Via Rail new equipment.

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Via Rail new equipment.
Posted by cdnreader on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 2:48 PM

The Federal Government in Canada brought down a budget yesterday.  Via Rail was given money to replace all its cars and locomotives in corridor service (between Windsor, Ont and Quebec City).  The plan for dedicated passenger track between Montreal and Toronto is still under study.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 3:19 PM

http://m.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/fleet-renewal

Looks official.  Maybe something will actually get done for once.

But new, fast trains are useless without fast, clear tracks to run on. 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, March 01, 2018 1:12 PM

Thats good news they can standardize the hodge podge of equipment they have now in that corridor.   Since Canada is offering to pay for a new bridge to Detroit.   Any news on when VIA Rail will extend service to Detroit and add it to the Windsor Corridor?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, March 01, 2018 1:53 PM

CMStPnP

Thats good news they can standardize the hodge podge of equipment they have now in that corridor.   Since Canada is offering to pay for a new bridge to Detroit.   Any news on when VIA Rail will extend service to Detroit and add it to the Windsor Corridor?

 
Probably never.  Detroit is slightly outside of VIA's service area.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
ben
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Posted by ben on Thursday, March 01, 2018 7:11 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

CMStPnP

Thats good news they can standardize the hodge podge of equipment they have now in that corridor.   Since Canada is offering to pay for a new bridge to Detroit.   Any news on when VIA Rail will extend service to Detroit and add it to the Windsor Corridor?

 

 

 
Probably never.  Detroit is slightly outside of VIA's service area.
 

 

Didn't they previously go there?

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, March 01, 2018 8:06 PM

ben

 

 
CSSHEGEWISCH

 

CMStPnP

Thats good news they can standardize the hodge podge of equipment they have now in that corridor.   Since Canada is offering to pay for a new bridge to Detroit.   Any news on when VIA Rail will extend service to Detroit and add it to the Windsor Corridor?

 

 

 
Probably never.  Detroit is slightly outside of VIA's service area.
 

 

 

 

Didn't they previously go there?

 

CN's service into Detroit was from Chicago via GTW. 

The CP did operate into Detroit through Windsor (and the engine crews  changed in Windsor though the train crews went under the river into Detroit).

Johnny

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Posted by ghCBNS on Friday, March 02, 2018 4:53 AM

Deggesty

CN's service into Detroit was from Chicago via GTW. 

The CP did operate into Detroit through Windsor (and the engine crews  changed in Windsor though the train crews went under the river into Detroit).

Right up until Amtrak…..CN had a connecting bus to/from trains at Windsor that looped through downtown Detroit.

Prior to that…through cars (including sleepers) between Detroit and Toronto were ferried across the Detroit River from GTW’s Brush St Station and attached to trains at Windsor.  

 

 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, March 04, 2018 5:14 PM

I saw no mention of a BUY CANADIAN requirement. Could Siemans (read Sacramento) be a bidder as well as Bombardier?

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Posted by cdnreader on Monday, March 05, 2018 6:13 PM

Bombardier does not currently have any suitable designs.  I don't know if they could design new trainsets and produce them by the proposed introduction date.  The only North American designs available would be Siemens for locomotives and Talgo or Siemens for coaches.  There would probably be some requirement that a certain percent of the manufacturing be done in Canada.  Of course, it is possible another manufacturer would come up with new design, but it seems unlikely.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, March 05, 2018 6:23 PM

I would expect so.  Siemens has a good track record of selling (light) rail equipment in Canada, dating back to the late 1970s when Edmonton bought their first U2 LRT cars.  

I am not aware of any "buy Canadian" requirements in our laws, but Federal funding grants may come with their own unique strings attached.  You never know, VIA did not have any trouble choosing the American-made GE P42's over the Canadian-built EMD F59 when they needed more locomotives some years back.

From the specs stated in the VIA page I posted, the new trainsets will be bi-directional (second locomotive or cab car on the other end) with Tier 4 compliant dual-mode locomotives.  This makes Bombardier's ALP-45DP the obvious initial front-runner for motive power.  While it was produced before Tier 4 came into force, the diesel engines it uses (CAT 3512c) have since been modified to meet that standard.

Other options could include dual-mode versions of the Charger, MP54 or F125.

I expect Talgo to be another bidder for the trainsets, in addition to Bombardier and Siemens.

