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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Re: DMU question

Postby realtype » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:44 am

Noel Weaver wrote:
realtype wrote:I don't know what the RTA was even thinking. Those things should have never been used for commuter service. Just look at how it dwarfs the B'dier bilevel and the F40. They probably couldn't even come close to matching the clearance reqs. for any passenger RR in the Northeast. I wonder if that can even reach 80mph safely. These cars were intended for excusion use, CRC wanted to make an extra buck by pitching them for commuter use, and Tri-Rail fell for it.


I do not agree with you, these cars easily fit clearances here in South Florida, they ride as good as anything else and they
are new and clean, I hope they stay at least halfway decent over the coming years.
I think this equipment is working out OK on Tri-Rail and I don't think Tri-Rall fell for anything.
If they are able to get parts for them as necessary, I think they will be running for at least a while.
Noel Weaver


I didn't say they weren't comfortable or ride good. They're excursion equipment so they have to be comfortable. But, I still think they shouldn't have been used for commuter service. Here are some other criticisms straight from wikipedia:

"Criticism
The DMU consists are generally considered more comfortable in terms of seating than the Bombardier coaches they were acquired to replace. However, they suffer from a lack of bicycle and luggage storage that have been a continual source of irritation and complaints from daily and airport commuters ever since the DMU's original prototype phase. Additionally, wheelchair accessibility is compromised by the entrance steps necessitated by the unit's higher floorboards (required to clear the Detroit prime movers). This problem remains uncorrected, despite the acquisition of the new Colorado Railcar rolling stock.

Additionally, operators contended that a single DMU and trailer car are underpowered for sufficient in-service acceleration, and could not effectively negotiate the 40+ foot grade over the New River Bridge without a helper locomotive, thus defeating the purpose of a self-propelled coach. The addition of a second DMU to the two car motor/trailer consist has since appeared to solve the problem of the New River bridge grade, but acceleration still remains an issue in practice. Whether the DMU's prime movers will accept the strain of present revenue operations remains to be seen."

It seems to be that these are serious (and predictable) problems that stress the point that the CRC designs were never intended for commuter rail.
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Re: DMU question

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:34 am

realtype wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:
realtype wrote:I don't know what the RTA was even thinking. Those things should have never been used for commuter service. Just look at how it dwarfs the B'dier bilevel and the F40. They probably couldn't even come close to matching the clearance reqs. for any passenger RR in the Northeast. I wonder if that can even reach 80mph safely. These cars were intended for excusion use, CRC wanted to make an extra buck by pitching them for commuter use, and Tri-Rail fell for it.


I do not agree with you, these cars easily fit clearances here in South Florida, they ride as good as anything else and they
are new and clean, I hope they stay at least halfway decent over the coming years.
I think this equipment is working out OK on Tri-Rail and I don't think Tri-Rall fell for anything.
If they are able to get parts for them as necessary, I think they will be running for at least a while.
Noel Weaver


I didn't say they weren't comfortable or ride good. They're excursion equipment so they have to be comfortable. But, I still think they shouldn't have been used for commuter service. Here are some other criticisms straight from wikipedia:

"Criticism
The DMU consists are generally considered more comfortable in terms of seating than the Bombardier coaches they were acquired to replace. However, they suffer from a lack of bicycle and luggage storage that have been a continual source of irritation and complaints from daily and airport commuters ever since the DMU's original prototype phase. Additionally, wheelchair accessibility is compromised by the entrance steps necessitated by the unit's higher floorboards (required to clear the Detroit prime movers). This problem remains uncorrected, despite the acquisition of the new Colorado Railcar rolling stock.

Additionally, operators contended that a single DMU and trailer car are underpowered for sufficient in-service acceleration, and could not effectively negotiate the 40+ foot grade over the New River Bridge without a helper locomotive, thus defeating the purpose of a self-propelled coach. The addition of a second DMU to the two car motor/trailer consist has since appeared to solve the problem of the New River bridge grade, but acceleration still remains an issue in practice. Whether the DMU's prime movers will accept the strain of present revenue operations remains to be seen."

It seems to be that these are serious (and predictable) problems that stress the point that the CRC designs were never intended for commuter rail.


I have ridden the full three car train several times and it did not seem to me that they had any problems negotiating the
grade over the New River at the time.
Two car operation with just a power car and trailer is not possible because the DUM trailer is simply that and has no
controls.
The main obstacle to future operation of this equipment as I see it is the possibility that parts will be hard to come by and
anything like this always will need various replacement parts.
Probably the jury is still out as to the future of this equipment but for now Tri-Rail needs everything equipment wise that will move.
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Re: DMU question

Postby Kurt-Trirail » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:54 pm

realtype wrote:Here are some other criticisms straight from wikipedia:


While no fan of the cars myself, I would like to note that Wiki comments should not be considered conclusive.

-Kurt
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Re: DMU question

Postby realtype » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:05 am

Kurt-Trirail wrote:
realtype wrote:Here are some other criticisms straight from wikipedia:


While no fan of the cars myself, I would like to note that Wiki comments should not be considered conclusive.

-Kurt


I completely agree, but those criticisms sound very legit to me. I doubt anyone would "make up" stuff like that.
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Re: DMU question

Postby Penn Central » Tue May 19, 2009 11:24 am

I think these cars are going to be around for a while. When CRC went belly up, everyone suspected that parts would be hard to come by. That might not be the case because very few wear and tear items were made by CRC. They were all provided by outside vendors. When I ran the simulator facility for Metro-North, we built a Genesis cab with no help from GE. The most expensive item was the throttle assembly, which cost almost $10,000. Because the Metro-North throttle was unique, with no dynamic brake section, they were expensive and had to be custom ordered, but were still available. I took the only spare from the storeroom in Harmon with the understanding that the simulator company (Orthstar) would not modify the unit. To this day, Metro-North has never had to replace a throttle in a Genesis cab, but if they needed one, they could take it from the simulator. If Tri-Rail needs to fabricate parts that are not available from vendors, they can probably do so done easily.
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