Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby electricron » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:44 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
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.


Yes, all true. Specifics are different, but the way a subway car is built is basically the same way an intercity car is built. Golly, most of these additional parts are made by third party vendors? Does Siemens manufacture the safety glass used on their railcars, or does a third party vendor do it?
They start with trucks or bogies, and body shells, build the deck or chassis, install both to it, add windows, chairs, controls, HVAC, lights, power, restrooms, holding tanks, water tanks, flooring, doors, traps, etc. Many of the individual regulations are the same, like safety glass, seating, ADA, lighting, and fire resistance, just to name a few.

Siemens, Stadler, Alstom, Bombardier, and most likely all the others, make subways and intercity cars, possibly even at the same factory.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby BandA » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:36 pm

Has Stadler previously bid on anything FRA compliant?

If Amtrak gets 8 competitive bids it will be great. This is going to be a yuge, many-year order, right? Who has facilities to fill this order? Will they pick 1 design & ask for two builders?

They won't prevent CRRC from bidding. They might put the fingers on the scale if they win. Also, CRRC so far has been importing shells from China, wonder if that will continue if they get a big order.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby electricron » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:33 am

BandA wrote:Has Stadler previously bid on anything FRA compliant?

If Amtrak gets 8 competitive bids it will be great. This is going to be a yuge, many-year order, right? Who has facilities to fill this order? Will they pick 1 design & ask for two builders?

They won't prevent CRRC from bidding. They might put the fingers on the scale if they win. Also, CRRC so far has been importing shells from China, wonder if that will continue if they get a big order.

Had Siemens prior to the last orders? No. Had Nippon Sharyo before the last failed attempt? Yes.
Obviously, just from recent history, it doesn't matter whether they had or not.

They all can, or they wouldn't be submitting bids. They all could build a brand new facility if needed to fulfill a 500 car plus order. Golly, any could just buy the facility Nippon Sharyo is abandoning.

Why pick 2 builders when the goal is to pick the cheapest bidder? The odds that two different bidders will bid the same low price is astronomical.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:37 am

Yes, Stadler has made FRA alternate-compliance vehicles - the GTW for at least Texas (Austin Capital MetroRail, Denton County D-Train), the KISS for Caltrain, and the FLIRT for both TEXrail and San Bernadino County’s Arrow - and is building FRA standard compliance observation cars for Rocky Mountaineer. I’d be surprised if they didn’t bid on this project, since they just opened a factory in Utah to take advantage of Buy American funding.

Ron: I think we will have to disagree on the considerable engineering and design differences.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby bdawe » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:42 am

Additionally, Stadler's order of those super-bilevels for the Rocky Mountaineer is conventionally FRA complient, IIRC.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby de402 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:39 pm

BandA wrote: They won't prevent CRRC from bidding. They might put the fingers on the scale if they win. Also, CRRC so far has been importing shells from China, wonder if that will continue if they get a big order.


Congress is going to ban (or attempt) the use of Federal funds for the purchase of CRRC gear it seems. Not sure if this is to keep the "ball" ($$) within the "ballpark" (current known suppliers) or just prevent transportation agencies/providers/companies from getting the best bang for the buck. Yeah, CRRC is getting their shells from the Mainland, but American workers take a useless car body without interior and exterior hardware, electronics, and assorted sundries and make it a useful implement. Sadly just another instance where the current administration is arbitrarily hurting American workers in what is a global supply chain, the other being tariffs, etc.

If Amtrak is going to mortgage (again) its current equipment (isn't it near depreciated already?) to buy badly needed equipment, then maybe they'll go CRRC. Not sure if they make a DMU but they probably could make someone's design. Acela II is being funded by an FRA loan program, which was done way before everyone got back on the xenophobic express.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:54 pm

No comment here on the ban on federal funds on CRRC, but supposedly if sanctions on China are intended for human rights and international policies, they should be enforced as on other sanctioned nations (Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria).

That makes me ask: if Pullman, Budd or St. Louis Car were still active in the passenger market, would the U.S. government provide a "favored" bias toward them, as the Canadian government with BBD?
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:22 pm

I don't know but it's worth noting that no such impediments are being considered for the Japanese, Italian, German or Spanish car makers.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby electricron » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:41 am

gokeefe wrote:I don't know but it's worth noting that no such impediments are being considered for the Japanese, Italian, German or Spanish car makers.

Average salary in US dollars
China $4,755 a year
Germany $33,652 a year
Italy $26,063 a year
Japan $27,323 a year
Spain $18,396 a year
United States $44,564 a year
Data collected from many quick Google searches, not from a single source.
So accuracy of one data point against another I will not guarantee.

