Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby electricron » Thu May 12, 2016 5:03 pm

ExCon90 wrote:Do we know they're not going to be FRA compliant? The latest I can find on their website is that they are "moving forward" on a design for the cars. There's no way they could run from Santa Clara to San Jose without being compliant--or without a waiver, and who can say whether they'd get one? I would think not.

You're assuming Caltrain will be running in shared tracks over the UP owned portion of the corridor in the future. It's possible Caltrain will lay brand new passenger only tracks paralleling the freight tracks using CHSR funds, in which case a waiver wouldn't be needed for non-FRA compliant double level EMUs. Non-FRA compliant CHSR trains will also face the same obstacle of getting waivers on the UP owned tracks, so I believe it's highly likely new passenger only tracks will be laid.
Of course, temporal separation waivers will probably place freight operations on Caltrain owned tracks to the wee hours after midnight.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby MattW » Thu May 12, 2016 7:16 pm

electricron wrote:I don't think the catenary wires and poles will cause the UP any problems because low wires will effect double stack containers and tall auto racks, which I doubt the UP needs to service in San Francisco or on its peninsula. All of the facilities for these type of cars are located not the east side of the bay where there will be no catenaries. And if the wires are hung high enough, even these types of cars can run under them. ;)

Why would that be an issue? Double stacks and autoracks run under wire here in the east just fine.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby electricron » Thu May 12, 2016 8:32 pm

MattW wrote:
electricron wrote:I don't think the catenary wires and poles will cause the UP any problems because low wires will effect double stack containers and tall auto racks, which I doubt the UP needs to service in San Francisco or on its peninsula. All of the facilities for these type of cars are located not the east side of the bay where there will be no catenaries. And if the wires are hung high enough, even these types of cars can run under them. ;)

Why would that be an issue? Double stacks and autoracks run under wire here in the east just fine.

Didn't I state there would be no problem if the catenary was hung high enough?
Back east, the entire NEC is not wired with 25,000 Volts at 60 Hertz, as would probably be the case in California.
The minimum clearance between a live wire and a working surface, in this case the top of the rail cars, or th rail cars envelope, to the live wire, is 9 feet for voltages between 7,501 Volts and 35,000 Volts. OSHA regulation 1910.303(h)(5)(v).

A Superliner car height is 16 feet 2 inches, A Horizon car height is 13 feet. An Amfleet car height is 12 feet 8 inches. A Charger locomotive height is 12 feet 6 inches.
For a Superliner car to run under a future CHSR catenary safely, the live wire will need to be 25 feet 2 inches high. For BNSF and KCS Autoracks which have a height of 20 feet 2 inches, the live wire will need to be 29 feet 2 inches high. To clear the tallest railcars, the pantograph might have to span 18 feet 8 inches vertically using the Charger's height.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby lensovet » Fri May 13, 2016 2:12 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
bdawe wrote:It's not just a matter of clearance. Caltrain's waivers for non-compliant railcars specify temporal separation from freight, so I'm not entirely sure how that will be accomplished for trains headed through to the Coast Line

Do we know they're not going to be FRA compliant? The latest I can find on their website is that they are "moving forward" on a design for the cars. There's no way they could run from Santa Clara to San Jose without being compliant--or without a waiver, and who can say whether they'd get one? I would think not.

The presentation from 2014 specifically says "• FRA Waiver / Alternative Compliant Vehicles Criteria" as part of the RFP requirements.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

Postby CHTT1 » Fri May 13, 2016 4:16 pm

I recall seeing an article several years ago about UP freight traffic on the CalTrain rotue. It seems like these were just switch runs to local industries. Any ocean-going cargo traffic out of Bay Area is from Oakland, so no need for double stacks or auto rack clearance.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby SRich » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:59 am

MattW wrote:
electricron wrote:I don't think the catenary wires and poles will cause the UP any problems because low wires will effect double stack containers and tall auto racks, which I doubt the UP needs to service in San Francisco or on its peninsula. All of the facilities for these type of cars are located not the east side of the bay where there will be no catenaries. And if the wires are hung high enough, even these types of cars can run under them. ;)

Why would that be an issue? Double stacks and autoracks run under wire here in the east just fine.


