Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Order

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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby ApproachMedium » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:04 am

I didnt see that anywhere. The Siemens model is designed to be modular, low or high boarding or high/low combo boarding. The obvious blank doors (which i cant see lasting) seem to be high level only. If its anything like the automation they have equipt into trains in europe, the switch from high and low might actually be automated and controlled from one location.

If you havent seen how NJ Transit trains work with "Long doors" which allow for high or low level boarding with minimal intervention by the crew then i suggest getting on one on the raritan line and going for a ride. The low level stops can be opened from one keystation and closed as well. The big difference here, and I dont know why Amtrak hasnt done it yet, is a train can be switched from low to high level between stops in a matter of minutes, while the train is in motion with all doors closed since the door itself extends to the bottom of the steps and the trap floor is internal to the car. Where typical amtrak trains the doors cannot be opened at a low level unless the door is physically opened first and a trap lifted to access the steps. This is a slow operation, requires more crew members and requires boarding only where there is a crewmember present to open and close the traps.

The differences we experience with the Long door setup here in NJ with NJT trains low vs high levels is minimal. As long as you have a platform the length of the train it doesnt take that much longer at all to load and unload a train.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby EricL » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:24 pm

cool, thanks. Sounds like basically the same thing Metra already has, except Metra's doors aren't "long" because they're already downstairs.
That situation of remotely deploying low level entrances is exactly what we need here. I was told (second-hand, admittedly; by a friend who just happens to regularly engage conversation with a frequent-riding Person-In-The-Know) that this wasn't going to be the plan with the new equipment. I hope that turns out to be incorrect.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby ApproachMedium » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:50 pm

Yea the metra doors are pretty much like the old Erie Lackawanna Comet 1 doors. They were just low door only. No traps. NJT later modified them for high door with trap, like the amtrak horizon cars which still required manual opening for low stops but they didnt care because during the duration of those cars lifetime, they had the Open Door Policy during rush hour. Traps went up in ALL cars, doors kept open from Hoboken to a certain stop i think ridgewood Jct so that people just got on and off the train anytime it stopped where they needed to.

I cant seem to find anything in the powerpoint that details the low/high level boarding other than saying the car body is modular/adaptive to both styles of boarding. Seeing as how Siemens already has the tech employed in europe, and on the AAF trains they are utilizing a gapless high level boarding system thats fully automatic, id imagine they have it figured out.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:36 pm

I mean... if they're seriously not ordering automatic doors, why not just scrap the whole thing and reupholster the darn Horizon cars? EricL is right, the Milwaukee trains with manual doors are idiotic, it's like someone who never rides trains decided to do that one. "Here's a 5-car train full of people, let's make them all board through 2-3 doors".

Can't make this s*** up. Unreal.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:29 pm

It happens on the NEC too. " Why are you late out of Newark DE?" Well we had 150 people thru two vestibules. The Horizon cars though can very easily be converted to high low long doors. NJ Transit did the same bodies, the Comet II cars over 10 years ago. They worked out well and they have zero cold weather problems since the doors completely cover all of the problematic components.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby Tadman » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:10 pm

It's utterly asinine that this is a problem. This is why I support guys like Brightline and Iowa Pacific, because they have to fight to keep things going and stay on point. Not so when you are Amtrak and basically guaranteed $1.8b every year, no sweat. There is no incentive to try anything new, innovate, or speed things up.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby gokeefe » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:27 pm

Tadman wrote:There is no incentive to try anything new, innovate, or speed things up.


Cuts both ways. No downside but also no upside. Management at Amtrak has recognized that the only way out is to grow the service, especially on the NEC. I think they deserve a lot of credit for taking on a complex problem set that is far more challenging than Brightline's ventures.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby daybeers » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:01 pm

I apologize if I'm staring it in the face, but where was it stated that the doors weren't going to be automatic?
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby Tadman » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:27 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Tadman wrote:There is no incentive to try anything new, innovate, or speed things up.


Cuts both ways. No downside but also no upside. Management at Amtrak has recognized that the only way out is to grow the service, especially on the NEC. I think they deserve a lot of credit for taking on a complex problem set that is far more challenging than Brightline's ventures.