Wouldn't you also be more worried about China's cost of labor?
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:48 am

electricron wrote:
gokeefe wrote:I don't know but it's worth noting that no such impediments are being considered for the Japanese, Italian, German or Spanish car makers.

Average salary in US dollars
China $4,755 a year
Germany $33,652 a year
Italy $26,063 a year
Japan $27,323 a year
Spain $18,396 a year
United States $44,564 a year
Data collected from many quick Google searches, not from a single source.
So accuracy of one data point against another I will not guarantee.

Wouldn't you also be more worried about China's cost of labor?

The cars wouldn't be built in China. They would be built in a CRRC-owned facility in the US. At one point there was talk of the plant being located in Worcester, Mass.- not sure whether it would be the former Osgood-Bradley plant or a greenfield location. The "buy American" regulations governing the procurement would dictate that even if shipping costs didn't.

Also-- quoting the average wage like that is misleading. There are a heck of a lot of people in China doing the sort of manual agricultural labor that was mechanized out of existence in the US as long ago as 1900. You need to look at the average wage of people building railcars to make a valid comparison. While I don't have that figure itself to hand I can tell you that, overall, from a cost standpoint the gap between manufacturing in the US and in China has closed, markedly. And that's before you factor in the new tariffs.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:08 pm

Suffice to say Greenbrier, Thrall, and ACF (whatever they’re called now) aren’t keen on more Chinese competition in the freight market, and CRRC is using the passenger market as a loss leader in America. If Amtrak picks a CRRC-built car, CRRC & the Chinese government would also have to finance them - or form a partnership of some sort that skirts the Federal monies issue.

No comment on the quality of their equipment, we haven’t seen the SEPTA cars yet.

—————

If CAF bids, I wonder whether Amtrak will give them extra points for using the Viewliner platform. May as well, right? as long as the price is reasonably competitive with Siemens.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:24 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Suffice to say Greenbrier, Thrall, and ACF (whatever they’re called now) aren’t keen on more Chinese competition in the freight market, and CRRC is using the passenger market as a loss leader in America. If Amtrak picks a CRRC-built car, CRRC & the Chinese government would also have to finance them - or form a partnership of some sort that skirts the Federal monies issue.

No comment on the quality of their equipment, we haven’t seen the SEPTA cars yet.

—————

If CAF bids, I wonder whether Amtrak will give them extra points for using the Viewliner platform. May as well, right? as long as the price is reasonably competitive with Siemens.


I'll admit I have very mixed feelings about CAF bidding. I think it would be a great win for upstate NY.
But, based on the Viewliner delivery issue, I'd be VERY cautious. Yes, we don't know how much of the issue is CAF (I think it's clear the early welding issues certainly), how many were specialized supplier issues, and how much has been Amtrak.
But, rather than 2 a month, they'd need to be turning out 2 a week on a consistent basis.

However, I do think an all Viewliner train would look sharp...
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:37 pm

Greg Moore wrote:I'll admit I have very mixed feelings about CAF bidding. I think it would be a great win for upstate NY.
But, based on the Viewliner delivery issue, I'd be VERY cautious. Yes, we don't know how much of the issue is CAF (I think it's clear the early welding issues certainly), how many were specialized supplier issues, and how much has been Amtrak.
But, rather than 2 a month, they'd need to be turning out 2 a week on a consistent basis.

However, I do think an all Viewliner train would look sharp...

Understandably. I think they could do better with an up-front contract and payment than they have with pay-as-you-go work, because they could hire more employees and expand their shops more. Something tells me they won’t get the contract though, and will put together a more successful bid package whenever the LDSL RFP goes out.

Speaking of New York-based companies, I could see Alstom doing very well in the bid process with a single-car no-tilt version of the Avelia’s coaches.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby WesternNation » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:11 pm

Personally I hope it’s Siemens for both the engines and cars. When we get the new coaches for the Chargers, it’s going to look very sleek with all the lines matching up. That’s something I’ve always liked about British locomotive/car consists: the uniformity.

If it’s Siemens for the engine and someone else for the cars, I would hope that the collaborate in some fashion to create a uniform look, even with different base products.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby superstar » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:35 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:The cars wouldn't be built in China. They would be built in a CRRC-owned facility in the US. At one point there was talk of the plant being located in Worcester, Mass.- not sure whether it would be the former Osgood-Bradley plant or a greenfield location. The "buy American" regulations governing the procurement would dictate that even if shipping costs didn't.


CRRC has a plant in Springfield, Mass. that will build (if it is not already) MBTA subway cars, as well as the SEPTA bilevels and LA Metro subway cars. They are also building a plant just outside of Chicago that will manufacture cars for the L.
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