Rumor du jour: Electric Engines

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

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Postby CSX Conductor » Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:25 pm

CRail wrote:im talking commuter trains. 79 in css terr. and 59 elswhere (aka: the north side)


Not really, as the Franklin Branch is not cab-signalled and has a maximum authorized speed of 70 MPH for passenger trains. :wink:
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Postby CRail » Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:38 pm

commuter trains can? There arent any company rules in that dep.?

My "uncle" who runs for mbcr said it was 60 in non css terr. which is why we were traveling hat 62. He calls himself a rebel. :-)
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Postby CSX Conductor » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:24 pm

Perhaps he needs to re-qualify on the Franklin Branch. LOL :P
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Postby CRail » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:33 pm

North Side, maybe the rules are different? Probably not qualified on the Franklin branch.
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Postby ryanov » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:26 pm

octr202 wrote:A handful of flashy purple and silver. high-tech looking electirc engines would buy a nice piece of "look at me, I'm saving our air" for state politicians, regardless of just how practical they are.


I gotta wonder how practical running diesels under catenary is.
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Postby ryanov » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:27 pm

Xplorer2000 wrote:What about M.Us??
NJT has quite a few EMUs stored around their system , that could be rehabbed at less than the price of even a bunch of second-hand electric locomotives, and pressed into Boston-Providence-T.F.Green service.


We do? Where?

I think you are mistaken, sir.
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Postby ryanov » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:29 pm

CSX Conductor wrote:
CRail wrote:That sounds like a perfectly logical plan but how many surplus engines does NJT have to let us borrow?


I wonder if they still have any of the retired U-Boats hanging around. r better yet.....the old GG-1 that I saw near Hoboken about 10 or 15 years ago. Now that would be sweet! :-D


There are no surplus electric engines. The U-boats are all scrapped, save for the one owned by a historical society (can't remember who) and operated by NYGL.
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:18 pm

I gotta wonder how practical running diesels under catenary is.

Rather, actually, considering that only one of the eight routes operating from South Station is under wire. If there were more than that under catenary, then sure, having electrics would make much more sense. But as it is, with diesels running on all routes, you have the ability to grab any available trainset and use it on any line in a pinch. Not going to do much good if you need to swap equipment around to get a set to cover a Worcester train and the only good set you have available has an electric on the point, right?
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Postby Nasadowsk » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:38 am

CDOT moving away from EMUs? Gee, that study came out about a year ago. They'd save over 30 years a whopping 50 million bucks, yet the service would be significantly slower, and the flexibility would be zilch. In the end, there'd be virtually no savings.

Verdict? They're keeping EMU operation.

NJT's the only ones who are moving away from EMUs, everyone else is sticking with them. Actually, NJT's operations were almost always split between locos and MUs anyway. It's just that recently the balance has shifted a bit. I suspect sooner or later, it'll shift back, particularly if they ever kick any sense into the MMC.

Locomotives? The MBTA has two to choose from now - the ALP-46 and HHP-8. They're very close on paper (but different designs). Most NJT crews like the '46s though. I've not heard much great aboout the HHP-8s, thought they're NOWHERE near the disasters most people say they are. Yes, they had issues when new, but I've heard as of late, they run well.

With the lethargic acceleration of Providence line trains, I bet a simple switch to electrics would shave a few minutes off the running time. the current diesels are <b>slow</b>.

With a 100mph rated EMU that has high HP, you'd be talking about a significant time savings. I don't think a faster than 100mph unit would be required, practical, or useful.

Anyway, I'm surprised they've not started electrifying the south side. A good speed up of the system could attract many more riders.

But, the stupidity is, the MBTA has something that nobody's ever had before in the US, and that's a chance to test electric operation with virtually no comittment. Just lease a few units from NJT. It's worth at least trying or a while to see what real world results would be gotten, not to mention if the public would approve of it.
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Postby RailBus63 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:29 am

Electrify more south-side lines? Where are those dollars coming from? The MBTA is getting sued because they can't afford to build all the lines they agreed to build a decade ago, and the Big Dig debacle has ensured that there will be no extra monies coming from Congress for quite some time.

And the MBTA shouldn't be worried about attracting riders, since the biggest gripe from riders concerns the lack of seats on peak trains. And that is at the heart of why I believe this thread is pie-in-the-sky. The T needs to master the basics before they go off and spend millions on buying electric engines and MU's or stringing catenary to Forge Park. Those dollars would be far better spent getting more double-deckers to add seating capacity. Faster train acceleration and shaving a few minutes off schedules would certainly be nice, but I'd guess more commuters would be far happier if MBCR and the MBTA could spend their time figuring out how to run trains on schedule more consistently and adding seats.

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Postby CRail » Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:01 am

I'd say consistancy is more important then adding seats, How about getting a train on time in the cold, That would be good!
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Postby ckb » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:39 pm

Adding seats means purchasing new cars. Perhaps as part of the process towards purchasing new cars, the MBTA may want to consider EMU purchases ...

Actually, the start of electrification could very nicely tie in to the renovation and expansion of services on the fairmount line. To date, more frequent DMU-type service has been proposed, but at just under 10 miles it seems like a nice way to start adding electrification -- its near to the "main line", EMU service with more stops would be even more effective than DMU service (note that DMU's would require the same 90-day inspection criteria as EMU's and also be "orphan equipment").
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:41 pm

Electrifying the Fairmount Line would also provide a redundant route into Boston for Amtrak trains -- which would be very useful in case something like the Back Bay crash ever happens again.
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Postby octr202 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:44 pm

And, if you start stringing wire and buying EMU's, the Needham Branch would be a good candidate too. Given the short distance and closely spaced stops, a short EMU train should be able to work well for off-peak service. With two-car trains, they might be able to justify even having Sunday service.

Ok, enough dreaming....
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Postby efin98 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:50 pm

Ironic, people bash the Commonwealth for wasting billions of dollars on the Big Dig while bashing the MBTA for not wasting of billions of dollars on electrification. Pure hypocracy. Not surprising to see the biggest advocates for electrics and bashers of the MBTA for not buying them as soon as the first wire was strung up are those who will not have to pay a dime for them...

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Amtrak and NOT the MBTA own the wires on the Attleborough Line and therefore the T has no right to use them? If that's true you can add payments to Amtrak for the use of their wires to the costs of the electric service...


Bottom line: this rumor has gotten out of hand, how about some verification before we start going into this debate AGAIN.
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