Jet Train

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Jet Train

Postby p42 » Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:10 pm

What is the progress on high speed rail infrastructure implementing in Canada and the USA
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Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:19 pm

D.O.A.
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:40 pm

And what does infrastructure have to do with the JetTrain in particular?
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Postby hsr_fan » Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:07 pm

Where is the "Jet Train" prototype locomotive these days anyway?
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Postby Champlain Division » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:42 pm

As to progress...none, nada, zip, zero. :( There's been some talk in the Midwest, but no action.

Florida Gov Bush is actively campaigning to repeal the voter mandated High Speed Rail Act due to extreme cost. (JetTrain is slated to be part of the initial operating capability :-D -- build tracks and signalling system first; build catenary later)

As for JetTrain's current location, let me check with my contacts and I'll let you know. :wink:
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Postby Champlain Division » Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:29 pm

OK, my contact says Bombardier is still toting it around most likely showing it at various places slated to have HSR Corridors. Speculation only on his part, but he thinks it will either be taken to Bomb's Thunder Bay, ON facility for storage or be put into experimental service on VIA/CN to test its long term operational performance.

I STILL think they should test it as part of an Acela trainset on the NEC. The JetTrain locomotive's turbine can be shut down and pulled or pushed into NYP depending on what end of the train it is on at the moment. (And there's plenty of rescue power available if the electric loco should fail in the tunnel.)

HECK! Now that I think of it....it might not be a bad idea to invest in a turbine loco for EACH Acela trainset! That way, the inevitable catenary failure, which happens more and more often these days NYP <> WAS, can at least be ameliorated by the JetTrain's ability to maintain "Hotel Power." The pan on the electric end loco can be lowered, the broken/fouled wire(s) cleared and the JetTrain loco can pull or push the train to the next station or its ultimate destination. (I mean, who cares if it might not go as fast? The train's already late because of the cat failure!)

The moral of this story?: Passenger comfort is maintained and no "rescue" is necessary.

It's at least worth a try.....but, NAAAAH, what do I know?!!!
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:19 pm

There are diesel prime-movers out there that outdo the JetTrain in terms of horsepower generation, fuel consumption, and perhaps even outright acceleration. I wouldn't mind seeing what would happen if two SD89MAC prime-movers were stuck on an A1A-A1A E-unit platform with a modern aerodynamic skin... :wink:
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Postby Nasadowsk » Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:39 pm

Don't even need A1A trucks. The Spainsh have been running 4200 HP, low weight diesels for 20 years now. only reason they won't be replaced is there's no market for lightweight high speed diesels in Europe, since those lines get electrified, or kicked to DMU operation.

If the US were serious about HSR, or at least improving the dismal performance of existing Amtrak trains, you'd see investment in light weight diesels, and light weight cars, and then probbably electric. Even the DOT's own objective for JetTrain was to 'match' the AEM-7, which is an early 70's standard for performance that's long been surpassed...

Anyway, with the FLHSR project dead, and no real sales prospect up north, plus a unit that's unmarketable anywhere else (way too heavy, way too expensive, based on a carbody design that for technical purposes, a failure, plus the technology being sold has traditionally not worked very well), I wonder why BBD even bothers, other than someone's kicking them money for this white elephant. With a glut of railcar manufacturing capacity, and a business that's on shakey ground, they sure aren't bothing with it on their dime.

Which brings up testing it. Amtrak's already (much to the DOT/FRA's annoyance, no doubt) backed away from their existing turbo operations, and they have no money to be a free guenia pig. I'm guessing what's standing between the scrapper's torch (a/k/a 'storage') and testing on Via will be the issue of who pays, too. And BBD isn't going to show it off unless there's an order ready(Go, test drive a Porsche with no intention of buying it. Dealers hate that).

Run on the NEC? Great - where do we change power for the NY and Baltamore run throughs? North of NY - at New Rochelle? Can't. Harold? With LIRR trains blowing by every few minutes, all the time. Dangerous! South of NY - Newark? Sure, and and annoy NJ even more?

As for a backup turbine? Come on, the problem isn't the catenary, it's that the catenary hasn't been properly maintained for 40+ years. The new stuff's been very reliable, I'm guessing MN will be there once they finish theirs off and reconfigure SHELL (which is an inherently messed up design). If Amtrak ever grows up (And let's be honest here - the NEC's catenary has been getting old for 30 years now, long before we had boxcars and express and million dollar advertising and flawed 'network growth' plans. It was poor long term planning that's led to the existing mess) and realizes they need new wires on the NEC, not corporate rebranding after corporate rebranding, and useless freight equipment, they too might fix their wires and it'll become decent.