The desire for electric propulsion indicates that VIA is not giving up on regaining access to the Mont-Royal Tunnel, so I also expect the new trainsets to be single-level.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by cdnreader on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:56 AM

The Bombardier locomotives were designed for commuter service which usually has a maximum speed of 70 mph or so.  Presumably Via would require locos that are capable of at least 110 mph for their dedicated tracks.  Can the Bombardier locos be upgraded to allow this?

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 2:52 PM

I had assumed that the running gear of an ALP45DP was good for at least 110mph and perhaps higher.  I will check when I can, as I think there are now two runs about to be produced for different customers and up-to-date information on effective speed (it's higher on straight electric for prime-mover-related concerns) should be available more or less directly.

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Posted by cdnreader on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 4:45 PM

Thanks.  It would be interesting to know.

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Posted by RailfanGXY on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 6:28 PM

Does it really cost less to purchase an entirely new fleet of cars? I would think the only change that needs to be added would be to make the LRC coaches push-pull compatible...and obviously building cab cars.

If Bombardier gets the bid, they could possibly revamp the desgin. They're basically VIA's version of the Amfleet. Sure they're older, but they're definitely reliable (and lighter too). I think it actually makes more sense just to take...however many of the Renaissance cars are still operating and rebuild them as LRC's. They don't need tilt to work well.

Tags: VIA , LRC
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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 9:05 PM

The problem with rebuilding cars is that it still leaves you with what at the core is still old equipment.  Nothing lasts forever, not even steel centre sills.  Even before this funding announcement VIA had revealed they plan to soon retire the ex-Amtrak stainless steel coaches.

The LRC coaches have been the backbone of VIA's corridor fleet since they were built in the early 1980s, which will make them nearly 40 years old by the time their replacements arrive.  While they are not nearly as old as the Amfleet (and nowhere near the Heritage stainless steel cars) they are significantly older than the Acela coaches (which are based on the LRC design) which Amtrak will be retiring around the same time.  Perhaps the Bombardier LRC family simply does not age well (they don't build 'em like they used to?). 

The Renaissance cars were a maintenance nightmare (frozen plumbing, not handicap accessible) when first acquired, and they still have ongoing issues.  Their availability rating is far lower than anything else VIA has, especially during the winter. 

VIA has not stated that tilting will be a requirement of the new cars, but a properly working system (unlike the LRC) would be quite helpful. 

Meanwhile the long-distance ex-CP stainless steel fleet rolls on, albeit fewer miles at slower speeds than the corridor fleet.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 9:07 PM

SD70Dude

I expect Talgo to be another bidder for the trainsets, in addition to Bombardier and Siemens.

Quoting myself here, I forgot another potential bidder.  Viewliners would look pretty good in VIA paint...

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:58 PM

The ALP45-DPs probably aren't a good option. Heavy, worse than expected fuel consumption, expensive to buy, and they wear out their prime movers quickly.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 12:10 AM

Are there any other dual-mode locomotives currently available?

I should have expected bad things from CAT locomotive engines.  Could a different type of diesel be used instead?  Of course that does not solve the weight issue.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 12:14 AM

Not in North America. Siemens is rumored to be working on a third rail Charger, but that won't be helpful. I don't doubt they could come up with a Sprinter/Charger hybrid if asked. Stadler has a Eurodual model in testing in Europe.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 1:52 PM

I doubt there is 'that' much more involved in making a Charger dual-mode capable 'at the diesel output'

In my opinion the likeliest way to make a 'third-rail-capable Charger' is to arrange to filter, despike, etc. the third-rail feed, and then direct this to the DC link of the inverter transmission.  A small amount of energy storage (somewhat akin to keep-alive in model railroading) might be installed to keep the locomotive from stalling at low speed on long gaps.

Similarly it should not be difficult to transform and then rectify 60Hz AC for this purpose.  That should be easier than the Conrail 'duel-mode lite' experiment in the early '80s.

The Siemens battery supplier for the Chargers has only just started working with 'commercial-grade' lithium-chemistry batteries, which would likely be an enabling technology for a Charger 'hybrid'.  Reasonably certain that mosey of the advantage of the battery would be in regenerative/wayside storage and rapid release, e.g. For commuter service or routes with many checks and reaccelerations, rather than for sustained fast running.  There are other chemistries (and other potential uses for sustained high-current generation on falling grades) that might be useful, but I doubt a reasonable long-term economic 'case' for these could be made without subsidy.  KERS (flywheel storage) is likely only useful if you build something like the ALPS locomotive (which uses the 'flywheel' for much of its high performance).

