scratchyX1 wrote: ↑Wed Oct 12, 2022 9:55 am
Does METRA run express trains? I'd say, have some coaches (and locomotives) for those, but everything else, DMU.
Let's put some context around Prof Norman's response...
Using the longest line (UP NW) as the benchmark... 19 stations over 62 miles.
17 trains arrive downtown before 0900 -- , 5 are "all stops" and 12 are limited stops.
Rest of the day, it's 14 "all stops" and a almost-every stop cleanup run at the end of the night arriving downtown at 0125.
In the other direction, it's pretty much the same between 1500 and 1900 --- 14 limited stops and 3 "all stops". Rest of the day it's 16 "all stops"....
From an equipment routing perspective, 60-70% of the fleet is used only for those express runs with 9 to 11 cars. They're fully serviced downtown during the day (trash and lavs). Overnight, they get a quick walkthru to pick up trash.
The other 30-40% of the fleet does 50% of the runs as turns thru the day. They run 6-9 cars for locals. I've seen them fill up pre-COVID. They get serviced overnight.
use DMU's for that second half of the day, but I'm not sure it's cost justified to have two fleets of equipment vs. a mostly standardized fleet. When things go sideways with winter weather, there's more than enough equipment lying around to run a recovery schedule.
The DMU might be right-sized for lower post-COVID capacity, but do they have the same acceleration as a locomotive hauled coaches?
Can they break thru snow on tracks as easily as a locomotive hauled train? We don't have specialized plow equipment clearing the lines overnight, and I don't know if a DMU would have the weight on drivers to push thru drifts...
How about the noise factor? I rode RDC's daily and the noise was pretty distracting compared to the relative quiet of a locomotive hauled coach.