• 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 Ryand-Smith
 
With SMARTs new successful FRA approved tier 4 DMUs operating out west and in Canada, I had a question related to issues Amtrak might have with the future retirement of the F40 derived cabbages. In theory, could a series of these DMUs replace smaller trains for say Maine to Boston, or be the DMU Vermonter, or help reduce the need for Genesis power down in Virginia (as there already is an engine change), and run shuttles from Roanoake/Norfolk/Newpot News/Richmond?

They seem to have the potential to serve as an ideal small corridor train for the 200 and less mile runs, and with their smaller engines, the fuel savings could be huge.
  by electricron
 
Does Amtrak run trains anywhere smaller than 4 Amfleets? It wasn't too long ago a TRE representative stated a train running with more than 4 RDCs was more expensive to run than with 4 Bombardier BiLevels and one diesel locomotive. Therefore, I'm more inclined to suggest Amtrak couldn't use DMUs effectively anywhere near the NEC. But that's not true with some commuter rail operators.
The only Amtrak trains I'm aware of normally smaller than 4 cars are the Heartland Flyer and Hoosier State. Iowa Pacific is supplying the rolling equipment for the Hoosier State, so that leaves just the Heartland Flyer left where DMUs would be more economical. I don't think Amtrak should buy DMUs for just one train!
  by Ryand-Smith
 
Actually, Maine fits perfectly. It's 4 Amfleets and a biz/cafe car. I figured for branch services it would replace expensive services, since I notice that oddly enough the VA runs are full in every class but business.
  by electricron
 
Isn't that really 5 cars? I assume Maine wanted a cafe car on the train it subsidizes.
Which brings up this other point, it wouldn't be Amtrak buying the DMUs on these short branch trains, it would be the States subsidizing these trains buying them. :wink:
I'm sure Amrak would operate any acceptable rolling stock purchased and maintained by the States; Talgos in the Nortwest, Heritage in California, North Carolina, and Indiana; but don't expect Amtrak to maintain them, as New York found out. :-D
  by Matt Johnson
 
electricron wrote: Does Amtrak run trains anywhere smaller than 4 Amfleets?
Springfield shuttles?
  by bdawe
 
Missouri River Runner and Heartland Flyer come to mind
  by Backshophoss
 
Amtrak used RDC's on the Springfield route,and a few routes out of Chicago,ConnDOT owned SPV-2000's were used on
the Springfield route.
The RDC's were battle weary at best,the SPV's were converted to Push-Pull coaches that are currently stored,
that might resurface on NHV-Hartford commuter service after the Springfield route upgrades are done.
Unless the M 8's start service on SLE to Old Saybrook in the near future.

Cost wise,Push-Pull with a Metroliner Cab Car or a NPCU is more effective for now.
The SMART DMU's are NOT allowed in mixed traffic,there's time based seperation,when the DMU's are not running,
then freight trains can run.
  by electricron
 
Backshophoss wrote:The SMART DMU's are NOT allowed in mixed traffic,there's time based seperation,when the DMU's are not running,
then freight trains can run.
SMART's DMUs are fully FRA compliant. The mixed traffic issue is why SMART bought them.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nippon_Sharyo_DMU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"The Nippon Sharyo DMU is a model of diesel multiple unit passenger train designed and manufactured by Nippon Sharyo for the North American market, and compliant with FRA Tier 1 crash worthiness standard."

From http://www.nipponsharyousa.com/tp101216.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"This first-ever FRA and EPA Tier-4-compliant, new standard DMU is a formidable addition to Nippon Sharyo and SCOA’s North-American product line,..."

From http://www2.sonomamarintrain.org/userfi ... nd_Systems_(Lisa_Cobb" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)_2-11-15.pdf
"SMART’s DMU is a new design, built by Nippon Sharyo  Order is for 14 cars (seven 2-car trains)
Seven A-cars (restroom), seven B-cars (service bar) 
DMUs are FRA and Buy America compliant
 85 feet long, 10 feet wide, 14 feet tall
 One 760 hp Tier 4 engine per DMU
 One powered truck per car"

Are three different sources enough to convince you?
  by Nicholas Chen
 
Wouldn't the stations have to be all high-levels? Or is it just a minor change to the car to add steps?
  by DutchRailnut
 
it all looks good on paper, but let SMART and Sumitomo prove these things can run a dependable service, before having Amtrak look into them.
how bad will maintenance expenses be , both in material cost and manpower ??
so far DMU's do not seem to work out well for those already using them.
  by east point
 
DMUs might be useable under the following conditions.
1. Reliable when running singly or in multiple.
2. No FRA possible requirement of minimum crew when running singly.
3. Meets FRA crush standards.
4. Easily combined <> separated so 2 or more units could each go their separate ways.
5. Easily able to accept a loco to pull longer DMU trains and / or to couple to regular trains. HEP from loco and able to shut down DMU engine..
6. Completely compatible with present train cars so can couple to regular trains. Note: It will take both single level and bi- level designs and maybe even a transition car ?
7. Enough demand for cars to get economies of scale and to mandate reliability..
8. In case of a loco pulled train if loco fails DMUs could push although at probable slower speeds.
  by Noel Weaver
 
DutchRailnut wrote:it all looks good on paper, but let SMART and Sumitomo prove these things can run a dependable service, before having Amtrak look into them.
how bad will maintenance expenses be , both in material cost and manpower ??
so far DMU's do not seem to work out well for those already using them.
I agree with this, things often look better than they are. DMU's are not cheap money wise but at least here in South Florida they did not work out very well and today they are not running anywhere to my knowledge.
Transportation funds do not come easily and they should only be spent on something that has proven itself and works, DMU's do not meet this standard and probably never will either.
Noel Weaver
  by electricron
 
Noel Weaver wrote:
Transportation funds do not come easily and they should only be spent on something that has unproven itself and works, DMU's do not meet this standard and probably never will either.
Noel Weaver
Thousands of DMUs operate satisfactory around the world. Colorado Railcars maybe wasn't th best manufacture of them!
In the USA today, over 40 Stadler GTWs are or will be in service. Stadler has made over 500 GTWs. Nippon Sharyo will have over 30 DMUs in North America service, they have built others for Japan. Bombardier has built hundreds of DMUs for both Germany and United Kingdom, Ottawa's O Train used three until recently, they're using Alstom built DMUs now.

It's not DMUs that have failed as much as TriRail bought demonstration DMUs from a vendor that failed financially and made bad DMUs. Even Amtrak generally balks at running demos in daily service. :)
  by DutchRailnut
 
DMU's around world do not compete with jumbo size freight trains.
DMU's around world do not have HVAC like Americans demand.
DMU's around world do not have detection problems due to poor circuitry in US.
etc etc

ask Amtrak how the Danish DMU's worked they borrowed ?? it was not train as it still operates in same configuration in Israel.
  by bdawe
 
DutchRailnut wrote:DMU's around world do not compete with jumbo size freight trains.
DMU's around world do not have HVAC like Americans demand.
DMU's around world do not have detection problems due to poor circuitry in US.
etc etc

ask Amtrak how the Danish DMU's worked they borrowed ?? it was not train as it still operates in same configuration in Israel.
Does it really matter if a 60 ton DMU smashes into a 2,000 ton freight train or a 10,000 ton freight train?
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