Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:28 am

NJT's MLV cars have similar trucks and clearances to the K cars (from what I can quickly find on Google), so I think it becomes more a problem of whether it's worth the cost of modifying the cars.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby trainbrain » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:19 am

chrisf wrote:
Komarovsky wrote:
trainbrain wrote:The Comet 1's are pretty similar to MBTA single levels because didn't have long doors, and the doors were manual. NJT doesn't run them anymore.


Sure about that? The Whippany Railway Museum has a few preserved and on their website they clearly had long doors originally. http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net/exhibits/equipment/passenger-cars/comet-i-commuter-coaches Maybe the rebuilds removed them.....? My memory is fuzzy on this since it's been a while since they've been in service and longer since I've ridden one.

The Comet IIs are most like MBTA coaches: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4508121
They were later rebuilt with a door that covers the stairwells. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3810863
The Comet I's, originally built for Erie Lackawanna/NJ DOT were designed for low platforms only– this is obvious in comparing how low the doors are relative to those on the Comet II and later. Consequently, there were originally no movable trap doors in the Comet I cars, and the sliding door covered the entire opening including the steps.

Comet 1's all originally had the low platform only doors (like the ones at the Whippany RR Museum). When they were rebuilt to be like the Comet 2's, some got traps so they could be used at high level platforms, but they never had long doors. The ones with the low platform only doors were retired in the early 2000's by the Comet 5's, and the ones with the traps were retired from 2007 to 2009 and replaced by the Multilevels. Some were sold off to other agencies, but most were scrapped.

The Comet 2's used to be like the rebuilt Comet 1's, but in the early 2000's were rebuilt to look like Comet 4's. They received powered long doors as part of that modification. MBTA cars are most similar to the rebuilt Comet 1's and the unrebuilt Comet 2's, having manual doors that don't cover the stairs.

The Comet 3's were the first cars to have long doors, built in the early 90's. By the time they were up for rebuild, NJT was in the middle of their massive Multilevel order, and BBD offered to give them an option to replace the Comet 3's instead of rebuilding them. They were taken out of service in 2010 to 2011 and stored in Bay Head. They were to be sold to another agency, but that fell through. During Hurricane Sandy, they were not removed from Bay Head, and were trashed accordingly, and likely will never run again. I believe there are plans to scrap them within the next 5 years.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:32 am

MBTA3247 wrote:NJT's MLV cars have similar trucks and clearances to the K cars (from what I can quickly find on Google), so I think it becomes more a problem of whether it's worth the cost of modifying the cars.


K cars are taller. MLV's are 14'6" tall, 85' long, 134,000 lbs. (trailer). K cars are 15'6" tall, 85'4" long, 131,000 lbs (per Kawasaki's website). Despite the superficial similarities they're a different structural lineage, so I doubt taking a sheet metal cutter to them to replicate the MLV door setup is going to be as straightforward as it looks. For what it would cost to do that to 210 cars and disaster-pad the contract for the inevitable complications, you could spend less blasting out a one-and-done "Fast 15" bulk contract of rapid-replacement station retrofits to a wad of the system's most rote-generic configuration low-platform stops. Accessibility needle ends up getting pushed further if they just work the infrastructure side of the coin rather than the rolling stock side. Even if they ditched the K-car frame altogether and did like MARC did buying Keep It Simple Stupid™ vanilla stock NJT-configuration MLV's to replace the last of the flats, the 900-series K cars are probably going to be with us another 25+ years. Getting anything close to a complete solution will end up going faster and paying for itself faster by focusing on the dirty work on the platforms.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby BandA » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:07 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...Getting anything close to a complete solution will end up going faster and paying for itself faster by focusing on the dirty work on the platforms.
And shorter dwell times, and allowing conductors to focus on fare collection instead of opening and closing traps. But I think there is still a place for single-level cars where trains carry less than ~~800 passengers.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby Komarovsky » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:42 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...Getting anything close to a complete solution will end up going faster and paying for itself faster by focusing on the dirty work on the platforms.


