• #14 Orange Line Cars 1400-1551 (From Red/Orange Procurement discussion)

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

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  by Head-end View
 
Back in the 1990s, I remember seeing the 1800s being delivered on flat-bed trailer trucks too. I wondered at the time how that could be easier than by rail. Seems more complicated by truck. :(
  by dieciduej
 
Tobin Dax wrote:Do we have any sense of how well the tests of the new Orange Line cars are going? Have they picked up on any issues, or do the cars seem to be relatively clean?
I've heard that the first four cars, from China, will be heading out to Springfield to get what ever mods they need to bring them up to operational standard. The second four cars from China are at Wellington undergoing testing and training runs and two to four Springfield cars are there or on their way.

The goal is early 2019, I would say February or March. Also the four Chinese cars, still at Wellington, can only be mid-consist cars at the moment, until they are brought up to full mod.
  by dieciduej
 
Head-end View wrote:Back in the 1990s, I remember seeing the 1800s being delivered on flat-bed trailer trucks too. I wondered at the time how that could be easier than by rail. Seems more complicated by truck. :(
RenegadeMonster wrote:Wow, I thought for sure they would have delivered them by rail. Not by truck. That's a cool sight.
A subway car is not up to the full FRA standard, so on their own wheels wouldn't happen. Also the wheels have a different profile, different couplers, clearance issues and would click off mileage.

A subway car on a flat car (SCoFC) is a possibility but you would need rail leads into the yards, Red Line yes but the Orange Line not really. The Orange Line would fowl commuter rail service unless its one or two cars at a time so nor worth the cost.

So on a flatbed truck they go for people to take pictures of subway cars on highways! :P
  by CRail
 
The Orange Line is connected to the national rail network, the Red Line is not. The Red Line cars will be the same width as and 15'6" shorter than commuter rail cars, and the orange line cars are both shorter and narrower so there certainly would not be any clearance issues. Wheel profile and couplers are non-issues as the Silverbirds and Hawker Siddely cars (the Blue Line was still connected in 1979) were delivered this way with an adapter car (knuckle on one end, Tomlinson on the other). It was explained to me, but it's fuzzy in my mind, how they got the brakes to work with the train air (subway cars have straight air brakes), this is probably the most prohibitive issue preventing such a delivery method. The cars aren't built to FRA pax car standards but they're certainly superior to freight car standards which is what they'd be in such a move.
  by csor2010
 
The UTDC 01700s came in on flatcars (image here), so delivery to the Red Line was at least possible in the 80s, and given the fact that Track 61 is being used to test the new cars it seems like this arrangement could be replicated as long as a sufficient clearance route is still available. The OL connection at Wellington is actually off the old Medford branch, so assuming the track could handle it (questionable) and the clearances are sufficient, a delivery move wouldn't disrupt traffic any more than an ordinary freight on the Western Route.

However, I would imagine that in this case the decision to truck is based on distance - since the UTDC cars were built in Canada, it may have been more worthwhile to use rail for the longer move. For the CRRC cars, even assuming a dedicated move the cars would have to get to Cabot by way of Walpole (given the tight clearances on the B&A east of Beacon Park and assuming that they'll fit through the Walpole tunnel and/or under the NEC wire). For the OL cars, you would get the added challenge of dealing with two railroads. All in all, probably a multi-day move compared to a one-day trek down the Pike.
  by Disney Guy
 
Could a small number of non-FRA compliant rail cars, namely rapid transit cars or even streetcars, be put at the back of an ordinary freight train for transport (without passengers) from builder to transit system, without their own brakes in operation and with the host freight train providing all the braking? Or maybe the train crew could sit inside to avoid the need for a second knuckle to Tomlinson coupler car and a caboose?
  by CRail
 
csor2010 wrote:The OL connection at Wellington is actually off the old Medford branch, so assuming the track could handle it (questionable) and the clearances are sufficient, a delivery move wouldn't disrupt traffic any more than an ordinary freight on the Western Route.
If the track can handle a locomotive and freight cars (which I've seen much worse track handle) there's no reason it couldn't handle much lighter subway cars. I don't know why clearances keep being mentioned as I already debunked that issue. They are not taller, wider, or longer than standard passenger railroad cars.
  by diburning
 
Possible? Yes. Practical? No.

SOAC was moved around via the national rail network.

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?7192" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?7181" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It was moved as its own train.
  by Backshophoss
 
CSX would overcharge on the freight to from CRRC's shop at Springfield, not counting the switching charges at each end.
Who buys the gons to be used as adapter cars for the moves? CSX or CRRC??
  by MBTA3247
 
I imagine they would be leased by CRRC.
  by BandA
 
MBTA owns Worcester to Boston, & Grand Junction... so mostly home rails. Coupler/buffer car protects the subway cars. You could add a few boxcars sufficient to provide braking & leave the subway brakes disconnected or bypassed. So then you mostly pay AMTK or CSX to pilot this "work" train SPG-WOR. Must be cheaper to truck 'em
  by StefanW
 
I didn't see this mentioned previously, so...

"Are Chinese rail cars a Trojan horse? MBTA’s contract with CRRC worries GOP rep"
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/back-story/are-chinese-rail-cars-a-trojan-horse/

Excerpt:
Michael Jonas, CommonWealth Magazine wrote:State Rep. Shawn Dooley says the T is jeopardizing the safety and personal information of riders by contracting with a Chinese-owned firm to build 400 new Orange and Red Line cars. With claims that sound straight out of an overwrought spy thriller, the Norfolk Republican says the state has been duped into providing a foothold for Chinese cyberattacks on a crucial part of the Greater Boston transportation infrastructure. He plans to file a bill next month that would cut off any further contracts for rail cars with the company.
IMHO it sounds like mostly FUD, but as a technology professional I can say the chance of malware / spyware - or a security vulnerability - being in the CRRC cars is definitely not zero. It's likely going to be very, very, VERY low, but not an absolute zero percent chance. I think it is worth making sure all appropriate due diligence is done on the software / firmware of these new cars.
  by RenegadeMonster
 
BandA wrote:MBTA owns Worcester to Boston, & Grand Junction... so mostly home rails.
Also, wasn't CSX selling the line off as well? Has that happened yet.

My thoughts are why couldn't the MBTA/MassDOT just run an extra / their own move of the subway cars.
  by diburning
 
StefanW wrote:I didn't see this mentioned previously, so...

"Are Chinese rail cars a Trojan horse? MBTA’s contract with CRRC worries GOP rep"
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/back-story/are-chinese-rail-cars-a-trojan-horse/

Excerpt:
Michael Jonas, CommonWealth Magazine wrote:State Rep. Shawn Dooley says the T is jeopardizing the safety and personal information of riders by contracting with a Chinese-owned firm to build 400 new Orange and Red Line cars. With claims that sound straight out of an overwrought spy thriller, the Norfolk Republican says the state has been duped into providing a foothold for Chinese cyberattacks on a crucial part of the Greater Boston transportation infrastructure. He plans to file a bill next month that would cut off any further contracts for rail cars with the company.
IMHO it sounds like mostly FUD, but as a technology professional I can say the chance of malware / spyware - or a security vulnerability - being in the CRRC cars is definitely not zero. It's likely going to be very, very, VERY low, but not an absolute zero percent chance. I think it is worth making sure all appropriate due diligence is done on the software / firmware of these new cars.
Does the MBTA have any secrets that would be valuable to foreign entities?
  by BandA
 
No, the MBTA doesn't. But imagine a Chinese version of the NSA listening to every conversation all day long in every car, looking for keywords. Just like Alexa or Google Home. Lots of MIT folks ride the Red Line.
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