• Budd Amfleet I Replacement 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 njtmnrrbuff
 
Maybe the states like NC, CT, and MA will order MUs for their own corridor trains. I could see DMUs running on the SPG-Greenfield to NHV shuttles.
  by Ridgefielder
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:59 pm Maybe the states like NC, CT, and MA will order MUs for their own corridor trains. I could see DMUs running on the SPG-Greenfield to NHV shuttles.
Could absolutely see them on the Springfield shuttles, plus any future Inland Route service and the Downeaster. I could also NY state being interested in a dual mode for Empire Corridor service.
  by gokeefe
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:48 am Electrification on the Hartford Line or Empire Corridor will never happen. It’s not on CDOT’s plan for the Hartford Line.
The current CTDOT plans do not go beyond construction of the additional regional rail stations. They are in the execution phase right now and I strongly suspect they will open a new planning phase soon. The Environmental Assessment completed for the most recent project was exhaustive. It will not be nearly as difficult the next time around.
Last edited by gokeefe on Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Right now, CDOT is focusing on ordering brand new equipment for Ctrail operations, the brand new stations on the Hartford Line, as well as restoration of the second track north of the Connecticut River bridge. I think it is trying to focus on restoring the freight siding just south of Hartford Station for passenger rail use.

DMUs would work on the Downeaster. The route is not only seperate from the NEC but there the route is presently set up for push pull operations. If push pull sets run on a route, than multiple units can.
  by gokeefe
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:27 pmIf push pull sets run on a route, than multiple units can.
Very much agreed. Here's another thought. ... Imagine the time savings from at platform turns ... No loop track required ... There's a cost savings right there.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, Downeaster trains don't need to be looped. Along the Downeaster route, many of the stops are pretty spread out, but there are spacings of less than five miles between Saco and Old Orchard Beach. It's six miles between Durham-UMH and Dover. Having DMUs run on the Downeaster will also enable extra seating capacity. The acceleration would hopefully be improved. Presently, the Downeaster Schedule is a big inconvenience, even with the 5th roundtrip. Plus, probably many of those trains can sell out too. Maybe by running DMUs on the Downeaster, there can be six or even seven car trains. I think that the Downeasters have five Amfleet 1s in the consist.
  by electricron
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:02 pm Yes, Downeaster trains don't need to be looped. Along the Downeaster route, many of the stops are pretty spread out, but there are spacings of less than five miles between Saco and Old Orchard Beach. It's six miles between Durham-UMH and Dover. Having DMUs run on the Downeaster will also enable extra seating capacity. The acceleration would hopefully be improved. Presently, the Downeaster Schedule is a big inconvenience, even with the 5th roundtrip. Plus, probably many of those trains can sell out too. Maybe by running DMUs on the Downeaster, there can be six or even seven car trains. I think that the Downeasters have five Amfleet 1s in the consist.
Let's add some practicability and talk efficiency into this discussion, amongst the last commuter rail operators running both DMU's and locomotive push/pull double level trailers was the TRE (Trinity Railway Express). The TRE chief operator expresses his opinion to the DART board years ago where the break even point was between the two type of trains. He answered 4 DMUs were about as efficient as 4 trailers and a locomotive - or vice versa. At less than 4 cars trains, DMUs were more efficient, with 4 cars or more locomotives pulling/pushing trailers were more efficient.

Nothing has changed this dynamic since. Modern day DMUs are not that much more efficient than old Budd built RDCs. F59PHI locomotives are about as efficient as newer diesel locomotives. So the formula should remain the same. For Downeaster trains running with 5 or 6 cars, the locomotive trailer type train should be more efficient and therefore cheaper to operate. For the Springfield shuttle with Amtrak running just two trailers with a locomotive in the consist, a DMU type train should be more efficient. Length of the train matters.

Now, I can find no facts to back up the TRE chief operator's opinions, but lets admit his opinion was based on actual operating experiences of both type of trains. I would also like to point out that all three commuter rail agencies in the DFW area; DART, DCTA, and TexRail; have limited the length of their DMU trains to 4 cars. So they actually believe what was written earlier.
  by David Benton
 
electricron wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:49 pm


Nothing has changed this dynamic since. Modern day DMUs are not that much more efficient than old Budd built RDCs.
I would be very surprised if that was the case.
  by electricron
 
David Benton wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:56 pm
electricron wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:49 pm Nothing has changed this dynamic since. Modern day DMUs are not that much more efficient than old Budd built RDCs.
I would be very surprised if that was the case.
Budd RDCs diesels had zero lower emissions standards, all modern DMUs do.
I would be surprised if modern diesels were more efficient.

