• Colorado Railcar DMU Status

  • Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
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  by thaitransit
 
The Colorado DMUs have got to be the strangest designed DMU/railcar I have ever seen. It appears to have been based on a locomotive frame as the front of it is somewhat similar.

It also seems very over built i.e. heavy framework for something that is meant to be a lightweight commuter DMU for rural and suburban commuter trains.

Its design means only 2 units can be operated together due to a lack of car end doors at both ends of the units. This would mean extra powered trailer units would be needed for 3 or more car operation.

A flat fronted unit with the driver sitting to one side and centre inter unit door would have been better and much more flexible.

Similar design to this unit would have been better.

Image

OR

Image
  by mtuandrew
 
thaitransit wrote:The Colorado DMUs have got to be the strangest designed DMU/railcar I have ever seen. It appears to have been based on a locomotive frame as the front of it is somewhat similar.

It also seems very over built i.e. heavy framework for something that is meant to be a lightweight commuter DMU for rural and suburban commuter trains.

Its design means only 2 units can be operated together due to a lack of car end doors at both ends of the units. This would mean extra powered trailer units would be needed for 3 or more car operation.

A flat fronted unit with the driver sitting to one side and centre inter unit door would have been better and much more flexible.

Similar design to this unit would have been better.

Image

OR

Image
For that matter, this would have been a better place to start: Budd SPV-2000 Even the original RDC would have been a better starting point for Colorado Railcar, but the FRA's regulations require a 1,000,000 pound buff strength frame for all new locomotives, and this includes single-unit DMUs without a waiver. Still, it seems that CRC took the brute force approach with heavy frames instead of opting for a lighter monocoque vehicle.
  by railfanofewu
 
I admit I liked the cars so that maybe SOUNDER could run them on mid-day services(or use them to start running mid-day services), and on the Everett line, and maybe some other routes around here. A THink Tank, the Discovery Institute/Cascadia Project proposed using something like this on the now severed Eastside Rail Line up here. Discovery is not exactly Liberal, one of it's biggest talkers is a former conservative member of the Seattle City Council.

Now I have seen Rep. Mica of Florida at times be a big proponent of these vehicles. THought they would prove his philosophies about commuter rail. Maybe it would be better for the concept if Stadler, Siemens, and Bombardier can build FRA Compliant versions of their vehicles. Up in Alaska, I doubt the ARR would replace the RDCs on the Hurricane with the Stadler GTW or FLIRT, or the Bombardier Talent, because they would have to share the main with freight.
  by John_Perkowski
 
Well, from the website:
ATTENTION: Effective December 23, 2008 Colorado Railcar Manufacturing ceased it's business operations. Colorado Railcar Manufacturing has a major liquidity problem, and it's lenders have a secured position in the assets of the company. The company is in the process of liquidation. The company has no employees effective December 31st, 2008.


Larry E. Salci
President & CEO
Note: The CRC domain is now in Japanese hands. I've delinked the website.
Last edited by John_Perkowski on Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re:

  by JimBoylan
 
wigwagfan wrote:One of the selling points of the CRC DMU is that the mechanical systems are derived from bus systems. TriMet can use its existing pool of bus mechanics with little additional training - the engines/transmissions are virtually the same as those on TriMet's bus fleet.
This is only hearsay, but back in the early 1980s when S.E.P.T.A. in Philadelphia tried to run the Newtown branch as a rapid transit line with R.D.C.s and use bus mechanics to fix them, there were some problems. Yes, bus mechanics are familiar with Detroit Diesel engines, but they work on them in heated and sheltered garages. Also, they can stand when they work because the engines are mounted above the axles. The bus mechanics had less success working outdoors at ground level on engines that were under the car and below axle level. Even if you followed Budd's claims and slid the engine out on a tray, then took it to a shop, some heavy work had to be done outdoors at ground level. Also, it was expensive and unproductive to take the engine to a shop for every minor problem.
  by hemihead
 
mxdata wrote:I wonder what happened to the guy from Miami who put up the glowing report about Colorado Railcar on the previous page of discussions? Is he still working for them or is he out of work now?

