Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

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BandA
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by BandA » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:27 am

charlesriverbranch wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:15 pm
Any electrification of the Providence Line MBTA service would be contingent on electrifying the entire MBTA CR system, I think, and that's unrealistic.
They could electrify just the Boston & Providence-TF Green Line, in fact that is the best choice for short & medium-term. They could even run a mixture of diesel & electric. Just need a place to store trainsets & service them.
I still wonder if battery-electric trains might be the answer.
A battery big enough for an 8-coach Commuter Rail train would be very, very expensive and much heavier than the equivalent energy in diesel. So no.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by Jeff Smith » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:12 am

Thanks for the answers. Of course I know the NEC background NH to Boston just wasn’t sure if there was some type of branch involved. The comparison to SLE is spot on. MARC went all diesel for that reason.

It seems to me as unlikely as it is that a NJT solution would work. ALP-45 DP.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by BandA » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:16 pm

There is an alternate route between Readville and Boston South Station known variously as the Dorchester Branch, Midland Branch, or Fairmont Line. Wiring that up would provide more redundancy/resiliency for Amtrak or other electric operations, but that would probably be after all the other stuff.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by daybeers » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:57 am

Jeff Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:12 am
Thanks for the answers. Of course I know the NEC background NH to Boston just wasn’t sure if there was some type of branch involved. The comparison to SLE is spot on. MARC went all diesel for that reason.
Yes, that was quite unfortunate, even though the Siemens Chargers are seemingly doing very well and are efficient.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by Backshophoss » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:31 pm

An AL45-DP has limited range fuel tanks,and 2 truck engines as the "prime mover",and a bit underpowered at best in diesel mode.
The Kelois "track record" on loco maintenance is not that great,and consider it a restricted use loco.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by RRspatch » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:03 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:12 am
MARC went all diesel for that reason.

Since I keep seeing this posted I'm guessing no one bothered to tell MARC about this. At least two and possible three HHP's have been rebuilt and are now in Weekday service between Perryville and Washington. I believe MARC has plans to rebuild all 6 of them.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/696640/#remarks

The above picture was taken on April 24th of this year showing MARC train 517 at Perryville. I have seen even newer MARC HHP pictures posted to the Facebook "Amtrak Northeast Corridor Railfans" group.

My guess is that Amtrak told MARC to either keep the electrics with their faster speed and acceleration or lengthen the schedules which would mean more train sets and more crews. Amtrak really doesn't want slower diesel powered trains on the southend of the corridor getting in the way of it's faster trains. The traffic level on the southend is much greater than anything on the Boston end.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:48 pm

Thanks for the clarification!
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by daybeers » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:41 am

True point about the HHP-8s. I believe Amtrak still does the maintenance for them.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by jaymac » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:27 am

Adding my 2% of $ 0.01 to the discussion and going back more than a half-century, one of the reasons for the initial success of RDCs on the B&M was maximized equipment utilization. A string would cover multiple routes, not being dedicated to -- for example -- a Rockport-Boston turn. When intercity routes were eliminated, this permitted even greater focus on containing commuter expenses. Aging and deferred Budd maintenance would lead to loco-powered push-pull operation, but maximized equipment utilization remained/remains SOP into the T era, regardless of the contract operator.
Until and unless under-harbor north-south commutes start happening and/or until and unless major anti-pollution regulations are in effect, requiring electric locomotives, the likelihood of the T sacrificing maximized equipment utilization by having route-specific equipment seems less than likely.
As a footnote, there is a probably-late-50s B&M employee magazine with a line-chart showing the routing of one Budd set throughout a typical weekday day. That set was busy.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by RRspatch » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:25 pm

daybeers wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:41 am
True point about the HHP-8s. I believe Amtrak still does the maintenance for them.
Amtrak leases the HHP8s from Bombardier. The lease agreement requires Amtrak to maintain the units in a ready for service state. This means keeping the units up to date on the required FRA 92 day locomotive inspections among other things.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by djlong » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:24 pm

The blindingly obvious solution is to make the damn commitment to electrifying everything (in stages) at least as far out as 128 and, since the project will take for-bleeping-ever, order EDMU (some call them BMU) units to start replacing the entire CR fleet over time. They run on electric under a wire and on their diesel engines when there's no wire.

These are running in revenue service in France, Italy, Russia and the UK.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by BandA » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:02 am

CR should only be electrified where it will save money. If the issue is emissions, retire locomotives like the ones the MBTA is rebuilding & replace with Tier IV or switch them to cleaner-burning fuel.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:08 am

Summit: https://www.rep-am.com/news/news-connec ... llimantic/
...
Raimondo also used Tuesday’s meeting to again request that the MBTA run more express commuter trains between Providence and Boston, prompting Baker to note it was “not the first time” he had heard the request from the Rhode Island governor. Both governors agreed they need to get Amtrak to cooperate with the concept.

“The thing to remember about everything that involves Amtrak lines appropriately, Amtrak gets first dibs. So if one of your objectives here is to create additional service or nonstop service, you’ve got to figure out a way to factor that into the rest of the Amtrak schedule,” Baker said, noting that’s a conversation that has to happen between Amtrak, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He noted a similar conversation has to happen between Amtrak, Massachusetts and Connecticut, if there’s an interest to expand service on the existing commuter rail line that currently runs from New Haven, Connecticut, to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Beyond working with Amtrak on possible train scheduling issues, Raimondo said the governors also discussed seeking Amtrak’s help in securing more trains to help ensure additional service will become a reality.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by BandA » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:09 pm

Maybe it's time for Keolis to take over dispatching & maintenance of the NEC in MA. Although Amtrak trains run faster they shouldn't automatically get "first dibs" on train scheduling. Which brings up how are expenses allocated between Acela, NE Regional and MBTA CR under the new agreement that Amtrak forced upon Massachusetts.

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Post by Boatsmate75 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:33 am

I still wonder if battery-electric trains might be the answer.
A battery big enough for an 8-coach Commuter Rail train would be very, very expensive and much heavier than the equivalent energy in diesel. So no.

actually, they make ferries that are almost as heavy as a locomotive and they are able to make a decent speed with a large crowd on board. the company I work for is looking into replacing the engines in one of their boats, currently has 4 Cats re[lacng them with 2 Electric engines that will be abe to move the boat at the same speed now. so it is a possibility some ti,e sooner rather than later

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