• North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:47 am My mistake re: NPCUs. To be honest I didn’t think their Heritage cars were equipped with MU pass-through cables.

Was there any indication of what type of car these would be?
I haven't heard and I see from a source elsewhere that they are likely to continue refurbishing the RBBXs. Maybe they can replace the really old combines.
  by gokeefe
 
None given because an order such as this would probably have to be bid out. It is likely a very fair assumption that Siemens would be very competitive for this procurement.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
gokeefe wrote: Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:32 pm None given because an order such as this would probably have to be bid out. It is likely a very fair assumption that Siemens would be very competitive for this procurement.
Unless another state agency has an unexercised option on cars. Sometimes government-to-government can be done on a handshake or MOU. If the CALIDOT order has options, NC can send money to IDOT who already did the bidding and IDOT can buy cars for NC. Government agencies do this all the time. The problem: I don't think there are any options on the Siemens car contract.
  by gokeefe
 
I don't think so either. Agreed with the prospect of picking up another agency's options.

Here's a link to a PDF listing of NCDOT's equipment roster.

Assuming the older refurbishment dates are an indicator it would appear that the KCS cars will be replaced. They seem to have developed a preference for St. Louis Car Company units built late in the legacy era.

I was actually quite surprised to see "Pullman-Standard" as a builder with cars in active service. I'm assuming the issues with corten steel and stainless had been dealt with by 1965 when these cars were built.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
gokeefe wrote: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:13 pm I don't think so either. Agreed with the prospect of picking up another agency's options.

Here's a link to a PDF listing of NCDOT's equipment roster.

Assuming the older refurbishment dates are an indicator it would appear that the KCS cars will be replaced. They seem to have developed a preference for St. Louis Car Company units built late in the legacy era.
Probably got the first batch cheap and then scoured the ends of the earth for matching cars to maintain parts compatability
I was actually quite surprised to see "Pullman-Standard" as a builder with cars in active service. I'm assuming the issues with corten steel and stainless had been dealt with by 1965 when these cars were built.
P-S Comet I's are still floating around! Not as old but still out there.
  by gokeefe
 
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:10 pmProbably got the first batch cheap and then scoured the ends of the earth for matching cars to maintain parts compatability
It certainly looks that way. One of the cars was literally a museum piece (!).
  by eolesen
 
mtuandrew wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:32 pm Very interesting that FRA is leaning so heavily on states to buy new.
They've seen the writing on the wall. If there's no new equipment orders, there's nobody left to manufacture new equipment in North America.

Plus, it's time to give the 60 year old equipment a nice retirement. We haven't seen an age related catastrophic structural failure at Amtrak yet, but those odds increase with every day that goes by...
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
gokeefe wrote: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:13 pmAssuming the older refurbishment dates are an indicator it would appear that the KCS cars will be replaced. They seem to have developed a preference for St. Louis Car Company units built late in the legacy era.

I was actually quite surprised to see "Pullman-Standard" as a builder with cars in active service. I'm assuming the issues with corten steel and stainless had been dealt with by 1965 when these cars were built.
As I have noted before, the KCS coaches at NCDOT are from the final 1965 order (270 series), last Class I private carrier coaches. These are full carbon alloy, unlike earlier Pullmans with stainless sheetmetal on carbon alloy shell. After being used at NJDOT/NJT on the CNJ lines (Coast Line and RVL) in the 1970s/80s, did they have another owner before heading to NCDOT?

The UP 5528-5542 series (which NCDOT now owns the bulk of) were the last UP coaches pre-RPSA and were delivered late 1964-March 1965. Imagine being at the St. Louis assembly plant in March '65 and seeing these (last) conventional coaches roll out alongside the modern aluminum PATH PA1s for PANYNJ...
  by Bob Roberts
 
Not sure it means much but NCDOT appears to have been running the Piedmonts with 5 coach + 1 combi consists for the past several weeks.

Based on my hazy memory the general consist size has been (subject adjustments on heavy service days such as Panthers games or college breaks)

Last year: 3 coaches + combi (plus a cab car for push-pull service)
Two years ago: 2 coaches + combi (pull only)

I do appreciate that they have enough equipment in Raleigh to adapt to conditions.

EDIT: I realized after posting that the NC State Fair is happening and there is a special stop for it -- so the longer consist may not be permanent.
  by orulz
 
As NCDOT looks into acquiring new equipment, I wonder if moving to full level boarding is on their radar at all. The Piedmont is a short enough route, and there are enough stops on it (and potentially as many as three more in the future - Harrisburg, Lexington, and Hillsborough) that the shorter dwell times enabled by level boarding would be the lowest-hanging fruit towards achieving shorter trip times. They could probably cut trip times by 15 or 20 minutes today with level boarding.