Are the wires on the NEC (except NY Penn) high enough to allow double stack freight on it?
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:09 pm

On the former PRR catenary and the former NH catenary,NOT high enough.
On the newer Amtrak 25 kv catenary,not sure if it's high enough to clear Superliners,NOT high enough for double stack service.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

Postby transit383 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:24 pm

CSX double stacks run under wire on SEPTA's West Trenton Line, as seen in this 2010 photo at West Trenton:

Septa 9008 along side a CSX freight at West Trenton
But where were they going without ever knowing the way?
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby timz » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:33 pm

electricron wrote:The minimum clearance between a live wire and a working surface, in this case the top of the rail cars, or th rail cars envelope, to the live wire, is 9 feet for voltages between 7,501 Volts and 35,000 Volts.
NJT's 25 kV wire isn't always 9 feet above the top of the passenger cars. At Summit the wire is about 17 ft above top of rail.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification effect UP freight service?

Postby electricron » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:53 pm

timz wrote:
electricron wrote:The minimum clearance between a live wire and a working surface, in this case the top of the rail cars, or th rail cars envelope, to the live wire, is 9 feet for voltages between 7,501 Volts and 35,000 Volts.
NJT's 25 kV wire isn't always 9 feet above the top of the passenger cars. At Summit the wire is about 17 ft above top of rail.

When it's not 9 feet, you can't work there without taking precautions, like wearing rubber gloves, fire retardant clothing, safety googles, rubber boots, etc, by a qualified electrician. The OSHA regulations will specify all the additional safety requirements needed to work within that 9 feet distance.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

Postby Nasadowsk » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:33 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if Stadler pulls a rabbit out of their hat again, and gets the KISS to meet the FRA's alternative compliance standards. They did it with the FLIRT in Texas, and the GTW in Denton, IIRC.

It would have a useful advantage for them - they could sell the same model to the MBTA, and even Metra if they ever decide to get out of the 1950's. It'd be ideal at both operators (ok, the high platforms in places on the MBTA would be an issue, but they seem to have figured that out, if you look at their portfolio).
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

Postby electricron » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:07 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if Stadler pulls a rabbit out of their hat again, and gets the KISS to meet the FRA's alternative compliance standards. They did it with the FLIRT in Texas, and the GTW in Denton, IIRC.

It would have a useful advantage for them - they could sell the same model to the MBTA, and even Metra if they ever decide to get out of the 1950's. It'd be ideal at both operators (ok, the high platforms in places on the MBTA would be an issue, but they seem to have figured that out, if you look at their portfolio).


Yes, Stadler's KISS trains come in both high and low floor models, it's just a manner of where they place the doors. But all KISS trains require electric catenaries because they are all EMUs.
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Re: Will Caltrain electrification affect UP freight service?

Postby lpetrich » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:22 pm

It’s a Go for Caltrain Electrification | Streetsblog San Francisco
This morning, during its regular meeting in San Carlos, the nine-member Caltrain board voted unanimously to dedicate $1.25 billion towards electrifying Caltrain. If all goes according to plan, electric services will begin in 2020.

“The total program is $2 billion. That includes money for the advanced signal system, which we’re already installing today,” said Jayme Ackemann, spokeswoman for Caltrain. “But the $1.25 billion is the lion’s share for electrification.”

Included in the contract is an order for 96 rail vehicles, with an option to buy an additional 20. And “we are considering an additional purchase of more electric vehicles,” added Ackemann.

At Caltrain's site: Caltrain’s Board Approves Electrification Design-Build and EMU Contracts

So it looks like it's finally happening.
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