High level platforms system wide?

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: High level platforms system wide?

Postby diburning » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:07 am

afiggatt wrote:
Dick H wrote:Amtrak must have a substantial number of coaches with push-pull wiring.
Both the Downeaster and Hiawatha services use these. Also, the Springfield
line and the Harrisburg line. The Vermonter service is also using a cab car.

Almost all of Amtrak's Amfleet 1s have been upgraded with push-pull wiring. See the roster list at http://www.on-track-on-line.com/amtk-ro ... #Amfleet-I


Ah, my info is a bit outdated then. I remember a while back that Amtrak would tack engines on the end because the sets contained a mix of cars where not all of them were wired for push-pull.

That still begs the question.... Does Amtrak have any Amfleet Is to spare? Why Amtrak? Aren't there other agencies that may have spare coaches? Does the MBTA really NEED them at this point? Wouldn't the Rotem order satisfy the need for coaches (since the 500s/1500s won't be taken out of service overnight)?
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Re: High level platforms system wide?

Postby obienick » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:38 am

Amfleet coaches can and do board at low-level platforms. Amtrak's only coaches that are required to load at high levels are the Acelas for the FRA Crashworthiness standards required at its operational speeds.

Amtrak is equiptment-strapped. MBTA is equiptment-strapped. The only time you'll see an Amfleet on the MBTA is if it's the Corridor Clipper geometry car. Likewise the only time you'll see a commuter coach on Amtrak is on the Thanksgiving extras. And they use NJT equipment for tunnel clearances.

Will Amtrak pick up the MBB coaches or any other commuter rail coaches? Absolutely not. Not only are they a decrease in service (CR coaches are high-density and tacking one on to a regional is like taking an Amfleet I on to an LD train.) Most coaches don't have bathrooms (MBB do). But the coup de grâce is that all of MBTA coaches and most CR coaches nationwide do not have sufficient trucks for higher speed operation. Yes, Amtrak could assign ex-CR coaches to slower routes such as the Downeaster and other state-supported non-cab signaled corridors, but how would they get there and back to repair shops? Replacing trucks is very costly and is rarely done.

The MBB's are unique cars to America. With the new MBTA Rotem order, they're gone, and will be scrapped. No one will pick up a limited number of cars second-hand made by a foreign manufacturer with no US parts source. And with the mid west bilevels coming, that will free up Horizon coaches for the rest of the Amtrak system.
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Re: High level platforms system wide?

Postby sery2831 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:56 am

obienick wrote:The MBB's are unique cars to America. With the new MBTA Rotem order, they're gone, and will be scrapped. No one will pick up a limited number of cars second-hand made by a foreign manufacturer with no US parts source. And with the mid west bilevels coming, that will free up Horizon coaches for the rest of the Amtrak system.


In the end the Rotem car order will replace the MBB cars, but not right away. They MBB cars are going to stay until the K car rebuild program is complete.
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Re: High level platforms system wide?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:01 pm

Komarovsky wrote:I thought most of the mini-highs had edges that could flip up if needed for clearance. Why would having full length platforms with these types of edges be too labor intensive, I can't imagine it would take more than an hour to flip all of them up with adequate notice.


Not all of them. Fitchburg Line has unmovable mini-high edges east of Willows (Porter the first and most major blocker introduced), and so does the Eastern Route. Those decisions played a big role in killing off what was left of the Guilford freight on those lines. Not so much that there was a whole lot of over-wide freight to begin with, but it lowers the paper value of those routes to future business. Freight mains CSX doesn't allow anything less, so Worcester, Franklin, and Foxboro @ Framingham Secondary have the collapsible edges. And PAR was diligent about the same on west-of-Willows Fitchburg Line, Haverhill, and Lowell.

Now, how do trailer-on-flatcars fare around high platforms? Especially with those wider, low wheel profile cars they use these days...the kind that cup the bottom of the container. South Boston's upgraded rail-on-port access is going to be mainly container based, so do the new Fairmount high platforms present any challenge for that? Or does the wider base of the car tuck neatly under the platform edge?
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Re: High level platforms system wide?

Postby sery2831 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:20 pm

Only Porter Square has a fixed platform the Fitchburg(besides Fitchburg itself). West Concord, Brandies, and Waltham all have foam edges.

The platform at North Leominster has the most strikes, and it's probably the intermodal train doing it. The foam edges on the Western Route rarely get hit, but they do from time to time.

The line with fixed mini high platforms is the Eastern Route. ALL the platforms on that line are fixed.
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Re: High level platforms system wide?

Postby MBTA1016 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:17 pm

sery2831 wrote:The Old Colony is 3 lines, not one.

Freight traffic on these lines are limited to normal freight cars and no special moves.

I forgot that calling it Old Colony covers all three lines down there. Sorry my mistake.
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