French DMU's for Springfield Line?

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

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:19 pm

Actually under federal law a railroad or agency can not ban another carrier of its rail or ban freight on its railroad , so Caltrain would be in the wrong for doing so.
Free interchange of freight is guaranteed by federal law.
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Postby Nasadowsk » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:22 pm

They're state owned tracks. If California wants to tear them up, or regauge them, they can. Case closed. The FRA can not stop them, or do anything about it. UP can whine all they want, the FRA can whine all they want - it won't matter. It's an in state rail line owned by that state itself.

You don't really think the FRA is going to take on one of the most powerful states in the country, on the shaky ground that they, and not the state, dictates what the state can and can't do with it's own assets, do you?
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Postby Jishnu » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:32 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:They're state owned tracks. If California wants to tear them up, or regauge them, they can. Case closed. The FRA can not stop them, or do anything about it. UP can whine all they want, the FRA can whine all they want - it won't matter. It's an in state rail line owned by that state itself.

You don't really think the FRA is going to take on one of the most powerful states in the country, on the shaky ground that they, and not the state, dictates what the state can and can't do with it's own assets, do you?

Besides FRA is also slowly coming around to the philosophy of allowing mixing with PTC. Witness the recent changes that have been made in RiverLINE operations allowing some additional mixed operation.
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Postby Nasadowsk » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:41 pm

Not to mention that the FRA and Caltrain already stated that the line WOULD be allowed to run UIC equipment, in some form. Even Caltrain was stunned by how fast the FRA agreed to the idea - the newspaper article on it stated that they had expected a year+ long negotiation. My guess is Caltrain reminded the FRA who owned the tracks, and the FRA said that time separation was the way to go.
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Postby David Benton » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:43 pm

Maybe its best for the usa to look at standard Europeam dmu's first , rather than fancy low floor jobs etc .
i know New Zealand considered japenese secondhand dmus for service here , but decided they were to light for our service .

I wonder if theyve looked at the problem form another angle , restricting the wieght of frieght locomotives on these branchlines
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Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:44 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:They're state owned tracks. If California wants to tear them up, or regauge them, they can. Case closed. The FRA can not stop them, or do anything about it. UP can whine all they want, the FRA can whine all they want - it won't matter. It's an in state rail line owned by that state itself.

You don't really think the FRA is going to take on one of the most powerful states in the country, on the shaky ground that they, and not the state, dictates what the state can and can't do with it's own assets, do you?


Every change in status of rail in USA has to be approved by STB.
see: http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/Readin ... lyReleases
Not even the Governator can change that.
so Caltrans can not do a thing like ripping up or regauging without permission of STB.
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Postby Sir Ray » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:05 am

Nasadowsk wrote:They're state owned tracks. If California wants to tear them up, or regauge them, they can. Case closed. The FRA can not stop them, or do anything about it. UP can whine all they want, the FRA can whine all they want - it won't matter. It's an in state rail line owned by that state itself.
You don't really think the FRA is going to take on one of the most powerful states in the country, on the shaky ground that they, and not the state, dictates what the state can and can't do with it's own assets, do you?

Dude, you keep posting this nonsense, and the answer is - they have indeed taken on one of the most 'powerful' states numerous times (consider, for example, FRA regulations with regard to horn sounding and grade crossings - actually, in this case they have 'taken on' almost every state in the union). As clearly stated, California (CalTrans/Caltrain) would have to apply to the STB to discontinue freight, and cannot remove track or end service without their approval (perhaps in the 'good ole days' under the ICC this was more a wink & nod arrangement, but the STB seems to be quite serious in this regard). Worse comes to worse, if they wanted to be hard-a$$ the STB would force them to resume service, even to rebuilding track (although ginormous fines and lose of subsidies would be the more likely outcome). That's it, end of discussion, case close, no whining.
You really have to drop presenting this erroneous 'kick the freight off the tracks' mindset (which I remember you posted for other freight operations where LRT service was proposed too) as fact. It's incorrect, rather silly, and annoying - just because you keep wishing it to be true, doesn't make it reality.
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Postby Jishnu » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:28 am

Notwithstanding Nasadowsk's statements, I don't see any evidence at all that California has taken a confrontational approach with the FRA. They have had discussions on the matter for a while and the discussions appear to have proceeded in a direction that opens up the possibility of the use of temporal separation or PTC based separation or some such.

I am sure the discussion continues on what the implication of such will be in the section Santa Clara to San Jose Diridon since in that area there will be a need to address the issue of mixing FRA compliant passenger service (read Amtrak California and ACE) with potentially FRA non-compliant service on the Peninsula Line. It is entirely possible that separate set of tracks could be used there. There is considerable space available to pull that off in that area.

So let us not please get our knickers in a knot over this and let us wait and see how the discussions unfold.
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Postby Sir Ray » Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:25 am

Jishnu wrote: I don't see any evidence at all that California has taken a confrontational approach with the FRA.

While I have read posts discussing that from the start, I think that was more railfan press blather than actual reality (maybe there was some initial Caltrain braggado...). I believe that so far all concerned parties are so far bargaining in good faith.

the use of temporal separation

Bah, this is not impressive at all - its been around since the San Diego Trolley days (probably earlier). Severe constriction of operations of either freight or passenger is old, limited thinking.

PTC based separation or some such.
Aha! Now we are talking - this I feel is the future - prevent train/train collisions in the first place, instead of focusing solely on minimizing damage if such collisions occur (note use of 'solely' - clearly you should still provide for crush zones, collision posts, etc - just don't have to design a tank). Widespread use of this would permit greater use of 'Euro-style' (Asian too) equipment in many more corridors across the country, while not constricting freight service (well, ok, maybe some during the rush-hour period due to larger amount of commuter traffic). Anyway, flexiblity is the key.

Ugh, we in the US always seem to fartz along and backslide - I remember reading historical rail articles from the 1940s/1950s with excellent ideas about traffic control/scheduling/service whatever, then they went into a tailspin in the 1960s, only to slowly emerge in the 1980s - now we get to play catch-up. Same thing with alternative fuels for vehicles - I remember lots of ideas and research in the field during the late 1970s, then this seemed to have been all tossed in the 1980s in the US, only now over the last few years have we tried once again to play catch-up with the advanced European ideas (some of which the US had come up with originally, only to let languish). Now we are letting our computer and bio-engineering fields stagnate, while Europe and Asia kick butts - Argghh!
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Postby george matthews » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:50 pm

David Benton wrote:Maybe its best for the usa to look at standard Europeam dmu's first , rather than fancy low floor jobs etc .
i know New Zealand considered japenese secondhand dmus for service here , but decided they were to light for our service .

I wonder if theyve looked at the problem form another angle , restricting the wieght of frieght locomotives on these branchlines

The French train I photographed is designed for the rural lines. The Boulogne-Amiens route serves a string of small to medium sized towns. Noyelles seemed a very small place but there were quite a few people waiting for the train.
I think SNCF has ordered large numbers of these trains, and they are used in other countries too. They can't be used in Britain because British loading gauge is too narrow and low but similar trains are at least being thought of.
The train I took to Waterbury 7 years ago was a disgrace designed to show that only poor people travel by train. Possibly this and other branches could be revived by better trains.
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