Viewliner II Delivery/Production

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Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:51 am

Yes, use of brand new VII-Diners as axle count cars and the reluctance to assign them to 50-51 - Cardinal and 91-92 - Silver Star, does seem a waste.

But evidently, the passenger volume on both is of level that only one Food Service car with one LSA assigned is deemed adequate.

Now when the V-II Sleepers are finally delivered and the planned conversion of the V-I's to the V-II configuration, AND assuming all are placed in revenue service, there could well be requirement for additional F&B service.

mtuandrew
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:38 am

Has Amtrak ever pushed less-than-carload freight service on the CN and UP lines in question? It wouldn’t take a lot of freight to make it worth the loading & unloading time, even at very low rates. Would be less wasteful than hauling around boxes of air anyway.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:23 pm

Mr. Stephens, to promote handling any freight beyond what could be considered "Express" exceeds the enacted intent of RPSA70 . Even though amended many times over the past half century, it remains the underlying legislation governing the Amtrak era.

The Warrington/Ellis "Express initiative" was really pushing the definition of "Express" beyond the limits of any reasonsble definition of such - and Amtrak further showed they did not have the necessary institutional structure in place as well.

electricron
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by electricron » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:18 pm

There will be other alternatives than running brand new Viewliner 2 diner-lounge cars to maintain axle count levels up soon. The older (1)Horizon and (2)Amfleet cars being put out to pasture by the brand new Siemens cars. Another alternative would be for (3)Illinois to fund refurbishment of the Canadian National railroad corridor so addition cars are not needed anymore. Amtrak could try to speed that process up by refusing to add cars and therefore run these trains slower - which should make enough passengers mad enough to complain to their state legislator to spring for the additional state funding. But I doubt Amtrak would be that cruel to its passengers.

CHTT1
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by CHTT1 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:52 pm

Refurbishment of the Chicago-Cardondale line is part of an Illinois transportation package that has been approved by the state legislature. Frankly, I don't think the state should have to fund basic safety improvements like making sure that gates function properly. CN seems to be the only railroad that has a problem with this (although UP seems to have jumped on the bandwagon with the River Runners and some Surfliners). So let the CN figure out the problem and fix it. If IDOT finds the CN is unable to operate a safe railroad, shut the whole thing down until they make the proper improvements.

ApproachMedium
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:16 am

electricron wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:18 pm
There will be other alternatives than running brand new Viewliner 2 diner-lounge cars to maintain axle count levels up soon. The older (1)Horizon and (2)Amfleet cars being put out to pasture by the brand new Siemens cars. Another alternative would be for (3)Illinois to fund refurbishment of the Canadian National railroad corridor so addition cars are not needed anymore. Amtrak could try to speed that process up by refusing to add cars and therefore run these trains slower - which should make enough passengers mad enough to complain to their state legislator to spring for the additional state funding. But I doubt Amtrak would be that cruel to its passengers.
Ahem, let me chime in with my connections to the signaling world. This is not a need for refurbishment. This is a problem that exists thanks to the newer wheel profile of amtrak cars and NEWER signaling equipment. This is not just a CN, CP or UP problem. This is a national problem. All of the railroads had a meeting about this issue and had to do a few studies about it. The new wheel profile was chosen to help cars go around curves smoother and help with truck hunting on curves which gave passengers a rough ride. The new wheel profile does EXACTLY what they designed it to do, on various forms of track. The problem is it makes even less contact with the surface of the rail as the train travels, and at higher speeds. This causes the relays to see the train coming and going from the block over and over again. This problem even can exist on the corridor, but because the relays have such a long delay its not visible to the dispatchers or end users or poses any kind of public safety problem.

The current solution is testing a shunt enhancing device to the locomotive. This will allow the locomotive to maintain a constant shunt no matter what the length of cars attached is.
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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by Rockingham Racer » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:43 am

Thanks. Do you know if, in fact, the shunt enhancing device is being tested at this time?

