• Colorado DMU questions

  • Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.

  by mxdata
Looks like they are rapidly running out of time to do winter testing. Wonder how far the planning went before somebody took a look at the clearance diagram!

  by railfanofewu
What conditions do they need? We could have used it for demo use over the past few days. It has dropped into the teens and twenties in Western Washington, and last night, it was at least 5 degrees, below Zero in Pullman.

Say, how about winter conditions in Colorado? Would have been great to have used it for winter trials and demo services during that storm, and augment the California Zephyr.

  by mxdata
Does anybody know what they are actually building right now?

  by mxdata
So it requires two train sets to cover the traffic and they have to buy a third power car and have it standing around all the time because the power cars are legally locomotives and in order to have one out for inspection or repairs you must have a third to cover for it. I wonder how this kind of equipment utilization represents a savings over just running conventional and easily substituted equipment.

  by wigwagfan
Are you referring to the Washington County (Oregon) service, with 3 powered cars and one trailer?

Yes - the reason for having three powered cars is that if one is in 92 day insection (per FRA requirements, because it's considered a locomotive) that another car is available.

As for "easily replacable", not sure that's possible. At most the trains would be two cars (either powered-powered or powered-trailer; the original plan was to buy two trailers and three motors, but TriMet conveniently ran out of money.) There aren't any passenger cars around to substitute; Amtrak equipment couldn't fill in, and TriMet's insistence on high platforms (instead of low-floor equipment) negates the ability to lease equipment from Sound Transit if needed. Nor are there spare locomotives easily acquirable; and the station platforms will only be designed to accomodate two-car trains; so a locomotive hauled trainset is out of the question unless the train is only one car plus locomotive (it couldn't be two cars, because of the location of station platforms and adjacent streets at least one car would be out of reach of a platform at both Tualatin and Tigard, and possibly Washington Square as well. And I'm not sure a three-unit train would fit at Beaverton.)

The only logical "substitute" equipment would be a single Amtrak locomotive and either an Amfleet-I or Horizon car, and those things just aren't exactly plentiful around here. Or find a passenger coach from one of the historical societies, which aren't ADA compliant and don't have functioning HVAC systems...and probably don't have legal emergency exits either.

  by mxdata
I took a look at the Colorado Railcar website recently, no press releases posted all of this year, the latest news is more than a year old now. Has anyone heard what is going on out there?

  by railfanofewu
Not sure, but I thought I saw something about a DMU on the brochure for the ARR's proposed Whistle Stop Service in the Chugach National Forest. For what they need, the BUDD RDCs will not do. Although I was hoping for some news from Colorado Railcar about it. Wonder if Federal Money was to be used and it is being held up by Earmark Reform?