I agree that would be a bigger help vs power doors for stations that you can go full high. As we both know though, big chunks of Worcester, Fitchburg etc are clearance routes, so we can't do that. Maybe next coach procurement(the one to replace at least some of the flats) it'll come on the T's radar and serve as an anchor point for future fleet common features.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:17 am

BandA wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...Getting anything close to a complete solution will end up going faster and paying for itself faster by focusing on the dirty work on the platforms.
And shorter dwell times, and allowing conductors to focus on fare collection instead of opening and closing traps. But I think there is still a place for single-level cars where trains carry less than ~~800 passengers.


That's not how the math works in practice, though. 4-car all-bi consist seat ~715 passengers, with 2 conductors. Those are already the default consist for off-peaks on the 3 Old Colony lines; you won't see a flat anywhere until last near-peak run where it's time to restock the layovers for the next peak shift change. A 4-car all-flat consist seats about ~460, with 2 conductors. What do they do in-practice, though? They run 5-car flats more often than not because the capacity margin is too small if you get caught running one of those on the wrong side of a shift change or get an unplanned one-off surge like a special event or gameday crowd. And carry the third conductor unless it's so far off-peak that they're absolutely sure they can close off cars.

There's a very good reason why every single push-pull commuter rail operation in North America is either 100% bi-level to begin with or has explicit fleet plans to purge every last one of its flats and hit 100% bi in the next 5-7 years. Flats have flabby cost efficiency.


-- Capacity management is much harder to manage systemwide when individual cars seat anywhere from 88 (some MBB cabs) to 185 (700-series K cars). It's much easier to put together trainsets based on some common multiplier (e.g. bi-levels are ~175-seat units when restroom cars, non-restroom cars, and cabs are averaged together) vs. having to make do with whatever happens to be available in the yard. This results in huge disparities in trains that are way over-capacity or way under-capacity. The same rush hour train with the same number of people on it may have available seating one day, but be standing-room only the next day and running late because of excessive station dwells from the crowding. All because 2 out of the 5 cars were Rotems one morning, but the next morning it was one Rotem and an extra Pullman.

-- Not having flexibility to put together sets with anything resembling a common seating multiplier means the operator has to make very inefficient guesstimates on trainset capacity. For example, Franklin trains are often brutally overcrowded at rush hour and in need of extra cars or trade-ups from flats to bi's. But because Providence and Worcester are southside's alpha dogs (and oft-delayed Worcester draws the most complaints when it's late AND has a standing-room only crowd), those are the ones they have to safety-pad all the time with the most number of cars and highest % of bi's. The disparity between capacity haves and have-nots is pretty jarring on some schedules.

-- Because of the 1 conductor per 2 cars rule, it is much more cost-efficient to put together even-numbered consists than odd-numbered consists. Not having a common seating multiplier means too many trains have to get padded with +1 cars, while others are deprived of -1 cars. This is most apparent on the off-peak where those all-bi Old Colony sets keep to the 4-car minimum while off-peak and Fitchburg trains most often run as 5 flats. There ends up a lot of cost leakage from overstaffing when it's impossible to match conductor shifts with anything resembling a consistent consist size. Off-peaks (especially the midday) wouldn't be such loss leaders if four-packs could be the systemwide baseline for everything except for maybe the Providences that need the extra cushion. And some rush hour runs would see much improved cost recovery if they could systematically be put together 2 cars at a time instead of 4 + 1 + 1 + 1...

-- Not having flexibility to put together sets with common seating multipliers at even coach increments means staff assignments are inefficient and over-hedged. Too many trains carrying extra cars and extra conductors when they're not needed, rather than being able to apportion staff resources/costs more efficiently. When it's a crapshoot how many seats are going to pull out of the yard, you have little choice to but to overestimate staffing.

-- The rider-to-conductor ratio is much poorer in flats than bi's in an era where computer-aided ticketing should be enabling faster fare collection from higher rider-to-conductor ratio. This further compounds the above issues of crapshoot consist capacity and staff over-padding for crapshoot consists.

