• Arrow III Thread

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, Kaback9, nick11a

  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Matt Johnson wrote:Seems like an add-on order for the Silverliner V would've been a lot cheaper, but NJ Transit likes to go for the expensive custom designed stuff.
Those Rotem pieces of crap under the punishment NJT loads inflict on cars? Ugh. SLV's might be appropriate for a light-duty upstart like Denver, but their reliability is still pretty far from bulletproof on SEPTA. And SEPTA is nowhere near NJT in terms of putting stress loads on its equipment.

The MLV EMU is something that has to happen sooner or later. Demand's just too high for new generations of single-levels. NJT at least has the opportunity--if it's smart--to backload the order if it likes what it sees and start swinging the fleet balance a little bit back towards nimbler EMU's instead of push-pulls because they'll be capacity-identical on the inside. At least on the non-NEC, non-expresses, non- partial-diesel runs where the stop spacing and whatnot favors higher...not lower...% of EMU's handling the schedule. Components have shrunk enough that you can now do frequency-agile AC self-propelleds in a bi-level, including a clearance-constrained dimension like the MLV's, with relatively reliable technical feasibility. Before bi-level EMU's used to be the realm of DC electrics like Metra, where the transformers and whatnot don't take up nearly as much space as on an AC. So getting the design work over with means there will pretty much be a universal bi-level make. SEPTA can buy them instead of downing a few bottles of Maalox and attempting not to repeat its SLV mistakes with the SLVI's. AMT can buy them when it needs to replace or augment the MR-90's, or if/when it electrifies more lines. The MBTA and MARC would be able to buy a fuller-size variant dimensions (i.e. same carbody design, but taller and less pinched like their Kawasaki cars). Caltrain would be able to buy the fuller-size variant if it stops punching itself in the face over level-boarding platform heights. And Bombardier would be able to serve up exactly the same self-propulsion in its low-boarding BLV coach dimensions to blow the doors off electrification in low-boarding territory. GO Transit. Metrolink when CAHSR drags them kicking and screaming into the electric era. And so on.

Pretty much everyone except the MTA will be ordering bi-levels for their EMU's forevermore. It's just the New Haven Line with its AC/DC electrification that stuffs too much junk under the carbody to go MLV, and the synced 3rd rail orders for LIRR and MNRR--constrained by ESA's dimensions that are not one inch taller than an M7--who are confined to single-levels. Everyone who has any interest whatsoever in EMU's as replacements or for new electrifications is going to be buying bi-levels...MLV, MLV-in-K-car-dimensions, or BLV. For the same reason that bi-levels are the only commuter rail coaches anyone plans to have going forward. It's the max efficiency point.

Somebody has to be the first guinea pig for the AC bi-level design. NJT drew first number. But it's a trial that's worth going through if they're not stupid about over-customization and Bombardier (or someone else...but probably Bombardier) doesn't uncharacteristically belly-flop. Because the net result will be a generic make everyone can use. It's just like NJT being the guinea pig for MLV's, and now all 5 clearance-constrained commuter railroads in North America (plus non-constrained MARC) are either using them or have codified plans to use them. This is the EMU side of that coin.

Frankly, what they should do is just order that 110-car base, then pack the options with a completely absurd and drawn-out quantity. Like, +200 more in the contract even if they have no intention up-front of draining it all. Because that might be enough to entice SEPTA to plunk down for 200 of their own while the factory's hot for a parasitic order on the NJT spec to replace their SLIV's while saving all the design run-up (which NJT took care of) and getting much better unit price and much faster delivery. Then let NJT exercise more of these options, like, after SEPTA is done because if they really like what they see out of the base then they can skew their full single-level fleet replacement more heavily towards EMU's over coaches. And have a couple more years to mull those decisions. Or take the extra time to decide if it's ripe to finally go for it on the electrification gap-filler at the end of the NJCL and on the M&E inbound of Port Morris to clean up their fleet assignments a bit. Or parcel more options off on MARC then place a second fresh order when the strength-in-numbers and perpetually warm factory nets them a much better unit price on the second go-around. By that time it'll be Caltrain's turn to place its order for level-boarding EMU's from the shopping options on its RFP, and GO Transit's going to start kicking around the future options for same propulsion in the BLV form factor.

Scale, scale, scale. If that's the form factor(s) everyone wants to go with for future EMU's, somebody has to take the first step and be the enabler of all that scale that perpetuates future orders. That's where NJT's timing matters.