MX
Yes I am still working together with all my fellow former CR Maint. workers on all five DMU vehicles (soon to be six total; four DMU's and two trailer acrs) here in South Florida operating in revenue service....thanks for asking.
  by hemihead
 
thaitransit wrote:The Colorado DMUs have got to be the strangest designed DMU/railcar I have ever seen. It appears to have been based on a locomotive frame as the front of it is somewhat similar. Negative; it was never built at all whatsoever with a locomotive frame in mind at all.
It also seems very over built i.e. heavy framework for something that is meant to be a lightweight commuter DMU for rural and suburban commuter trains. Keep in mind that FRA mandated the 1,000,000 lb collisions / compressioin standards.
Its design means only 2 units can be operated together due to a lack of car end doors at both ends of the units. This would mean extra powered trailer units would be needed for 3 or more car operation. Again, your statemnet is incorrect. Each DMU has two end doors and the cab can be partitioned off from passengers passing through the one end of the vehcile, hence you can run as long a DMU consist as you want.
A flat fronted unit with the driver sitting to one side and centre inter unit door would have been better and much more flexible. There are already single level CRM DMU's that have the cab centered in the middle, however as you can imagine you can't pass through the end of teh vehcile.
Similar design to this unit would have been better. No it wouldn't for the simple fact that it coudl not withstand an impact (i.e hitting a cemnet truck at a road crossing).

Image

OR

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  by hemihead
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:You know, when Dallas was looking for DMUs, they did the right thing and put some proven technology to work: fully rebuilt and reconditioned Budd RDC's!! Budd RDC's DO NOT meet the new FRA standards, read the reg's !

What was Colorado Railcar's original claim to fame? They could turn SP gallery cars into double-deck luxury coaches? Sounds like a solid business plan. No claim to fame here, just one entrepreneaur beliwving he and a few good engineers and staff can build a fully compliant vehicle....I'm sorry but what has Bombardier, Siemens or any other vehicle manufacturer done for that matter or ever come up with to even come close to what CRM has accomplished mind you ? Take alook at Bombardiers VLocity DSMU's ......85 decibels of noise in the cab, wil passengers be given ear muffs before riding ?
-otto-
  by hemihead
 
mxdata wrote:Very interesting reading, thanks for posting those.

I notice that their website is now down to just one page, four pictures, with two e-mail links. All the formerly posted information about the product line, the links to the brochures, and the listings of company personnel, seem to have been taken down.

The agencies that are operating their products should have an interesting time seeking parts and technical support over the remaining operating life of the vehicles. Maybe they can hire some of the "experts" that used to chant the worship of DMU's to show them the way. That is, if they can find them now. :wink: As a matter of fact they did hire some of the experts ! Do you know how many parts there needed for a CRM DMU as opposed to a conventional locomotive and or coach car ? There's is no comparison, a conventional EMD locomotive has way to many parts to count not to mention the cost involved ouch !, one of the two propulsion systems on a CRM DMU uses 12 Lutze modules and a Lutze microprocessor, look at what a EMD uses. No doubt mxdat must be a liberal arts major !! LOL I'll match up a CRM DMU against ANY like set that's out there and guratanteed the DMU will outshine them all in every aspect !
MX
  by Matt Johnson
 
Any word on how testing is going with the Trimet DMU's? Also, how are Miami's bilevel DMU sets holding up?
  by hemihead
 
Matt Johnson wrote:Any word on how testing is going with the Trimet DMU's? Also, how are Miami's bilevel DMU sets holding up?
All five of Miami's DMU vehicles (three DMU's and two trailer cars, with a fourth and final DMU to arrive soon) are all operating except for the 705 that was derailed (i.e the front truck / wheel sets went on the ground due to the operating crew running through a switch) that's awaiting material .....replacement wheel sets (one drive wheel and one none drive wheel) due to the damage to the disk rotors that were damaged as a result of the run through and putting the vehicle on the ground. Trimet DMU's are scheduled to go into revenue service the beginning of February-2009. Technically the TriMet vehicles have been ready for revenue service for several months now regardless of what you may here from the naysayers
  by hemihead
 
hemihead wrote:
Otto Vondrak wrote:You know, when Dallas was looking for DMUs, they did the right thing and put some proven technology to work: fully rebuilt and reconditioned Budd RDC's!! Budd RDC's DO NOT meet the new FRA standards, read the reg's !

