FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

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FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby mike.f.bush » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:58 pm

Hello all, first post on this forum. I've just returned to the UK after a very enjoyable trip to the mid-states. Saw a lot of trains, traveled on a couple. Was lucky enough to see a "Boeing Train" pass through Hardin MT.

I took the FrontRunner from Woods Cross into SLC and got to wondering - "Why does a train consist of loco, 3 double-deck carriages AND A NORMAL HEIGHT CARRIAGE"?
I seem to have seen this format elsewhere and I'm not sure why that "normal" coach needs to be there - always between loco and rest of train?
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:07 pm

Believe the former NJT Comet I coach is used as the "Quiet Car" on Frontrunner consists,No cellphone calls or loud talking in that car.
A some point there was a height restriction on the ROW to Pleasant View Station,north of Ogden Union that required the use of single level equipment.
Pleasant View is a limited service passenger station.
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:25 pm

Welcome, Mike!

Backshophoss is right about Quiet Cars (ironic since it’s right next to the locomotive.) Also, when UTA started FrontRunner I think they only had these single-level Comet I cars, built by Pullman-Standard and acquired used from New Jersey Transit. Even though they have additional cars (Bombardier BiLevels) UTA can’t run solid Comet consists because none of their Comets are equipped as cab cars, so they must have decided this was the next best solution.
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby electricron » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:26 am

Let's count the UTA Frontrunner roster....
BiLevel Cab Cars = 22 (101-122)
BiLevel Cars = 18 (201-218)
Comet Cars = 25 (301-325)
Locomotives MP36PH-3C = 18 (1-11, 15-21)
Locomotive RP39-C = 1 (901)
Most UTA trains I'd viewed on YouTube recently have one locomotive, one Comet, and three BiLevel cars (with at least the last one being a cab).
Assuming they use as many BiLevel cars as possible, they could make 13 train sets.
Math = 22 + 18 = 40, 40 / 3 = 13 plus one spare car. Which means they also could use 13 of the 25 Comet cars for the same 13 sets. That leaves them with at least 12 Comet cars in reserve.
I doubt seriously they actually use 12 sets in a day, although I'll admit I don't know. But even if there is just one of the 13 sets not being used, there are enough Comets around to put two of them on every train.

They could have bought all new Bilevel cars, but they bought and refurbished the Comets more than half off buying new BiLevels, so they got more than two used cars for one new car. For the same amount of money, they now have 65 cars in their roster instead of 52 or 53 cars.
It'll probably be years into the future before we'll know if this was a wise investment or not to buy the used Comets, depending upon how long UTA can keep them in service. Right now they aren't using the extra Comets cars in their inventory fully, so one could state they could have bought more new BiLevel cars.
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:04 am

From looking at a schedule dated April 2014,at least 4 sets of equipment 2 sets start from Provo(south)and 2 sets start from Ogden Union(north)
1 north set deadheads to Pleasant View. There might be a Protect set ready in the yard If there're "rush hour" sets,they are out of the yard
near Salt Lake Central station.
There is Sat service needing the 4 sets,no service to Pleasant View.
No service on Sunday and certain Holidays.
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby electricron » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:21 am

The 13 train sets I mentioned earlier would be the maximum they could form at the present usage. Looking at the latest schedules, it appears to me they are using 9 train sets for weekdays morning rush, and two if not more sets for the midday services, followed probably by another 8 train sets for the evening rush. I determined that just by checking arrivals and departures at the northern and southern terminuals....
Southbound trains
Odgen Temple Provo
1) ---------0503>>>0612
2) ---------0533>>>0642
3) 0507>>>0603>>>0712 (Train starts at Pleasant View)
4) 0537>>>0633>>>0742 (Train 4 arrives before this departure)
5) 0607>>>0703>>>0812 (Train starts at Pleasant View)
6) 0637>>>0733>>>0842 (Train 6 arrives before this departure)
7) 0707>>>0803>>>0912 (Train 7 arrives before this departure)

Northbound trains
Odgen Temple Provo
4) 0522<<<0426----------
6) 0622<<<0526----------
7) 0652<<<0556<<<0450
8) 0722<<<0626<<<0520
9) 0752<<<0656<<<0550
1) 0822<<<0726<<<0620 (Train 1 arrives before this departure)
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:35 pm

Throw in 1 set as the protect set,that would make it 10 sets in active service.

Frontrunner is GPS tracked,using google's transit view mapping, at present time(3:50 pm MDT) there are 7 sets on the move!
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby DeseretRails » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:45 pm

Hello everyone! I'm a newbie here, and excited to contribute what I know about my local rail system. The comet cars on FrontRunner are not officially quiet cars. I've never seen any signage to indicate so, and I've heard plenty of talking while riding in them. But, having said that, they are generally more quite than the other cars. They seem to attract only commuters, whereas the bi-level cars attract commuters plus families and younger passengers. The only thing I don't like about the comets is that they have a terrible "clear" plastic (or something) on the windows to protect against vandalism, and it is about as bad as looking through frosted glass (so there is no view out).

The comet cars didn't come into service until after the northern section of the system was active. While I believe they had been purchased before the line was open, they were not yet refurbished. The local news had an article when they were added: https://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4284643
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:21 pm

Believe the former NJT Comet II's could still have the Lexan "plastic glass" installed,needed in the"rock throwing" urban areas back in
the northeastern US area that NJT operates in back when the Comets were new.
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Re: FrontRunner (and other) train make-up

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:06 am

Did they not end up refurbbing the last 10 units? UTA's own 2017 Fact Sheet still says it's 38 BLV's and just 15 Comets on the roster, while the original launch plan for FrontRunner South was to segment the fleets 20 BLV's/15 Comets to FR North and 18 BLV's/10 Comets to FR South. Given that both halves of the system are blowing out their ridership expectations, seems strange that they somehow wouldn't need every single car in their possession for service.
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