-- The more the operator has to guesstimate on padding because of crapshoot capacity management, and the more cost leakage there is throughout the service day in staffing inefficiency, the fewer trainsets you can run. How many more off-peak schedules could the T run if everything on the midday was rote four-pack of bi's with 2 conductors and all those extra cars and extra conductors worth of padding over-guesstimates on the existing schedules were simply traded in for more revenue schedules? The FCMB has a lot less cause to bitch and moan about "loss leaders" or backpedal from things like follow-through on Fairmount/Indigo service levels when the equipment and staffing apportionment are nice, taut, and in-balance across the system.



These are some of the conclusions NJ Transit, the continent's largest fleet of flats, reached in their new fleet plan calling for a complete and total purge of their massive Comet and Arrow EMU rosters for MLV coaches and new MLV EMU's. Not only was doing replacement-level 1:1 trade-ups of flats for bi's a large capacity increase in itself, but the efficiency gains of standardizing on a common multiplier for consist capacity was revolutionary enough to justify the cost of mass-procurement of all-new when some of their newest Comet flats are barely in their pre-teens.

Flats are over; the economics of mixed fleets just don't wash compared to uniform-bi operation. Flats have been over for a long, long time out in 8-inch platform territory where BLV's have been around 40 years and gallery cars for 60 years. They're now over on the East Coast, with the MLV's opening the floodgates to every commuter rail agency that had a low-clearance tunnel to deal with. Hell...they're probably over on all non-MNRR/LIRR EMU's too once that newfangled MLV-carbody make NJT is seeking gets built. The Purple Line will never get the same operating efficiency holding onto a mixed fleet vs. getting the deed done with across the whole system.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:24 am

Komarovsky wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...Getting anything close to a complete solution will end up going faster and paying for itself faster by focusing on the dirty work on the platforms.


I agree that would be a bigger help vs power doors for stations that you can go full high. As we both know though, big chunks of Worcester, Fitchburg etc are clearance routes, so we can't do that. Maybe next coach procurement(the one to replace at least some of the flats) it'll come on the T's radar and serve as an anchor point for future fleet common features.


The T has very few clearance-route platforms affected by that. These are the only ones that currently sit on mainline clearance-route track:

Worcester Line (4)
Ashland
Southborough
Westborough
Grafton

Franklin Line (8)*
Endicott
Dedham Corporate
Islington
Norwood Depot
Norwood Central
Windsor Gardens
Plimptonville
Walpole

Haverhill Line, incl. Wildcat Branch (4)
Ballardvale
Andover
Bradford
Haverhill

Lowell Line (5)*
West Medford
Wedgemere
Mishawum
Wilmington
North Billerica

Fitchburg Line (3)
Ayer
Shirley
North Leominster

*Winchester Ctr. already planned for full-high + gauntlet track. Foxboro already planned for full-high + passer upgrade if full-time service happens.



That's it. 24 out of 133 stations that technically exist as lows on a clearance route, 18% of the system. Way, way less than NJ Transit and MNRR West-of-Hudson have to deal with. Then start plucking off the ones that have likely full-high solves for their location:

Worcester Line
Ashland - designed from Day 1 to move platforms back next to instead of in front of the access ramps, insert center passer, re-stripe parking lot around platform-facing row
Westborough - ditto (more space given up on parking lot side)
Grafton - ditto (all space given up on parking lot side)
Southborough - widen River St. overpass to 3 tracks (shoulda been built that way all along!) + relocate stairs, then ditto
Remaining mini-highs: 0

Franklin Line
Walpole - can't put full-length or full-high platform within confines of old depot or wye so widen Elm St. overpass, island platform up top with north freight wye passer, revised interlockings
Endicott - Move outbound platform back into tree buffer, insert center passer
Dedham Corporate - Continue center passer from Endicott to under Route 128 bridge, spread platforms
Plimptonville - close
Remaining mini-highs: 4 (Islington, the Norwoods, WG)

Haverhill Line
Bradford - if layover yard relocated as desired, use vacated yard space to reconfig for new platforms + Downeaster/freight passers
Remaining mini-highs: 3 (Ballardvale, Andover, Haverhill)

Lowell Line
West Medford - spread platforms, hook center Downeaster + freight passer between Canal St. grade crossing and area by MOW siding.
Wilmington - move platforms south of overpass, center Downeaster + freight passer, interlocking mods (probably will need to do this if future Haverhill schedules are going to use the NH Main more often and make local stops)
N. Billerica - re-add missing bridge deck to Mt. Pleasant overpass, spread outbound platform, center freight passer + modified interlocking at Bedford Branch
Remaining mini-highs: 2 (Wedgemere, Mishawum)...and arguably both of those are redundant enough to whack.

