• North Coast Hiawatha Study

  • 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
 
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:36 am
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:59 am The BNSF spent oodles of money on the former NP between KO Jct [west of Fargo] and Billings in the last several years, including putting in CTC the entire distance. Top speed for freight trains is 60 MPH now. I don't know off hand what class FRA would assign to it, and I'm too lazy at this hour to look it up! :-D
mtuandrew wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:55 am Then figure Amtrak/Montana would need to pay for the necessary upgrades from Class 3 (60/40) to Class 4. To be honest the track probably would meet Class 4 standards [...]
Has the line been upgraded to PTC? If not expect a bill for that as well. If the line's freight traffic was below the FRA's threshold, it would not have needed PTC, however, FRA regulations require PTC installations on all "new" passenger routes after 2020(?). [I'm too lazy to look up the CFR right now]
The BNSF has installed PTC on all main lines and the former NP across North Dakota and as far west as Billings, MT is included. Class 4 track is good for 79 MPH passenger train operation.
Last edited by Rockingham Racer on Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 

Tadman wrote:In other words, if the smart capability is disabled or throws a code, the whole system goes down. I don't trust those Siemens cars for a minute to keep the air conditioning or heat going if something goes wrong. Some digital sensor craps out or the PLC craps out, and you're done. An entire train of people in mid-winter and no heat.
I have to believe that given their operating history in extreme climates across Europe (cold, Russia, heat, Italy) that Siemens would design their equipment to avoid this outcome at absolutely all costs.

I am not so much optimistic that the Siemens equipment will work as I am pessimistic that the Hi-Levels with fail for one inexplicable reason after another. Clogged evaporators, pin hole leaks galore on refrigerant lines, ground faults and electrical shorts in every nook and cranny from mice, water damage inside lighting fixtures, faucets that leak, sheet metal that is scratched, damaged or rusting, PA speakers that sound like shortwave radio, floors that are worn out and plumbing that freezes.

Siemens rolling stock could very well be guilty of all of this too ... I feel like Amtrak could avoid all of the issues that come with long term dead storage and decades of heavy duty use.

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  by Tadman
 
You're probably right about the HI-level problems for things like pinhole leaks and ground faults. I wasn't kidding when I suggested they be completely rebuilt down to the shell. Those cars are either good for museum use or as a donor shell. They would need to strip all the cabling and conduit as well as all mechanical and electrical features. The cost would be big, and that's why I also made the point that the cars would have to be secured at a cheap price from the current owners, which is a tough sell. Sometimes those junk dealers will hold stuff til the day they die, thinking it's a goldmine once someone wants the cars.
  by gokeefe
 
Exactly and Corridor Capital seems to think their pile of (likely) junk is the greatest in the history of stainless steel. If the labor were cheaper I think this would be at least in the realm of possibility. It's really not the materials it's the skilled labor and shop facilities. After all ... Who does rebuilds on this scale anymore? I tried to think of an example from the major manufacturers and drew a complete blank. Kawasaki maybe??

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  by mtuandrew
 
gokeefe wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:05 pm Exactly and Corridor Capital seems to think their pile of (likely) junk is the greatest in the history of stainless steel. If the labor were cheaper I think this would be at least in the realm of possibility. It's really not the materials it's the skilled labor and shop facilities. After all ... Who does rebuilds on this scale anymore? I tried to think of an example from the major manufacturers and drew a complete blank. Kawasaki maybe??

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Stadler would. Alstom also has rebuilt significant numbers of transit cars (the WMATA 2k-3k cars come to mind) but this is a small potatoes order.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
It appears Corridor Capital has been renamed Corridor Rail Development:

http://corridorrail.com/
  by Tadman
 
I have no idea how they pay the property taxes on their storage area, let alone act like a viable business.
  by west point
 
Wiring certainly can be a problem of the HiLevel cars. A new insulation called Kapton that first appeared in new aircraft in the 1980s for certain critical circuits was rapidly required for all circuits in another 10 years. If Amtrak has specified the Kapton wiring then there will be very little loss of insulation except for those areas that have chaffing.
  by bretton88
 
Tadman wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:58 pm I have no idea how they pay the property taxes on their storage area, let alone act like a viable business.
Stuff like this helps them stay in business: https://wqow.com/2020/06/25/passenger-t ... next-week/ Any bets on this operation ever happening? Or how loudly the UP will laugh when they get approached?
  by mtuandrew
 
bretton88 wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:04 pm
Tadman wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:58 pm I have no idea how they pay the property taxes on their storage area, let alone act like a viable business.
Stuff like this helps them stay in business: https://wqow.com/2020/06/25/passenger-t ... next-week/ Any bets on this operation ever happening? Or how loudly the UP will laugh when they get approached?
Reposted to the Eau Claire topic in General Discussion: Passenger Rail. viewtopic.php?f=137&t=169690
  by gokeefe
 
One word Tadman: Studies ;)

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  by Tadman
 
Must be, I have reviewed their website and it appears the owner had a few stretches of employ at Amtrak. That probably puts one on the inside track to do studies. Also, the office is described as "in chicago" but I don't see an address, it could be someone's basement.

Still, they probably paid at least scrap value for that string of coaches and it must cost them a pretty penny to store. Any way you slice it, that's a big nut to crack. Their website lists the fleet at 40+ cars (I'm not sure what "40+" means).
  by mtuandrew
 
What’s that museum in Michigan with a few Hi-Levels? If I were running a corporation based in Chicago - in what looks for all the world like a law office - I’d consider trading title of a few cars for storage of the fleet within a few hours’ drive.

Eventually I suppose we will need to merge all these into the Hi-Level thread rather than cluttering up the NCH thread :-)
  by Pensyfan19
 
Two words: Two more! :-)

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... sell-bonds
Two more Montana counties have indicated their intention to join the proposed Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority, making four counties seeking to play a part in returning Amtrak service to the route of the North Coast Hiawatha. The Missoula Current reports Park County, which includes Livingston, and Sanders County have said they will join the agency, initiated by Missoula County. Dawson County had previously indicated its interest in joining, giving the agency the two counties required by Montana law to allow its formation. Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier, who has headed the effort, continues to solicit interest from other counties, after which Missoula County will hold a hearing to officially approve participation, followed by similar events in other counties. The North Coast Hiawatha served the state’s more populous southern tier before being discontinued in 1979.
(I'm listening to "Break My Stride" as I am posting this!)
  by eolesen
 
Don't hold your breath. Joining a coalition is cheap. Subsidizing rail isn't.
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