Hey, at least it's not something new or scary like that power car idea. There are rock-solid bi-level EMU's and propulsion components worldwide that run on 25 kV AC (and are easily adaptable for the 12.5 kV and 25 Hz flavors). Bombardier has some of them itself to liberally borrow from, just like the MITRAC propulsion got heavily borrowed when they were making the ALP-46 for the domestic market. The MLV tincan and suspension are proven here. All this entails is marrying proven propulsion and proven carbody together into a conventional married-pair or singlet EMU setup. With whatever evolutionary computer doodads that entails in an delivery circa 2020. It's not that big a reach. Especially when electrical components are going to continue shrinking on AC electrics for finding the space underneath to fit it; every improved generation of regen braking shrinks the size of the radiators by a LOT simply by trapping more excess energy before it's converted to heat, and every improved generation of air conditioners gets just a little bit slimmer than what came before it. They can do this.
  by Matt Johnson
Steve F45 wrote:Something like this would probably work great for njt.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 550&nseq=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Actually, makes you wonder if they might come up with some sort of aerodynamic nose for the MLV EMU. With the new emphasis on grade crossing safety, you never know...Bombardier did it with the other bilevel design:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 310&nseq=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Steve F45 wrote:Something like this would probably work great for njt.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 550&nseq=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Well...take the propulsion from that and cram it underneath the same boring MLV carbody and that's functionally exactly what it is. Bombardier is manufacturing the London Crossrail EMU's (25 kV AC, add-on capability for 750V DC) based off their latest/greatest Aventra design: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_345" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Single-level order, first units to be delivered 2017. But since that new product family is what they're aiming for as standardization adaptable to all Euro carbodies I would bet that's the propulsion system and technical specs they present in an RFP for stuffing into the MLV tincan. Just like the first standardized TRAXX electric loco rolled off the assembly line exactly 5 years before the first ALP-46 did. Except this is sort of the inverse of the ALP's: instead of having the proven modern propulsion and having to adapt it first-time for an FRA-weighted carbody, here they have the proven FRA-sanctioned carbody and suspension and just have to marry it with the new propulsion platform. Which National Rail has volunteered to be guinea pig for. The only real unknown here is if that particular propulsion translates well enough to heavier bi-levels. I suspect Bombardier has already thought that one out; they did one of Metra's bi-level (DC power) gallery EMU orders couple decades ago and have experience putting propulsion in bi-level U.S. heavyweights. And there's no way they debut a new worldwide 'family' platform of EMU's without having the same systems ready-serve for a bi-level EMU for the first Euro buyer who wants them.

Seeing as how they've got home-field advantage in Canada with GO Transit (sooner or later electrifying) and AMT (sooner or later expanding electrification), you can bet your bottom dollar they've got a product strategy that can quickly be lifted from Europe and put in either a BLV (GO) or MLV (AMT) form factor. Much sooner than either of those agencies will need to buy; they'll be on Version 2.0 of these vehicles as actual product available in the product catalogue by the time they get to play their home-field advantage.
  by waldwickrailfan
Arrow III's 1338, 1339, 1412, 1413, 1438, 1439, 1492, 1493, as well as 4113, 4117, 4140, 4143 have been sold to DOTX and are currently on CSX X980 lite power move to Chicago, where they will be interchanged with BNSF to Pueblo,CO and become crash test dummies. They were all attached to 3 gondolas, a BNSF GEVO, and a BNSF D9. Train should be in NY, nearing Syracuse at this time (4am)
  by Nicholas Chen
I know they run them on the NEC on weekdays and on the Gladstone Branch. Anywhere else I can find them, or specific trains or series of trains?
  by R36 Combine Coach
They're dwindling on the Corridor, but any Gladstone train (except the two Midtown Direct roundtrips) is bound to be Arrows. The Dinky runs 2-car Arrows.
  by Nicholas Chen
Are they normally running on the NEC weekday locals or has NJT not figured out that EMUs work well for frequent stopping trains?
  by waldwickrailfan
Nicholas Chen wrote:Are they normally running on the NEC weekday locals or has NJT not figured out that EMUs work well for frequent stopping trains?
They run random trains during the weekdays. Usually on Jersey Ave bound trains, but its no guarantee
  by ALP46A 4662
There is a Gladstone Branch Train going westbound and every day at around 3:54 it passes through Brick Church with a 3 to 4 car Arrow III set.
  by njtmnrrbuff
The Gladstone Branch trains are generally Arrow IIIs. In fact, on weekends, you are almost guaranteed to get an Arrow III set. Arrow IIIs show up a lot on the Mtc-Btn Line trains that run between MSU and Hoboken.

Arrow IIIs aren't running very much on the NEC but when they run out there, it's often on Jersey Avenue turns. Almost all of the NEC weekend trains are multilevel sets.

On the Coastline, MUs don't operate below Aberdeen-Matawan because of the voltage changes. You can find them on weekdays only operating on South Amboy and Matawan locals.

Yes, the Princeton Branch uses Arrows.
  by sullivan1985
Arrows still thrive on the Hoboken Division, but not like they used too.
  • -GLADSTONE: All but the two 8ML midtown starts are MUs.
    -HOBOKEN: Two MU starts that run mostly just peak period trips. They spend the middle of the day in the Pullman Yard.
    -DOVER: One MU start that normally only runs one round trip.
The Gladstone sets rotate almost all days on the M&E primarily between Hoboken and Gladstone. Arrows can be found traveling to Montclair and Dover during the peak periods. Occasionally one of the Hoboken MU starts will be used to run the Montclair shuttle on weekends.
  by rr503
Yeah, Gladstone branch is the place to go.
There are some picturesque places to photograph out towards the end of the line, and if that's what you're looking for, I'd really recommend it.
I saw a set a bit earlier in New Providence. With the reflections of the lights on the sides of the cars, they looked almost new. I'm sad to see them go.
  by bharatrao
I live near Murray Hill with a view of the tracks and commute regularly on NJT (more to NYP than HOB). Almost all HOB services on weekdays are Arrow IIIs - mostly 3 car sets but there are a couple of peak hour services both ways with 4 & 5 car sets as well. On weekends, the Summit-Gladstone runs are invariably 3 car Arrow sets. Somewhat rarely, we get a diesel substitution for a weekday service - but pretty rare. If you hang around Murray Hill on a weekend, you are guaranteed Arrow action between 20 & 30 min on the hour - when west & east bound trains cross each other. A bit west of Murray Hill is a good vantage point (end of Spring Street) where you can catch the action. It's quiet, no pedestrians/traffic & the trains usually have picked up speed at that point. On weekdays, most west bound services go to Gladstone bar 3 I think - a Stirling, Bernardsville & Murray Hill terminator.
  • 1
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28