Providence Line Electrification

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Noel Weaver
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:23 pm

I have operated many diesel and electric powered passenger trains over the years and there is no comparison in performance. If the line was not electrified it might make sense to leave things as they are but the line is electrified for Amtrak trains and commuter trains would operate much better with MU equipment or electric locomotives than it presently does. Using MU equipment would amount to an increase in track capacity without adding more tracks, much faster getting up to track speed between station stops, Amtrak is presently disposing of some good capable second hand electric motors that would out perform any diesel that they now roster or are likely to roster any time in the future. Look at Metro-North and compare it with the New Haven, Metro-North MU trains make better time between New York and New Haven making all stops than the New Haven did making half as many stops, common sense dictates electric and the sooner the better things will be.
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BandA
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by BandA » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:25 pm

I agree that electric operation would be ideal...but it will increase costs. OTOH, If trains operate closer to the same speed, it creates more "slots"

bgl
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by bgl » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:35 pm

I disagree - electrics are generally have much longer life spans and way less maintence issues that our current diesels. I would bet long term they break even or come out on top total cost wise vs what we have today.

AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:11 pm

Traingeek3629 wrote:Electrification would also mean wiring the sidings at Wickford and T.F Green, and possibly the Stoughton Line.
Don't forget Track 3 at Attleboro as well as Track 4.

electricron
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by electricron » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:31 am

If MBTA decided to run electric trains on the Providence Line (NEC for Amtrak), a few major decisions would have to be made. (1) Using electric locomotives with their existing trailers or buy new Electrical Multiple Units, (2) Electrify their existing yards and shops to maintain the new electric locomotives or build a new shop for the new EMU train sets, (3) Whether the new EMU train sets would be coupled more permanently together as sets or use knuckle couplers between each trailer, and last imho (4) to buy double level or single level EMUs.

Or they could sit back and do precisely what they are doing now, which costs them nothing extra.

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BandA
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by BandA » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:04 pm

where would they put new shops & additional coach yardspace?

johnpbarlow
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by johnpbarlow » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:04 am

Perhaps MBTA should arrange to evaluate one of NJT's 35 dual power mode ALP-45DP locomotives? Apparently NJT is satisfied with these units as it just ordered 17 more from Bombardier last December ultimately bringing the fleet up to 52 units. AMT in Montreal also uses these locomotives. Each ALP-45DP locomotive costs around $10M!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALP-45DP
https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/co ... 5dp-fleet/

Bramdeisroberts
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by Bramdeisroberts » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:13 am

That would be interesting, if only as a logistical exercise to work over the sorts of operational cost savings that running dual-modes might offer. Maybe lease enough from AMT or NJT to run big double sets earmarked for Worcester and Providence service to see whether the cost savings from running under wires on the NEC can offset what I'd imagine are some slight inefficiencies compared to straight diesels when running the dual-modes in non-electrified territory.

When that happens, if they like the pro's more than they dislike the con's, then they can either piggyback onto the ALP45DP orders or see if they can piggyback onto the rumored Siemens dual-mode order that Amtrak could very well be making in the not-so-distant future. Heck, they could even plan for the future and order dual-modes instead of chargers to replace the remaining EMD's in the fleet if the NSRL plans continue to gain steam, so they'd have the motive power to run through it on day one.

It'd sort of be like ordering the 1200s with 6-car Southwest Corridor/Malden service in mind even though they spent their first decade of existence running in 2/4 car sets on the El.

eubnesby
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by eubnesby » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:31 pm

Dual-mode electric/battery trains are being brought into service in Britain, and have been in service in Japan for a while. Tri-mode (battery/electric/diesel) trains are coming soon to the suburban railway network in Cardiff, Wales. It won't be long before the relevant yards and sidings will not require electrification. America is very behind in this regard, not surprisingly.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:37 pm

Dual modes add cost and weight to every train, I think it would be far better to have overhead everywhere that the MBTA goes on this route.
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Teamdriver
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by Teamdriver » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:44 am

Why not hydrogen power and avoid the need for the wire infrastructure?

Noel Weaver
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by Noel Weaver » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:10 pm

BandA wrote:where would they put new shops & additional coach yardspace?
Here are three: Providence (probably room in the area of Northup Avenue Yard), South Attleboro (probably just west of East Junction) and Readville which should have some space available around the old shops.
Noel Weaver

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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by Backshophoss » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:48 pm

You need to upgrade the grid for the MBTA motors/EMU's Amtrak built in expansion space at the substations,MBTA has to pay for or supply
the needed parts and materials to update the substations.

FYI,AL45-DP's have 900gal fuel tanks and are using uprated class 8 truck engines to power the HEP and traction motors.
Maintenance Queens at BET. :(
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

smsullivan11
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by smsullivan11 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:11 pm

It is so sad to come back from Europe where they have these great extensive electric lines, everything from main line faster than the NEC to single track mountain lines meandering along the Rhine and it's all cleaner, quieter, and smoother. Someday the T will go electric and it'll start on the Providence line when the traffic gets to a real breaking point. I would bet in 5 years the right people start talking seriously about buying some electrics or EMUs.

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BandA
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Post by BandA » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:26 am

It's hilarious that the Southcoast Commuter Rail "must" be electrified, but the Providence line is run as diesel.

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