• American RegioSprinter tour 1997

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Pensyfan19
https://www.flickr.com/photos/railphoto ... 318017583/

Anyone know any more information about this??? Taken around the mid 90s maybe during the same time Amtrak was testing the IC3. It looks very interesting and would be great for service right around now!
  by mtuandrew
Siemens toured it around America in 1997; Amtrak was a partner organization for at least part of the tour. It hit locations as diverse as Orlando at the invite of Rep. Mica (R), Austin, and Boise.

The RegioSprinter has the same issues as the first-generation Stadler DMU has on the NJT RIVERline: it can’t be used in mixed freight traffic unless there’s temporal separation. Many newer diesel LRT or diesel multiple unit trains are certified to operate on their own now, since they meet either the original or the modified FRA crash test regulations.
  by Pensyfan19
Thank you for the information. I feel that this would have been the PERFECT answer for running branch line service or lines with low ridership if Amtrak were to do such a service. If Amtrak were to run short services similar to the CDOT services such as the Danbury and Waterbury branches, which are now ran by metro north, or even regional services such as Amtrak to Peoria, this would be an ideal railcar.
  by mtuandrew
All the major rolling stock manufacturers in America now offer (or could offer) an FRA-compatible DMU. We’ve talked about them for both local interstate service and as sections of long-distance trains. It’s hard to justify them in favor of buses, but they’re a fun concept that does have a shot of being Amtrak’s new regional.

That said, the RegioSprinter itself is similar to a city bus from 1997 - kind of cheap, flimsy, and full of rattles. It’s suited to 50 mile trips at best.
  by wigwagfan
The Portland metro area saw the DMU and fell in love. Immediate plans were drawn up and an existing railroad found to host this new-fangled, "cost-effective" mode of rail transport.

Fast forward to 2020: The WES Commuter Rail system has failed to make a single ridership projection - it was supposed to be 2,500 riders after the first year and 5,000 daily riders today. It has hit 2,000 daily rides exactly one month, and has hovered around 1600-1700. It costs $17 each time a rider gets on the train - compared to just $3 for a bus rider. It requires three engines per car (two for propulsion and one for HVAC) and gets 1 mile per gallon, or 1/5th that of a bus. It requires a crew of two, but carries less than that of two buses. The capital expense was $165 million and it has cost tens of millions of dollars later in track repairs, signal upgrades (PTC) and other expenses, on top of the $16 million a year it costs to operate the single 14.7 mile line from Wilsonville to Beaverton through Tigard.

On the flip side, the proposed MAX line from Portland to Tigard will cost over $200 million per mile just to build but the vast majority of its ridership will come from the 12 bus lines that will be cancelled or significantly downsized, and the ridership projection has been reduced on account TriMet is having to cut parking lots from the project to cut costs (and acknowledge the irony that MAX actually induces motor vehicle traffic by building "free" parking lots, whereas most bus riders walk to/from the bus.)