• Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL/Midwest

  • 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 mtuandrew
 
I keep forgetting that even in the high-density California arrangement, the Superliner only holds 96. That isn’t such a bad deal, only losing 12 passengers per car (presuming that they’ll spec 84 seats per Siemens Viaggio.)

Tad: your new job is to figure out a gallery car that fits on the NEC, like a simpler and lighter version of the MLV. Ideally, with a flat main floor.
  by Tadman
 
mtuandrew wrote:I keep forgetting that even in the high-density California arrangement, the Superliner only holds 96. That isn’t such a bad deal, only losing 12 passengers per car (presuming that they’ll spec 84 seats per Siemens Viaggio.)
Thanks a big deal! 12 passengers per car on a 8 car train is 96 passengers, or one spare car. So over 10 trains/day and 365 days/year, that's 3,650 less car-trips needed. Those twelve people represent millions of dollars!
mtuandrew wrote: Tad: your new job is to figure out a gallery car that fits on the NEC, like a simpler and lighter version of the MLV. Ideally, with a flat main floor.
Ha! Don't get me started on a bilevel for NEC. Over in France, there are plenty of bilevel TGV and the layout is basically that of the MLV. The luggage racks are a bit tinier but overall you're maximizing seats per car-mile big time. Dutch told us it wouldn't work in a million years, repeatedly. I wish they'd just test it and prove the concept or disprove it. Borrow 10 MLV's and put two on the end of five trains/day for a month, sell them as super-saver tickets, see what happens.
  by gokeefe
 
Tadman wrote:We screwed it up as much as possible. The worst rolling stock procurement ever in the states. Stevie Wonder and Hellen Keller could've done this better. Once again, Icarus flew past the sun and crashed.

I had a law professor that used to say "folks you just can't make this up" and he was talking about stuff like this.
I disagree with the "we". Nippon Sharyo toasted this order on their very own. Nobody ... Not Caltrans, IDOT, Amtrak or the NGEC did this to them. I lay the blame squarely at their feet and quite frankly at the entryway to NS corporate in Nagoya. These people are owned by a passenger railroad (JR Central) for heaven's sake.
  by gokeefe
 
Interesting FRA report on procurement management ...

See PDF Page 41/67 for expected distributions by line for new rolling stock ... Quad Cities was still on the list at that time.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
gokeefe wrote:". Nippon Sharyo toasted this order on their very own. Nobody ... Not Caltrans, IDOT, Amtrak or the NGEC did this to them. I lay the blame squarely at their feet and quite frankly at the entryway to NS.
What will be interesting is if some builder will be able to produce a bi-level car that meets the delineated "specs" at which the Nips failed.

What will be further interesting is will the consortium want to buy them do so, displacing the by then in service Viaggios in favor of the operational efficiencies a bi-level offers?

Could Amtrak then be enticed to acquire that fleet as "Phase II" of Corridor standard equipment (oh you ask what's Phase I? Well that is twenty such cars residing at 26.73N, 80.06W that I think "will be lookin for a home").
  by gokeefe
 
I think the above will only be answered when the major unresolved question is answered.

Was this an engineering failure at Nippon Sharyo or is the NGEC design/specification unworkable for some unknown reason?

There is absolutely no record whatsoever that NS ever objected to the design specification after signing the contract.

Thus my own analysis that this is an engineering failure on their part.
  by electricron
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
gokeefe wrote:". Nippon Sharyo toasted this order on their very own. Nobody ... Not Caltrans, IDOT, Amtrak or the NGEC did this to them. I lay the blame squarely at their feet and quite frankly at the entryway to NS.
What will be interesting is if some builder will be able to produce a bi-level car that meets the delineated "specs" at which the Nips failed.

What will be further interesting is will the consortium want to buy them do so, displacing the by then in service Viaggios in favor of the operational efficiencies a bi-level offers?
That will depend upon many variables, amongst them being costs.
At some point, Amtrak is going to need new BiLevels to replace the Superliners. I'm sure a new RFP will be released and a new manufacturer will be chosen as the winning bidder.

Amongst the original purposes of the PRIIA BiLevel order was to make a common coach that everyone would order. Why? There's at least five different vendors building BiLevel commuter coaches today. Bombardier is building two designs, Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyo, Rotem, and Stadler. Some have low floors vestibules, others high floors, and some with both.

Apparently, a common design isn't needed.
  by Tadman
 
gokeefe wrote:
Tadman wrote:We screwed it up as much as possible. The worst rolling stock procurement ever in the states. Stevie Wonder and Hellen Keller could've done this better. Once again, Icarus flew past the sun and crashed.

I had a law professor that used to say "folks you just can't make this up" and he was talking about stuff like this.
I disagree with the "we". Nippon Sharyo toasted this order on their very own. Nobody ... Not Caltrans, IDOT, Amtrak or the NGEC did this to them. I lay the blame squarely at their feet and quite frankly at the entryway to NS corporate in Nagoya. These people are owned by a passenger railroad (JR Central) for heaven's sake.
George, I have immense respect for your knowledge and insight on these matters. That said, the empirical evidence is that the government is the problem. Whenever the gov't is in the driver seat on rolling stock orders, it's a disaster at any manufacturer: Budd Metroliner EMU, Bombardier Acela, MK Viewliner, EMD DE/DM30, PL42, Sumitomo/NS regional bilevel etc...

Each of those manufacturers - Budd, EMD, Bombardier, Sumitomo/NS - has made thousands upon thousands of gallery, diesels, amfleets, multi-levels not only with immense success, but with immense longevity. Every week I ride in or behind products from Sumitomo, Budd, EMD that are older than I am and may last 10+ more years despite deferred maintenance.

Further, Sumitomo/NS made the first bullet train and has been working with JR's various entities for 60+ years.

