The next-generation RDC for Boston?

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

The next-generation RDC for Boston?

Postby typesix » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:28 pm

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/10/25/next_stop_low_cost_diesel_rail/
By Noah Bierman
Globe Staff / October 25, 2009

Commuter rail service is not great for quick trips in the city because it takes too long to catch a train. The more convenient alternatives, new trolleys and subway lines, take years to build and can cost billions of dollars, a problem for neighborhoods like Dorchester and Allston that have been clamoring for better public transportation. But what if there were some middle ground that could deliver some of the advantages of rapid transit on existing commuter rail tracks?



An article about revivng use of diesel rail cars(DMUs) for the T.

[YOU MUST PROVIDE A BRIEF QUOTE OF ARTICLE YOU ARE LINKING TO - omv]
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Re: RDCs

Postby diburning » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:12 pm

An article by a guy who knows nothing about trains or the costs and had nothing better to write about so he wrote an article based on a "what if?"/whim.

I don't see it ever happening in the future. For a couple reasons... They are antiquated. If the MBTA wanted used crap, the RDCs would not be their first choice. Another reason is that they are pretty much beyond repair. Also, unless the original drivetrain was saved, they'd need to buy a new one (which would be very costly). (the RDCs in storage sit on shop trucks)
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Re: RDCs

Postby mxdata » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:06 pm

Most of the folks I know who like the DMU concept have never had to maintain them. :(

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Re: RDCs

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:25 pm

diburning wrote:I don't see it ever happening in the future. For a couple reasons... They are antiquated. If the MBTA wanted used crap, the RDCs would not be their first choice. Another reason is that they are pretty much beyond repair. Also, unless the original drivetrain was saved, they'd need to buy a new one (which would be very costly). (the RDCs in storage sit on shop trucks)

The article never said anything about using actual RDCs.
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Re: RDCs

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:53 pm

Colorado Railcar is not coming back, so the only choice is imported models.
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Re: RDCs

Postby Stmtrolleyguy » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:14 pm

Someone bought the rights to manufacture Colorado Railcars DMU designs, so its technically possible.

Weather or not it makes financial sense or mechanical/maintenance reductions, I don't know. Lots of people seem to be against the idea, but the DUM seems to have had some success overseas.

This def. isn't the first time this discussion has been started.
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Re: RDCs

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:27 pm

betwen rights and actual manufacturing of cars could be decades.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: RDCs

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:37 am

The cheapest choice would be "off-the-shelf" with parts bins engineering.
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Re: RDCs

Postby RedLantern » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:39 pm

I love articles like this, where someone gets the idea that it would be cheaper to simply replace the entire fleet of cars that work just fine with new cars that are significantly more complicated and expensive than what is currently in use. Add to that the idea that simply replacing the trains with these new cars would improve frequency and travel speed just goes to show how little this reporter actually knows about railroading.

A Budd RDC has two diesel engines per car, a 6 car train would have 12 diesel engines all running, all needing fuel, all needing maintenece, etc. What do you think the environmentalists would like more, one big engine, or 12 smaller ones? Granted the newer DMUs would likely be more efficient than a 50's era Budd RDC, but how much?

Just wait until this reporter learns about the M-497 experiment.
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Re: RDCs

Postby caduceus » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:20 pm

The CRC DMU design involved powered and unpowered cars, with each powered car capable of moving two unpowered cars. So you wouldn't need 12 engines to move a 6 car train, but only 4, and they were lower power compared to the ones currently in use.

It does still seem as if something at the federal level needs to be done to make DMUs a viable option.
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Re: RDCs

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:01 pm

Even so, the last attempt at a DMU, the Budd SPV was a flop.
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Re: RDCs

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:14 am

in my opinion the last DMU is the CRC unit, and it has been far from succesful.
Not dependable wenough to run in average rush hour trains.
See the Tri-rail forum on break downs
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Re: RDCs

Postby Leo Sullivan » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:27 am

I just got back from visiting a few European countries. All of them use new DMUs to some extent.
It must be remembered that they use them on nonelectrified lines where capacity requirements
were too low to require electrification. For this reason, the DMU trains are short and therefore,
the power requirements and emissions are proportional to the loads and so, lower than
locomotive hauled trains doing the same work. They are also state of the art (50+ years
after the RDC). Not that RDCs couldn't be retrofitted. MBTA lines are all lines that in
Europe, would be electrified so, have higher loadings and longer trains than the European
DMU lines so, it is comparing unlikes and, locomotive haulage is probably the best answer here.
However, if separate rules for DMU (and EMUs) made them more financially viable, there
might be the possibility of using lines that currently don't meet the traffic requirements
for locomotive hauled train service.
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Re: RDCs

Postby madcrow » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:21 pm

Leo Sullivan wrote:I just got back from visiting a few European countries. All of them use new DMUs to some extent.
It must be remembered that they use them on nonelectrified lines where capacity requirements
were too low to require electrification. For this reason, the DMU trains are short and therefore,
the power requirements and emissions are proportional to the loads and so, lower than
locomotive hauled trains doing the same work. They are also state of the art (50+ years
after the RDC). Not that RDCs couldn't be retrofitted. MBTA lines are all lines that in
Europe, would be electrified so, have higher loadings and longer trains than the European
DMU lines so, it is comparing unlikes and, locomotive haulage is probably the best answer here.
However, if separate rules for DMU (and EMUs) made them more financially viable, there
might be the possibility of using lines that currently don't meet the traffic requirements
for locomotive hauled train service.
LS

At peak times, most MBTA lines do have much nigher needs than European-style DMUs could service. However, at non-peak times, trains usually run with vastly more capacity than they need. A 1 or 2 car DMU train just might be the tickect for running mid-day trains that have ridership under 100 or so people, rather than running massive 6 to 8 car trains with most of the cars simply blocked off. Having a cheaper-to-run option for off-peak times might even make it more possible to improve off-peak service levels and thus boost off-peak ridership.
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Re: RDCs

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:26 pm

caduceus wrote:It does still seem as if something at the federal level needs to be done to make DMUs a viable option.


You mean, like a common design that takes the best elements of other cars, which runs reliably with off-the-shelf parts, and which can be produced and adapted by multiple manufacturers and sold cheaply?

Maybe they should convene a Presidents' Committee and get on that. :wink:
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