• FRA Issues Rule for New Catagory High Speed Trains

  • 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 dgvrengineer
From Progressive Railroading:

https://tinyurl.com/yantxp6u" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use: " The rule defines a new category of high-speed rail operations, which FRA officials say will make it possible for high-speed trains to use existing infrastructure, saving the cost of building new rail lines.
The new Tier III passenger trains can operate over the shared track at conventional speeds and as fast as 220 mph in areas with exclusive rights of way and without grade crossings, FRA officials said in a press release. Passenger-train manufacturers around the world have used "innovative" design and testing techniques for several years. Yet under the FRA's previous passenger equipment regulations, U.S. rail companies have had limited procurement options or have needed to petition the FRA for waivers to use the newer technologies, FRA officials said."

Sounds like new crash protection standards included in the rule.
  by bdawe
Also important to these announcements would be the new tier-1 alternate compliance rules, which broadly legalize "Euronorm" trains for conventional rail service.

Hopefully we can see rapid uptake of the new regulations in Amtrak & Commuter procurement
  by CLamb
Can someone provide a link to the new rules? I got lost trying to find it on the FRA website.
  by frequentflyer
So I guess Amtrak can order Stadler FLIRT trains now and run them along side of freights.

Now we see why Amtrak held off announcing its Amfleet I replacement.
  by electricron
Allowing HSR Tier III trains to share tracks with existing speed Tier I trains on Class 4 tracks or lower would allow CHSR trains to share tracks with Caltrain trains between SJ and SF. It would also allow Texas Central HSR trains to run on TRE tracks to Fort Worth at existing TRE speeds, assuming somebody electrifies the TRE corridor.
  by ziggyzack1234
The problem with Dallas/Ft. Worth is that that territory has double stacks running on it, making any electrification a literal tall order. There is also the fact that the N700, while in the single level height range, is a good 6 inches wider than the average American train. If they wanted extra-length pantographs that could probably be done, but they would need to narrow the body of the train itself to about the width of an Amfleet (at its widest point) to be within any of the AAR clearance plates. The high vs. low platform problem may also arise here.

If these issues could be solved then electrifying TRE could be a good interim solution should TCR want to go to Ft. Worth.
  by Nasadowsk
You wouldn't run freight on a 220mph line anyway, but, for 'last mile' access, you sure could mix the two on a "low" speed line. Common in Europe.

Probably the biggest issue would be noise / drag at high speed from a larger pan, but the Japanese sure have a lot of experience with pantograph design, so I'm sure they can figure out a way to make it work.
  by ziggyzack1234
Yes, last mile is exactly what I am talking about here. Think about the Mini-Shinkansen concept already in use in Japan, where conventional lines are outfitted for the Shinkansen to use at conventional speeds, in our case likely 80mph.