Fitchburg Line
Ayer - center island, 2 flanking freight passers, interlocking mods
Shirley - center freight passer
Remaining mini-highs: 1 (N. Leominster). I suppose if completism were the goal, widening the Nashua St. overpass, moving outbound platform closer to power lines, and adding center freight passer does the job...if the town doesn't mind losing the Jiffy Lube or liquor store.

REMAINING TOUGH NUTS TO CRACK: 9. Or 7 if you don't much care for Lowell Line redundancies.


Not that there aren't some high price tags in ^these^, but you get the picture. Stack up the costs for one-time capital charges vs. every-time fleet fragmentation and over-complication, and there isn't a compelling reason for the T to tie itself up in new inefficiencies for such a tiny minority of stops. If they just charge ahead at the totally non-ADA stations we'll be at >50% level boarding. Then enough of the existing ADA mini-high stops are already falling apart from deferred maintenance that simple catch-up on SGR pushes that to supermajority. Unless they're content to let the pavement forever crumble to dust beneath each old platform, the next car purchase will live to see a Purple Line that's 90% or more level boarding during their service lifetimes.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby trainbrain » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:00 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Flats are over; the economics of mixed fleets just don't wash compared to uniform-bi operation. Flats have been over for a long, long time out in 8-inch platform territory where BLV's have been around 40 years and gallery cars for 60 years. They're now over on the East Coast, with the MLV's opening the floodgates to every commuter rail agency that had a low-clearance tunnel to deal with. Hell...they're probably over on all non-MNRR/LIRR EMU's too once that newfangled MLV-carbody make NJT is seeking gets built. The Purple Line will never get the same operating efficiency holding onto a mixed fleet vs. getting the deed done with across the whole system.


I'm pretty sure that LIRR's EMU fleet will remain single level for a long time. East Side Access was built to fit an M7 and nothing an inch bigger. The new M9's are going to be single level for that reason. I'm also sure that that the fleets going to Penn and ESA will mix, so it's easier to have the entire electric fleet able to run into ESA than only a specialized fleet that can.

For push pull equipment, most commuter agencies are going all bilevel. Amtrak will be getting single levels to replace the Amfleets before long, because the BBD MLV's are limited in luggage space. Brightline in Florida is also getting single level equipment. Neither of these are commuter services.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby The EGE » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:40 am

The early-2000s Worcester Line stops are also falling apart rather quickly, as discussed in another thread. I would wager it's just as likely that they get totally new footbridges when full-highs are finally plunked in.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby dbperry » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:06 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
BandA wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...Getting anything close to a complete solution will end up going faster and paying for itself faster by focusing on the dirty work on the platforms.
And shorter dwell times, and allowing conductors to focus on fare collection instead of opening and closing traps. But I think there is still a place for single-level cars where trains carry less than ~~800 passengers.


That's not how the math works in practice, though. 4-car all-bi consist seat ~715 passengers, with 2 conductors. Those are already the default consist for off-peaks on the 3 Old Colony lines; you won't see a flat anywhere until last near-peak run where it's time to restock the layovers for the next peak shift change. A 4-car all-flat consist seats about ~460, with 2 conductors. What do they do in-practice, though?

<snip>



I appreciate your insight, F-line, but I think you've missed the mark on your analysis of set assignment practice (at least at the MBTA).

As evidenced by these two MBTA / Keolis documents (links below), sets are sized according to the 'key load' during the service day. So each set is a combination of bi-level and flats to attempt to have as many or more seats than the largest load for the day. Other comments:

The set size planning algorithm assumes each flat has 114 seats & each bi-level has 180 seats. There is a wide range of seats on flats since the MBB's have 2+2 seating. But there aren't many of those in service, so it seems fair to use the higher 114 seat count as the 'average' since there are so many more of those capacity flats in service. But it's a fair point that the exact number of seats on any particular train is not necessarily exactly equal to the plan. So the 114 and 180 are your "common seating multiplier" but there is NOT one common seating multiplier applied for both bi-levels and flats.

