• Amtrak DMU / RDC Potential Operation Discussion

  • 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 Rockingham Racer
 
Tadman wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:29 am
west point wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:28 pm DMUs at Tampa instead of the Star ? No way. You realize Tampa Star handles more passengers than even Atlanta on the Crescent ?
Perhaps the answer in that case is having a car switch at Lorton where Miami and Tampa sections of the Star combine for the trip north. I suggest Lorton rather than Lakeland as there are plenty of Amtrak personnel on-site that can make connections and troubleshoot equipment. There's a switcher as well.
Do you mean Sanford? The Lorton facility is a stub-end one, located adjacent to the CSX RF&P Subdivision. Don't think there's any room there, either.
  by Jeff Smith
 
mtuandrew wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:58 am How about a Jacksonville-Tallahassee DMU?
I like that!
  by Pensyfan19
 
Now to ask a new question within the question!

Which DMUs would be best suited for these proposed routes, especially for the ones in Florida which we are proposing? They might need some sort of air conditioning or cooling device so that they don't overheat in the Florida sun. :P
  by Tadman
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:01 am
Tadman wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:29 am
west point wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:28 pm DMUs at Tampa instead of the Star ? No way. You realize Tampa Star handles more passengers than even Atlanta on the Crescent ?
Perhaps the answer in that case is having a car switch at Lorton where Miami and Tampa sections of the Star combine for the trip north. I suggest Lorton rather than Lakeland as there are plenty of Amtrak personnel on-site that can make connections and troubleshoot equipment. There's a switcher as well.
Do you mean Sanford? The Lorton facility is a stub-end one, located adjacent to the CSX RF&P Subdivision. Don't think there's any room there, either.
Yep, totally meant Sanford. It's not so much about how many ends are there as the fact that there's personnel, switchers, and shore power all over there. Even if it is one-ended: northbound Tampa section pulls past and backs in, power pulls off and heads for pocket track. Miami section pulls past and backs in on top of Tampa section. If one section is very late, the other section can sit on shore power. There are plenty of guys to make cuts and joints and deal with HEP, far more than at Spokane.
  by mtuandrew
 
Scratchy: only if it was painted in Jaguars colors and had flames on the side :-D

—————

Pensy had asked about equipment - and it depends. Amtrak would use something different than a commuter road, which would use something quite different than a “new starts” diesel LRT on a disused branch or street trackage. For Amtrak specifically, I’d like to see something that can couple with, MU with, and operate as a booster to a conventional train. That means AAR Type H couplers, and it may mean diesel-electric or battery-electric operation. (I don’t know if there’s ever been a diesel-mechanical locomotive designed to work with diesel-electrics.) This vehicle would probably have to be a single-level with traps, though I suppose Amtrak could order both single and bilevel versions.

I’ll reiterate my “doodlebug” suggestion of a 1500-2000 hp powered baggage car, capable of towing 3 coaches at track speed. I don’t see Amtrak starting new service with anything less than two coaches and a baggage car, so this ought to be enough.
  by Tadman
 
mtuandrew wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:08 pm

I’ll reiterate my “doodlebug” suggestion of a 1500-2000 hp powered baggage car, capable of towing 3 coaches at track speed. I don’t see Amtrak starting new service with anything less than two coaches and a baggage car, so this ought to be enough.
what's probably important to consider here is the staffing cost. how many cars trigger need for assistant conductor? Car attendants? If an AC is needed after two cars, it makes more sense to do a doodlebug baggage with two passenger car trailers. If not, then do three passenger motor cars with baggage racks. We don't want to get too long and do so at the expense of frequency. Most DMU runs in Britain are two cars, some three. After that, it's a "train" even if the train is a fancy DMU pendolino.
  by west point
 
Will find figures later but more boarding / leaving passengers at Tamp are going south to the SE coast than north.
  by mtuandrew
 
Tadman wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:33 pmwhat's probably important to consider here is the staffing cost. how many cars trigger need for assistant conductor? Car attendants? If an AC is needed after two cars, it makes more sense to do a doodlebug baggage with two passenger car trailers. If not, then do three passenger motor cars with baggage racks. We don't want to get too long and do so at the expense of frequency. Most DMU runs in Britain are two cars, some three. After that, it's a "train" even if the train is a fancy DMU pendolino.
I wish I had the answer to when an AC is needed - maybe the Heartland Flyer is comparable? - but yes staffing is a big question. A crew of two would make such a service relatively reasonable, but three crew starts to eat up the revenue and increase the deficit even more.

I don’t think the British DMU model is going to work for Amtrak, so let’s be cautious about the comparison. Unless you’re talking about mainline service that happens to be eight DMUs, the average 2-car train in Britain would probably be served by either a coach bus or a full-size train here. For the concept to be useful here, it needs to serve odd places (worse highway, better railroads), be an off-hours version of a full train, or be a section of a train that would allow passengers a one-seat ride instead of a forced transfer to a bus.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
We need to ask ourselves these questions? If Amtrak were to buy DMUs, would they be able to stop at both high and low level platforms? While high level platforms are cropping up all over in the Northeast, there are still many low level platforms remaining. It seems that all, if not, the majority of British DMUs can only stop at high level platforms. In Amtrak land, lines like the Springfield Line which could be a good candidate for DMUs as I mentioned, have many high level platforms already.
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