Do not forget the fact that larger diesel locomotives must meet the same emission standards of smaller ones. If there were any gains of efficiency with smaller diesels, the larger diesel locomotives would also see the same gains. So it would be a wash when comparing between the two type of trains.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
[quote=electricron post_id=1529180 time=1577159372 user_id=23592]
[quote=njt/mnrrbuff post_id=1529177 time=1577156555 user_id=2821]
Yes, Downeaster trains don't need to be looped. Along the Downeaster route, many of the stops are pretty spread out, but there are spacings of less than five miles between Saco and Old Orchard Beach. It's six miles between Durham-UMH and Dover. Having DMUs run on the Downeaster will also enable extra seating capacity. The acceleration would hopefully be improved. Presently, the Downeaster Schedule is a big inconvenience, even with the 5th roundtrip. Plus, probably many of those trains can sell out too. Maybe by running DMUs on the Downeaster, there can be six or even seven car trains. I think that the Downeasters have five Amfleet 1s in the consist.
[/quote]
Let's add some practicability and talk efficiency into this discussion, amongst the last commuter rail operators running both DMU's and locomotive push/pull double level trailers was the TRE (Trinity Railway Express). The TRE chief operator expresses his opinion to the DART board years ago where the break even point was between the two type of trains. He answered 4 DMUs were about as efficient as 4 trailers and a locomotive - or vice versa. At less than 4 cars trains, DMUs were more efficient, with 4 cars or more locomotives pulling/pushing trailers were more efficient.

Nothing has changed this dynamic since. Modern day DMUs are not that much more efficient than old Budd built RDCs. F59PHI locomotives are about as efficient as newer diesel locomotives. So the formula should remain the same. For Downeaster trains running with 5 or 6 cars, the locomotive trailer type train should be more efficient and therefore cheaper to operate. For the Springfield shuttle with Amtrak running just two trailers with a locomotive in the consist, a DMU type train should be more efficient. Length of the train matters.

Now, I can find no facts to back up the TRE chief operator's opinions, but lets admit his opinion was based on actual operating experiences of both type of trains. I would also like to point out that all three commuter rail agencies in the DFW area; DART, DCTA, and TexRail; have limited the length of their DMU trains to 4 cars. So they actually believe what was written earlier.
[/quote]
That could be true about modern DMUs not being as efficient as Budd DMUs. The Springfield Line Shuttles would probably do fine with four DMUs. Many of those trains travel only between NHV and SPG and that’s a little over 60 miles. For your Vermonter and Northeast Regionals-then you run locomotive hauled push pull. The Piedmont’s can go either way. I would say run DMUs since those trains are only running between Charlotte and Raleigh. It’s not like they will be heading to the major population centers in the Northeast. Locomotive hauled sets on the Piedmont would be fine too. They would be also fine on the NHV-SPG/Greenfield shuttles. The bottom line is whatever Amtrak or it’s state partners decide to order, the equipment will accelerate better than a Genesis. The Genesis was designed for freight or even Amtrak’s long distance trains stopping several miles a part, not for corridor or commuter trains.
  by Ridgefielder
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:23 am That could be true about modern DMUs not being as efficient as Budd DMUs. The Springfield Line Shuttles would probably do fine with four DMUs. Many of those trains travel only between NHV and SPG and that’s a little over 60 miles. For your Vermonter and Northeast Regionals-then you run locomotive hauled push pull. The Piedmont’s can go either way. I would say run DMUs since those trains are only running between Charlotte and Raleigh. It’s not like they will be heading to the major population centers in the Northeast. Locomotive hauled sets on the Piedmont would be fine too. They would be also fine on the NHV-SPG/Greenfield shuttles. The bottom line is whatever Amtrak or it’s state partners decide to order, the equipment will accelerate better than a Genesis. The Genesis was designed for freight or even Amtrak’s long distance trains stopping several miles a part, not for corridor or commuter trains.
DMU's can work on longer runs than you think. The New Haven ran RDC's from NY to Boston, the B&O had them on a Philadelphia-Baltimore-Pittsburgh train, and the Western Pacific (incredibly) used them for an Oakland CA - Salt Lake City service. Distance isn't the issue.
  by gokeefe
 
