Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:58 pm

BandA wrote:How do the fuel bills compare to the labor cost and the above-the-rails equipment cost?


http://railtec.illinois.edu/articles/Fi ... 4-3787.pdf

This one's got all the math equations, if memories of college algebra class don't give you night terrors. "Seat-miles per gallon", "Passenger MPG", "Train MPG", and "Vehicle MPG" are the 4 ways to slice-and-dice it.


And has the study conclusions saying "it depends" on which vehicle is better.

Comparing the two types of equipment, in 2011, on average, the five systems utilizing DMUs achieved 196 seat-miles per gallon, and the subset of three modern European DMUs achieved an average of 210 seat-miles per gallon. For comparison, the average of all diesel-electric locomotive hauled systems achieved an average of 226 seat-miles per gallon in 2011 and the three new-start systems using similar equipment averaged 198. These results differ from an analysis done by Messa in 2006 [10], which concluded that DMUs or trains of double-deck DMUs pulling trailers would always produce less emissions (and correspondingly consume less fuel) per seat-mile than locomotive-hauled trains. Messa’s results are derived from train performance simulation and testing of FRA-compliant DMUs, rather than European DMUs. Since modern European DMUs have been in operation for several years in the US, the NTD data provide a more accurate indication of true average in-service energy efficiency. However, a comparison against all diesel-electric locomotive-hauled systems is somewhat biased since many of the established locomotive-hauled systems are designed to be high-capacity systems that can obtain economies of scale not possible with the smaller DMUs.

...snip...
A more accurate comparison is to contrast the DMUs against the three new-start systems that utilize shorter two or three-car locomotive-hauled trains. As shown in Table 2, the three systems with European DMUs are more efficient than the locomotive-hauled new-start systems. The modern DMUs can achieve higher passenger-miles per gallon in new-start service due to the operation of lower-capacity vehicles, often on more frequent headways, compared to high-capacity vehicles on traditional locomotive-hauled services. Thus, where possible under FRA waivers, when starting up a new commuter rail service, it may be more efficient to use more frequent DMU service to build ridership before implementing longer locomotive-hauled trains with greater capacity.


See also the charts on p.5. That's what's meant by push-pull not worsening in efficiency by # of cars. Train MPG sucks at 3 or less cars. At 4-9 cars...it barely budges (and these are results from bi-level consists). Load factor from passenger weight really really really favors push-pulls at rush hour. And really doesn't off-peak. But that's assuming equal scheduled peak vs. not...and off-peak is really scarce. Since trainsets are ops-intensive to break apart and recombine on a whim for any mode...there's your reason why imbalanced commute-direction schedules with really furious peaks and really infrequent off-peaks is a feature, not a bug (as long as you are not passing up off-peak demand that actually exists in good numbers...but that's a service issue). So it also doesn't matter if you have to run some long sets late at night or at lunchtime to stock or empty the layover yard, because car count isn't the factor and it's an % insignificant # of 'waste' slots. Just don't overstaff them if you can get by with 2 cars open.

As our push-pulls are configured to pull a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 9...well, there are your sweet spots without needing to make any changes to 495 service. 1-3 cars = holy moly are DMU's the greatest. 4 bi-levels of deman = 5+ lower-seating DMU's...that's the flipover point. 6 bi's = who knows how many DMU's...that's as clownshoes are running 1-car push-pulls to the Seaport and back all day.


So...same conclusion. The two modes are NOT in competition with each other. Indigo is a new-start system with short trains, lower-capacity for the quick-on/off passenger flow, and run more frequently. DMU's blow the locos out of the water in that service profile. And...to our advantage...because Indigo draws the line at Route 128 for furthest extent we're not going to fall prey to that last line in the study conclusions about outgrowing the DMU's with ridership gains and needing to substitute longer push-pulls to reclaim the efficiency advantage. 10-mile length/25-minute trip time and the frequencies ensure that the per-trainset capacity can stay more or less constant forever in that 3-or-less car consist range where the DMU's have the upper hand by a huge margin over the 4-flats + F40.

The rush hour crowd-swallows that have to run to 495 and have schedules highly skewed to peak with little on the off-peak? They blow the DMU's out of the water and it would be bleeding insane for a monster-ridership legacy system to think about changing. Which is why none of them are. And likewise the infrequency of off-peaks on the conventional lines doesn't serve up the necessary TPH to change over to DMU's to 495 and see any noticeable advantages. It's fighting to a draw at best, blowing more capital money at less-best because of the need to upgrade the layover facilities, a money-loser at worst because:
-- a Nippon-Sharyo with a 700 gallon tank per self-propelled car (draining fuel simultaneous with every self-propelled car in the set) vs. an F40 with a 1500 gallon tank
-- + an average round-trip distance to/from 495 of 60 miles vs. round-trip from 128 at 10 miles
-- = more OOS time and missed shifts spent in the fueling line at 495 distances
-- = meed many more spares lying around to cover those OOS shifts than you need locos + coach extras to cover for the day's push-pull fueling line.

