penncenter wrote:I was a student at Penn when the Kawasakis were put into service, and rode the line often. Loved the old cars, and when a new car would hurtle down the tunnel, it was was like "uggh." But they were nicer and more comfortable, and they grew on everyone. They were freakish at first, but became preferable, and then thats all there were. Now you look at them as old standbys, and look at the new cars as odd. Progress. It happens. The new cars will be better and they will grow on everyone.
The K-cars are high floor with control equipment under the floor, what else do they have in common with everything before them, such as P.C.Cs? Since the new ones will be low floor, differences between them and all previous generations of rolling stock will be more intrusive to detailed design that the differences between all previous generations, especially if they are 100% low floor or even nearly so. For example, roof-mounted control equimpent and axleless bogies with motors outside the powered wheels. If you think about it, none of this is traditional, but this is also not something that a non-heritage rail transit operator would take into account.
Most low floor vehicles appear to have bucket seating which is less comfortable than the bench seating common on older vehicles with high floor, but the main reason nearly all 100% low floor models are less comfortable is because the bogies are fixed and these don't ride as well. However, they don't have steps anywhere in the floor area, and this is more important to the general public than technological aspects such as ride quality.
Are the K-cars unique to Southeast Pennsylvania? I haven't been able to find anything else like them. Will their replacements be any closer to industry standard?
Toronto's last high floor streetcar generation, the C.L.R.V and A.L.R.V are also thouroughly custom design. There's nothing else quite like them in the world. While their low floor ones, the Flexity Outlooks, are still customised quite intrusively to detailed design, there are others like it in Europe, such as in Nottingham and Nantes, the latter in France.
penncenter wrote:That subway surface service is really nice, and it sounds like SRO at rush hour. SEPTA needs to increase capacity as much as it realistically can, and these new cars will do that. Makes a better ride for everyone at a cost per seat thats less for SEPTA. Win-win.
Another way to get a futher increase in capacity is to reduce the number of seats and increase the standing density, more passengers per square metre. Stop consolitation may mean this will be acceptable over a greater distance than over which it is currently acceptable.
penncenter wrote:Phila is the only old line, big city that actually has population growth since the 2010 census. This is good for public transportation usage. Increased ridership will only make the entire system better. Good things happening in Phila...
That's why I am wondering if they could borrow some money, stretch their budget and then use the extra revenue to pay back the loan.