I'm not aware of any effort to avoid odd numbers of coaches within consists. In fact, of the 40 sets, 17 were designated to have an odd number of coaches. In particular, all of the Old Colony sets were assigned five coaches. I don't think the MBTA has the luxury of tweaking set assignment to avoid odd numbers of coaches.

I'm not sure I follow your discussion about mid-day off-peak assignments. The entire schedule rotation is based on the theory that NO changes to set sizes are made in the middle of the day, which seems to be a fair plan, given the constraints of yards and places to reconstruct sets on the fly. So yes, mid-day sets are over-capacity, but even if you were able to strip all the unused coaches off the over-capacity mid-day sets, the constraint would be available locos (and we know we don't have any spares).

Note: Both of these documents are pre-May 23 schedules. I asked for the post May-23 versions but they didn't want to share them until "things settle down." I haven't pushed my luck.

The Old Colony schedule didn't change on May 23, so it's possible that the set assignment schedule post-May 23 is very close to what is shown on the South Side Equipment Schedule.

These are shared with explicit permission from the MBTA.

http://www.dbperry.net/MBTA/articles/So ... _06-15.pdf

http://www.dbperry.net/MBTA/articles/No ... _06-15.pdf

The largest factor recently on set size is the lack of the proper number and type of coaches due to maintenance and repair backlog. Plus the ongoing real-time set size reallocation to meet the ridership values of the new schedule. So it's hard to take any conclusions away from the past few months - it's just a big mess.

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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby Trinnau » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:33 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Because of the 1 conductor per 2 cars rule, it is much more cost-efficient to put together even-numbered consists than odd-numbered consists. Not having a common seating multiplier means too many trains have to get padded with +1 cars, while others are deprived of -1 cars. This is most apparent on the off-peak where those all-bi Old Colony sets keep to the 4-car minimum while off-peak and Fitchburg trains most often run as 5 flats. There ends up a lot of cost leakage from overstaffing when it's impossible to match conductor shifts with anything resembling a consistent consist size. Off-peaks (especially the midday) wouldn't be such loss leaders if four-packs could be the systemwide baseline for everything except for maybe the Providences that need the extra cushion. And some rush hour runs would see much improved cost recovery if they could systematically be put together 2 cars at a time instead of 4 + 1 + 1 + 1...


There is no such one per two car rule. There are actually two rules regarding staff. MBTA requires Keolis to have one body in the train per certain number of passengers by plan (I believe the number is somewhere between 250-300), not cars. Just like they're supposed to have a certain number of seats by plan. The conductor's union also has a requirement baked into their contract regarding the number of open coaches in the consist. So a mid-day train running around with a 7-car set but only 2 cars open (because they don't need the capacity) would only be required to staff 2 cars - not 7.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Not having flexibility to put together sets with common seating multipliers at even coach increments means staff assignments are inefficient and over-hedged. Too many trains carrying extra cars and extra conductors when they're not needed, rather than being able to apportion staff resources/costs more efficiently. When it's a crapshoot how many seats are going to pull out of the yard, you have little choice to but to overestimate staffing.


Tie in the union contract, MBTA rules and federal HOS rules and it's probably better to slightly overstaff the train mid-day because you're already paying for the body anyway to protect rush hour service, might as well use them mid-day too. All the railroad's I've worked for train crews have an 8-hour guarantee if they show up for their assignment. So why work someone just for rush hour then send them home after 4 hours when you still pay them for the other 4? Sure you can go on release, but there are limitations to that too. And again, it's per open car. Cars running around closed don't matter.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:The rider-to-conductor ratio is much poorer in flats than bi's in an era where computer-aided ticketing should be enabling faster fare collection from higher rider-to-conductor ratio. This further compounds the above issues of crapshoot consist capacity and staff over-padding for crapshoot consists.
.

