French DMU's for Springfield Line?

Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.

French DMU's for Springfield Line?

Postby george matthews » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:17 am

I wish some of the branch lines in the US could make use of some trains like the one I saw in France a couple of weeks ago. For example, an hourly service on such lines as the New Haven Sprinfield (Mass.).
http://www.members.aol.com/wimtalk/photos/noyelles.html
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Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:31 am

Not FRA compliant so keep on dreaming George.
Even if FRA allowed then the Engineers union would never accept these, cause we are in land of bullet proof glass and ghetto grates.
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Postby metrarider » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:34 am

Indeed modern DMU stock could provide a very cost effective and comfortable solution to many shorter trips in the current Amtrak system and make expansion possible

however, many statestide associated DMU's with unreliability, poor ride quality and lack of comfort. However, that's probably because many examples of DMU's stateside have been lacking in many respects

I would love to see european DMU stock trialled on some lines stateside, but alas with the FRA regs as they are this is not likely to come to pass

perhaps someone will step up and provide a real modern DMU solution as opposed to the colorado rail car (which while a step in the right direction still falls short of the mark) which is currently AFAIK the only US FRA compliant DMU available on the market today.
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Postby ne plus ultra » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:42 am

It'd be more useful if someone could mention why such cars aren't FRA compliant. What standards don't they meet? How is Colorado railcars DMU more modern, and how is it short of the mark?
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Postby hsr_fan » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:48 am

Yeah, the United States could never see trains like this!
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Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:59 am

Calling a trolley(tram) a train is overkill.

As for FRA compliance first of all a train car frame in USA must meet the 800 000 crush load to be compatible to operations on FRA controlled trackage.
The Cab would need to centerpost and two cornerpost to safeguard the front end during collisions, the cab would need to have FRA glazing wich is not easy and very expesive to produce in big sizes.
with these 3 items alone the car would exceed its weight by 40% and now needs bigger diesels.
Most trains in Europe do not have AC or units to small to be used in our climate, requiring even bigger diesels and more weight.
etc etc etc.

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wais ... v4_05.html read 238 section
Last edited by DutchRailnut on Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hsr_fan » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:02 am

That French train looks a lot like the DMU's that are being placed in service in Austin, TX.
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Postby Jishnu » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:27 pm

hsr_fan wrote:That French train looks a lot like the DMU's that are being placed in service in Austin, TX.

Austin is going to be using Stadler GTW 2/6s which are similar to the NJTransit RiverLINE units. The actual exterior and interior furnishing may be slightly different but the drive system will be about the same. There will be temporal separation between daytime Commuter Rail operation and night-time freight operation on the shared trackage, just like on the RiverLINE.

Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but reading Al Fazio's book on the RiverLINE I got the impression that the glazing in those cars is FRA compliant. The only non-compliance is in buff strength. And the air-conditioning also works just fine for New Jersey conditions and allegedly will do the same in Austin TX conditions. But we will know for sure in a year or two.

But I guess all this belongs in some Ligh Rail forum or the other now :wink:
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FRA crashworthiness and DMUs

Postby NellieBly » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:28 pm

Mr. Harris:

I saw an EMU local train in Sweden the year before last that looked almost identical to the French DMU. It must be one of Siemens' or Adtranz' standard body designs.

As for DMUs in the US, despite all the complaining about FRA standards, there are non-compliant DMUs in service on the River Line in New Jersey and (soon) on the former ATSF Escondido Branch, and they will also run on the City of Austin's railroad in the near future. So it CAN be done. You just can't mix noncompliant DMUs and freight trains, which is no problem if freight traffic is light or nonexistant.
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Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:33 pm

The harder part is for branch lines to connect with mainline, cause it will require the branchline train to enter the main at one point so again the equipment needs to be FRA compliant.
As For the Riverline cars they do not have the standard propulsion packages as on series produced cars in Europe.
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Strength of current Amtrak fleet

Postby eazy521 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:03 pm

Hello,

For the current Amtrak fleet, what are the various pressure limits?

Does the current 800K pound limit result from an accident or was it implemented in response to heavier freight cars?

Thanks,
Eric
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Postby jz441 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:23 pm

Caltrain/Amtrak is currently challenging FRA regulations on DMU's and EMU's.
They are hoping to run them on Caltrain in the near future.
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:55 pm

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Re: Strength of current Amtrak fleet

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:07 pm

eazy521 wrote:Hello,

For the current Amtrak fleet, what are the various pressure limits?

Does the current 800K pound limit result from an accident or was it implemented in response to heavier freight cars?

Thanks,
Eric


For a car not to deform while being handled in must be of certain frame strenght, the current standard is 800 000 Lbs.

As for Caltrain challenging FRA rules they have a slim chance in hell, you won't change federal law , unless they seperate the entire operation and run it as light rail.
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Postby Nasadowsk » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:45 pm

<i> As for Caltrain challenging FRA rules they have a slim chance in hell, you won't change federal law , unless they seperate the entire operation and run it as light rail.</i>

Actually, the FRA already agreed to change things for Caltrain.. Given UP runs about 3 trains a day, they'll get time separation, easy. Or, PTC and mixed operation.

Of course, Caltrain can just sever their connection with the rest of the world, kick UP off the line, and that's that (no need to regauge, though they could, just to drive home the message, if they wanted). They own the tracks. No UP on the line, no connection to the rest of the world...No FRA to worry about. And there's not much the feds can do to stop that - they're not going to take on the state, since they really can't anyway.
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