ExCon90
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:40 pm

That recalls a dinner-table conversation back in the 1970s or -80's at an industry function in which a couple of signal guys and a couple of track guys got to talking about the inherent conflict involved in the track and mechanical guys trying to minimize wheel-rail contact while the signal guys depend on it to shunt track circuits and that a solution would have to be found sooner or later. Seems like the wheel-rail situation has been improved to the point that it's interfering seriously with shunting.

Nasadowsk
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by Nasadowsk » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:19 pm

I'd be curious as to what goes on overseas, and why they don't have these issues (or maybe they do?). France runs three car TER trains not much more elaborate than an LRT (Oh wait, Mulhouse has the tram-train, too), and seems to have little issue. Germany uses axle counters. I'm not sure what the Dutch use.

David Benton
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by David Benton » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:49 pm

France had the resistance .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-_5JJmNB6E
sorry . On British Rail with the old lightweight DMU's , they could trip the lines when moving reliably. But if the DMU stopped outside a station , the driver would get out and attach a jumper lead across the rails. I saw this more than once , and didnt ride these trains that often.
With today's technology, which can measure residual currents down to 10 Ma, I don't think the ptroblem is not actually picking up the train , the system probably calculates the spedd or lenght of the train by the resistance measurments.
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RRspatch
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by RRspatch » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:46 am

Nasadowsk wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:19 pm
I'd be curious as to what goes on overseas, and why they don't have these issues (or maybe they do?). France runs three car TER trains not much more elaborate than an LRT (Oh wait, Mulhouse has the tram-train, too), and seems to have little issue. Germany uses axle counters. I'm not sure what the Dutch use.
From what I've seen in both visits to Europe and videos is that most European railroads seem to favor the use of axle counters. This eliminates problems with shunting caused by track circuits not picking up light weight equipment (like tram-trains), short consists and light power. It's always interesting to watch a video where a track goes by a green signal, through an interlocking plant with the signal staying green until the train clears the plant (larger plants have axle counters in the middle of the plant). I have no idea how the railroads over there handle broken rail detection. From what I've heard the FRA frowns upon axle counters.
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ApproachMedium
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:48 am

David Benton wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:49 pm
France had the resistance .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-_5JJmNB6E
sorry . On British Rail with the old lightweight DMU's , they could trip the lines when moving reliably. But if the DMU stopped outside a station , the driver would get out and attach a jumper lead across the rails. I saw this more than once , and didnt ride these trains that often.
With today's technology, which can measure residual currents down to 10 Ma, I don't think the ptroblem is not actually picking up the train , the system probably calculates the spedd or lenght of the train by the resistance measurments.
The shunt enhancer that Amtrak is going to test is coming from of all places, England!!! From what i understand the brits have been using them to combat this problem for a while.

Also, the problem isnt so much the detection its the constant contact detection. If you touch enough rusty spots on the rail head or wheel at once you wont even make anywhere near 10mA.
No good deed goes unpunished.

mtuandrew
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:44 am

Rust could be a problem, but leaf and sand season seems to be an even bigger risk of non-shunting. Would be interesting to peek in on the Wheel Rail Interaction Conference to see what other solutions are in the pipeline.

Nasadowsk
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by Nasadowsk » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:16 am

RRspatch wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:46 am
From what I've heard the FRA frowns upon axle counters.
The FRA wouldn't know modern technology if it bit them in the ass. Difficulty: axle counters have been around a long time. They work.

Tadman
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Post by Tadman » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:11 am

Nasadowsk wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:16 am
RRspatch wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:46 am
From what I've heard the FRA frowns upon axle counters.
The FRA wouldn't know modern technology if it bit them in the ass. Difficulty: axle counters have been around a long time. They work.
Agreed. The FRA is a bunch of little old ladies dreaming up dangerous scenarios out of a batman movie, statistics be darned.
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