The big windows debacle

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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby gokeefe » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:33 am

I recall reading that it was an aesthetic choice related to having a jet liner type cabin experience.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby Nasadowsk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:48 am

It was both, IIRC. Lots of stuff being tossed at trains, and the desired for an interior that was more like a jetliner and less like a P-70 coach.

Admittingly, there's really not much to see along the NEC, unless you're into urban blight.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:12 pm

And I think the A-1's date from the original Metroliners; they were certainly aiming for something like the airline experience. Of course the airline experience back then was different from today.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:03 pm

Sounds like great rumor, but Commuter coaches in North East had same small side windows, the Pullman's the Bombardiers and even the Arrows.
First they were lexan to protect passengers. but with years of development of window glass, they are now glass again.
the Lexan use to delaminate, due to metal particles, in car wash water while train went trough.

http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net/ex ... er-coaches

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 728%29.jpg
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby east point » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:10 pm

Isn't there a FRA lasing requirement 203



Isn't there a fra requirement for strength? FAR 223 ?
Last edited by east point on Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:54 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:17 pm

yes there is and at the time window glass could not meet the requirements for side windows.

today's standards https://ecfr.io/Title-49/pt49.4.223
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:19 pm

Appendix A to Part 223—Certification of Glazing Materials
As provided in this part, certified glazing materials installed in locomotives, passenger cars, or cabooses must be certified by the glazing manufacturer in accordance with the following procedures:

a. General Requirements

(1) Each manufacturer that provides glazing materials, intended by the manufacturer for use in achieving compliance with the requirements of this part, shall certify that each type of glazing material being supplied for this purpose has been successfully tested in accordance with this appendix and that test verification data is available to a railroad or to FRA upon request.

(2) The test verification data shall contain all pertinent original data logs and documentation that the selection of material samples, test set-ups, test measuring devices, and test procedures were performed by qualified personnel using recognized and acceptable practices and in accordance with this appendix.

b. Testing Requirements

(1) The material to be tested (Target Material) shall be a full scale sample of the largest dimension intended to be produced and installed.

(2) The Target Material shall be representative of production material and shall be selected on a documented random choice basis.

(3) The Target Material shall be securely and rigidly attached in a fixture so that the fixture's own characteristics will not induce test errors.

(4) The Target Material so selected and attached shall constitute a Test Specimen.

(5) The Test Specimen will then be equipped with a Witness Plate that shall be mounted parallel to and at a distance of six inches in back of the Target Material. The Witness Plate shall have at least an area which will cover the full map of the Target Material.

(6) The Witness Plate shall be an unbacked sheet of maximum 0.006 inch, alloy 1100 temper O, aluminum stretched within the perimeter of a suitable frame to provide a taut surface.

(7) The Test Specimen will be positioned so that the defined projectile impacts it at an angle of 90 degrees to the Test Specimen surface.

(8) The point of impact of the defined projectile will be within a radius of 3″ of the centroid of the Target Material.

(9) Velocity screens or other suitable velocity measuring devices will be positioned so as to measure the impact velocity of the defined projectile within a 10% accuracy tolerance, with test modifications made to guarantee that the stipulated minimum velocity requirements are met.

(10) The Test Specimen for glazing material that is intended for use in end facing glazing locations shall be subjected to a Type I test regimen consisting of the following tests:

(i) Ballistic Impact in which a standard 22 caliber long rifle lead bullet of 40 grains in weight impacts at a minimum of 960 feet per second velocity.

(ii) Large Object Impact in which a cinder block of 24 lbs minimum weight with dimensions of 8 inches by 8 inches by 16 inches nominally impacts at the corner of the block at a minimum of 44 feet per second velocity. The cinder block must be of composition referenced in American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specification C33L or ASTM C90.

(11) The Test Specimen for glazing material that is intended for use only in side facing glazing locations shall be subjected to a Type II test regimen consisting of the following tests:

(i) Ballistic Impact in which a standard 22 caliber long rifle lead bullet of 40 grains in weight impacts at a minimum of 960 feet per second velocity.

(ii) Large Object Impact in which a cinder block of 24 lbs minimum weight with dimensions of 8 inches by 8 inches by 16 inches nominally impacts at the corner of the block at a minimum of 12 feet per second velocity. The cinder block must be of the composition referenced in ASTM C33L or ASTM C90.

(12) Three different test specimens must be subjected to the ballistic impact portion of these tests.

(13) Two different test specimens must be subjected to the large object impact portion of these tests.

(14) A material so tested must perform so that:

(i) there shall be no penetration of the back surfaces (side closest to Witness Plate) of the Target Material by the projectile. Partial penetration of the impact (front) surface of the Target Material does not constitute a failure; and

(ii) there shall be no penetration of particles from the back side of the Target Material through the back side of the prescribed Witness Plate.

