Colorado Railcar DMU Status

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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby David Benton » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:49 pm

the key to safety is preventing accidents . that is what ptc and other technologies can do .
you can build the cars out of 2 inch armour plate , going from 100 mph to 0 mph in 0.01 seconds is still going to kill those inside . as the old saying going , its not the fall that hurts , its the sudden stop at the end .
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby AgentSkelly » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:22 pm

Well, I don't think the CRC DMU was a total wash; TriMet DID manage to get units up and running to start service. If the equipment ends up (after all) being reliable, other agencies will point to TriMet and say "HEY, Those things DO work!" and then CRC will have to be resurrected somehow to make them.

You know, Bombardier as much as some people don't care for them on this forum, they are the ones in North America out there in almost every market worldwide making rolling stock that is reliable. I could see Bombardier picking up the remains of CRC to make an improved version of the DMU if like what I said above becomes true.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:51 pm

David Benton wrote:the key to safety is preventing accidents . that is what ptc and other technologies can do .
you can build the cars out of 2 inch armour plate , going from 100 mph to 0 mph in 0.01 seconds is still going to kill those inside . as the old saying going , its not the fall that hurts , its the sudden stop at the end .



PTC however can not prevent trains from hitting trains derailed on other tracks, and since those trains way twice those Euro choo choo's , it proves PTC needs additional safeguards , like frame strenght.
Since our trains also hit trucks weighing twice those Euro toy trucks the need for heavier frames is needed.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby wigwagfan » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:31 am

Well, WES has been officially open to the public for one week now (I rode it during a "preview" day last Friday) and so far things are running O.K.

However, TriMet is launching an investigation to be headed by a former Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court to figure out how the financial aspect of this $117.5 million project (which turned out to be $166 million when all was said and done) was screwed up.

Lots of political babble about getting two more cars so every train can be a two-car train (although some transit advocate reports show train ridership is not "packed to the gills" but is busy), and extending the line to Salem. But the only people speculating about a return of Colorado Railcar happen to be...a pair of ex-CRC employees.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby AgentSkelly » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:47 am

wigwagfan wrote:Well, WES has been officially open to the public for one week now (I rode it during a "preview" day last Friday) and so far things are running O.K.

However, TriMet is launching an investigation to be headed by a former Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court to figure out how the financial aspect of this $117.5 million project (which turned out to be $166 million when all was said and done) was screwed up.

Lots of political babble about getting two more cars so every train can be a two-car train (although some transit advocate reports show train ridership is not "packed to the gills" but is busy), and extending the line to Salem. But the only people speculating about a return of Colorado Railcar happen to be...a pair of ex-CRC employees.


I just rode it today, and will post my report in a little bit over in the PNW Forum.

Talking to the conductors though, the seats have been filled on about 90% of all trips. First daily runs of all trains have been standing room only, while trains towards the middle of each rush hour run with some seats empty.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby dreese_us » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:55 am

In the original proposal for Triangle Transit, Sojitz/Rotem would build the railcar shell in South Korea, assemble in Philadelphia using Colorado Railcar propulsion system. Would it be possible for Rotem to have ended up with the rights to use the CRC design even though Triangle Transits plans have been put on hold?
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:05 pm

CRC may have given Rotem a licence for certain cars, it does not mean Rotem can just built any car they want, they do not own the design.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby wigwagfan » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:33 am

dreese_us wrote:using Colorado Railcar propulsion system


The only thing I can think of that's proprietary is the "lay-down" configuration of the Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine.

Everything else below the floor is literally "off the rack" and I don't see any reason why no other manufacturer couldn't duplicate everything Colorado Railcar did. If you look at highway tractors or buses, underneath the shell they are pretty much the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. The engines are interchangeable. The transmissions are interchangeable. The axles are interchangeable. Just like the DMU - the trucks, axles, wheelsets, air brake system, engine, transmission, driveshaft - all off the shelf parts. The cab control/electrical system might be proprietary but it wouldn't be too difficult for an experienced DMU or locomotive builder to design their own system. The passenger compartment components are all transit standard parts.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby dreese_us » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:22 am

I figured Rotem would adapt the CRC propulsion system to a railcar similar to the new Silverliner V being built for Septa. After checking the Hyundai/Rotem website, Rotem has experience with DMU's. According to the Triangle Transit article, Rotem would buy the propulsion system from CRC to fulfill a 60% buy America requirement. Here is a link to a couple of DMU sets from Rotem.

http://www.rotem.co.kr/Eng/Business/Rai ... _pop15.asp

http://www.rotem.co.kr/Eng/Business/Rai ... _pop13.asp
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby goodnightjohnwayne » Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:59 pm

The real problem with all of these modern DMUs is that they don't improve on the concept of the 60 year old Budd RDC, which by all accounts was very expensive in it's time, but was remarkably light and durable and structure, and fairly easy to keep operational.

The CRC DMU concept was inherently flawed, in that it relied on unpowered trailing coaches to improve its operating economics. Moreover, the corten-built cars were simply too heavy, which in turn dictated overpowered engines, which in turn provided additional motivation to add unpowered coaches to improve the operating economics with double decker seating and trailing cars. It was a vicious cycle.

To be fair, CRC was a very small company, and building lightweight stainless steel cars would have required a very substantial investment, and moreover, there was nothing wrong with using corten steel for tourist trains, especially since modern paint technology has solved many issue with corrosion.

It's worth noting that Budd was smart enough to dictate that the use of unpowered, non-RDC trailing cars would invalidate the warranty of any RDC - and they even went so far as to produce half-powered RDC-9 trailing cars.

Now that CRC is defunct, at least in its current format, we can only hope that there is an opening for a truly suitable DMU, designed specifically for North American conditions and not some sort of fragile European export, or an underfunded effort.

The best starting point would be the body shell of cars currently being ordered by Amtrak, with a conservative engineering approach that takes into account 60 years of successful, reliable RDC operations. Looking at North American passenger rail, it is clear that a DMU is sorely needed, but we need a rational approach somewhere in between the overly lightweight, quirky Flexiliner demonstrator of the 1990s and the overweight, overpowered, underfunded CRC DMUs.
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American Railcar Company

Postby D.Carleton » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:23 pm

Well that didn't take long...

http://www.amrailco.com/
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:41 pm

"Roaring back! Bringing the old Colorado Railcar DMU back to life!" says the new web site!
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby westr » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:46 pm

Interesting.

I checked out their brochure on the website, which gives their address as 919 Old Henderson Road, Columbus, Ohio. Curious, I Googled the address and found it is also the address of The Depot Rail Musuem & Event Facilities. A visit to their About Us page reveals it is owned by Barry Fromm and also serves as the headquarters of his Value Recovery Group. Checking out VRG's Current Engagement Page revealed they are behind American Railcar. VRG's site also has a link to "US Railcar" apparently an earlier name for the new DMU company. That site has more information, but its link to the brochure doesn't work. The US Railcar site names Michael P. Pracht as President & CEO. It appears the DMU is now out of Rader's hands.
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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby pablo » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:16 pm

Well, the definition of insanity is...

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Re: Colorado Railcar DMU Status

Postby John_Perkowski » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:05 pm

Parallel topic: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=57874&start=30#wrap

Mr Fromm looks to be a fire sale arbitrager to me. it also looks like US Railcar is the official name for them.
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