According to the MBTA they are supposed to be the same because the requirement is based on passengers, not cars.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:The more the operator has to guesstimate on padding because of crapshoot capacity management, and the more cost leakage there is throughout the service day in staffing inefficiency, the fewer trainsets you can run. How many more off-peak schedules could the T run if everything on the midday was rote four-pack of bi's with 2 conductors and all those extra cars and extra conductors worth of padding over-guesstimates on the existing schedules were simply traded in for more revenue schedules? The FCMB has a lot less cause to bitch and moan about "loss leaders" or backpedal from things like follow-through on Fairmount/Indigo service levels when the equipment and staffing apportionment are nice, taut, and in-balance across the system.


One thing everyone forgets about additional mid-day service is maintenance time. You can't run the wheels off this stuff in perpetuity, and you're not going to push it all through BET, Southampton or Readville overnight. I'm sure the T could add more off-peak service right now. Just look at the links Mr. Perry posted and see there are sets that only make a handful of trips and sit around for 8 or 9 hours during they day. But they don't, because it will cost more. Crews currently on release mid-day would no longer have that release to keep running the added service. New crews would have to be hired to run the evening service the morning crew can no longer work. This is a much bigger logistical puzzle than you make it out to be.

Not only that, but where's the demand? Sure they could run hourly service on lots of lines, but most of their off-peak trains right now carry less than 100 people. In fact, I counted the south side file Mr. Perry linked and there are 159 trains under 100 passengers. Out of about 300. Better than half. So, according to the T those all only need 1 conductor in the train, but if you're paying someone already why not actually make them work?

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:These are some of the conclusions NJ Transit, the continent's largest fleet of flats, reached in their new fleet plan calling for a complete and total purge of their massive Comet and Arrow EMU rosters for MLV coaches and new MLV EMU's. Not only was doing replacement-level 1:1 trade-ups of flats for bi's a large capacity increase in itself, but the efficiency gains of standardizing on a common multiplier for consist capacity was revolutionary enough to justify the cost of mass-procurement of all-new when some of their newest Comet flats are barely in their pre-teens.

Flats are over; the economics of mixed fleets just don't wash compared to uniform-bi operation. Flats have been over for a long, long time out in 8-inch platform territory where BLV's have been around 40 years and gallery cars for 60 years. They're now over on the East Coast, with the MLV's opening the floodgates to every commuter rail agency that had a low-clearance tunnel to deal with. Hell...they're probably over on all non-MNRR/LIRR EMU's too once that newfangled MLV-carbody make NJT is seeking gets built. The Purple Line will never get the same operating efficiency holding onto a mixed fleet vs. getting the deed done with across the whole system.


There is no doubt the MBTA needs to migrate to all bi-levels ASAP, they even presented that to the FMCB in their state of the commuter rail presentation. Absolutely a 1-for-1 swap will gain efficiency and capacity.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby trainbrain » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:01 pm

MBTA Bilevels have 3x2 seating on both levels while most bilevel cars with other agencies (including Marc and NJT) have 2x2 seating. This is what made NJT's cars very popular among passengers. In general, what do passengers think about riding in the 3x2 bilevels compared to the flats?
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:56 pm

A big issue for passengers is unloading at North and South Stations. In the bilevels, you have a "merge" at the staircase that slows the process compared to flats where passengers just keep moving.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby trainbrain » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:20 pm

That's right, MBTA bilevels don't have the high platform only quarter point doors (in addition to the end doors) that NJT bilevels have, and they can carry more passengers because of the 3x2 seating.

BBD Multilevels can only have 2x2 seating because the lower level has the aisle floor dropped below the floor where the seats are. I believe this is done because it gives extra headroom for those walking in the aisle that was needed because their height is restricted to 14' 6". On taller cars, that extra height makes dropping the aisle floor unnecessary. Because of this design, the seating arrangement has to be symmetrical on each side of the aisle on the lower level. The upper level has the floor at the same height the entire width of the car, and this is not an issue. That's why when they ran for ACES, the 2x1 first class seating was only on the upper level of the car that had it.

On other bilevel designs, there can be 3x2 seating because the seats on each side of the aisle don't need to be symmetrical.
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Re: Rotem Cars Discussion (new bi-level cars)

Postby BandA » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:07 pm

3x2 seating is uncomfortable. And when there are standees it's worse
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