New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:45 am

Photos of interior mock-up of new Orange Line cars to be built by China Railroad Rolling Stock Corp:

http://www.wcvb.com/article/take-a-look-inside-the-next-generation-of-mbta-train-cars/9163250
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby octr202 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:37 am

Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:56 pm

After looking at the mock-up, I ask again, "why not go with a off-the-design" rather than something unique or different? The PA5 would be the right choice, as the older Blue and Orange Line cars were based on PA3.
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:24 pm

Might be a bit ot,but,lets see what CRRC comes up with for LA and for SEPTA design wise.
This could be "cloned" off the PA-5 design with their "design twist" so as not be seen as a "copy" of a proven design.
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby orange1234 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:57 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:After looking at the mock-up, I ask again, "why not go with a off-the-design" rather than something unique or different? The PA5 would be the right choice, as the older Blue and Orange Line cars were based on PA3.


Because there's no such thing as an off-the-shelf heavy-rail subway car. Every subway system has their own unique operational and physical requirements. Yes, the Hawker-Siddeley Blue and Orange Line cars were based off the Path PA3, but the design was heavily modified to meet the MBTA's requirements. Where else in the world do you see a Path PA-5 operate? How about a Red Line 01800? What other system operates that kind of vehicle?
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:07 am

More to-the-point...isn't that exactly what they're doing with this order??? One car make is going to replace three differing makes (more if you want to split hairs on the minor differences between the RL 15/16/17's) with a fresh template. The first time ever, in 105 years and counting, that Red will ever have one completely unified fleet. 418 out of 512 (81%) of the rostered HRT cars on the system will be exactly 100% mechanically and electronically the same thing living inside different stainless steel shells.

Yes, it's a risk going with a first-time entrant into the domestic market. But CRRC are hardly newbies when it comes to HRT. And the T's now been joined by CTA with its 846-car El order with CRRC in very similar component packaging, so Boston is hardly out on a limb here. The supply chain for supporting these cars is going to last for many decades because of the sheer size of those combined T and CTA orders being templated on roughly the same technological generation. SEPTA has good reason to worry about CRRC's capability to deliver on FRA-compliant bi-level coaches and cab cars as the first domestic order on a relatively small (45 unit) batch where the low bidder won despite scoring lower on technical capability than Bombardier with its ubiquitous MLV's. The nervousness is palpable in that SEPTA subforum thread, and I'd have similar reservations about the T picking them for the next 100+ unit order of commuter rail bi's at any point before they have a real, fully-debugged shipping product on American rails to judge from because domestic CR is a legit virgin market for them. But HRT doesn't have to swim in the wonderful world of FRA compliance, so international reputation with metro cars is a much more reliable predictor of domestic success. The only hurdle they truly have to clear is the Buy America gymnastics of putting together a competent local assembly factory for the foreign-manufactured components. Not the highest bar by any means...they just have to not pull a Rotem/Philly with the Springfield factory.
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby typesix » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:58 am

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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby jonnhrr » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:41 pm

The first time ever, in 105 years and counting, that Red will ever have one completely unified fleet.


Just to nit pick, the Red Line did have a unified fleet from 1963 to 1969 when the 01400 "Bluebirds" took over, but that only lasted for 6 years until the 01500's started showing up for the Quincy/Braintree extension. But your point is well taken and I am sure this will be a significant improvement for fleet maintenance with only one set of parts to worry about.

We have to get over this idea that anything that comes from China is automatically junk. Just as what historically happened with Japan, their early attempts at manufacturing may have been shoddy but they are capable of quality products if the buyers set applicable standards and hold them to it.

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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby dieciduej » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:07 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:Photos of interior mock-up of new Orange Line cars to be built by China Railroad Rolling Stock Corp:

http://www.wcvb.com/article/take-a-look-inside-the-next-generation-of-mbta-train-cars/9163250


Interesting that the destination sign says Chinatown in the photo.

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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby Head-end View » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:34 pm

I think the skepticism of CRRC's ability to produce a quality product is because the Hyundai-Rotem scandal in Philly and Boston left such a bad taste in everyone's mouth re: any builder that has no history in building to U.S. standards.

However it is worth noting that when Kawasaki built its first product for the U.S. it was a success from the start. That was a subway car fleet for Philadelphia circa 1981, and by then Japanese industries were already pretty well skilled at building good quality.
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:48 am

There's also Breda. But Breda was a very experienced HRT builder (mainstay of the Washington Metro, MARTA, and Miami MetroRail fleets) that belly-flopped trying to get into the modern LRV market. Previous incarnations of the company had done high-floor trams, but umpteen mergers in the 80's and 90's and a 15-year lull between orders had washed out most of their institutional knowledge, so they were starting over. The Type 8's and MUNI LRV2/LRV3's were epic fiascoes, and their similar-era T68/T69's in the UK were trouble-prone oddities retired before their time. Breda was a legitimately much bigger risk for light rail 20 years ago, and the T and MUNI paid dearly for that. I doubt there would've been similar problems if, say, Breda had gotten the Blue Line contract instead because they have such a huge and generally successful worldwide installed base of metro cars that require very little mechanical/electronic customization to fit into different system dimensions. CRRC's worldwide installed base of metro cars is at least as large as Breda's. Theirs just skews to Asia and Middle East instead of Mainland Europe and Southeastern U.S. But HRT is pretty much HRT worldwide, with not a whole lot of wild variety in applications other than signaling tech. So experience is experience and success is success regardless of which continental market it skews to.