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Posted by D.Carleton on Thursday, March 08, 2018 12:22 PM

VIA Rail Canada

More fuel-efficient, Tier 4 Diesel engines, with the option to operate on electrified rail infrastructure as it becomes available.

I’m not seeing dual-mode here. Specing capabilities on a maybe just isn’t cricket. What I see are locomotives that can be converted from diesel to electric or dual-mode at some future date. 

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 08, 2018 12:49 PM

ALP45DP has essentially the same main transformer and running gear as the ALP46A electric, and the same top speed under catenary (125mph).  Diesel speed is limited to 100mph, most likely for fuel-efficiency concerns.  It might be interesting to see the effect of using a "better" prime mover (C175 or QSK) in place of the 3512c or whatever current spec for them is.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, March 08, 2018 2:25 PM

cdnreader
The Bombardier locomotives were designed for commuter service which usually has a maximum speed of 70 mph or so.  Presumably Via would require locos that are capable of at least 110 mph for their dedicated tracks.  Can the Bombardier locos be upgraded to allow this?

Under catenary the Bombardier ALP-45DP is capable of 125 mph, with diesel power 100 mph. It already weighs 288,000 lbs.The Tier 4 equipment and eventually more powerful diesel engines will ad to this.

The PRIIA specifications contain requirements for dual mode (3rd rail) locomotives. One of the interested railroads asked four manufacturers for their opinion. The result is collected here: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/Dual_Mode_DC_3rd_Rail-Appendix_A_4-110_MPH_-_for_TSCapproval.docx

And here are some discussion points: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/305%20Exec/110_vs_125_Standardization_and_DEIS_Rev2.docx

The weight of the Siemens Charger would go up from 272,000 lbs to 291,500 lbs in a three feet longer locomotive. Bombardier say they would keep the 288,000 lbs but with the above speed limits and Tier 3. Progress Rail answered that the F125 Dual Power would weigh 282,000 lbs. That astonishes me as the F125 already weighs 280,000 lbs. 

Here I trust Siemens more with their hugh experience building electric locomotives.

GE/MPI proposed a six-axle locomotive weighing 326,000 lbs. The reason for me is that MPI is not able to provide a monocoque chassis.

I don't know the allowed axle loads for the VIA locomotives but 36.44 tons for the DP Charger seem quite reasonable. Has it to be less, a smaller diesel engine might be the way to go with lower diesel modus speeds.
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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, March 08, 2018 3:44 PM

Overmod
 Diesel speed is limited to 100mph, most likely for fuel-efficiency concerns.

I think the ALP-45DP is geared for 125 mph under catenary and it reaches 100 mph using diesel power which is about 1,150 hp less than electric power.
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Thursday, March 08, 2018 5:00 PM

SD70Dude

The problem with rebuilding cars is that it still leaves you with what at the core is still old equipment.  Nothing lasts forever, not even steel centre sills.  Even before this funding announcement VIA had revealed they plan to soon retire the ex-Amtrak stainless steel coaches.

The LRC coaches have been the backbone of VIA's corridor fleet since they were built in the early 1980s, which will make them nearly 40 years old by the time their replacements arrive.  While they are not nearly as old as the Amfleet (and nowhere near the Heritage stainless steel cars) they are significantly older than the Acela coaches (which are based on the LRC design) which Amtrak will be retiring around the same time.  Perhaps the Bombardier LRC family simply does not age well (they don't build 'em like they used to?). 

The Renaissance cars were a maintenance nightmare (frozen plumbing, not handicap accessible) when first acquired, and they still have ongoing issues.  Their availability rating is far lower than anything else VIA has, especially during the winter. 

VIA has not stated that tilting will be a requirement of the new cars, but a properly working system (unlike the LRC) would be quite helpful. 

Meanwhile the long-distance ex-CP stainless steel fleet rolls on, albeit fewer miles at slower speeds than the corridor fleet.

 

Is Via stillrunnings a fair amount of stainless in the corridors?

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, March 08, 2018 5:48 PM

ROBERT WILLISON

Is Via stillrunnings a fair amount of stainless in the corridors?

They have around 30 ex-Amtrak coaches (the HEP 2 fleet) in addition to the 40 ex-CP coaches (HEP 1).  This compares to nearly 100 LRC cars.

They seem to try to keep consists composed entirely of one type.

It is the HEP 2 cars VIA wants to retire very soon.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Friday, March 09, 2018 8:44 AM

SD70Dude

I know what you were drescribing was the way the last time I rode via. I always choose the the  all Budd trains ( just ) my thing.  So once again, ride them when you can, cause one day we will look up and they will be gone.

