Equipment cycles and DMU question

Discussion about Florida commuter rail operations including Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority in southern Florida. All Aboard Florida (Brightline) is discussed here: Florida East Coast Railway).

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Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Supaned » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:05 pm

Hello everybody,

I'm a railfan from the Uk , I'll be visiting Miami and Fort Lauderdale next month. As part of my trip , I intend to ride on and photograph Tri-Rail.

I'd like to ride behind as many different locomotives as possible , so I'm hoping that somebody can help with the equipment cycles , for example :

train set 1 works p601 to Miami then P602 to Mangonia Park then P603 to Miami , and so on.

Also , are there specific cycles for the DMU trains ?

Thanks in advance for any assistance

Best Wishes

Richard Lea , Warwickshire UK
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:09 pm

I think you will find the DMU equipment running in both the AM and PM rush hour. I suggest you had for one of the busier stations and just make yourself comfortable on a bench, have a ticket in your hand and when the equipment comes in that suits your fancy just hop on. In the rush hour it is usually 20 to 30 minutes between trains and it is no more than an hour in off hours as well. I am not sure just what trains the DMU cars are used on today, I think it might change from day to day. Generally all trains consist of three cars which between the two levels can seat a lot of passengers. the ride is generally very comfortable, the cars clean and the trains are almost always on time. Enjoy your visit to our area.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby WelshPete » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:12 pm

Hey Supaned

I too am from the UK and wanted to travel with Tri-Rail. Last Thursday (25th) I arrived in Miami on Amtrak' train 91. All Tri-Rail services that passed by were loco and coaches, and on arrival at Miami I did train P644 with 812 from the metrorail transfer station (2-3 mins walk from Amtrak station) to Deerfield Beach, where I was staying. I assume they have just one DMU down in Miami, and if this is the case it was split up in a couple of pieces on the shed, good news if you don't want to ride it.

On Friday (26th) I did a couple of hours on the trains as follows...
815 P615 0814 Deerfield Beach to Cypress Creek
803 P614 0834 Cypress Creek to Pompano Beach
802 & 814 P617 Pompano Beach to Fort Lauderdale
808 P616 0909 Fort Lauderdale to Deerfield Beach
809 P619 0944 Deerfield Beach to Cypress Creek
810 P618 1016 Cypress Creek to Deerfield Beach

I then collected my bag from the hotel, took P623 - loco 808 - to Metrorail Transfer station and headed downtown for the day before a flight from Miami.

Hope this helps
Pete Callaghan
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby train2 » Fri May 17, 2013 6:24 pm

If you are interested in the equipment, keep in mind tri-rail has 3 GP style body units that have a pretty interesting background. I don't recall the unit numbers but these things will be obvious. The units were rare GP39X units of Southern railway. They were built with high short hoods. When retired from SR, the units were rebuilt into low hood passenger power. I am pretty sure these are the only non-cowl units on tri-rail.

To be technically correct they were built as something like Gp39Xs and then redone at SR as GP49s. If I am fuzzy on the details of this someone will correct.

Anyone know what Tri-rail calls them now?

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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 18, 2013 9:27 pm

I was at Fort Lauderdale station on Friday, May 17th between 8:40 AM and 9:00 AM waiting for Amtrak 98 and while waiting train 617 which was due southbound at 9:05 AM came in with the DMU set, I don't know what other train or trains it operated on that day or on any other days but this might be a good bet for seeing or riding these cars. Tri-Rail bases equipment both at West Palm and at Hialeah but i think the DUM equipment is based out of Hialeah.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby chrsjrcj » Sat May 18, 2013 11:51 pm

Wow. I was actually on 617 a couple weeks ago (on a Thursday) and it was a traditional 3 car Bombardier set. I noticed all the DMUs were in Hialeah Yard. Probably getting worked on. 617 ended up turning at Hialeah Market to become 620, for what it's worth.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:45 am

I talked with a friend who works for Tri-Rail yesterday and he told me the DMU stuff is not currently operating. It is just sitting at Hialeah. The DMU equipment is in his words "junk".
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:55 am

Kind of predicted that before the CRC hype.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby chrsjrcj » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:52 am

Noel Weaver wrote:I talked with a friend who works for Tri-Rail yesterday and he told me the DMU stuff is not currently operating. It is just sitting at Hialeah. The DMU equipment is in his words "junk".
Noel Weaver


Suspected that. Oh well, that's too bad.