SEPTA's commuter rail coach order is the only one that's taking a big risk by going with CRRC, because FRA-compliant domestic rail is a very tough nut to crack. Especially for builders who do more business in Asia where mainline rail is generally lighter-weight than Europe; Euro-derived designs are much easier to adapt to North America than Asian. SEPTA needs MLV-size bi-levels and cabs for the tight (tighter than K-car) clearances of Center City, and unlike the exact clones of the K-car and 8-inch boarding Bombardier BLV tincans that are now on the market from second-source vendors (Rotem for each, but other builders likely to follow) the MLV's patents are still too new to reverse-engineer so CRRC's product is going to be a lot of fresh design. On a small order. That's a big risk for an agency that's had a bad history with risk-taking on custom designs, and has already been burned by a Southeast Asian vendor trying to crack FRA compliance for the first time.

So I would hope if the FCMB pushes out the next CR coach order soon that they aren't so politically over-the-moon to do all their business through CRRC-Springfield because of that big CR maint outsourcing goal of Baker's people. The next bi-level RFP shouldn't be gifted as a big wet kiss for them if Kawasaki happens to submit a competitive bid from their busy Yonkers factory. The T did amend its bid requirements after the Breda and Rotem disasters to provide overrides for builder expertise; per the SEPTA subforum thread SEPTA did not and is still boxed into low-bidder-trumps-all (in this case the runner-up for their bi-levels was Rotem once again). It's one thing to give the order to CRRC if Kawasaki just isn't interested because it's too swamped in Yonkers with MTA orders and bids an unattainable price. In that case they'll have enough years of working history under belt with CRRC and grading CRRC on how faithfully they stick to specs and workmanship on the Orange/Red cars to evaluate their ability to follow the K-car template. But you know for damn sure they're going to underbid again at a loss to go gangbusters at vendor lock-in with the T, so low bid alone can't be what nets them an FRA-compliant order tasked with recovering the fumble from the Brokem +75 car contract option being totally unsuitable. There's real priority on getting someone who's done this before without incident.
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby merrick1 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:32 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:The PA5 would be the right choice, as the older Blue and Orange Line cars were based on PA3.
I've seen it mentioned a in few places that the MBTA's 0600 and 01200 cars were based on the PATH's PA3 cars. As far as I know the PA3 cars were aluminum and the 0600 and 01200 cars are steel. Aluminum and steel have very different properties. It seems to me the the cars couldn't have had that much in common.

The mechanicals are also different. PATH PA cars had a controller handle and a separate brake handle. MBTA cars have a one handle Cineston controller
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:51 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:There's also Breda. But Breda was a very experienced HRT builder (mainstay of the Washington Metro, MARTA, and Miami MetroRail fleets) that belly-flopped trying to get into the modern LRV market.

Breda built the LA Metro Red Line cars. The Miami Metrorail and Baltimore Metro cars were Budd/TransitAmerica. I once thought they were Breda until I learned about Budd/TransitAmerica building them. Regarding Breda and light rail, the 1981 Breda cars on the GCRTA Shaker Heights Rapid Transit are still rolling (among Breda's first North American ventures).

merrick1 wrote: I've seen it mentioned a in few places that the MBTA's 0600 and 01200 cars were based on the PATH's PA3 cars. As far as I know the PA3 cars were aluminum and the 0600 and 01200 cars are steel. Aluminum and steel have very different properties. It seems to me the the cars couldn't have had that much in common.

The mechanicals are also different. PATH PA cars had a controller handle and a separate brake handle. MBTA cars have a one handle Cineston controller

The PA3s were Westinghouse, the 0600/01200s GE as well, to come think. There may be some structural differences as well, as the PATH cars were built to a 1956 ICC rule for crash-load specs applying to passenger MU locomotives operating in mixed freight traffic on AAR/ICC/FRA roads.
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby rethcir » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:37 am

http://commonwealthmagazine.org/transpo ... city-hall/

The scale model will be available to check out at City Hall plaza - presumably so they can see what it looks like with grafiti.

I'm a bit concerned about the plastic seats, didn't they have to change those on the new Blue Line cars pretty quickly since they were so slick?
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Re: New Orange and Red Line Car Acquisition Process

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:29 pm

I guess CRRC will gain a wealth of live data about the 'derriere viscosity' risk potential of the seating materials if it happens to rain during the City Hall show-and-tell period and enough wet butts have taken the taste test. :wink:
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