Thanks for the up date.

 

 
ROBERT WILLISON

Is Via stillrunnings a fair amount of stainless in the corridors?

 

 

They have around 30 ex-Amtrak coaches (the HEP 2 fleet) in addition to the 40 ex-CP coaches (HEP 1).  This compares to nearly 100 LRC cars.

They seem to try to keep consists composed entirely of one type.

It is the HEP 2 cars VIA wants to retire very soon.

 

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Posted by ferrophile on Monday, March 12, 2018 7:53 PM

You must take in account that poeple in Québec City are pushing for a TGF (Train à Grande Fréquence) which is faster and more frequent service between Québec city and Montréal via Trois-Rivières, on the QGRR (Québec-Gatineau), the old CPR.  They want them to reach Gare Centrale using the tunnel under Mnot-Royal as they will be arriving from the north shore of the St-Lawrence river.  AMT first wanted to ban VIA to use this line through the mountain, saying it would interfere with their service to Deux-Montagnes and with the future REM, the automated electric transit train to come.  The battle is now kind of won for proposers of the TGF as it was announced the TGF would be tolerated and intergrated between other trains using the tunnel.  This is why they want hybrid locos like ALP-45: diesel between Québec city and the vincinity of Montréal, then electric by raising the pantograph to enter the tunnel.  

Ironically, diesels have been going through the tunnel for decades before AMT.  Passenger trains from Abbitibi and Saguenay arrived here with diesels and entered Gare Centrale via that tunnel since diesels were used on CNR passenger trains.  Of course they were pulled by the boxy electric locos when they left the station heading north back to their remote destination.  These very old machines were attached in front of the lead unit (FP-9 or FPA-4) for the time to climb outside the 4 mile tunnel, then uncoupled to leave the train on its own.  I was born in La Tuque and rode these trains for years.

Even if they win their TGF, VIA would keep the service on the south shore via Drummondville.

If the TGF comes, it will be a good start to accelerate the service between our Capital and Montréal.  If they do it, if the time is cut to under 2 hours, I strongly believe poeple will use it.  Je suis TGF!

Bertrand Dion a.k.a. Ferrophile.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, March 12, 2018 9:47 PM

4 mile tunnel ?  Would expect that with all the service thru the tunnel that diesel fumes wound not clear enough be tolerable ?  What if any is there at present any tunnel fume evacuation facilities.   Even an idiling diesel on a DP is going to make fumes ?

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Posted by ghCBNS on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 4:42 AM

ferrophile
Ironically, diesels have been going through the tunnel for decades before AMT. Passenger trains from Abbitibi and Saguenay arrived here with diesels and entered Gare Centrale via that tunnel since diesels were used on CNR passenger trains. Of course they were pulled by the boxy electric locos when they left the station heading north back to their remote destination. These very old machines were attached in front of the lead unit (FP-9 or FPA-4) for the time to climb outside the 4 mile tunnel, then uncoupled to leave the train on its own. I was born in La Tuque and rode these trains for years.

Here's the consist of one of those trains to northern Quebec. The ancient Box-cab electrics hauled it out of Central Station to Eastern Jct. where they cut off.

In the reverse (south bound) direction…..the diesels hauled the train to the tunnel entrance at Portal Heights (now Canora Station) The engineer would set the diesel units to idle…..and just coast the 3 miles downgrade through the tunnel into Central Station.

 CN #73 Montreal - Chicoutimi, Feb. 20, 1976

 6712 GE Electric (off at Eastern Jct)

 6714 GE Electric (off at Eastern Jct)

 6787 FPA4

  6636 F9B

  9332 Baggage

 1815 Allendale 8Sec, 2Comp, 1Dr. HW Sleeper (built 1923)

  1087 Cape Breton 2Bdr. 2Comp Buffet Lounge

  5227 Coach

  5298 Coach (off at Arvida)

 5187 Coach (off at Jonquiere)

 5287 Coach (to #75 at Hervey Jct to Senneterre)

 431 Dinette (to #75 at Hervey Jct to Senneterre)

 1807 Campbellton Sleeper (to #75 at Hervey Jct to Senneterre)

 >>>>>>>>>

After VIA moved the CP Dayliners between Montreal and Quebec City from Windsor Station to Central Station......they were also hauled out through the Mt Royal Tunnel by an electric.... so an interesting sight: 2 Electric Box Cabs + a single RDC unit!

 

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