I'm getting used to the new Hyundai-Rotem cars now. At least the seat cushions are better than worn out ones on the old Bombardier cars.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:14 am

In the course of the above conversation he also told me the new Rotem cars were 1/3 heavier than the older cars, I wonder how the new engines will work out with them although with only three car trains I doubt if it will be a big issue.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby NH2060 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:43 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:In the course of the above conversation he also told me the new Rotem cars were 1/3 heavier than the older cars, I wonder how the new engines will work out with them although with only three car trains I doubt if it will be a big issue.
Noel Weaver

Well these were tailor made to be "collapsable" and resistant to another Chatsworth-style crash so it makes sense that they'd have the extra weight. Those older coaches never really did hold up well in a wreck (unless the newer BBD models have better crash worthiness than the older 1990s-era Metrolink BBD models).

Either way I wish they'd pick a better paint scheme than that "palm tree skyline" or whatever they call it :-P I am a bit disappointed they didn't go with the "sloping stripes" paint scheme for the BL36s. That livery looks very sharp on the rebuilt F40s.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:17 am

NH2060 wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:Either way I wish they'd pick a better paint scheme than that "palm tree skyline" or whatever they call it :-P I am a bit disappointed they didn't go with the "sloping stripes" paint scheme for the BL36s. That livery looks very sharp on the rebuilt F40s.


Sorry about that but HEY this is South Florida and we have beaches and Palm Trees. Actually I think the cars look quite attractive, a lot better than the automobiles next door on I-95.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby Kurt-Trirail » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:52 pm

train2 wrote:If you are interested in the equipment, keep in mind tri-rail has 3 GP style body units that have a pretty interesting background.


Six, not three. Current designation is GP49H-3.

Noel Weaver wrote:I talked with a friend who works for Tri-Rail yesterday and he told me the DMU stuff is not currently operating. It is just sitting at Hialeah. The DMU equipment is in his words "junk".
Noel Weaver


Though most everyone was agreed upon the propulsion system as being a recipe for disaster, that leads me to wonder whether the overall wiring and construction of the cars are below-par as well.

After all, propulsion and cab control reliability aside, the two trailer cars should remain usable service equipment within standard Tri-Rail consists; especially if the mechanical "wear and tear" on the first order of Bombardiers are as bad as we are led to believe. Yet, they have chosen to sideline all six pieces of equipment; are they so poorly built that the cars' public interface (door mechanisms, bathroom facilities, seat mounts, etc.) have already failed to withstand the rigors of commuter work?

If this is what is claimed, I have a hard time believing it. Alaska Railroad has been shuttling cruise ship tourists in Colorado Railcar equipment of nearly identical construction for a number of years now with a lifespan that has long exceeded anything of what Tri-Rail has tried to squeeze from their units.

NH2060 wrote:Either way I wish they'd pick a better paint scheme than that "palm tree skyline" or whatever they call it :-P I am a bit disappointed they didn't go with the "sloping stripes" paint scheme for the BL36s. That livery looks very sharp on the rebuilt F40s.


I'm not keen on the scheme either, but the BL36PH scheme denotes a landmark in Tri-Rail history: The first time both locomotives and cars match each other.

It is a shame the rainbow stripe scheme wasn't carried out through the coaches as on the locomotives. Granted, we were given an idea of what such a combination would look like when the DMU trailer cars were running as spare coaches, but the DMU scheme - despite being derivative - never matched up.

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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby wigwagfan » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:08 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:I talked with a friend who works for Tri-Rail yesterday and he told me the DMU stuff is not currently operating. It is just sitting at Hialeah. The DMU equipment is in his words "junk".
Noel Weaver


There's a transit agency in Oregon that would love to have them.......

............except that the transit agency in Oregon decided to go with high-level platforms, which are unheard of out west. Guess no using those Tri-Rail DMUs. Maybe Sound Transit could make use of them on the Seattle-Everett run that are down to two cars and a locomotive.
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Re: Equipment cycles and DMU question

Postby electricron » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:08 pm

wigwagfan wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:I talked with a friend who works for Tri-Rail yesterday and he told me the DMU stuff is not currently operating. It is just sitting at Hialeah. The DMU equipment is in his words "junk".
Noel Weaver


There's a transit agency in Oregon that would love to have them.......

............except that the transit agency in Oregon decided to go with high-level platforms, which are unheard of out west. Guess no using those Tri-Rail DMUs. Maybe Sound Transit could make use of them on the Seattle-Everett run that are down to two cars and a locomotive.

TriMet should look at getting them, for the right price. How low will TriRail sell them?

It's disappointing how poorly the Sounder trains draw riders from Everett. Mudslides have destroyed many riders confidence that the trains will even run.
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