• MARC buys VRE Kawaski cars

  • 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 davinp
 
The VRE Operations Board is being asked to recommend that the Commissions authorize the VRE Chief Executive Officer to sell thirteen Kawasaki railcars to the Maryland Transit Administration and to concurrently purchase ten new Gallery style cars from the Sumitomo Corporation of America.

http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_item ... _Kows_.pdf

The Kawasaki were a generous offer from MARC
  by realtype
 
YES!!!!!!!! :-D

MARC really needs (and deserves) those cars!

I can't think of a better deal for either of the two parties involved: VRE wants an all-gallery fleet, and wants to get rid of the K-cars. MARC really needs the immediate additional capacity and they planned to buy used cars this year anyway, as outlined in the Growth and Investment Plan. Plus, the VRE cars were originally part of a MARC option on their original order of 50 K-cars that MARC generously gave to VRE, so its only fitting that MARC end up with the cars.

Now the cars will finally be able to realize their full potential to travel on the NEC at 125mph (which was what they were specifically designed for), instead of dawdling along at 79mph (the max speed on VRE's CSX/NS trackage).
  by HokieNav
 
++

Woohoo!!!

Can't wait to see these in MARC service - there have been a good number of Penn line trains that have been a car short over the last few weeks (presumably for the seat replacement), so it'll be nice to have the extra cars (whenever they make it here).
  by NortheastTrainMan
 
any news yet?
  by TallEddie_81
 
This was discussed at the last VRE board meeting, see
http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_item ... inutes.pdf
on page 10. It appears that if all the final approvals and "leg work" get completed ontime, that MARC will be taking delivery of all 13 cars by Oct 31, 2008. VRE will probably have to bring some of the older gallery cars back into service since it will be roughly 2 years before the new order of 10 gallery cars starts arriving. Good news for VRE is they sold the cars to MARC for almost the same amount they paid for them nine years ago!
  by NortheastTrainMan
 
TallEddie_81 wrote:This was discussed at the last VRE board meeting, see
http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_item ... inutes.pdf
on page 10. It appears that if all the final approvals and "leg work" get completed ontime, that MARC will be taking delivery of all 13 cars by Oct 31, 2008. VRE will probably have to bring some of the older gallery cars back into service since it will be roughly 2 years before the new order of 10 gallery cars starts arriving. Good news for VRE is they sold the cars to MARC for almost the same amount they paid for them nine years ago!
cool they should get them on Halloween! hopefully with the tiger stripes! I know that no one knows yet but I think MARC should keep the ditch lights because it could save them money besides the minimal repairs for the cars anyway. :-D
  by realtype
 
NortheastTrainMan wrote:
TallEddie_81 wrote:This was discussed at the last VRE board meeting, see
http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_item ... inutes.pdf
on page 10. It appears that if all the final approvals and "leg work" get completed ontime, that MARC will be taking delivery of all 13 cars by Oct 31, 2008. VRE will probably have to bring some of the older gallery cars back into service since it will be roughly 2 years before the new order of 10 gallery cars starts arriving. Good news for VRE is they sold the cars to MARC for almost the same amount they paid for them nine years ago!
cool they should get them on Halloween! hopefully with the tiger stripes! I know that no one knows yet but I think MARC should keep the ditch lights because it could save them money besides the minimal repairs for the cars anyway. :-D
I actually think that MARC should get rid of the tiger stripes, and replace them with MARC's more, uh, 'conservative' stripes. I think the ditch lights should also be replaced with MARC's trademark gyralights. The gyralights are more effective and look cooler. :-) I hope they change the seating configuration also. VRE's configuration of center facing seats, is bound to create loading/unloading problems.

MARC must have really wanted those cars--$22 million is a whole lot of cash for 13 nine year old railcars. There's no way any other agency could have matched that bid. In retrospect, VRE sold their 38 Mafersa coaches to CDOT for $15.2 million. Now we know what tax-loving MD does with all its wealth. :-D
  by davinp
 
Their are several problems with the Kawasaki cars that MARC will need to fix before putting them in service:
- Blurry windows. The windows were damanged by years of cleaning and a contractor used a chemical that caused them to blur.
- Broken cupholders. Their supposed to be industrial strength, but easily broke
- Broken ticket holders. The ticket holders sewed to the back of seats have torn off
- Aisle Armrests worn out
- Truck Re-qualification

