Pittsburgh light rail

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby Myrtone » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:14 am

But my question is whether changing gauge would mean shutting down the entire network for conversion. If new rolling stock bought for the light rail were standard gauge, there would need to be dual gauge track wherever the new rolling stock shares tracks with the existing fleet. In fact, the section of tracks shared between two different routes would need to be dual gauge.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby electricron » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:28 am

Myrtone wrote:But my question is whether changing gauge would mean shutting down the entire network for conversion. If new rolling stock bought for the light rail were standard gauge, there would need to be dual gauge track wherever the new rolling stock shares tracks with the existing fleet. In fact, the section of tracks shared between two different routes would need to be dual gauge.

If-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-f-If-If-If-
Come on, who in the whole wide world orders a brand new vehicle that doesn't run on the tracks they have? I guarantee that Pittsburgh will not be the next one, they are not that stupid!
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:46 pm

Myrtone wrote:But my question is whether changing gauge would mean shutting down the entire network for conversion. If new rolling stock bought for the light rail were standard gauge, there would need to be dual gauge track wherever the new rolling stock shares tracks with the existing fleet. In fact, the section of tracks shared between two different routes would need to be dual gauge.


No. I think it can be done without shutting it all down at once; it can be done a section at a time or a branch at a time with some bus subsitution and single tracking. Once it's dual gauge you'll be able to run regular and wide gauge equipment on it.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:49 pm

What features would new standard-gauge equipment have to have to justify incurring that extent of disruption and expense?
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby CHTT1 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:25 pm

I'm with electricron on this one, why would anybody go through the trouble of regauging an entire system just to buy standard gauge cars? Pittsburgh seems to be getting along fine with its odd gauge. Any savings in buying off-the-shelf cars would be shallowed up by the expense of changing all the tracks. It's not like the Pittsburgh system connects with some other transit carrier and this would allow through-car running.
Nobody in their right mind would ever consider such a project.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby Myrtone » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:25 am

On the whole, I am not disputing "electricorn". I'll continued this discussion in that thread to which I linked.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:21 pm

I may be missing something here, but is there some insuperable obstacle to adopting standard-gauge vehicles and simply designing a broad-gauge truck to go under them? It wouldn't be the first time transit vehicles were regauged to operate on a different property. Regauging an entire property to suit a particular vehicle is simply off the wall.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby mmi16 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:40 am

Gauge differences are accommodated by the trucks (boogie) of the vehicle - not the vehicle itself. Pittsburgh can buy 'off the shelf' cars, they just need Pittsburgh gauge trucks.

Interchange between Russia and China have all cars getting new trucks at the border crossing point for the next leg of the journey. China is standard gauge and Russia (former USSR) by design IS NOT.

In the late 19th Century US railroads had many gauges in operation. As each individual carrier came to the idea that Standard Gauge would permit them to handle more interchange business with other carriers - those non-standard gauge carriers developed plans to convert their property to Standard Gauge. While it took a lot of planning and temporary manpower - the tracks themselves were made Standard Gauge in one or two days - on the entirety of the property making the change.

What additional business would Pittsburgh be able to gain to justify the investment required to become Standard Gauge?
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:35 pm

Pittsburgh is not the only North American city with broad gauge trolleys/light rail. Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Toronto also operate streetcar systems with a wider track gauge, plus there's the BART rapid transit system in the San Francisco area. It's just not that big a deal for any of these operators. And as noted above by Mr. mmi16, cars can be regauged when necessary, as evidenced by the ex-New Orleans cars currently operating at several standard-gauge trolley museums and the ex-SEPTA PCC's that make up much of the fleet on San Francisco's Market Street line.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:40 pm

And for the hypothetical interurban between Cleveland RTA and Pittsburgh PAT :P , Talgo even makes a trainset whose axles adjust from Spanish broad gauge to French standard gauge.

Gauge isn’t an issue, and unless there’s a credible source (in the news, trade publications, or government releases) demonstration that Pennsylvania trolley gauge is a major deterrent or stumbling block, let’s leave broad gauge out of it.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby Myrtone » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:11 am

I did bring it up in another thread about dual gauge track if anyone wants to discuss it further go there, it is in this section of the forums.
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Re: Pittsburgh light rail

Postby MACTRAXX » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:55 am

TN: One of the best examples of replacing car trucks to convert cars to another track gauge was
the five Philadelphia Market-Frankford M3 single cars that were once used on the Norristown High Speed Line. Back in 1990 to help address a car shortage these five cars-which run on wide-gauge
Market-Frankford Line track-were re-trucked using standard gauge trucks salvaged from scrapped
PATH Class K cars. They ran until the NHSL N5 cars replaced them later during the 1990s.

I agree that changing the entire system track gauge of any rail system to accommodate one type
of new replacement car is a bad idea and will be a waste of resources...MACTRAXX
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