Rail Diesel Cars

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Datenail
Posts: 271
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by Datenail »

Which, to me, would make no sense as an argument, because the position of the engineer (motorman) on the current electric cars really isn't too much different.

The control position was the same on the old MU cars, too, and accidents were infrequent with them, when one considers the amount of cars in service at the time and number of trains run, passing over many, many grade crossings.

Dave Keller

P.S. This was, as far as I know, the ONLY accident that involved the Budd Cars, over a period of 12 years of service. It was extremely unfortunate that it had to be a fatal one. DK
Mr. Keller, the crash protection standards of todays equipment is are far superior to the 1950's Budd RDC. Most areas where the current MU's operate have protected crossings, unlike the 1950's diesel territory where the RDC operated. Today, the diesel territory crossings are mostly protected. Times have changed. The most important factor believe it or not is that the BLE is a far weaker union than in the 1950's. They would be unable to refuse to operate anything and get away with it like they did in the 50's.

keyboardkat
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Location: Ocean County, NJ

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by keyboardkat »

I had heard that the LIRR was originally going to purchase 20 of the RDCs. That's why the two they had were numbered 3101 and 3121. When the B&M received permission to eliminate all its long distance service, did that coincide with the LIRR's purchase of the American Flyer cars from the B&M? I know that both the B&M and NH standardized their Boston commuter service with RDCs.

No one mentions that the Budd company built two generations of RDCs. The LIRR's two were of the first generation. The second generation had stronger end construction, with corrugated stainless steel (like on the sides of the car) brought around to the ends of the car. They had more powerful engines (300hp each, as opposed to 275hp), better interior lighting, more comfortable seat for the engineer, higher capacity air conditioning and larger, louder air horns. The RDCs used by the PGE railroad in Canada for its long distance service were of this type.

But today? What about ADA requirements? A modern RDC would have to have wheelchair doors and wheelchair accessible rest rooms. And, as Dallas has found out, the fact that the RDCs as built lack power operated doors slows down the schedule, because a crew member must open and close each door at every stop. So a modern RDC would have to be built with power operated doors, which is probably not a tough assignment.
Last edited by keyboardkat on Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Backshophoss
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by Backshophoss »

The SPV-2000 had power operated doors,ConnDot's had to allow for 1 seat service to DC from Hartford Ct.
While they weren't built ADA compliant after the original Amfleet order,the same kind of mods needed for Amfleet
to be compliant could/was done to the SPV's.

Most RDC station stops would use 1 door/trap to begin with,if running 2 cars,the conductor could open a 2nd door/trap
right next to open one at larger passenger count stops.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

LongIslandTool
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by LongIslandTool »

Yes, the Budd accident occurred at a time when most crossings were unprotected. It was also a time when the Engineers' union had much say in the operations and when many of the Road's managers came up through the ranks of that union.

Much has changed.

Modern cars are also built with better crash protection.

Also it must be understood that any equipment purchased by the Railroad must now be new, exclusive technology designed solely for the MTA's system. That's how things are done now.
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RGlueck
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by RGlueck »

My recollection is that MP54's did not fair well in any kind of side-swipe or front end collision. They folded very easily. When engineer Molese died in the Budd Car, he slammed into a truckload of asphalt at speed. The whole end of the car was smashed flat. Had it been an MP54, it would have destroyed the car well into the passenger cabin.
LIRR was going to buy a large number of the RDC's from B&M, which had the largest fleet in the nation. A few of those B&M cars remain scattered about, but LIRR only had the two. I'd love to know if the one on the B&O exists today.

jhdeasy
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Location: Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by jhdeasy »

LongIslandTool wrote:Also it must be understood that any equipment purchased by the Railroad must now be new, exclusive technology designed solely for the MTA's system. That's how things are done now.
The MTA LIRR acquisition policy is interesting.

