John_Perkowski wrote: ↑Fri May 22, 2020 10:41 pm
The irony is, we have truly a metric crap ton of plans which have stood the test of time.
Heavyweight Pullman’s and parlor cars ran at 100MPH behind GG1s and P-5s in the 30s. ...Streamline cars before WWIIran at 100MPH plus and did so safely on jointed rail Why are we reinventing the wheel?
Because reinventing the wheel is classic government agency scope creep, perpetuated as job security. The Amtrak rolling stock guys knew if they just fixed the rainbow fleet or ordered one giant lot of Amfleets, they were 80% out of work by 1976. Instead, they've made an entire industry for 50 years of coming up with awful rolling stock.
Funny you mention silverliners. I recall that a silverliner was streamlined in 1967 and achieved a speed record of 156 mph (faster than the average speed of the regional).
Amtrak and DOT were really hoping you didn't remember that. For those just tuning in, a four-car set of Silverliners were used as test cars to run at high speed, and they did quite well. Then they clean-sheated and created the Metroliner EMU with "advanced technology" that didn't work. The Silverliner was introduced around 1955 and lasted til 2013. The Arrow III was introduced around 1972 and still runs.
bdawe wrote:how long does it take to get a string of concrete-floor heavyweights up to 100 mph behind a GG1, and how are you running those GG1 without all those lovely PCBs?
I don't think it's John's suggestion to re-make the GG1, but to rather remember that we didn't need billions of dollars of studies and committees and such to run fast. We ran fast using really old tech, and now we have all these committees and studies and half-a** HST's and we can barely keep up. There has been little marginal improvement on safety or efficiency since the Silverliner of 1955.
David Benton wrote:Because modern designs are lighter , more efficient , and safer. Same reason they are not building automobiles like they did in the 50 's.
We have to keep in mind when we hit he margin of diminishing returns. With autos, we need to figure out how to solve 30,000-50,000 deaths per year. With trains, we don't. A bad year sees 20 train accident deaths. Many good years go by with none. Same thing with lightness. At some point, it's just not a thing. How much track damaged results from an MP54 at top speed versus a Silverliner at top speed versus an M8 or Acela at top speed? How much different is the current draw? I would argue that the Silverliner was the inflection point when EMU design topped out. Silverliners had air conditioning, disc brakes, automated doors, public address, and crumple zones. Subsequent single-mode EMU have not offered anything novel.
Riddle me this: If in 1971, Amtrak had ordered the following:
1. (1,000) coaches with 60 seats built to the pattern of the last Denver Zephyr order
2. (300) 10/6 sleepers built to the last Denver Zephyr order
3. (300) Silverliner 2 with gearing from the T1-T4 demo cars
4. (200) FP45 built to ATSF spec
5. (10) E44 with steam generator for Silver/Crescent etc at 90mph max
What would today look like? Instead of trying to continually reinvent the wheel, what would our world be like if they called up PRR and ATSF passenger departments and said "what is your best practice in each category?".