I agree that a quasi-governmental national system is far more complex than a 50-mile startup with ample funding. But it really frustrates me that they blatantly ignore common-sense issues. It's like no managers ever ride the trains they manage. If they did, the boarding processes would be much smoother and there would be more than two doors open for hundreds of people.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby gokeefe » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:59 pm

I can absolutely vouch for the fact that Amtrak management absolutely does ride the service and is intimately familiar on a daily basis with the operation.

Most of the time the types of issues that you're talking about occur in relation to operational practices related to equipment reliability. I'm sure there are times when it is simply a question of crew convenience but in my experience (admittedly among the best on the Downeaster) the crews are trying to control the situation for the improved comfort of all passengers.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby Tadman » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:51 pm

I don't doubt they do ride the trains. It just feels like they don't, or maybe people are on their toes when they hear Delta Dick is nearby. It reminds me of the story about Roger Smith, former GM boss in the 1980's. Every day he would ride to work in a big Caddy. Every day they would go through it while he was in the office to make sure nothing was wrong. Of course he had no idea how bad GM cars were back then, he didn't drive a random Chevy Cavalier or Pontiac.

I stand by my assertion that opening two door pairs on a Hiawatha full of crush load passengers - a daily thing at rush hour - is something dreamed up by a person that has never had to stand two horizons back with a few heavy bags, behind 100 people.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby gokeefe » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:55 pm

I think it was dreamed up by a person who never imagined Amtrak running with crush loads.

Let alone regional commuting on corridor service.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby Tadman » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:26 pm

I would agree. It's the same as the LD trains where so little power goes so far to someone's head. I have seen conductors tell people to go to the end of the line and completely ignore priority boarding because they have their own map of how the train should be assigned. Fun fact: if it's a fixed consist, which is defacto is, Washington should write the policy on seating assigments. In every other country, they observe this crazy boarding procedure I like to call "walk into the station 10 minutes before the train is called and go get on your train". No waiting rooms, no lines, no conductors making an entire train line up (again defeating the idea of more than one door).

All this tells me that the brass may ride the trains, but they don't want us to know.
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:49 pm

Tadman wrote: In every other country, they observe this crazy boarding procedure I like to call "walk into the station 10 minutes before the train is called and go get on your train"


I still don't understand what the hell is with Amtrak's policy of restricting platform access until the train's in the station, then making everyone go through the stupid cattle chute boarding.

It makes no sense.

And before we get into the whole "Well, we need to make sure they board the right train!!!" thing, open platform access works just fine in other countries where there are multiple languages, multiple operators, and if you get on the wrong train, you can potentially end up in the wrong country.

Maybe if Amtrak started treating their customers like adults, they'd find that yes, even Americans too can figure out where to stand to board the right train...
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Re: Siemens Single Level Cars for CA/IL fka Nippon Sharyo Or

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:05 am

Amtrak started treating customers "like adults" in NYP and other NEC stations by no longer checking tickets at the gate. Now the tickets are only checked and collected on board. Do you know how many regional 93/83 passengers I get trying to board my 2pm acela, because both trains go to Washington? And They have to ask us this after they get to the bottom of the escalator what train it is, then get mad because they have to go back upstairs with all of their luggage, and but why cant I get on this train? Well its a lot more money! We also get people for a train to Boston. They end up going to the wrong track. Americans are "dumb" I really dont know what goes on here in america. We put the track numbers on the board, got better boards, changed all the signs and they are still lost. When I was in germany you could always find the american at the U bahn or S bahn stations because they would stand there and blankly stare at a door with a PUSH TO OPEN button and then let the train leave them behind because they expect doors to open and close automatically by the conductor. If we had a something like that here, it would never work.

I am all for the assigned seats on the high speed sets and anything thats a totally fixed consist. It would make boarding the train a lot easier, the problem is they need to fix the platforms. They need to have a uniformed location system for the platforms so people know where to stand and the trains need to all stop at the same place. In a place like penn station NY every platform is different the locations vary in fact im not even sure they are labeled anymore and often now with the station construction work we have to pull all the way to the far ends of a platform because the one end is covered up and not usable.
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