The US Department of Defense acquisition policy gives first priority to commercial off the shelf items. A lesser priority is given to commercial off the shelf items that can be modified to successfully meet DOD requirements. The lowest priority (the last resort) is to acquire custom designed/developed items.

keyboardkat
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Location: Ocean County, NJ

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by keyboardkat »

RGlueck wrote:My recollection is that MP54's did not fair well in any kind of side-swipe or front end collision. They folded very easily. When engineer Molese died in the Budd Car, he slammed into a truckload of asphalt at speed. The whole end of the car was smashed flat. Had it been an MP54, it would have destroyed the car well into the passenger cabin.
LIRR was going to buy a large number of the RDC's from B&M, which had the largest fleet in the nation. A few of those B&M cars remain scattered about, but LIRR only had the two. I'd love to know if the one on the B&O exists today.
You can ride some of the ex-B&M RDCs today on the Hobo Railroad in Laconia, New Hampshire. This is a tourist pike. They also have ex-DL&W EMU cars, propulsion equipment removed and vestibule ends removed, making them appear to be open-platform coaches, seeming to be much older than they are.
The RDCs have had their propulsion equipment removed, and are hauled in trains by Alco S-2 switchers. The staff will even pack you a "Hobo picnic lunch."
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keyboardkat
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Location: Ocean County, NJ

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by keyboardkat »

Backshophoss wrote:The SPV-2000 had power operated doors,ConnDot's had to allow for 1 seat service to DC from Hartford Ct.
While they weren't built ADA compliant after the original Amfleet order,the same kind of mods needed for Amfleet
to be compliant could/was done to the SPV's.

Most RDC station stops would use 1 door/trap to begin with,if running 2 cars,the conductor could open a 2nd door/trap
right next to open one at larger passenger count stops.
Those SPV-2000s weren't exactly great. I rode on some of them when they were in commuter service on Metro-North. They had 3-and-2 seats like those in the M-1 cars, to adapt them to commuter service, but the seats did not line up with the windows. They had a single T-shaped joystick controller - push it up, you got power; push it down, you got brakes. One time I was on one on a Sunday run between Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie. The engineer let me ride in the cab with my small daughter. He told me that this car was defective and wouldn't go above about 40mph. For this reason, we were late getting into Poughkeepsie.
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Backshophoss
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by Backshophoss »

The ConnDot SPV's were setup to "morph" into heavy Amfleet cars at New Haven for the trip to DC, had 2-2 seating like Amfleet.
While MNR's were commuter use only,2 SPV's had the seating capy of 3 RDC's roughly.
It should be noted,only 2 powered axles per car made it a slow runner to boot.:(
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

DutchRailnut
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by DutchRailnut »

The SPV as designed had 4 powered axles, due to labor cut backs the railroads no longer wanted a fireman on the car, yet the contract cut off was like something like 90 000 lbs on drivers.
by taking the drive shaft to outer axles off, the weight on drivers dropped in half, but so did its performance.
at 720 Hp per car they were sure great runners, but after deactivating the Jake brake, the cars were lousy stoppers.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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LongIslandTool
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Location: 11435

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by LongIslandTool »

In the early 1980's the LIRR looked into purchasing SPV2000's. A small study was done on their reliability. Based on that study, no further action was taken, although the road did feel the concept was a good one to replace their aging diesel fleet.
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"... overzealously discharges his duties;
...a "tool" of the administration"

keyboardkat
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Location: Ocean County, NJ

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by keyboardkat »

The RDCs had only two powered axles, too.
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Backshophoss
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by Backshophoss »

The RDC's were somewhat slow in 1st"gear",they would "perk"up fairly quick in "2nd" thru "4th" "gear"
to make track speed,the heavier SPV's,after the "modifaction" were slow.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

DutchRailnut
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Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by DutchRailnut »

RDC's had no gears, just torq converters, the throttle settings were:
Idle- ITC (initial transmission clutch) - one - two - three.
The 3 speeds were done with 2 solenoids and a small fulcrum coil one for speed one, coil two for speed two and both coils for speed three.
The transmission(torq converter only hasd two solenoids one for foreward one for reverse.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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452 Card
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:25 am

Re: Rail Diesel Cars

Post by 452 Card »

"SPV" def.= Seldom Powered Vehicle
Wheelslip! Back to the Barn.
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