT will reduce the delivery frame for the railcars from approximately 24-34 months for a single level railcar as opposed to 5 years for a bi-level railcar. In order to proceed, Caltrans/IDOT and SCOA will execute an amendment to the Contract which will accommodate the substitution of Siemens as the manufacturer of 130 single level railcars.

What is the plan if they realize that the Siemens Brightline car cannot be changed to fulfill all contractural requirements. Weight perhap being the highest hurdle.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by Buslist on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:33 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
Electroliner 1935

If Nippon Sharyo is proposing the same number of single level cars as bilevel cars, shouldn't there be some adjustment for the reduced capacity? Like 15 to 20 per cent more cars since the trains would need more cars to handle the riders expected.

 

That would make sense in a renegotiation in business but possibly might escape a state planner.   So you might want to send in a Email on that suggestion.

 

You don't think the state's legal folks have reviewed this change with a fine tooth comb? This would be espically true since it involved a competitive bid!

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Posted by Buslist on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:45 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
CMStPnP
OK then. If the PRIIA standards are the issue then why not make the case to the standards body instead of just throwing in the towel on the whole deal. Seems rather strange to walk away instead of resolving the issue.

 

I agree. That was what I meant when I said it disturbes me. Maybe N-S took a commercial emergency exit trying to limit the losses.

All I wrote is still speculation. There are additional numbers I found today that fit.

In the minutes of August 2nd 2016 executive board meeting is states that the N-S bilevels are still 1,000 lbs overweight.
Regards, Volker

 

If NS wanted a change their discussion would be with the contracting agency not the "standards" body. My lawyer would never let me refer to some other document in a procurement, I needed to specify the value. I suspect the contract for the cars incorporates the values from the PRIIA document. This was an issue a few years ago when a couple of FRA safety standards included references to AAR interchange rules. FRA lawyers insisted the rules be changed to incorporate the values ( which were stated in the AAR document). Volker can confirm but it's my understand that the EU is requiring the same thing for the new TSIs. UIC documents cannot be included by reference.

 

As to why they would walk away, perhaps they realized what the Siemens official stated at the time of the bidding "nobody can build that car at that price" so even if they got the car to pass they might still be selling $1 loaves of bread for $0.75.

 

One has to wonder when a bid comes in so far under the budgeted amount, poor calculations on one or the other's part, or a deliberate underbid by the winner to get the work in hopes of some future return, but this difference is just so large.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:25 AM

I don't know the practice in the rail equipment industry.

In the construction industry it was common to reference to standards. Usually it read state of the art and latest standards. That led to discussions when the standards were changed during the procurement process.

I read of EMU procurements in Germany where the delivery was delayed for month as new regulations had to be implemented even during construction of the vehicles.
Regards, Volker

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