electricron wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:49 pmNothing has changed this dynamic since. Modern day DMUs are not that much more efficient than old Budd built RDCs. F59PHI locomotives are about as efficient as newer diesel locomotives. So the formula should remain the same.
Amtrak's advantage with MU trainsets would be derived from time savings on power changes, increased utilization from quick turns, increased utilization from improved acceleration, increased reliability, decreased failure rate and improved energy efficiency from regenerative braking.

Trinity did not have to worry about power changes enroute, didn't have any gains to make from quick turns (unless they reduced fleet size), weren't concerned about improved acceleration (unless they increased service schedules), did not pay the same financial penalties to passengers for cancellation and don't use electric traction (so no benefits from increased regenerative braking).

The "straight" comparison may remain true but it isn't necessarily relevant. Amtrak derives their MU benefits from advantages that other operators aren't seeking.
  by electricron
 
gokeefe wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:49 am Amtrak's advantage with MU trainsets would be derived from time savings on power changes, increased utilization from quick turns, increased utilization from improved acceleration, increased reliability, decreased failure rate and improved energy efficiency from regenerative braking.

Trinity did not have to worry about power changes enroute, didn't have any gains to make from quick turns (unless they reduced fleet size), weren't concerned about improved acceleration (unless they increased service schedules), did not pay the same financial penalties to passengers for cancellation and don't use electric traction (so no benefits from increased regenerative braking).

The "straight" comparison may remain true but it isn't necessarily relevant. Amtrak derives their MU benefits from advantages that other operators aren't seeking.
Downeaster trains do not require power changes either, which was the topic of the post I was replying to while limiting my discussion to just DMUs. The tracks the Downeaster trains run over are not electrified either, another reason to limit my earlier reply to just DMUs. DMUs and EMUs are different train types with different efficiencies and operating characteristics.

What applies for Downeaster trains do not apply to Keystone trains. As I wrote before, my recommendations for the Springfield trains differ from the Downeaster trains - having nothing to do with power as much as train length. If you wish to add dual modes power capabilities To the trains, my recommendations will change again.

What I am suggesting is that to be the most efficient, Amtrak might need to operate different train types. But let’s keep in mind the limitations of those train types while choosing the trains for the various corridors. My intention earlier was to state one of these limitations.
  by frequentflyer
 
electricron wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:25 pm
gokeefe wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:49 am Amtrak's advantage with MU trainsets would be derived from time savings on power changes, increased utilization from quick turns, increased utilization from improved acceleration, increased reliability, decreased failure rate and improved energy efficiency from regenerative braking.

Trinity did not have to worry about power changes enroute, didn't have any gains to make from quick turns (unless they reduced fleet size), weren't concerned about improved acceleration (unless they increased service schedules), did not pay the same financial penalties to passengers for cancellation and don't use electric traction (so no benefits from increased regenerative braking).

The "straight" comparison may remain true but it isn't necessarily relevant. Amtrak derives their MU benefits from advantages that other operators aren't seeking.
Downeaster trains do not require power changes either, which was the topic of the post I was replying to while limiting my discussion to just DMUs. The tracks the Downeaster trains run over are not electrified either, another reason to limit my earlier reply to just DMUs. DMUs and EMUs are different train types with different efficiencies and operating characteristics.

What applies for Downeaster trains do not apply to Keystone trains. As I wrote before, my recommendations for the Springfield trains differ from the Downeaster trains - having nothing to do with power as much as train length. If you wish to add dual modes power capabilities To the trains, my recommendations will change again.

What I am suggesting is that to be the most efficient, Amtrak might need to operate different train types. But let’s keep in mind the limitations of those train types while choosing the trains for the various corridors. My intention earlier was to state one of these limitations.
I am sure Siemens, Stadler, Hitachi etc have all offered solutions in their RFPs to the challenges you mentioned. And I am betting they involve using one fleet type to save money and ease of maintenance (no doubt the new fleet will come with a mx package).
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