Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby John_Perkowski » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:22 pm

From the Lincoln Nebraska Journal-Star

Kawasaki Discussing Restructuring Railcar Division After Huge Losses

ADMIN NOTE: The home forum for this is MTA/CDOT.
~John Perkowski: Moderator: General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment
Assistant Administrator: Railroad.net/forums
Please don't feed the spammers! If you see spam, please notify a Moderator
User avatar
John_Perkowski
 
Posts: 4678
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Off the Q main near Parkville MO

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:46 pm

In no particular order

1) tariffs
2) American railroads don’t do continuous procurement
3) too many builders, not enough contracts
4) extremely inconsistent government funding
5) extremely inconsistent regulations, both government and railroad

Look at the 1960s - SLCC and ACF were still in business for a while, but it was 99% Budd and Pullman-Standard. There weren’t any new long-lasting entrants into the American carbuilding industry despite transit contracts. (Rohr and Boeing both tried!)

Hey MPI, here’s your chance to buy into a new, related industry.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 5072
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:05 pm

Figure on then asking for exceptions on buying USA sourced parts,due to QC issues/supply chain glitches at certain manufacturers. :(
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 5539
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:12 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Look at the 1960s - SLCC and ACF were still in business for a while, but it was 99% Budd and Pullman-Standard. There weren’t any new long-lasting entrants into the American carbuilding industry despite transit contracts. (Rohr and Boeing both tried!)
MK starting doing new build passenger cars after getting its hand on heavy overhaul work, but built only two: CTA 3200 and MNCR/ConnDOT M-6. The Hornell shops went to Alstom.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 5200
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:48 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:MK starting doing new build passenger cars after getting its hand on heavy overhaul work, but built only two: CTA 3200 and MNCR/ConnDOT M-6. The Hornell shops went to Alstom.

Right, MK slipped my mind but fits the rule. Colorado Railcar never even got that far, and neither did Amerail.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 5072
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:55 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Right, MK slipped my mind but fits the rule. Colorado Railcar never even got that far, and neither did Amerail.

Amerail was simply a company established in 1996 to fulfill MK's existing orders (Viewliner sleepers, California Cars) after MK's bankruptcy.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 5200
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby dowlingm » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:01 am

Wonder if Hitachi would be interested in acquiring the business, structured to give Kawasaki a gentle exit? That said, they may have enough on their plate managing their recent European ventures in Italy and the UK.
dowlingm
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:47 am

dowlingm wrote:Wonder if Hitachi would be interested in acquiring the business, structured to give Kawasaki a gentle exit? That said, they may have enough on their plate managing their recent European ventures in Italy and the UK.

Probably not, they just opened a facility two and a half years ago. http://www.hitachi.us/press/03162016-rail I don’t know how permanent their plant is, or if it’s just a glorified warehouse.

It’s a buyer’s market for railcar manufacturing plants right now, with Vertex (Springfield, MA) leaving alongside Kawasaki (Lincoln, NE and Yonkers, NY), Hyundai Rotem (Philadelphia, PA) and Nippon Sharyo (Rochelle, IL.) Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see CAF go too.
User avatar
mtuandrew
 
Posts: 5072
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:20 am

Its going to be PS, Budd, and St Louis all over again. the metro transit companies in NY and DC will drain Kawasaki out from all of our crazy stupid requirements and lackluster parts supplies (Rockwell international trucks, crappy air conditioners for NYCTA subway cars??) We saw NS close the doors now because of the failure to provide a carshell that meets our crush tests. Kawasaki also had to scrap a design once already over this same problem when the M8 was first designed, causing a major delay in the projects delievery. Meanwhile the M8s continue to seem junky now as they age a bit, air conditioners leak water into cars. All problems that they must face and resolve which costs them more money.
No good deed goes unpunished.
User avatar
ApproachMedium
 
Posts: 5845
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby hs3730 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:07 am

The M8 at least didn't have a fiasco like the Silverliner V. For a "this is our first US mainline RR EMU" they did a pretty good job.

I wonder if the age-related problems are a result of the US supplier requirements - the E231s they built for JR East still look brand new despite having first gone into service in 2000 and seeing way more passengers. Leaking AC would be unheard of.