For more info see http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_item ... -Board.pdf
  by realtype
 
davinp wrote:Their are several problems with the Kawasaki cars that MARC will need to fix before putting them in service:
- Blurry windows. The windows were damanged by years of cleaning and a contractor used a chemical that caused them to blur.
- Broken cupholders. Their supposed to be industrial strength, but easily broke
- Broken ticket holders. The ticket holders sewed to the back of seats have torn off
- Aisle Armrests worn out
- Truck Re-qualification

For more info see http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_item ... -Board.pdf
Yeah, I heard about the blurry windows. I could even tell that something was wrong with them when I passed the VRE cars on MARC trains @ DC. The cupholders don't seem to be to much of a problem since MARC riders aren't used to having them anyways, which is interesting since seven of MARC's Kawasakis are snack/cafe cars. Same thing with the ticket holders--MARC riders aren't accustomed to having them.

The most most important upgrade would be the safety upgrades to bring the cars up to MARC's exceptionally high safety standards:

- safety instruction pamphlets in pockets at the back of every seat.
- Low Location Exit Path Marking System
- luminescent markings for emergency exits, signage, and on doorways
- increased number of emergency exits
  by davinp
 
VRE has awared a contract to Sumoto for 10 new railcars pending approval from the jurisdictions
http://www.vre.org/about/procurement/rf ... osting.pdf

NVTC, VRE's governing body, has approved this transaction to sell the Kawasaki's and purchase 10 new gallery cars. See the powerpoint presentation here:
http://www.thinkoutsidethecar.com/pdfs/ ... %20VRE.pdf

The sale requires:
- Purchase for $22M
- Include any remaining spare parts
- Assumes any remaing federal interest
- Requires approval by Oct. 4, 2008 with delievery by Oct. 31, 2008
- Sale subject to final approval of Maryland Board of Public Works
  by realtype
 
NortheastTrainMan wrote:Can someone explain this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2fChM12 ... re=related
If you're asking why VRE still has the K-cars, if you look at the VRE procurement documents on their websites and many of the previous posts on this thread, they state that MARC/MTA will not be accepting the cars before Oct. 31, 2008.

That GP39 in the vid has a messed up horn though :-D. It's also interesting that its pulling 5 bilevels. The MARC '39s are restricted to 4 cars (and never exclusively bilevels).
  by davinp
 
The Maryland Transit Administration is expected Wednesday to ask the Board of Public Works to approve the purchase of 13 used double-decker rail cars to reduce crowding on the MARC system.

Under the proposal, the state would spend nearly $22 million to buy the cars from Virginia Railway Express. The cars were purchased new by VRE in 1999 and 2000.

MTA Administrator Paul Wiedefeld says the cars would be refurbished and would likely be put into service in November. MARC currently has 122 passenger cars in its fleet. That means it would take a month to reburbish, so don't expect to ride them on Halloween

Wiedefeld says the new cars would first be used on the Penn Line, which is MARC's busiest line.

http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0808/545939.html
  by davinp
 
VRE to remove Kawaski's from service on Monday. Here is an email from VRE:

Several months ago, VRE was approached by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), who operates MARC commuter rail, about a potential sale of VRE’s 13 Kawasaki railcars. After considerable analysis, negotiations, and consultation with the VRE Operations Board, local jurisdictions and the Federal Transit Administration, VRE has executed an agreement to sell the cars to MTA. This is a good deal financially as VRE paid $23 million for the 13 Kawasaki cars in 1997 and MTA has agreed to pay VRE $22 million for the same cars. An additional benefit to this sale is that it will permit us to standardize VRE’s fleet. A standardized fleet will reduce maintenance costs, streamline parts procurement and increase fleet flexibility.

VRE will be replacing the 13 Kawasaki cars with 10 new Sumitomo Gallery cars just like the ones being introduced into service now. We will be removing the Kawasaki cars from service by Monday to prepare them for transfer to MTA. While we know that some of you will be disappointed that we are selling these cars, the transaction was an excellent opportunity for VRE.
  by realtype
 
Here's the full Baltimore Sun article:

Baltimore Sun article on MARC railcar purchase

MARC really struck it lucky with this deal. It's by solely mere coincidence that VRE happened to be moving to an all-gallery fleet and putting its expensive-to-operate Kawasakis up for sale, the same time that MARC desperately needed additional capacity on its trains. The fact that the VRE cars are near clones of the cars MARC already operates, sweetens the deal even further. MARC's locomotive purchase was also very fortunate, since it was an option on the UTA purchase the time-til-delivery is not even a year. If MARC had drafted a new procurement (which they eventually will for even more cars) for locomotives or passenger cars, the system wouldn't see the new vehicles until around 2012.
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