New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby RRspatch » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:00 am

eolesen wrote:Not sure what the hang-up is on accessibility... The N-S gallery cars on Metra have a built-in lift on all of their cab cars (and possibly some trailers?) which is mounted below floor and inside the vestibule.

I can't imagine it would require a rocket science degree to take design and make it work on a single level coach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vsferNCDsI

Buying 60 of those lifts (outfitting half the fleet) would be a lot cheaper in the long run than trying to build permanent structures at 30 stations, or staff stations with a crank-up lift.


The problem here is that the METRA cars shown in the video have their doors in the middle of the train, not at the ends like a single level car. Is there enough room for a ADA sized lift between the car end and the truck? One possible solution would be to put the vestibule in the middle of the car. This coupled with a door that enclosed the steps with no traps would solve the low platform problem. I remember some NJT cars that were set up that way with a low set door with no trap. A lift like the one shown in the video would solve the ADA issue.

Also would it be possible the make the Viaggio meet FRA standards?
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby eolesen » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:19 am

Wabtec makes the lifts used by Metra via their RICON subsidiary.

They also make a self-contained version that's mounted -inside- the vestibule door, swings out via a double hinge, and then deploys outside the coach.

http://www.riconcorp.com/pages/products ... erlift.asp

Bottom line is that this is a problem the after-market industry already solved without requiring massive construction or modifications to car design.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby electricron » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:07 am

The Ricon lift you kindly provided a link to can lift up 28 inches, which is fine for a low floor train 18-24 inches above the top of the rail, but fails with a high floor train 48 inches above the top of the rail.
But that doesn't mean there aren't acceptable lifts out there ready to be used with high floor trains.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:12 am

LOCO.jpg
MBTA3247 wrote:
frequentflyer wrote:Probably just going to Y the equipment at the end points. Might be cheaper in the long run.

Cab cars are used on routes where turning the train is either highly impractical or outright impossible at one or both endpoints.


Seems like in the US we totally avoid an option which might just be a better solution in many respects. Why don't we use more two-headed bidirectional diesel locomotives? Simple run around tracks could be built or possibly even available in many cases.

Now you have ONE engine per train instead of overpowering a short train with two locomotives. You have the ability to add a revenue coach by removing a trailing engine or cabbage which increases income. You avoid the costs of building a wye if you even have the room to do so.

Why do we completely avoid this concept?
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby electricron » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:23 am

Because it takes time to uncouple and recouple the locomotive to the trains, and manpower to un-connect and reconnect the brake hoses and electrical cables. It's much simpler and quicker to just have cabs on both ends of the train vs both ends of the locomotive.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:56 am

Regarding dwell times, someone made a valid point on another forum. Basically going from bilevel to single level, you have people lining up to navigate 3 or 4 steps boarding the train vs three quarters or more of the people lining up to navigate more like a dozen steps to get to the second level. Also, in terms of accessibility, wheelchairs won't be relegated to the lower level of a coach as in the bilevel config.

Capacity for a given train length on the other hand...
Last edited by Matt Johnson on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:55 am

At least the good news here is that Amtrak is about to get 137 new single level cars in pretty short order.

As always there are obvious positive implications for the Northeast Corridor from fleet displacement. The timing could not be better in the setting of surging ridership, sold out trains and record revenues.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby NeedhamLine » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:34 pm

RRspatch wrote:
The problem here is that the METRA cars shown in the video have their doors in the middle of the train, not at the ends like a single level car. Is there enough room for a ADA sized lift between the car end and the truck?



The Austrian version of the Viaggio already has a wheelchair lift at the end vestibules: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsWQvBJx_rs

I believe European low platforms are somewhat higher, so any US version would need more vertical travel. But it can be done. The big question - which I'm not qualified to opine on - is whether a lift meets PRIIA and ADA standards. For some reason I thought that roll-on level boarding was the new standard.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby eolesen » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:25 pm

electricron wrote:The Ricon lift you kindly provided a link to can lift up 28 inches, which is fine for a low floor train 18-24 inches above the top of the rail, but fails with a high floor train 48 inches above the top of the rail.
But that doesn't mean there aren't acceptable lifts out there ready to be used with high floor trains.


In the fine print, they list an option for up to 60 inches of travel, and something tells me that Wabtec would gladly release something tailored for Amtrak that accommodates 40-48" of travel.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:36 pm

Read all about 'em in this English language brochure:

http://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobilit ... ort-en.pdf
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:00 pm

Pres. F. D. Roosevelt used wheelchair elevators that replaced the observation platform steps on the end of the Ferdinand Magellan.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby frequentflyer » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:33 pm

https://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobili ... ort-en.pdf

Isn't the the pic on the front page of the brochure a cab car?
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:01 pm

Maybe, but I haven't heard the term "cab car" anywhere so far.

That is a hell of a lot more attractive than the Talgo version at least :)

Hey, is that Chicago in the background? Maybe they knew something all along!
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:53 am

Mr. Trainguy. the Wiki RailJet article, from having "been there done that", I find to be quite factual.

Now what seems to be lacking from this discussion is confirmation that the Subcontract has actually been let to Siemens USA. Hopefully someone can confirm that point.

Now if the fleet of Viaggios need be augmented by twenty more (and the Chargers by ten), I can let you in a secret where they can be found ready to go (hint: 26.72N, 80.05W).
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby csor2010 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:15 pm

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