Double deckers

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

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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:23 pm

I was under the understanding that in the past Federal guidelines required a maximum seating capacity. The 3-2 seating certainly presses that point home ( no pun intended). I have heard that those stringent requirements were relaxed to allow for more comfortable 2-2 seating. My guess and it is strictly that would be that the MBTA is still pursuing an active policy of adding seat capacity.

In addition to the rather uncomfortable seating arrangement the other serious downside is the very restrictive aisles that result from 3-2 seating.
I really wish the MBTA would revisit that issue.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:32 pm

yea the aisles aren't wide at all, that is the one thing about the cars that i dislike
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Postby ST214 » Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:33 pm

These cars recieve final assembly in Yonkers,NY. I will be going by there on December 5th, and will see if there are any outside. Usually, there are. If so, i'll try to get a number.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:20 am

You're right, they are for some reason assembled in the same facility as the NYCTA's R142A units, even though I thought we had a "Buy Massachusetts" policy.
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Postby ST214 » Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:00 pm

All the "heavy work" is done in Japan, and then all the other details(Paint, lettering, seats, etc) is done in Yonkers,NY. The Yonkers facility was opened in the mid 90's due to a contract that Kawasaki had with the State of New York. They had to do x amount of the work in New York State, or they could not get the contract. This is also why the Long Island's DE30CAC's and the DE30's were built at Super Steel. They were constructed from "Kits" supplied by EMD. They turned out worse than our GP40MC's, but that's another story. Recent constructs in Yonkers are the VRE and MARC bilevels, as well as the R-142A's. Kawasaki was supposed to build a facility in Nebraska(Or Oklahoma, one of the two), and do all the "heavy work" there, and then ship them to Yonkers, but this never happened. They announced that back a few years ago. Not sure why it never happened, but maybe it's a good thing, because the same Japanese factory that the MBTA cars come out of, gave birth to the Bullet Trains, which have never had a derailment due to tracks or the equipment itself. Only derailment they have ever suffered was in the last earthquake, and it was minor. They can still build a solid railcar in Japan, something we seem to struggle with(As do the Italians AKA Breda). Maybe Kawasaki should have built the Type 8's?????
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:12 am

Maybe Kawasaki should have built the Type 8's?????

I think they SHOULD have manufactured the Type 8 streetcars after all. I certainly agree with you. It sure would have been a better situation than Bread, IMHO.
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Postby trainhq » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:04 pm

Had a chance to ride some of the newer 2 2 seating double deckers on
the L.A. Metrolink. They're very nice; quiet, comfortable and spacious,
and they have restrooms. Clearly better than the current T 3 2 double deckers. Pity the T couldn't get some of those too, but they're too cheap, always trying to cram more people in for less money.
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sat Nov 20, 2004 11:52 pm

Robert Paniagua wrote:You're right, they are for some reason assembled in the same facility as the NYCTA's R142A units, even though I thought we had a "Buy Massachusetts" policy.


Some modification work was done in Readville after receiving the original shipment of Kawasaki's in the early 90's. (Before the MBTA's Readville shops were built next to 2 Yard).

They were worked on at the old factory next to the NEC adjacent to Read Interlocking.
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Postby ceo » Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:15 pm

It's not a question of the T being cheap. Those Bombardier double-decker cars that Metrolink, Sounder et.al. use have low-level doors only, and therefore can't be used on the T, which has a mix of high- and low-level platforms.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:44 pm

exactly, good point ceo :-D
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Postby ST214 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:39 pm

These could come with 2-2 seating, but the T IS too cheap. The VRE and MARC cars are very close to the T's(They were designed off the T's blueprints). They have 2-2 seating. VRE's cars even have carpet!!!
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Postby RailBus63 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:37 pm

3-2 seating is standard on commuter cars in the CT/NY/NJ metro area. Yeah, the aisles are a bit tight, but I believe most passengers prefer the extra seats instead of increased standing room.

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Postby octr202 » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:54 am

In regards to the seating choices made, remember that the MBTA is a very different system from MARC, VRE, or systems on the West Coast. The MBTA CR system is much more overtaxed than newer systems (including MARC -- I know that commuter rail service in Maryland is not new, but MARC has made such vast improvements that it might as well be new). The newer commuter railroads are introducing rail service into places that haven't had it in a lonbg time (or never at all), and are fighting hard for every rider they can get out of a car. They just can't make their service attractive over driving with cramped seating. Here, however, there clearly isn't any shortage of ridership -- most any rush hour train ought to confirm that. The MBTA faces numerous constraints when it comes to increasing train consists, from track space at downtown terminals to the layover yards (or lack thereof) around the system. Without crunching numbers myself, going to 2&2 seating would probably add one-two cars to every rush hour consist -- even if the money for the cars is there, eventually the track space would become an issue.

Does this mean that we get lower quality cars here? Probably. But, remember the trade offs. If you lived in Northern VA, you might get a cushier seat, but, you've probably also only got 4 or 5 rush hour trains, with little or no off peak service, and no weekend service. Its a trade off for having an extensive system like Boston -- people use it, and it gets crowded!
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Postby iandavid » Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:45 pm

octr202 wrote:Are there specific low clearences in RI on the NEC between Providence and TF Green, or is that just simply a convienent place to impose the restriction since they currently don't have any reason to go past there?


My guess is that this restriction had a lot to do with a historical pedestrian bridge that sat over the tracks in Providence, near Roger Williams Park. The bridge was demolished to accomodate the NEC electrification, though, so it may not even be an issue anymore.
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Postby KFRG » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:59 pm

When did the MBTA first take delivery of the BiLevels? Im pretty sure they were the first to take delivery (And I guess aid Kawasaki in the design process) of these common type cars shared by LIRR, VRE, and MARC.
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