...whereas turning the small-tank trains at 128 buys them 3x as many trips before next refuel as they would covering 495. Hence, you're probably not getting any gains declaring "It's Sunday, Day of Push-pulls Rest...send the DMU's to Fitchburg and Worcester." That just means Monday's fueling line is longer.



It's running TWO distinct commuter rail systems under the umbrella of one. Think of the Purple Line as Connecticut. You have Metro North (the big honking F40's) and Shore Line East (the itty bitty dinkys) overlapping. Literally sometimes...as that NHV-Bridgeport leg of SLE has a crew change from Amtrak staff to Metro North staff. The ownership's all under one roof--CDOT--and so is the home base--New Haven. Same paint job...red with the NYNH&H McGuinness logo. There's definite "what-if" temptations with the MNRR-side Waterbury and Danbury branches to start blurring the lines and developing a mind of their own out from under the MTA's thumb. They really really want to stretch the Hartford Line to GCT and wish there weren't bureaucracy, but the MTA has to care about converging Hudson and Harlem slots too and say no when saying no is the right thing to do. They're separate chartered services for way different audiences that have good reason to not merge outright or throw their ops in the same blender. And yes...Danbury needs its GCT directs at peak and that's the MTA's bag so the state can't go completely rogue turning it into some intrastate faux-interurban. That's sort of the analogy here. "Indigo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MBTA Commuter Rail®", but it gets to chart its own course inside its sandbox and gets cooperation (via infrastructure upgrades) to do its thing amidst co-mingled--but separate service--push-pull traffic. All for good reason. But it doesn't get to roam free-range wherever it wants anywhere from the NH border to South County, RI to I-290 because there's other mouths to feed that can't be economically fed in an ops free-for-all, and somebody's got to be the arbiter telling whom where they're needed most. Therefore, two de facto systems sharing different floors of one purple-painted house.


If that's not clear enough for some: they complement. They do NOT compete. There is no magic-bullet fleet. Fit them to their best service orientation and the commuter rail gets insanely better and more efficient across the board. There is room for both. There should be room for both. To some degree there will have to be room for both before the asphalt lanes in Eastern MA gets any more choked. Don't screw this up, usual suspects wasting oxygen in cushy patronage jobs at the top, by going off-script. You will make all that's Purple bleed money out of every orifice on every piece of rolling stock shiny/new and dull/old if you throw best-practices and real numbers out the window and say once more: "Screw this...I'm the T. I'm special. I do what I want. Gimme a vehicle spec sheet, system map, a crayon, and the numbers of the Chief of Staff's top political donors." Don't do that, MassDOT. You've so got this if you stick to the script.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby Arlington » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:10 pm

Not for discussion here, but just worth noting: Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), north of San Francisco, CA, has taken delivery of its first pair of Nippon Sharyo DMUs
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby dowlingm » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:39 pm

The DMUs in Toronto will enter revenue service June 6th.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby houseman86 » Tue May 05, 2015 9:09 pm

i was just looking around t website there is an RFP out for DMU requests do by august 13th

https://www.mbta.com/business_center/bi ... _for_bids/
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby houseman86 » Tue May 26, 2015 7:41 pm

According to transithistory.org the t is looking to buy 10 3 cars set with am option for 30 additional 3 car sets with a-c-b configuration with a and b having cabs and c with restrooms
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed May 27, 2015 2:56 pm

houseman86 wrote:According to transithistory.org the t is looking to buy 10 3 cars set with am option for 30 additional 3 car sets with a-c-b configuration with a and b having cabs and c with restrooms


That's just the Request for Proposals from manufacturers. If they don't want to act on it, or don't like the designs or price points they're getting, they're under no obligation to proceed to Step 2. Or act on the proposals they collect from the manufacturers at any point soon. It took yeeeeeeears for the initial RFP's on some of the previous subway car orders to stop collecting dust in a file cabinet and go out for actual for-real bids. So I wouldn't reach much into that until the MassDOT board makes an actual vote to proceed. If the T's financial crisis prevents an immediate proceed, then they can hold onto this collected RFP information indefinitely and just ask for a refresh from the interested manufacturers at some point further down the road.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed May 27, 2015 11:21 pm

Also should be noted that a DMU purchase doesn't even necessarily mean the Seaport DMU is going to happen. There's plans for DMU's elsewhere.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:55 am

Looks like the pause button is being hit wrt DMU acquisition and deployment. Article excerpt from today's Boston Herald:

"...Gov. Charlie Baker is scaling back a number of planned projects and purchases, including more than $200 million in new T trains, as part of his administration’s move to pare down expenses it said the state cannot afford...

