EuroStar wrote:It is worth noting that the only other bid was from the Chinese and as of right now they lack any record for equipment built for US standards, use, abuse, lack of maintenance, etc., so it is not as if NJT had that much of a choice.
My guess is CCRC is so fixated on getting orders, they didn't know what Stadler, Siemens, etc all knew - the 'bidding' was just a formality and NJT knew from day one who was going to build these things. Remember, most of the others went down that rabbit hole with the Arrow IV (I never got confirmation on it, but I've heard CAF won that, and BBD was nowhere near the lowest bid for NJT to fudge things in their favor, therefore NJT simply didn't award)
Now of course the design choice of power cars is unique and I am definitely in the sceptics camp.
Other than a requirement to interoperate with a shitty multilevel design built by a company with a spotty at best record, it's not unique. Motor-trailers, even multi-level ones, are common as dirt overseas. Hell, the French have multisystem ones, and the Swiss and Germans have 'em on the 16 2/3rds Hz system, bigger transformer and all.
While these things can probably be built, in my opinion, BBD cannot stuff everything they need to in there with the number of seats they have promised to NJT.
Transformer in the corridor at the end of the car under the pan, air equipment at the other end in the roof/ceiling, inverters at the opposite end under the air equipment.... It can and has been done. Can it be done with the design compromises NJT and the FRA will accept, and with a weight that's reasonable, and get performance that makes it worthwhile? That's the big question mark. But such packaging (and even more aggressive) exists overseas and has for years now. It's really not much different from the Stadler cars being built for California.
As for maintenance, it is my understanding that the current Bombardier MLVs are OK, definitely not best in class, but generally OK.
I'd hate to want to know what 'poor' is like. The last few ones I've been are were rattle and squeak fests, with Bombardier's famous build 'quality', and ride. I don't know why BBD can't make a decent riding railcar, but they can't.