WMATA - Back2Good

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WMATA - Back2Good

Postby JDC » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:55 am

WP is reporting that Wiedefeld will present his plan for next year's SOGR focus - the railcars themselves. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/after-safetrack-metro-to-shift-focus-to-railcars--the-biggest-cause-of-delays/2016/11/30/e1f4c574-b669-11e6-a677-b608fbb3aaf6_story.html?utm_term=.cb81821c9334. It won't be called 'safecar', but in essence that is what the focus will be - bringing more 7k trains on line and accelerating the disposal of 1ks and then 4ks. An interesting tidbit in the article is that ALL 8-car trains will be 7000-series - there will be no 8-car trains of the other series.
Last edited by JDC on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WMATA - "safecar"

Postby JDC » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:33 pm

Metro, via its Amplify community, just sent out a message from Wiedefeld where he talked about "Back2good", which is the marketing slogan for Metro's 2017 infrastructure and rolling stock rehab program. I'll copy and paste that message here when I am on a computer and not a phone.
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Re: WMATA - "safecar"

Postby JDC » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:22 pm

The back2good is now live as its own Metro webpage (on the new Metro site no less). https://beta.wmata.com/about/back2good/
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:47 pm

The video "misfired"(no playback),seems like there's a planed "housecleaning" of the shop labor forces about to happen.
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby Chris Brown » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:47 am

It says all 1K and 4K cars will be gone by December 2017.

It also says that Metro will stop mixing different series cars together once all the 1k and 4k cars are retired. So all trains will be made up of the same series starting 2018. I have a feeling they might still mix 2k with 3k though.
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby wrivlin » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:02 am

Can we just take a moment to recognize what a terrible name "Back2Good" is?
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby Sand Box John » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:19 am

"wrivlin"
Can we just take a moment to recognize what a terrible name "Back2Good" is?


You can chalk that one up to twitter and texting short hand.
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby JDC » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:34 am

Chris Brown wrote:It says all 1K and 4K cars will be gone by December 2017.

It also says that Metro will stop mixing different series cars together once all the 1k and 4k cars are retired. So all trains will be made up of the same series starting 2018. I have a feeling they might still mix 2k with 3k though.


What struck me as even a bigger game changer, and as a necessary one if all 1k and 4ks are gone, is 50 new 7000-series train sets by Dec. 2017. Or, in other words, 400 7000-series cars over the next 12ish months!
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby afiggatt » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:59 am

JDC wrote:What struck me as even a bigger game changer, and as a necessary one if all 1k and 4ks are gone, is 50 new 7000-series train sets by Dec. 2017. Or, in other words, 400 7000-series cars over the next 12ish months!

No, they don't have to deliver 400 7K series cars over the next 12 months. About 240 or 20 per month. In the Washington Post article, it states "The agency has commissioned 224 cars for service, equivalent to 28 trains." To completely replace the 1K and 4K cars, they need 64 for the SL Phase 1, then 300 (nominally) to replace the 1Ks, then 100 to replace the 4Ks. Add 1 year of delivering 240 additional cars to the 224 7Ks in service, and, tada, that adds up to 464 7K cars.

Despite the silly name, the Back2Good plan sounds good. The big question is whether they can get the 7K cars to meet or exceed the mean miles between breakdown goals and then keep them running at those reliability levels in the coming years. As the 1K and 4K cars get retired, will they stop mixing the trainsets so the trains are all 2K/3K, 5K, or 6K series cars? How much would that add to overall reliability and simplify maintenance not to have mixed sets? Although the 5K cars will be around though 2019 (?) to drag the overall fleet reliability numbers down.

As for power washing and cleaning all 91 stations every year instead of every 4 years, how much will that add to the annual maintenance costs? As funding stays tight, I can see after 1 year of major cleaning of all the stations with some publicity, the schedule gets stretched out to every 18 months, then every 2 years to save money.
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby davinp » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:24 pm

I never liked the mixing of the railcars. It is a bad idea. They don't work well when mixed together - the LED signs and speakers don't work well in some cars and this also causes jerking when stopping. All 6 cars should be of the same series, not mixed. 6000 series should not be mixed with old cars. So, I am glad they will stop doing practice of mixing railcars. Currently, during SafeTrack they have been putting more 8 car trains mixed of old cars together.

Unlike the 2000/3000 series, the 4000 series were never rehabilitated.