...Among the items hit:

• A five-year plan by Patrick to purchase dozens of Diesel Multiple Units, or self-propelled rail cars that then-MBTA GM Beverly Scott said would cut travel times starting on the Fairmount Line.
Last October, Patrick said the plan would cost $240 million, with the first of the 30 cars arriving in 2018. But Baker officials said they decided to pause the procurement and decide its fate later because the “MBTA cannot, at this time, introduce a new technology” like the so-called DMUs...."

http://www.bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2015/06/charlie_baker_derails_t_trains
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby deathtopumpkins » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:27 am

I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't actually think that would ever happen.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:35 am

deathtopumpkins wrote:I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't actually think that would ever happen.


The problem is that the whole idea of running DMU's on the Fairmount line was nothing but a typical Deval Patrick politically-motivated answer in search of a question.

Fairmount has the lowest ridership numbers for a reason. It cuts through Boston's poorest neighborhoods, the ones with the lowest metrics in terms of %'s of people with college degrees, etc and terminates at a dead end in the Financial District, the central nexus of white-collar jobs in Boston. And the only easy connections from South Station are either A: The Seaport (read: more white-collar jobs) or B: Cambridge/Kendall/MIT/Harvard (read: even more white-collar jobs). The Fairmount line as it stands simply does an awful job of connecting people in the neighborhoods it serves to where they actually want to go, which is why the trains run nearly empty to South Station while the 28 bus is packed like a sardine can pretty much all of the time.

I just ask what in the hell they were trying to accomplish by turning the Fairmount into a DMU rapid transit line terminating at South Station, because I see no good answer beyond keeping "the community" happy.

Even then, the only real "improvements" I could envision an indigo-ized Fairmount line leading to in the neighborhoods that it serves would be the inevitable waves of South End/South Boston-style whirlwind gentrification as all of these new affordable neighborhoods are now given easy, convenient access to the Downtown and the Seaport.

Those check cashing places and Caribbean markets would turn into coffee shops and food co-ops reeall quick.

Now Indigoing the Fitchburg to Waltham, the Worcester to Riverside, or the Eastern to Chelsea/Lynn/Salem would be a different and much, much more useful plan, which is probably why no headways were made towards it during the Patrick administration.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:34 pm

Would it have even mattered anyway, since we learned in that other thread that Fairmount's got a special 5-cars-or-more restriction and speed restrictions on anything 4-or-less because of signal system problems detecting short sets? On a stimulus-upgraded signal system that cost considerable money and was supposed to support the Indigo rollout.

So every 3-car DMU unit is capped at 30 MPH and can't make its schedule operating solo. Or it has to run as a two-DMU set: 6 cars, 4 engines, 2 conductors, empty seats, and higher operating cost than running an F40 and 5 flats. Or go tail-between-legs and ask the taxpayers for more money to fix the signal system that wasn't installed correctly so the $200M vehicle purchase actually works. Oh...and make sure to test all the other lines on that 2024 map to see if they're OK for 3 cars off-peak and can get an exemption from the systemwide blanket minimum of 4-or-more cars (I would assume they just haven't put in the time to test triplets on per-line basis with enough reps to prove fail-safety, simply from lack of need).

Gonna guess Patrick either didn't know this or didn't care when he published that 2024 fantasy map. But that explains the gigantic backpedal from the Indigo service plan and that sudden and quixotic shift to DMU's to Foxboro. Can't let the public know all that money got spent and they totally spaced on making the line capable of handling the short trainsets that would actually make the operating costs pay off.


Well played. Well played all-around.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby dowlingm » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:56 pm

If the service plan / demand is for 2-3 cars then fix the signals. Or DMUs could just be bashed by F-Line. Again.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:07 am

dowlingm wrote:If the service plan / demand is for 2-3 cars then fix the signals. Or DMUs could just be bashed by F-Line. Again.


They have to explain why they wasted large quantities of federal money not setting up the signals right in the first place.

Do you have a reason why that would not be a big issue with the public, or is it just easier to lash out on a message board at the "DMU haterz" you've cooked up in your own imagination?
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby dowlingm » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:24 am

I have no problem with accountability for and remedy of the misspending of public funds. The signalling should be fixed, end of story. It was you who went off on a tangent, F-line:
So every 3-car DMU unit is capped at 30 MPH and can't make its schedule operating solo. Or it has to run as a two-DMU set: 6 cars, 4 engines, 2 conductors, empty seats, and higher operating cost than running an F40 and 5 flats.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:26 am

Kinda funny that right after this announcement the T decides to start heavily promoting the Fairmount line again, starting with this on the website:

Image

Despite, as BramdeisRoberts mentioned, it's pretty useless for the neighborhoods and destinations it serves, and the T doesn't make it very practically useful.
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