What was Colorado Railcar's original claim to fame? They could turn SP gallery cars into double-deck luxury coaches? Sounds like a solid business plan. No claim to fame here, just one entrepreneaur beliwving he and a few good engineers and staff can build a fully compliant vehicle....I'm sorry but what has Bombardier, Siemens or any other vehicle manufacturer done for that matter or ever come up with to even come close to what CRM has accomplished mind you ? Take alook at Bombardiers VLocity DSMU's ......85 decibels of noise in the cab, wil passengers be given ear muffs before riding ?
-otto-
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/ ... 69419.html
  by thaitransit
 
The Velocity DMU's made by Bombardier Dandenong Australia are the best trains in Victoria they are also the most comfortable and not as noisy as that 4 year old article makes out. Extra sound proofing must have been added as they are very quiet inside when I went for a ride on one at 160kph or 100MPH in 2006.

These DMU's are the most reliable trains ever to operate in Victoria. With no cases of breakdowns in service since introduction in 2006. Unlike American interurban commuter trains Vline operates a reasonable service using these Velocity DMUs every single day of the week year round.

The only thing that is holding back DMUs in the USA is the unreasonable regulation for excessively heavy frames. That not even worlds best practice Europe would consider and they have the safest railways in the world. If the rail industry lobby's the US central gov to overturn this regulation and introduce a European style rail safety law. or better yet do what SRT in Thailand do self regulate and pick what trains are best for them and not retire the old stock but add new trains to increase the number of services.
  by AgentSkelly
 
thaitransit wrote:The Velocity DMU's made by Bombardier Dandenong Australia are the best trains in Victoria they are also the most comfortable and not as noisy as that 4 year old article makes out. Extra sound proofing must have been added as they are very quiet inside when I went for a ride on one at 160kph or 100MPH in 2006.

These DMU's are the most reliable trains ever to operate in Victoria. With no cases of breakdowns in service since introduction in 2006. Unlike American interurban commuter trains Vline operates a reasonable service using these Velocity DMUs every single day of the week year round.

The only thing that is holding back DMUs in the USA is the unreasonable regulation for excessively heavy frames. That not even worlds best practice Europe would consider and they have the safest railways in the world. If the rail industry lobby's the US central gov to overturn this regulation and introduce a European style rail safety law. or better yet do what SRT in Thailand do self regulate and pick what trains are best for them and not retire the old stock but add new trains to increase the number of services.
As much as I want to agree with you on that statement, here's my problem:

North America has one if not the biggest loading gauges in the world. All the railroads take advantage of that fact to maximize profits and returns on investments. So you end up with heavy freight trains out on road. If a collision was to happen with lets say a Bombardier built British Class 221, everything is going to crumble and get pulverized because those trains are not meant to deal with such situations.
  by trainhq
 
I totally agree with the previous post, as will anyone who has seen the recent CR crashes
in Los Angeles. American railroads have much higher mixed freight/passenger use than
in Europe, and need crash-resistant cars. The only other solution, besides using FRA compliant DMUs,
is to simply stop daytime freight operations, per the River Line in New Jersey.

That being said, I'm sorry that CRC couldn't get it done. I, like many other people, had
high hopes for the CRC DMUs several years ago. Their lack of acceleration, and a couple
of unfortunate accidents in Miami, convinced many people that they were not up to it.
CRC's earlier reputation for quality control problems didn't help either.

As part of their liquidation, I would think that someone else (Bombardier?) might be interested
in picking up their designs and maybe improving them and trying again. Certainly, the market
is there for someone who could follow up on it. Too bad it wasn't CRC.
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