Also, notice that they will remove carpeting from all 6000 series car and replace them with flooring

Previously, Metro had said they would replace the 5000 series with the 7000 series instead of rehabilitating them since they are also unreliable. But those will be a few years later, as retiring the 1000 & 4000 series are priority.

https://beta.wmata.com/about/back2good/initiatives.cfm
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby Chris Brown » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:29 pm

afiggatt wrote:
JDC wrote:What struck me as even a bigger game changer, and as a necessary one if all 1k and 4ks are gone, is 50 new 7000-series train sets by Dec. 2017. Or, in other words, 400 7000-series cars over the next 12ish months!

No, they don't have to deliver 400 7K series cars over the next 12 months. About 240 or 20 per month. In the Washington Post article, it states "The agency has commissioned 224 cars for service, equivalent to 28 trains." To completely replace the 1K and 4K cars, they need 64 for the SL Phase 1, then 300 (nominally) to replace the 1Ks, then 100 to replace the 4Ks. Add 1 year of delivering 240 additional cars to the 224 7Ks in service, and, tada, that adds up to 464 7K cars.

Despite the silly name, the Back2Good plan sounds good. The big question is whether they can get the 7K cars to meet or exceed the mean miles between breakdown goals and then keep them running at those reliability levels in the coming years. As the 1K and 4K cars get retired, will they stop mixing the trainsets so the trains are all 2K/3K, 5K, or 6K series cars? How much would that add to overall reliability and simplify maintenance not to have mixed sets? Although the 5K cars will be around though 2019 (?) to drag the overall fleet reliability numbers down.

As for power washing and cleaning all 91 stations every year instead of every 4 years, how much will that add to the annual maintenance costs? As funding stays tight, I can see after 1 year of major cleaning of all the stations with some publicity, the schedule gets stretched out to every 18 months, then every 2 years to save money.


It was stated both in the source material and earlier in this thread that Metro will stop mixing sets. Starting in 2018 all trains will be made of the same series.

As far as the reliability of the 7k fleet goes.. they were "supposedly" designed for easier and cheaper maintenance. The use of A and B cars to reduce redundant equipment will probably help reliability too. Also, the HVAC systems are in isolated units on the roof allowing them to be easily removed and replaced in a few hours instead of having system components located throughout the car body like the rest of the fleet.

I don't know if they will ever meet the goal of 200,000 miles without issues, but I think they will probably out perform the 6k cars at least. With 748 of these things being made they can't really afford for them to be low quality lemons like the 5k cars. That would be a disaster.
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby Sand Box John » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:22 pm

"Chris Brown"
As far as the reliability of the 7k fleet goes.. they were "supposedly" designed for easier and cheaper maintenance. The use of A and B cars to reduce redundant equipment will probably help reliability too.


The only redundancy not retained in the 7k cars from their predecessors is the revenue cab and associated accoutrements in the B cars.

I don't know if they will ever meet the goal of 200,000 miles without issues, but I think they will probably out perform the 6k cars at least. With 748 of these things being made they can't really afford for them to be low quality lemons like the 5k cars. That would be a disaster.

WMATA should have little trouble obtaining the 200,000 miles between in service failures If the folks in the shops maintain a rigorous preventive maintenance routine. I drove my Kai Rio nearly 1/2 million miles and it only stranded me once by doing same.
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby tommyboy6181 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:58 am

Sand Box John wrote:"Chris Brown"
As far as the reliability of the 7k fleet goes.. they were "supposedly" designed for easier and cheaper maintenance. The use of A and B cars to reduce redundant equipment will probably help reliability too.


The only redundancy not retained in the 7k cars from their predecessors is the revenue cab and associated accoutrements in the B cars.

I don't know if they will ever meet the goal of 200,000 miles without issues, but I think they will probably out perform the 6k cars at least. With 748 of these things being made they can't really afford for them to be low quality lemons like the 5k cars. That would be a disaster.

WMATA should have little trouble obtaining the 200,000 miles between in service failures If the folks in the shops maintain a rigorous preventive maintenance routine. I drove my Kai Rio nearly 1/2 million miles and it only stranded me once by doing same.


If anyone can hit 200,000 miles without issues, it is Kawasaki. They've proven they can do that in New York City, where the R142A, R143, R160A (engineered by Kawasaki, built by Alstom) and R160B (engineered and built by Kawasaki) all easily go over 100,000 miles MDBF. The R160A/B cars actually reached 609,000 miles without issues in 2009.
Link: http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/new ... ecord.html

Then, they set a new record with that same car series as they reached 732,376 miles without issues in 2012.
Link: http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/Busin ... erformance).pdf
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby MCL1981 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:47 am

I like the sounds of all of this. I hope they follow through and do it. I moved down here in 2010, so I have rarely experienced a non-mixed consist other then 7000s. It will be nice to not have to run to the front or back of a train to avoid the 1000s anymore once they're gone. Unfortunately all of this costs money. And nobody wants to give them money.