There are a number of technical solutions for this, each has its problems.
(1) Raise the platforms: horizontal clearance issues for "wide load" trains; vertical (elevator/stair) access to platforms accessed by bridge (High Point) or tunnel (Greensboro)
(2) Undercut the existing tracks: Tunnel at Greensboro Station means you can only go so deep; at High Point there are probably drainage systems in the trench that limit how deep you can go doo
(3) Gauntlet tracks: Requires extra horizontal clearance which might be difficult in High Point (constrained by trench walls) and Greensboro (constrained by other platforms)
(4) Retractable bridge plates: I don't think there is a retractable bridge plate solution in existence today that is compatible with the trap doors needed to handle low level platforms
(5) Bi-level trains with doors at both high and low levels. There are some but as far as I am aware, all are geared at the commuter market and all are EMUs. Nothing exists in a locomotive-pulled or DMU version which is what NC would need.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Looks like this subject of national news coverage regarding "brain dead" truck drivers will soon be history:

https://abc11.com/traffic/construction- ... -/5636682/

Fair Use:
.DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 11-foot-8-inch bridge in Durham, also known as the "can opener," will be raised this week in hopes of limiting accidents.

The North Carolina Railroad Overpass at Gregson Street in Durham will be closed to traffic from Oct. 23 to Nov. 5 while it is raised.
  by gokeefe
 
This is truly an unfortunate loss of entertainment for some of us :wink: ... However it is a major improvement in safety that has the potential to prevent a major tragedy.
  by east point
 
orulz wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:58 am As NCDOT looks into acquiring new equipment, I wonder if moving to full level boarding is on their radar at all. The Piedmont is a short enough route, and there are enough stops on it (and potentially as many as three more in the future - Harrisburg, Lexington, and Hillsborough) that the shorter dwell times enabled by level boarding would be the lowest-hanging fruit towards achieving shorter trip times. They could probably cut trip times by 15 or 20 minutes today with level boarding.

There are a number of technical solutions for this, each has its problems.
(1) Raise the platforms: horizontal clearance issues for "wide load" trains; vertical (elevator/stair) access to platforms accessed by bridge (High Point) or tunnel (Greensboro)
(2) Undercut the existing tracks: Tunnel at Greensboro Station means you can only go so deep; at High Point there are probably drainage systems in the trench that limit how deep you can go doo
(3) Gauntlet tracks: Requires extra horizontal clearance which might be difficult in High Point (constrained by trench walls) and Greensboro (constrained by other platforms)
(4) Retractable bridge plates: I don't think there is a retractable bridge plate solution in existence today that is compatible with the trap doors needed to handle low level platforms
(5) Bi-level trains with doors at both high and low levels. There are some but as far as I am aware, all are geared at the commuter market and all are EMUs. Nothing exists in a locomotive-pulled or DMU version which is what NC would need.
There is one more solution except for Carolinian and Crescent. Buy all Siemens cars that Brightline is buying with retractable plates installed in the cars.
  by gokeefe
 
Based on the FRA's action in Roanoke I would imagine NCDOT is "on the radar" for high level platform requirements.
  by Bob Roberts
 
orulz wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:58 am As NCDOT looks into acquiring new equipment, I wonder if moving to full level boarding is on their radar at all. The Piedmont is a short enough route, and there are enough stops on it (and potentially as many as three more in the future - Harrisburg, Lexington, and Hillsborough) that the shorter dwell times enabled by level boarding would be the lowest-hanging fruit towards achieving shorter trip times. They could probably cut trip times by 15 or 20 minutes today with level boarding.

There are a number of technical solutions for this, each has its problems.
(1) Raise the platforms: horizontal clearance issues for "wide load" trains; vertical (elevator/stair) access to platforms accessed by bridge (High Point) or tunnel (Greensboro)
(2) Undercut the existing tracks: Tunnel at Greensboro Station means you can only go so deep; at High Point there are probably drainage systems in the trench that limit how deep you can go doo
(3) Gauntlet tracks: Requires extra horizontal clearance which might be difficult in High Point (constrained by trench walls) and Greensboro (constrained by other platforms)
(4) Retractable bridge plates: I don't think there is a retractable bridge plate solution in existence today that is compatible with the trap doors needed to handle low level platforms
(5) Bi-level trains with doors at both high and low levels. There are some but as far as I am aware, all are geared at the commuter market and all are EMUs. Nothing exists in a locomotive-pulled or DMU version which is what NC would need.
I dunno, there is already a high level in Raleigh and Gateway Station in Charlotte will have one as well. Most of the other stations in between have room for a freight (or passenger) bypass track. High Point is a big challenge due to the trench, but I think Greensboro is easy to bypass the NCRR platform (the Crescent platform not so much). Cary and Durham may require removing some parking, and Other station may require some canopy reconstruction but there are worse things.

Commuter rail on the NCRR will almost certainly require stations off the main anyway so this sort of trackwork will be necessary sooner or later.
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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