Trains.com

Trinity Railway Express (Dallas) to buy new Siemens Locomotives

2992 views
15 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,812 posts
Trinity Railway Express (Dallas) to buy new Siemens Locomotives
Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 8:35 PM
  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 11,817 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 12:51 AM

$11M + for each loco?  Is TRE ordering these as a follow on to another order or is it wanting its own specs?

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,812 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 9:45 AM

blue streak 1
$11M + for each loco?  Is TRE ordering these as a follow on to another order or is it wanting its own specs?

Didn't someone say earlier the GO Transit or Bombardier cars are special with HEP demands and this is why Amtrak can't use them?    I also think the smaller order adds to the cost of each locomotive.    They are tacking onto the Illinois DOT order to save some money there but I suspect the locomotive innards are slighting different between Illinois DOT locomotives and TRE.   Probably more thought went into the TRE options since Herzog is probably providing input into what is being ordered and Texas tends to conserve taxpayer money as much as possible when it spends on transit items.   

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 13,468 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 10:08 AM

IDOT's order for Chargers for the Midwest Consortium has long since been completed but apparently there were some unexercised options available which are being used by TRE.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,174 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 6:21 PM

CMStPnP
 
blue streak 1
$11M + for each loco?  Is TRE ordering these as a follow on to another order or is it wanting its own specs?

Nothing special, HEP-wise, with Bombardier coaches in the USA. In Canada that's a different story; 480v/3-phase is not common in industrial applications in the Great White North, eh?

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 4,259 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 9:23 PM

CN and GO Transit started using 575v HEP in the late 1960s with the delivery of the Tempo cars and GO's original coaches from Hawker Siddeley.  I don't imagine anyone thought much of it at the time since they were relatively captive fleets and this was before HEP became the standard method for heating and lighting North American passenger trains.

VIA eventually decided to use 480v for their HEP rolling stock but GO never switched, and they continue to use 575v HEP to this day.  The Tempos were converted to 480v in the early 1980s and were sometimes used in mixed consists with LRC or Amtrak equipment on the Chicago-Toronto International.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/International_Limited_in_Three_Oaks%2C_February_1983.jpg

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,174 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, February 23, 2024 4:25 PM

I am all for more Chargers on the road; enlightened self interest. But is this really the right answer for DFW's commuter rail needs? Using a Charger for 2-3 car trains is like swatting a mosquito with a sledgehammer. 

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,812 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, February 24, 2024 6:17 AM

D.Carleton
But is this really the right answer for DFW's commuter rail needs?

They are not making the decision in a vacuum.   They get some input from their contractor (Herzog Rail Services).   Herzog has done a really good job so far with TRE in my opinion in regards to service and reliability.    I am not sure what the future plans are for TRE but if I had to guess, I think a good bet would be on expansion of their route.    Also, note the comments about the passenger cars seem to indicate they might be replaced as well after the current rehab service life extension.

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 13,468 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, February 24, 2024 9:49 AM

D.Carleton

I am all for more Chargers on the road; enlightened self interest. But is this really the right answer for DFW's commuter rail needs? Using a Charger for 2-3 car trains is like swatting a mosquito with a sledgehammer. 

 
Chargers may seem a bit overpowered for this service but there really isn't anything in the 2000-3000 HP range that's on the market.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,174 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, February 24, 2024 6:53 PM

CMStPnP
They are not making the decision in a vacuum.   They get some input from their contractor (Herzog Rail Services).   Herzog has done a really good job so far with TRE in my opinion in regards to service and reliability.    I am not sure what the future plans are for TRE but if I had to guess, I think a good bet would be on expansion of their route.    Also, note the comments about the passenger cars seem to indicate they might be replaced as well after the current rehab service life extension.

In my mind all commuter railroads fall into distinct categories. There are the big boys like MNCR & LIRR. At the other end of the spectrum are little guys like WeGo (formerly Music City Star), SunRail and TRE. I've ridden TRE off and on over the years since it started. There is no appreciable growth but it does provide an an essential service. Locomotive push/pull sets make sense if there is to be growth during the reasonable lifespan of the rolling stock; three car trains become four car trains, four cars become five, etc. That's not happening with the little guys. Further, in Texas, two new lines are/have opened up and are using Stadler diesel sets. In my mind it would make more sense to convert TRE (and others) to this equipment for fleet renewal and overall cost savings in the future. Just my ravings from under my rock.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    February 2016
  • From: Texas
  • 1,537 posts
Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, February 25, 2024 4:34 PM

D.Carleton
I've ridden TRE off and on over the years since it started. There is no appreciable growth but it does provide an an essential service. 

According to DART’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for FY22 – latest available annual report, numbers for Trinity Railway Express have been heading in the wrong direction for a long time.
 
