I would like to add Stadler worked with the FRA over many years to not only get three of their trains alternate certified; GTW, FLIRT, and KISS type trains; they also helped the FRA write the alternate compliance regulations. So far, no other train manufacturer has taken the time (and spent the money) to do so.mtuandrew wrote:Nothing prevents their use. Any FRA Alternate Compliance equipment gets the same inspections as a piece of FRA Standard Compliance rolling stock, and they are likewise certified as a class rather than by individual waiver - no time separation or grade separation necessary. The only difference is that the Alternate Compliance rolling stock uses different technology to prevent bodily injury, so the overall compression strength is different. Most American railroads haven’t ordered it yet because they’re more familiar with traditional FRA equipment, because few Alternate Compliance vehicles are now available in America and certified by the FRA, and because the alternate refs were drafted and approved within the last couple of years.NIMBYkiller wrote:Thank you. So what prevents others from using these? I'm guessing whatever waivers would be on a case by case basis?
For what it is worth, Stadler's earliest GTWs; the NJT Riverline trains, will never qualify for alternate compliance, the next GTWs sold to CapMetro were introduced before the alternate compliance regulations were made, so they rely upon time separations too. But here's the catch, now that the alternate compliance regulations are in effect, CapMetro is making just a few changes to their first GTWs to make them alternate compliant, and have submitted new requests for certifying them as alternate compliant, so they can drop their time separation waiver. DCTA GTWs and eBART GTWs are already alternate certified. TexRail FLIRTs and Caltrain KISS trains will be alternate certified too.
Even so, some freight railroad companies don't want passenger trains on their tracks at all, and prefer future passenger trains run on dedicated tracks, at least not on their tracks, whether or not they meet full or alternate FRA compliance. Some commuter passenger train operators have bought the existing corridors (Railrunner in NM), bought half the existing corridor (Frontrunner in UT), or bought land immediately adjacent to the existing corridor (A-Line in CO). That's not an all inclusive list, but shows a trend nationally. The only recent new commuter rail service I'm aware of where they run sharing existing freight tracks still owned by the freight railroad company is the Northstar in MN.