I noticed this morning that Union, Judiciary, and Gallery appear to have been cleaned over the weekend. The station walls were a clean grey instead of black. And you could actually see!
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Re: WMATA - Back2Good

Postby dcmike » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:32 pm

I've been reading this discussion around mixed consists here and other forums for some time now and it drives me batty. I have asked commenters what the problem is, but I have yet to receive any legitimate argument against it. Most responses revolve around an uninformed one-off statement issued by a WMATA PR person.

I'd like to share my thoughts on it, drawing on my expertise as an (electrical) engineer and long career in transit rail car maintenance, including my current stint at WMATA.

First, let's talk about how the trains actually move and stop. WMATA's cars, like most modern systems, use what's known as a "master controller" as the exclusive input to select the train's tractive effort. Rail fans may already be familiar with this component, which is sometimes referred to as a T-handle, or (erroneously) a deadman. This input acts upon the rail car's propulsion and friction braking systems via binary electrical train lines to make the train start, maintain speed, and stop. Train lines are simple electrical circuits that are either energized or not based on some input and, as the name suggests, run the entire length of a train. The signals travel from car to car via automatic electric couplers at each end of the car. The propulsion system handles all acceleration and electro-dynamic braking. The friction braking system handles low-speed deceleration (at speeds under approx 7 MPH) and holding the train at a stop.

With the exception of the 7000 series, all of WMATA's cars utilize master controllers with five notches for braking rates, a coast notch, five notches for power rates, and an emergency friction brake-only notch that dumps the brake pipe. Each of these notches represents a predetermined rate that is matched across all cars and fleets. These rates hard coded and again are identical regardless of car series.

There are approximately 80 train lines on Metro's cars carrying various signals used to control train functions such as doors, lights, intercoms, PA, HVAC, and of course rate selection. About a dozen are dedicated to rate selection, and are energized by the master controller in various unique patterns depending upon the selected master controller notch. The friction brake and propulsion systems are connected to the train lines and constantly monitor the energization patterns.

When an operator selects the P1 notch, the master controller outputs a pattern that signals the friction brake system to fully release the brakes and the propulsion system to accelerate at fixed rate of 0.75 miles per hour per second. The propulsion system on each individual car (note this is by car and not married pair, and again regardless of car series) operates entirely independently and without regard for what any other car is doing. It maintains this rate by first sampling the air spring pressure to determine the load weight (pressure rises as more passengers board the the car) and then constantly sampling the axle tachometer speed sensors and motor current. By monitoring these values, the propulsion system ensures each car accelerates at a nearly identical rate as selected by the master controller. The friction braking system operates in a nearly identical fashion, also monitoring load weight pressures and its own redundant speed sensors to ensure rate consistency. THIS IS WHY IT DOES NOT MATTER WHEN CAR SEIRES ARE MIXED WITHIN A CONSIST.

There is a comment in this thread discussing the mixture of 2000 and 3000 series cars which is even more confounding. When those two fleets underwent midlife rehabilitation, they were combined in to a single fleet. All components are 100% interchangeable. All internal documentation, procedures, and policies refer to them as a single fleet. Also relevant is the fact that the rehabbed 2/3K and 6K fleets were designed to be nearly identical, sharing many of the same fully interchangeable components including door controls, ATC, VMS, and propulsion - the same Alstom propulsion system used on NYCT's R160 fleet by the way.

----

Now, that being said, there is one minor inconvenience associated with mixed consists. The interior LED "next station" signs will not operate when 1000 or 4000 series cars are included in a consist. This is because they don't carry the required equipment that carries the serial data link which transmits the station ID throughout the trains. There is also an issue where some of this equipment doesn't communicate correctly in the newer cars. This is because the hardware architecture changed somewhere along the line during production. Some cars delivered with legacy equipment and some with newer hardware (including all of the 6K cars). The good news is that engineering and the hardware vendor are approximately halfway through an on-going project that will update all 2/3/5/6K cars with unified equipment that will ensure reliable communication.

In the past, there was an issue with the passenger emergency intercoms on older cars failing to trigger the operator's communication panel on 6K cars. This was a very simple design issue that (in typical Metro fashion) wasn't correctly tested for or caught during the 6K prototyping phase. This problem was finally corrected after an incident about 4 years ago.

I look forward to any comments or feedback as I am far from perfect (particularly at my age) and may have overlooked something.
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