From FY13 through FY22, TRE’s passenger revenues declined 74.2%.  Ridership declined 49.1%.  For the five years ended FY22, passenger revenues declined 72.3% and ridership declined 47.7%.  Between FY20 and FY22 passenger revenues declined 57.3% and ridership fell off by 18.8%. 
 
From 2013 to 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the Dallas Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area grew by approximately 19.5%.  
 
In FY22 TRE’s passenger revenues made up 5.3% of DART’s passenger revenues; its ridership was 2.6% of the total.    
 
The TRE is owned by DART and Trinity Metro. The numbers reflect DART’s side of the story.  I could not find corresponding numbers for Trinity Metro’s side of the story, but I doubt they would change the outcomes.    

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

  • Member since
    February 2016
  • From: Texas
  • 1,537 posts
Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, February 25, 2024 5:00 PM
One thing DART does not have a shortage of is executives. 
 
Currently shown on its website is the President and CEO, a Sr. Executive Vice President and COO, 3 Executive VPs, 15 VPs, as well as General Counsel, Chief of Police, Chief Auditor, and Administrator of Board Support.  One of the vice presidents is an Interim Vice President of Belonging. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,812 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, February 25, 2024 9:35 PM

D.Carleton
In my mind all commuter railroads fall into distinct categories. There are the big boys like MNCR & LIRR. At the other end of the spectrum are little guys like WeGo (formerly Music City Star), SunRail and TRE. I've ridden TRE off and on over the years since it started. There is no appreciable growth but it does provide an an essential service. Locomotive push/pull sets make sense if there is to be growth during the reasonable lifespan of the rolling stock; three car trains become four car trains, four cars become five, etc. That's not happening with the little guys. Further, in Texas, two new lines are/have opened up and are using Stadler diesel sets. In my mind it would make more sense to convert TRE (and others) to this equipment for fleet renewal and overall cost savings in the future. Just my ravings from under my rock.

If they ever flip to Stadler on the TRE corridor I would probably vote with my feet against.   Though not as bad as a Talgo trainset.   Remove Amtrak with daytime freight operations I would be OK with Stadler as a choice. 

 I think Siemens was probably the safe choice since they keep talking about additional routes North from Irving or Dallas, specifically a new line that would connect Irving to Prosper, TX and points North using BNSF Railway.   Also note they are rehabbing the existing cars not replacing them with no talk of replacing them which is interesting.    They do not have a lot of money to spend because they also plan to start replacing the bulk of the DART light rail cars in 2027 which a chunk of those are already past their service life.

They are talking about a second Dallas to Fort Worth Higher speed rail corridor below (see link).

https://www.nctcog.org/getmedia/7126a275-549d-4a37-95f6-535a9b59e173/DFWHSTC_TRE_Corridor.pdf

They spent a lot of money with incremental improvements over the last 20 years on the TRE line, so even though they have not expanded the service they have significantly improved the route, more double track, concrete flyovers vs grade crossings in places and more crossovers between rail tracks.   They are expending TEXRail to South of T&P Station for 2 miles or so and there is talk once the Silver Line is up and running of extending it eventually to Wylie, TX from Plano.

I suspect they still have plans for a TRE service extension of some sort in the next ten years but they have nothing final yet.

BNSF Railway Commute line proposal:

https://agenda.friscotexas.gov/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/5_4_2021%20-%2033559%20-%20City%20Council%20Work%20Session%20-%20%20-%20UPDATED%20STATIONS%20-%20PRE.pdf?meetingId=3998&documentType=Agenda&itemId=33559&publishId=24980&isSection=false

 

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 20,005 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, February 26, 2024 1:33 AM

In what way are Stadler cars less safe than Siemans for mixed-traffic operation?

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,812 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, February 26, 2024 9:59 AM

daveklepper
In what way are Stadler cars less safe than Siemans for mixed-traffic operation?

The Ford Pinto was a safe car as well (well almost).   Pinto drivers never had to apply for safety waivers from the Federal Government to drive a Pinto.   Granted the safety waivers are not necessarily crash related.   I just do not like the overall design of the Stadler rail car for mixed use operation.    Especially the whole power plant in middle thing on Diesel and Hydrogen variants.    Electric I am OK with.

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,174 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, February 26, 2024 2:59 PM

PJS1
According to DART’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for FY22 – latest available annual report, numbers for Trinity Railway Express have been heading in the wrong direction for a long time.
 
From FY13 through FY22, TRE’s passenger revenues declined 74.2%.  Ridership declined 49.1%.  For the five years ended FY22, passenger revenues declined 72.3% and ridership declined 47.7%.  Between FY20 and FY22 passenger revenues declined 57.3% and ridership fell off by 18.8%.

From an operations point of view that's all the more reason to go with something like a Stadler product mirroring the neighboring operators. I would think someone there would have done a comparison of TRE and TEXRail matching numbers for maintenance costs and fuel.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy