• Longer trains ARE coming but...

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by farecard
 
In a seemingly harmless but embarrassing operational error; somhow a 10-car train got deadheaded to Greenbelt, at 4:50 p.m. July 31, then put into revenue service before a passenger pointed it out to the operator. Head are rolling on this one...

I don't see how the train could have been within the station block, so I infer this means door ops are fully manual at present.
  by tommyboy6181
 
Now, if this were BART, 10 car trains would be in operation during rush hour every day.
  by farecard
 
tommyboy6181 wrote:Now, if this were BART, 10 car trains would be in operation during rush hour every day.

With 20 doors vs WMATA's 24 on a 8-car train...
  by tommyboy6181
 
The good news is that for the new BART trains that are supposed to be bid on shortly, they finally got some sense and decided on adding the 3rd door on each side. Metro was smarter than them for using the 3rd door since day 1.
  by Sand Box John
 
"tommyboy6181"
The good news is that for the new BART trains that are supposed to be bid on shortly, they finally got some sense and decided on adding the 3rd door on each side. Metro was smarter than them for using the 3rd door since day 1.


Bart cars are 70' long. WMATA cars are 75' long. 3 door opening per side on bart cars should work out pretty well.

To bad WMATA chose not to go with 4 door opening per side on the 7k cars. If WMATA had gone with a 4 door configuration trains could be loaded and unloaded faster by at least 25% allowing for the reduction dwell time by a similar amount.
  by farecard
 
Sand Box John wrote: To bad WMATA chose not to go with 4 door opening per side on the 7k cars. If WMATA had gone with a 4 door configuration trains could be loaded and unloaded faster by at least 25% allowing for the reduction dwell time by a similar amount.

I'd prefer the MARTA solution. At least at some stations, there are center platform AND edge ones; both side doors open. To exit, turn left, while people enter behind you.....

[Too late to engineer our stations for same, alas...]
  by tommyboy6181
 
Now that the 4 door idea came up, I do have to say that the Toronto Subway (about 90 mins from me) actually does use a 75 ft long car with 4 doors on each side and can still seat 66 people in a configuration similar to Metro. It realistically is possible that it could be done to help the boarding/exit times. Their newest cars which are being built by Bombardier (just like the T-1 cars in the early 90's) will continue that configuration but become articulated 6 car sets. Their whole reason is to move people through the entire train and reduce crowding. It will be interesting to see how that goes for them.

For comparison, some of the BART cars are also 75' long with only 2 doors. Those are the A cars, but only 1 or 2 of them are on a train at a given time. The B, C, and C2 cars are the cars that are at 70 ft. All the new cars proposed for the fleet replacement will be 70' long. Early indications in that project for the bidder will be Alstom (built the C cars through Soferval), Breda (has a plant near San Francisco), and Bombardier (did the Rohr rehab after taking over AdTranz).

Ok, enough being off topic on my part.
  by Sand Box John
 
When the specifications were being drawn up for the 4k cars it was suggested to build those cars with a 4 door per side. The idea was shot down by the board of directors because of the reduction of the numbers of seats.

"tommyboy6181"
For comparison, some of the BART cars are also 75' long with only 2 doors. Those are the A cars, but only 1 or 2 of them are on a train at a given time. The B, C, and C2 cars are the cars that are at 70 ft.


For all practical purposes the bart A cars that are 75' long are in reality 70' long. The 5' shovel nose cabs are attached to a 70' car body. The truck centers under the A cars are in the same location under the B cars.
  by farecard
 
Sand Box John wrote:
For all practical purposes the bart A cars that are 75' long are in reality 70' long. The 5' shovel nose cabs are attached to a 70' car body. The truck centers under the A cars are in the same location under the B cars.
Much as we grouse, WMATA didn't jump under the train on this one as BART did. I can remember the original discussion where wise, clued-in folks were saying it was stoopid to build cars that had to be on the end; how it would bite them later.

But some politician spouted off that if you wanted people to ride this new BART, they had to make it ?prettier? and less ordinary looking than existing subway systems. I recall thinking what a horses' ass the guy was.

And now, I believe I read, they are paying big money to take the Groucho noses off the A cars.

[I do note that they are replacing their chopper-controlled DC motors with VFD AC. That puts them up on WMATA, who thus far has replaced only pre-chopper DC motor systems.]
  by tommyboy6181
 
And now, I believe I read, they are paying big money to take the Groucho noses off the A cars.
You would be correct in that BART did pay big money to AdTranz/Bombardier to take the slant noses off the majority of the A cars. I'd guess that only 25% of the A cars remain with the slant nose while the rest were rebuilt into B cars. With the new order coming in, none of the cars will feature that nose again. The Alstom/Soferval C cars are the big problem right now as their fiberglass cabs are falling apart. Many of those are now being rebuilt. There aren't too many problems with the ends on the Morrison-Knudsen C2 cars though from what I have seen to this point.

Going back to the 4 doors per car for Metro, it could work. I just think the board is hesitant to do it. I'm surprised that they are even changing the interior and getting rid of the brown stripe on the 7k/4k rehab because there was such a big to do with changing the interior from orange/yellow to the red/white/blue we see a lot of today. In fact, that is why there are still a few yellow seats in the rehabs and in the 5/6k...all in the name of compromise. My justification is that if Toronto can still get 66 people in a 75' long car with virtually identical dimensions, how come Metro cant? Granted, there would be a loss of standing room, but the 4th door could actually help with getting people in/out faster.

Link to the seating configuration on the older T-1 cars: http://transit.toronto.on.ca/images/subway-5505-03.gif

It does appear the new cars will reduce seating however: http://www.bombardier.com/en/transporta ... 0d8000f949#
Based on 288 per 6 car articulated set, that comes out to 48 seats per car which is 18 less than the current setup.

Granted, I do like the operational flexibility Metro has now with being able to use 4-6-8 car sets. However, they should seriously look at articulated units in the future. If their projections hold true, most lines will be all 8 cars in the future. This would allow them to facilitate movement throughout an entire train rather than crowd a few cars. It's an alternative, but then again it could cost some flexibility. Now, combine that with 4 doors per side and it would probably be a win-win.