At least BBD's got one heck of a tax writeoff when this thing gets chopped up. What was it, 20 million or so of their money and a free 20 million from the FRA for it?
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:41 pm

Don't even need A1A trucks. The Spainsh have been running 4200 HP, low weight diesels for 20 years now

This is the USA, where everything's done bigger and smellier. Besides, a new E-unit like that would crank out about 9000 horses... :wink:
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Postby Champlain Division » Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:18 am

From today's NCI Destination Freedom newsletter. A remote possiblilty of a market for JetTrain:

Across the pond...
China picks firms for train project

Three consortia led by Japanese, Canadian and French firms have won contracts worth a combined 1.34 trillion yen ($12.22 billion) to introduce high-speed trains to existing Chinese tracks, according to published reports on August 25. The three consortia all consist of ties between local and foreign companies, according to CBS MarketWatch.com.

French industrial giant Alstom will join with Changchun Railway Vehicles, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

The Xinhua report did not contain details of the contracts or amounts.

The Japanese-led consortium is made up of Chinese train manufacturer Nanche Sifang Locomotive, based in Shandong Province, and six Japanese companies – Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Itochu, Mitsubishi Corp., and Marubeni Corp., Japan’s Kyodo News reported.

Bombardier Sifang Power Transportation, a railcar joint venture in Shandong Province involving Canadian airplane and train maker Bombardier was the other winning group, Kyodo said.

Bids for the project were 380 billion yen by the Canadian consortium, 420 billion yen by the Japanese consortium and 540 billion yen by the French consortium, Kyodo said.

The five train lines include one linking Beijing and Shenyang in the province of Liaoning, and another to connect Qingdao in the coastal province of Shandong with Jinan in the same province.

The Chinese Railway Ministry’s project aims to raise the speed of trains to 200 kph (125 mph) on five major existing lines, stretching over 1,243 miles.
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Postby Nasadowsk » Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:19 am

<i>From today's NCI Destination Freedom newsletter. A remote possiblilty of a market for JetTrain:
</i>

Very remote. Unlike North America, the rest of the world doesn't have an irrational fear of electrification. The only reason why JetTrain was developed was to serve a maket which doesn't exist in the rest of the world, and won't in the US either. Bombardier probbably wouldn't have even bothered of the US DOT didn't kick in 1/2 the development costs. of course, when you're getting a bargain, you take it, and it gives them at least a chance to play with turbine control techniques, which will allow them to feed the experience back into some non rail use (i.e., standby power generation or small power plants)

Since everyone else accepts electrics for high speed lines, and nobody would buy an Acela anyway (there are much better/cheaper/proven trains out there already), it's a product without a market.

BTW, Railpower already backed away from their microturbine hybrid. The Green Goat as delivered uses a small regular diesel - not surprising since a regular diesel is more efficient anyway. I do find their sell sheet for their gas turbine freight unit amusing though - if you extrapolate the data, turbines will become > 100% efficient in about 2 decades, thus making them attractive - they'll create more fuel then they burn :) We'd have to wait until 2200 or so for diesels to :)

(I love poorly created graphs - efficiency increases haven't been linear, and can't be anyway, but the chart has nice straight lines anyway....)
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Postby hsr_fan » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:01 pm

So, where is the "Jet Train" locomotive prototype these days?
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Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:52 pm

were it has been for last few months sitting at bombardier plant in LaPocatiere Can, with todays fuel prices there is no market for fuel guzzlers even if they are low maintenance.
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Postby Champlain Division » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:04 pm

>>with todays fuel prices there is no market for fuel guzzlers even if they are low maintenance.<<

Gentlemen,

Once again, you are either spreading intentional disinformation or you are mis-informed. One of the specifications the USDOT insisted upon was a fuel consumption rate at parity with, or better than, a diesel electric locomotive in identical service.

In all performance areas, including the generation of HEP, the JetTrain locomotive was able to achieve slightly better than fuel consumption parity with that of a typical GE P-42DC locomotive. Pratt & Whitney's Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) technology is primarily responsible for achieving that goal.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the reason that there is no market for this technology is NOT because of its fuel consumption rate. It is, rather, that no one wants to PAY for it. It's not a "fuel guzzler".......it's a capital funding MONEY GUZZLER!!! And that, my friends, is why we will probably never have a worthwhile HSR network in this country. :(
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Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:27 pm

There is no data supporting the Jettrain engine running with multiple cars in tow, to justify your claims of parity with a P42dc.
The jet train data is for only one car and loco, not pulling a real train.
the project was dropped as there are no savings at all for this type of locomotive ,unless a flywheel type drive is installed powered by the Turbine.
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