Commuter Rail Electrification

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

typesix
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:23 am
Location: Boston

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by typesix » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:48 am

Yes, primarily freight, but efficiency numbers are still good, and the article does state that electrification is better for passenger trains in terms of acceleration and speed. There is no payback for converting to electrification.

Bramdeisroberts
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by Bramdeisroberts » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:50 am

BandA wrote:What's the payback time for electrification?

One advantage of electrification is you can place a rail yard, or electric locomotive service facility, in the basement of a development such as Beacon Park or Widett Circle.
That's why it might make sense to electrify the south side 1st and go forward from there, simply because there's more redevelopable property like Widett and Beacon south of the Charles than there is north of it.

The easy way to do it would be to purchase a mix of dual-modes and bilevel EMUs, using the bilevel EMUs on the Fairmount, Providence, Needham, and Stoughton lines (and maybe the Worcester line out to Riverside or Framingham) while electrifying only out to 128 or so, running dual-mode hauled consists on the outer portions of the south side lines with the changeover happening at Braintree for the OC lines, Readville for the Franklin line, and Riverside or Framingham for the Worcester line. With a modest rollout like that, MassDOT could damn near pay for it in full from the cash for redevelopment rights at Beacon Park and South Bay alone.

At least with dual-modes, it'd only be a matter of replacing the F40/GP40 fleet with an ALP-45DP order (or whatever Charger/ACS-64 hybrid Siemens bids) of about the same size as the HSP-46 order, while the EMU fleet could be piggybacked on to whatever NJT is buying and be pushed out to replace either the remaining single levels and oldest K-cars on the roster, or the Brokems, depending on which ones MassDOT wants to get rid of 1st. Once that's done, the EMD-engined fleet can be sent off to be turned into Hyundais while the North Side becomes exclusively HSP-hauled bilevel consists.

daybeers
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm
Location: HFD

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by daybeers » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:11 pm

typesix wrote:According to article below, there is no energy savings for electric vs diesel operation, the article calculates overall diesel efficiency at 30 percent and electric at 25 percent(factoring in powerplant and distribution).

http://energyskeptic.com/2016/electrifi ... ight-rail/
Even if we did trust that wordpress website, it doesn't take emissions into account, though if the claims are true, that's incredibly interesting to me. Yes, the vast majority of electricity in the U.S. is powered by fossil fuels, but we are slowly moving towards renewable energy, and need to be moving much faster. Diesel engines are absolutely horrible for the environment, and no, it doesn't matter if it's a Tier 4. Asthma rates are going up faster than ever before because of pollution.

troffey
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by troffey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:16 pm

One other item to consider is that the MBTA could potentially produce electricity through wind turbine placement, cutting down even further on operating costs in compared to the current diesel costs. The MBTA already operates two, one in Kingston and one in Bridgewater...

bgl
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by bgl » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:43 pm

typesix wrote:Yes, primarily freight, but efficiency numbers are still good, and the article does state that electrification is better for passenger trains in terms of acceleration and speed. There is no payback for converting to electrification.
It also doesn't take into effect that electric locomotives are an order of magnitude more reliable/long lived than diesels (which the MBTA's rank well below average anyways). Cost savings aren't just in the fuel itself and fuel efficiency, not to mention that with electrification it allows the electricity to be generated in anyway way.

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2858
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by BandA » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:55 pm

That's amazing that an electric locomotive will last 200 years! And we can take advantage of the cheap electricity generated by Pilgrim I nuclear power plant! [Off topic fun fact: Pilgrim is the same model as the F u k u s h i m a nuclear reactors, but one year newer] (phpBB thinks * is a swear word)

bgl
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by bgl » Wed May 01, 2019 1:28 pm

BandA wrote:That's amazing that an electric locomotive will last 200 years! And we can take advantage of the cheap electricity generated by Pilgrim I nuclear power plant! [Off topic fun fact: Pilgrim is the same model as the F u k u s h i m a nuclear reactors, but one year newer] (phpBB thinks * is a swear word)
When talking about reliability and miles per defect, than, yes, they are an order of magnitude better. But, sure, go for actual literal service life. As for electricity generation - your comment is pretty silly unless you are implying that there will be no advancements in electric generation (either cost or pollution) in the next few decades.

Nasadowsk
Posts: 4009
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:45 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by Nasadowsk » Wed May 01, 2019 2:52 pm

BandA wrote:Off topic fun fact: Pilgrim is the same model as the F u k u s h i m a nuclear reactors, but one year newer
So what?

daybeers
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm
Location: HFD

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by daybeers » Fri May 03, 2019 2:21 am

Also, look at all the work the MBTA is putting into ventilating the cancer pool that is Back Bay! Wouldn't be needed if electrics were used!

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2858
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by BandA » Sat May 04, 2019 1:23 am

Electrification may help increase capacity of the Providence Line if MBTA trains run closer to the speed of the Amtrak trains. But we're talking 20+ years at MBTA planning speed...

Diverging Route
Posts: 1628
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:35 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by Diverging Route » Sat May 04, 2019 10:03 am

Not really. With very few exceptions, Providence Line trains are locals, and need significant time/space to accelerate, decelerate, and diverge tracks (at Attleboro, Forest Hills, etc.). It won't significantly increase capacity.
Last edited by CRail on Sun May 05, 2019 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

bgl
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by bgl » Sat May 04, 2019 5:40 pm

How so? Electric EMUs/trains will certainly help in local train situation given their far superior acceleration, which will allow shorter headways. Combine with dwell time reduction/full level boarding and it certainly could help capacity.
Last edited by CRail on Sun May 05, 2019 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary nesting quotes removed. Do not use the "quote" button as a reply button.

Diverging Route
Posts: 1628
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:35 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by Diverging Route » Sun May 05, 2019 6:39 am

Full-level boarding will definitely help! As well as buying bilevels with four door per side (two high-level only and two with traps) such as NJ Transit uses.
Last edited by CRail on Mon May 06, 2019 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2858
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by BandA » Sun May 05, 2019 6:15 pm

Can't have a bi-level with 4 doors accessible from high-level platforms, which is what is being built for all newer platforms in the northeast.

Also bi-levels increase the dwell time, and going up and down stairs is a pain in the bottom.

andrewjw
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 am

Re: Commuter Rail Electrification

Post by andrewjw » Sun May 05, 2019 7:37 pm

Sorry, explain how the BBD MLV I/II/III in use on NJT (and in future use on SEPTA) does not meet your definition of a bi-level?
Last edited by CRail on Mon May 06, 2019 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

Return to “Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)”