Bi-level passenger cars

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Bi-level passenger cars

Postby scotty269 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:03 am

http://planphilly.com/articles/2017/03/ ... uth-philly

"At its meeting next week, SEPTA’s board is expected to award CRRC MA Corporation a $137.5 million contract to build 45 bilevel railcars for Regional Rail. SEPTA picked the Chinese-owned company with a factory in Springfield, Mass., over bids from South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem, which has a manufacturing plant in South Philadelphia, and Bombardier, a Canadian company with plants near Pittsburgh and Plattsburgh, N.Y."
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby Nasadowsk » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:33 am

I guess Hyundai wasn't low enough on the scale for SEPTA?

Sad, there are some really nice bilevels running around Europe right now that could probbly be modified to work. Or Stadler's KISS sets that cali is buying (which I think are dual platform, no less, they'd just have to make the clearences work, and oh yeah, kill the Siemens order because they're MU).

The Chinese's big push into the US railcar market is interesting, for a country that can't innovate, can't meet quality targets, and who's only game is 'low cost of purchase'. They've found a good sucker in US transit agencies, though, it seems...
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby MACTRAXX » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:10 am

Everyone:

Interesting news about new multilevel cars for Regional Rail. What surprises me somewhat is that
Bombardier got outbid and could have used a follow up from the recent MARC order to save money.

More then likely these new cars will be of the multilevel type and not the MARC Kawasaki or MBTA
bilevel which stand taller then multilevels and must clear low catenary wire areas such as the one
between the 20th Street portal and 30th Street Station. More then likely these cars will be used on
longer distance services such as Paoli-Thorndale, Wilmington-Newark, Trenton, West Trenton and
perhaps Lansdale-Doylestown along with new ACS64 Sprinters replacing the 30 year old AEM7s.

Fare collection could be a problem for train crews but more then likely by the time these new cars
go into service the Key replacement may end on board fares being collected other then spot checks.

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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby Nasadowsk » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:56 am

I'm not surprised someone undercut BBD. Bombardier is bleeding money like crazy in the form of the C-Series, which was supposed to take on Boeing and Airbus at the lower end and make them a 'legitimate' competitor to A & B. The larger Embraer jets have been spotty at best (the 170/175 have been awesome from a passenger perspective, but the 190 has been a disaster for JetBlue and others). They saw a hole in the market 10-12 years ago, and only now plugged it. A super efficient, super advanced plane is a hard sell when fuel's cheap and the market is flooded with slightly used 737s and A320s...

They have no money. The almost annual bailouts of the firm are starting to become an issue in Canada, and they've screwed up pretty much every rail order they've done in the last 5 years or so.

The C-Series was too late, too over budget, and sales have been sluggish, to say the least. They'll likely never break even, and there's still a good shot at orders getting cancelled. The CRJ is an unwanted dinosaur from years past, and their biz jet biz is getting buzzcut by others. Other than staying Canada's crownless Crown Corporation, I don't see how they can survive, and nobody else does either - witness the stock price as of late.
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby ChemiosMurphy » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:38 pm

One can only hope that Septa's board will override and award the contract to Bombardier, but I have little hope.

How long until the trucks crack on these?
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby Nasadowsk » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:13 pm

ChemiosMurphy wrote:One can only hope that Septa's board will override and award the contract to Bombardier, but I have little hope.


CRRC's bid was determined to be responsive, and the law says they have to award to the lowest responsive bidder, period. I don't think anyone really believes they can do the job.

How long until the trucks crack on these?


Depends. SEPTA having Rotem use a truck from an also-ran manufacturer sure didn't help. But I hold no hope for these cars anyway, though at least being push/pulls, they'll get awful utilitization so they should have plenty of time to be shop queens. Why SEPTA is even looking at buying railcars that'll sit most of their lives is beyond me, they must be awash in money though. shurg
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby deandremouse » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:16 pm

Hopefully SEPTA's board doesn't approve this, no experience and another shot in the dark like rotem. I can feel a plethora of problems with CRRC I just don't know.

I'm hoping Bombardier gets this through some way, doubt it'll happen but you never know. They already have a proven product
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby sammy2009 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:39 pm

Is it possible that Bombardier could sweeten the deal by maybe lowering their bid price ? Far as I'm concerned I read that they received "Very good rating". This still messes me up. I don't understand why the lowest bidder had to be awarded contracts with the technical and engineering portions not being "BEST". ? That just spells disaster in my book. I'm sure over things came into play like cost. Not saying everything is perfect but it pays to have good quality and SEPTA should want to pay some $$$ for quality. If they can order 525 buses from New Flyer which I'm guessing is over $800 Million in total over a yearly period shouldn't some new rolling stock be held to that care of spending. I'm a bit curious for the Silverliner 6 , and BSL contracts. And this also have to do with keeping local jobs in the city ?
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby dcipjr » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:07 am

I've heard that in other countries, the low bid is automatically thrown out. Wish SEPTA could do that. I'd much rather see the Bi-Levels built by Bombardier.
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby Nasadowsk » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:07 am

dcipjr wrote:I've heard that in other countries, the low bid is automatically thrown out. Wish SEPTA could do that. I'd much rather see the Bi-Levels built by Bombardier.


It doesn't matter. By law, they have to take the lowest responsive bid, which this one was judged as. Will it be a disaster? Almost certainly. Will the new cars suck? Probably (though honestly, the BBD cars aren't anything special either). Are there better builders? Sure - I can name a few off the top of my head (ok, here ya go: Siemens, Stadler, Alstom, Kawasaki, and if you really insist, Bombardier)

If SEPTA tosses this bid, they're open to big lawsuits from just about everyone. And, realistically, if they re-bid, CCRC knows what to do to make their bid better next time. We went down this path with Rotem already.

I've never heard of a situation where the lowest responsive bidder was automatically thrown out. There's no reason. The technical evaluation should weed out the ones that can't do it
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby JeffK » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:03 am

To quote Jim Saksa's article, "The [cars] would be the company’s first bilevel train contract in the United States, and the first time it would manufacture cars for commuter rail."

Once again, into the abyss.
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby chrisf » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:34 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:I'm not surprised someone undercut BBD.

CRRC's bid for the MBTA rapid transit cars was just over half of Bombardier's bid. $566 million for CRRC, $1.08 billion from Bombardier. I assume CRRC is lowballing the SEPTA contract too in hopes that they'll be able to get more commuter rail business in the future but I have no faith that either the MBTA or SEPTA cars from CRRC will be anything close to reliable or well-made. Hyundai-Rotem's work on MBTA commuter rail cars was poor too.
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby The EGE » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:17 pm

CRRC is the 2015 merger of CNR and CSR - each of which were some of the largest rolling stock manufacturers in the world. They've built over 700 EMUs for Argentina in recent years, and all appearances and rumors thus far hold that they're doing a substantially better job with the MBTA heavy rail stock than Rotem did with any of their US orders.
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:10 am

The EGE wrote:CRRC is the 2015 merger of CNR and CSR - each of which were some of the largest rolling stock manufacturers in the world. They've built over 700 EMUs for Argentina in recent years, and all appearances and rumors thus far hold that they're doing a substantially better job with the MBTA heavy rail stock than Rotem did with any of their US orders.


What rumors would those be? They haven't even finished building the factory in Springfield yet!
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Re: Bi-level passenger cars

Postby mcgrath618 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:44 pm

Another horrid decision by the higher-ups at SEPTA. I'm with everyone else here, Bomby or die.
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