Controlling for the variables, the problem appears to be one of US gov't backed rolling stock procurement. Anything custom turns into a dumpster fire.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Matt Johnson wrote:Is there anything that makes the proven Alstom Surfliner design non-compliant with modern regulations?
The FRA regs haven't changed since those were delivered in '02. Maybe there'd be a need to revisit the cab car ends, but that's about it. The Surfs were already an update over the Cali Cars on safety, so the lineage hasn't fallen behind the times. However, the PRIAA bi-level standards were ambitious enough in scope to call for other new design features, so even if the the next-gen cars were templated off the Alstom design they would've been a little bit more diverged than just straight-up "Surf 2's" done 15 years later.

In practical sense the reason why you aren't seeing the change order being catered so Sumitromo could go back to the Surfliner design is because the Siemens-Alstom merger hasn't formally been consumated, and is still too many months of regulatory review away from Siemens gaining access to all of Alstom's car designs and intellectual property. While all reports are that the merger will be rubber-stamped without drama, it's not going to take effect nearly soon enough for the schedule targets Sumitromo was faced with for making the substitution. And since they are still the primary contractor, that narrowed the field of replacement subcontractors to builders they had some sort of formal ongoing business relationship with...yes to Siemens, apparently no to Alstom. Siemens, for variety of technical and/or schedule reasons, couldn't attempt adaptation of the Viaggio Twin for U.S. import...so it had to be a single-level substitution because pre-merger that's all they've got for in-house designs that'll work with Sumitromo's tight schedule. Alstom, because of business reasons internal to Sumitromo, couldn't be substituted timely enough to kick off the project with their design in [*wink-wink*] expectation that a year from now it'll all seamlessly transition to Siemens leadership all the same. Ultimately Sumitromo was still on the hook for the project management failure, so expediency had to rule today even if tomorrow Siemens will possess all the IP required to build anyone updated Super/Surf-clones.


It actually bodes well for the Superliner 1 replacement order that the easiest available source design will soon be in the hands of the vendor who's likely to be in charge of every not-Viewliner piece of rolling stock on the system. The Sumitromo-NS belly-flop had grave implications for Amtrak's ability to cue up a replacement order for those now- 42-year-old S1 cars before they passed their 50th birthday and all the scary MTBF pitfalls of that milestone, since the PRIAA bi-levels were to be the template for doing the single-door LD configuration S3's. And a move back to single-levels would've stressed the LD's in other ways by reopening the can of worms with CAF over whether they ordered enough V2 bags and bag-dorms to handle inadequate or dwindling numbers of S's with lower-level space for those functions. At least now they won't be S.O.L. on adaptable designs and be forced to contemplate even more radical fleet management change, because Surfliner IP and service/support will be safely folded under the Siemens roof by the time #3 in the one-two-three punch of coach mega-procurements (#1 Midwest/Cali, #2 East/Amfleet-replacement, #3 S1-replacement) comes up for bid. They will, if they refrain from the excessive risks they took with the PRIAA bi specs and subcontracting clownshow, have a template design in-hand with their most-preferred supplier which can produce viable Superliner 3's fully trainline-compatible with the not-retirement-age Superliner 2's. And even be able to make future supplemental corridor-configured options for replacing the Cali Cars with more satisfactory-designed Surf 2's when Caltrans is up for fish-or-cut-bait budgeting decision on midlife rebuild #2 for the Cali Cars in approx. 12 years.
  by mtuandrew
 
I’m going to blame the N-S issues on a third party: Sumitomo. It’s pretty clear that the Nippon Sharyo engineers could have fixed the problems with the body shell (being only a few thousand lbs from the crush test goal), and that N-S management wanted to work with Illinois. I think Sumitomo saw costs rising, got an informal quote for the Viaggio Comfort, and realized they could make much more money through hiring Siemens than by continuing the design process with N-S.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Of possible interest is this article from a Polish news source, that even with European crash standards, the Viaggio equipment appears to be "rugged"

http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.a ... lu-rannych" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use omitted as it could be returned in Polish.

In addition to the Railjets, I have also ridden this Euro City equipment between Munich/East and Salzburg.
Last edited by John_Perkowski on Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:21 pm, edited 2 times in total. Reason: OT Material removed
  by gokeefe
 
Tadman wrote:Controlling for the variables, the problem appears to be one of US gov't backed rolling stock procurement. Anything custom turns into a dumpster fire.
Well this is a very fair point. You're specifically pointing to situations where the design itself was government or agency provided.

The best counter point I can think of for a new design that failed would probably be the Budd SPV (assuming this was done as GBN would say, "Take it or leave it").

I think the Horizon cars might also be considered an example of failure (initially) and an interesting one at that given Pullman's long history with the design prior to Amtrak's order.

Here's another one ... The SDP-40Fs ... This was an almost stock design from EMD with what should have been the trivial addition of a steam generator and a water tank. These engines were supposed to be sold off when Amtrak shutdown as anticipated. Hence they were freight power with virtually no passenger considerations.

Outcome? Easily the biggest procurement failure in Amtrak's history. Traded in (150 units) after only 5 years in operation to EMD with some components used to make the F40s.

Its possible the customer caused issues. But right now there simply isn't any indication of that at all. They never even got to the stage of having a mockup that could have generated change orders and the inevitable production delays.
  by David Benton
 
Are the designs independently assessed at any stage ? Do the manufacturers have any input into the design before they finalise it , and put out the RFP? It seems to me the process doesn't exactly encourage innovation , and this case , possibly lead to a design that was not practically achievable. Then these single level cars are substituted with scant regard to the RFP.Wouldn't it have been better if Siemens could have offered these in the beginning, along with Talgo etc.
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