I'm hoping they find a way to stay in the US market, because I highly doubt CRRC will have even half the quality, and Bombardier seems to be incapable of delivering anything other than an off the shelf bilevel or multilevel commuter car on time anymore.
hs3730
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:30 pm
Location: Albany NY

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby Nasadowsk » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:09 am

hs3730 wrote:The M8 at least didn't have a fiasco like the Silverliner V. For a "this is our first US mainline RR EMU" they did a pretty good job.


What was the fiasco with the SL Vs? Other than the trucks, which it wasn't Rotem's fault SEPTA made them use a dinosaur of a design made by an also-ran casting company that went under shortly after the order was completed...

Maybe Kawasaki will be better with the M9s - they sure are taking their merry time building them.

I wonder if the age-related problems are a result of the US supplier requirements - the E231s they built for JR East still look brand new despite having first gone into service in 2000 and seeing way more passengers. Leaking AC would be unheard of.


It's probably a few things. Supplier requirements, bad design brought on by consultants and customers living in la la land, the FRA, crappy track bouncing everything to bits, and the 'maintenance' practices US RRs are famous for, i.e. run to destruction and then replace.

I'm hoping they find a way to stay in the US market, because I highly doubt CRRC will have even half the quality, and Bombardier seems to be incapable of delivering anything other than an off the shelf bilevel or multilevel commuter car on time anymore.


Corporately, Bombardier's in deep trouble - they're basically trying to sell or give away all their aviation assets to stay afloat now. The Chinese? Who cares how crappy it is, US transit agencies will buy because they're cheap, and China knows it. Just like everything else we buy from them.
Nasadowsk
 
Posts: 3889
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:45 pm

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby ApproachMedium » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:50 am

The silverliner 5s had massive electrical problems when they came out. At one point there was a line of 50 cars rejected by SEPTA because of failures for commissioning.
No good deed goes unpunished.
User avatar
ApproachMedium
 
Posts: 5845
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby hs3730 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:38 am

Nasadowsk wrote:Maybe Kawasaki will be better with the M9s - they sure are taking their merry time building them.


I don't understand why but apparently they're having trouble with these. All they really needed to do was take the M8 and remove the AC bits. Only explanation I can think of is maybe the LIRR tried to customize things.

It's probably a few things. Supplier requirements, bad design brought on by consultants and customers living in la la land, the FRA, crappy track bouncing everything to bits, and the 'maintenance' practices US RRs are famous for, i.e. run to destruction and then replace.

Agree on bad design choices and the FRA. Though our track doesn't seem to be much more crappy than the track out there. I stopped short of suggesting maintenance practices because MNRR is probably the best the US has to offer w/r/t passenger equipment maintenance - if they can't keep something in top shape, no one can.

Corporately, Bombardier's in deep trouble - they're basically trying to sell or give away all their aviation assets to stay afloat now. The Chinese? Who cares how crappy it is, US transit agencies will buy because they're cheap, and China knows it. Just like everything else we buy from them.


Wasn't long ago that Bombardier was robbing their rail industry to prop up their aviation division. They seem to be following the path of Sears and GE in flailing about mismanaging themselves into oblivion. CRRC seems to have done a decent enough job with Sydney's Watarah bilevel EMUs, but the state also wisely included a 25 year maintenance agreement in the order.

With exception of the PA4s (retired early for no good reason), everything Kawasaki has made for North America is still running. In that time there's been a long string of retired early lemons made by other mfgrs: M6, WMATA 5k, HHP-8, Comet III, those German MBTA cars (CTRail's desperate lease notwithstanding). Losing Kawasaki would be quite unfortunate.
hs3730
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:30 pm
Location: Albany NY

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby Head-end View » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:39 pm

hs3730, I couldn't agree with you more about the early retirement of the PA-4 cars. I always thought that was a stupid decision on PATH's part. :(

And yes, the first cars Kawasakis ever built for the USA in 1982 are still running in the Philadelphia subway system.
Last edited by Head-end View on Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Head-end View
 
Posts: 2513
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:00 pm
Location: The second row on a SEPTA Silverliner V

Re: Kawasaki Losing Money on Passenger Cars

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Head-end View wrote:And yes, the first cars Kawasaki ever built for the USA in 1982 are still running in the Philadelphia subway system.

The 1981 City and Suburban/Interurban cars (single unit trolleys). First KHI in USA, though locally assembled by Boeing Vertol, though BBD came first in 1978 with a set of Highliners for RTA/Illinois Central after buying the rights and production tooling from St. Louis Car/GSI and building them in Montreal.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 5200
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Next

Return to Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests