Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:37 am

SouthernRailway wrote:As long as the new cars have big windows (not Amfleet I ones), I’m happy.

I rode in a “refreshed” Amfleet I recently. The new carpet and cushions help. The cars still seemed old, though.

Consider this-- the first Amfleets were delivered in 1975. They're 43 years old. A car of equivalent age at Amtrak's startup in 1971 would have been delivered in 1928.

These things are older today than the remaining heavyweight Pullmans were in the late 1960's.

As they say in my business, you can put lipstick on a pig- but it's still a pig.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:11 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:Consider this-- the first Amfleets were delivered in 1975. They're 43 years old. A car of equivalent age at Amtrak's startup in 1971 would have been delivered in 1928.


Wow, when you think about it that way, kind of puts things into perspective! But then technology has sort of leveled off a bit in certain areas, despite the growth in the digital world (though even there fantasies about Moore's law holding are hitting the hard limits of reality).
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:14 pm

I disagree with that. The technology hadn't leveled off at all. There has been plenty of innovation in rail car design. Even though it was in Europe and Japan there were plenty of opportunities for it to be adapted to the US. The demand simply wasn't there.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:29 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:As long as the new cars have big windows (not Amfleet I ones), I’m happy.

I think that's one worry that's been set aside by more recent regulations requiring windows big enough to enable someone to be carried out on a stretcher. Hardly a comforting thought, but at least the windows are bigger now.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:31 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:Consider this-- the first Amfleets were delivered in 1975. They're 43 years old. A car of equivalent age at Amtrak's startup in 1971 would have been delivered in 1928.


Wow, when you think about it that way, kind of puts things into perspective! But then technology has sort of leveled off a bit in certain areas, despite the growth in the digital world (though even there fantasies about Moore's law holding are hitting the hard limits of reality).

I'm not even thinking about design so much as simple wear-and-tear. Even stainless steel doesn't last forever. These cars have run off millions of miles at this point. And in a relatively harsh climate, too. There are few places with as great a variation in weather as the Northeastern US.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby east point » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:37 pm

NDT 9 magna flux, ultra sound, x rays etc can determine when fatigue becomes a problem
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby BandA » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:44 pm

Hopefully cars & trucks & couplers are being monitored for metal fatigue and will get caught well before failure.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby WesternNation » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:45 pm

NGEC August minutes have been released. The Amtrak car procurement is proceeding, with 8 carbuilders coming to Amtrak for interviews. The state coalitions are listening in on the interviews, providing questions and whatnot to Amtrak to help them navigate the process. They're looking at issuing an RFP after October.

Although slightly off topic, the P42DC replacement RFP should be released in October as well, with 4 or 5 different builders chiming in.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:01 pm

8 carbuilders?? Lemme see: BBD, CRRC, Stadler, Siemens are certain... Alstom?, Rotem?, Talgo?, Nippon Sharyo?, CAF?
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:00 pm

I would guess the eight (with reasons) are as follows:

1. Siemens (major builder/current Amtrak vendor)
2. CAF (recent builder and low on work @ Elmira)
3. Bombardier (major builder)
4. Alstom (major builder/current Amtrak vendor) [still separate from Siemens?]
5. CRRC (new builder)
6. Hyundai-Rotem (major builder)
7. Kawasaki Rail Car (major builder)
8. Stadler

If we assume that Siemens and Alstom are not bidding sepatately then I think that would mean Talgo is "in" as well. If not then perhaps substitute Talgo for CRRC. It's unclear to me if articulated cars would be acceptable. CRRC doesn't have an FRA design but they seem *very* ambitious. I think Nipoon Sharyo's exit from the North American market is permanent at this point.

Overall a very healthy size group. Quite remarkable actually.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mdvle » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:19 pm

In addition to the obvious product that Siemens have, through the VIA fleet renewal there may be designs well along from Bombardier, Stadler and Talgo who make up the 4 competing for the VIA contract (dependent on what they are submitting to VIA, though rumours are VIA has indicated a preference for coach / loco consists).

The Siemens / Alstom merger is under in-depth review by the Europeans as they have concerns about a lack of competition if the merger occurs - partially based on a feeling that the Chinese threat isn't as big as some make it out to be, but also based on the size of a merged SIemens Alstom dwarfing everybody else not just in equipment but in signalling and other rail stuff.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:42 pm

CRRC has an FRA-compliant design for a multilevel and has built thousands of world-spec single-level cars. Whether the US Government allows them to bid or not, I’m sure they have something and have communicated with One Mass.

I suppose Hitachi Rail Italy (fka Ansaldo Breda) could bid too.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:07 pm

I thought about them as well but I couldn't find an example of commuter or passenger rail that they have built in the U.S. it was all subway cars ...
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby electricron » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:01 pm

gokeefe wrote:I thought about them as well but I couldn't find an example of commuter or passenger rail that they have built in the U.S. it was all subway cars ...

When you get down to it, besides size, there aren’t that many differences between a subway and intercity rail car.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 pm

electricron wrote:When you get down to it, besides size, there aren’t that many differences between a subway and intercity rail car.

I wouldn’t hang my hat on that statement, Ron.
-different physical sizes, even the largest WMATA and BART cars are significantly smaller than a mainline car
-different crush strength and crash standards
-different door placement
-different trucks, often with different gauges and definitely with different spring and pad arrangements
-different signal & control equipment
-different electrical needs and supply
-different interiors, from footrest to luggage rack
-different HVAC needs
-different lighting needs
-different sanitation needs
-different net weights
-different passenger loads and gross weights
-different materials
-different duty cycles and rated lifespan
-different speed ratings, including moments of inertia and allowable superelevation
-different wheel design and profile
-different braking systems
-different coupling systems
-different vestibule arrangement

That’s a very abbreviated list, but suffice to say you won’t see Amtrak running R146s to Spokane anytime soon.
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