(15) Test specimens must consecutively pass the required number of tests at the required minimum velocities. Individual tests resulting in failures at greater than the required minimum velocities may be repeated but a failure of an individual test at less than the minimum velocity shall result in termination of the total test and failure of the material.

(16) After successful completion of the prescribed set of required consecutive tests, a manufacturer may certify in writing that a particular glazing material meets the requirements of these standards.

c. Material Identification

(1) Each individual unit of glazing material shall be permanently marked, prior to installation, to indicate that this type of material has been successfully tested as set forth in this appendix and that marking shall be done in such a manner that it is clearly visible after the material has been installed.

(2) Each individual unit of a glazing material that has successfully passed the Type I testing regimen shall be marked to indicate:

(i) “FRA Type I” material;

(ii) the manufacturer of the material;

(iii) the type or brand identification of the material.

(3) Each individual unit of a glazing material that has successfully passed the Type II testing regimen shall be marked to indicate:

(i) “FRA Type II” material;

(ii) the manufacturer of the material;

(iii) the type or brand identification of the material.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby Leo_Ames » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:37 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:same argument , Ships need to carry sufficient lifeboats (by law) so would you take a cruise on a ship that only had half or non.
same with window issue on trains and buses, rules change and the carriers will have too comply the argument about past accidents is moot, and no one can guarantee that no other accidents will happen.

Just to drive this point home: RMS Titanic was equipped with exactly the number and type of lifeboats that were required by existing regulations at the time of her launch. Loss of the vessel in mid-ocean caused the regulations to be re-written.


It's my understanding she actually surpassed regulations.

Sounds incredibly foolish today and history proved it as such, but the theory seemed logical enough back then. Just enough lifeboats to serve as transfer boats after rescue vessels arrived thanks to the Titanic's powerful wireless, with Titanic herself meant to serve as lifeboat in the interim thanks to her advanced for the time watertight compartmentalization.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:51 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Sounds like great rumor, but Commuter coaches in North East had same small side windows, the Pullman's the Bombardiers and even the Arrows.

The Silverliner III was an exception with large windows. Unsure if this was by the builder (St. Louis Car) or PSIC which ordered the cars in 1965, but likely latter since the contemporary Arrow I had small windows.

ExCon90 wrote:And I think the A-1's date from the original Metroliners; they were certainly aiming for something like the airline experience. Of course the airline experience back then was different from today.
The Metroliner was intended to compete with the Eastern Shuttle.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby Kurt » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:55 pm

Is there any standard in respect to how strong the mounting of the window to the car body is? If I recall correctly, in the 2013 Metro North crash at Spuyten Duyvil, at least two of the four fatalities was found to have been ejected out of the windows of the Shoreliner coaches. How would a larger window remain intact if the current smaller windows came out under those forces?
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby gokeefe » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:40 pm

Different requirements for glazing strength depending on speed. Also gasket and frame design has likely changed. The answer depends in part on which Amtrak equipment we're talking about.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby bulk88 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:07 pm

Kurt wrote:Is there any standard in respect to how strong the mounting of the window to the car body is? If I recall correctly, in the 2013 Metro North crash at Spuyten Duyvil, at least two of the four fatalities was found to have been ejected out of the windows of the Shoreliner coaches. How would a larger window remain intact if the current smaller windows came out under those forces?

Remember the emergency windows are supposed to pop out like string mozzarella by design when the gasket is ripped. The gasket gets harder as the rubber ages and has a limited life compared to the railcar. If the handle rips off the rubber without spliting the gasket, that is a failure (AKA window stays in place). A sharp hit by a flying body or a fireman axe should pop the glass/lexan.
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:46 pm

So from this mess of electrons masquerading as text :P I’m seeing that Amtrak should mark “Cut Here” panels for emergency access on their Amfleet Is and Metroliner cabs. Somewhere there isn’t a lot of stress (I’m aware it’s a partial monocoque design), where there aren’t many ducts or wires, and where it’s thin enough for Jaws of Life to cut successfully. AMTK Mechanical should have enough original plans to select appropriate places.

But yes, as a passenger I prefer large windows because even with “not much to see” there’s a lot to see from the rails. Even refineries, abandoned factories, and endless pine forests are more interesting than another game of Candy Crush, let alone the New River Gorge, the Chesapeake, the Hudson and Lake Champlain, and the Berkshires & Appalachians. (Especially if Amtrak decides to never buy single-level Sightseer Lounges.)
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Re: The big windows debacle

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:45 pm

mtuandrew wrote: I’m seeing that Amtrak should mark “Cut Here” panels for emergency access on their Amfleet Is and Metroliner cabs. Somewhere there isn’t a lot of stress (I’m aware it’s a partial monocoque design), where there aren’t many ducts or wires, and where it’s thin enough for Jaws of Life to cut successfully. AMTK Mechanical should have enough original plans to select appropriate places.
Chase and Frankford both indicating the problem of emergency access from the Amfleets. Being based on a fuselage shell, of course where airline passengers would not evacuate through windows!
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