deathtopumpkins wrote:I'm a little annoyed to see that they followed Metrolink's lead and got cab cars that don't allow passing through so they could be run mid-train. Seems like an unnecessary operational hinderance.
It would not be an operations hinderance any more than having two existing cab cars on the end of a train. Although I will admit it would be a hinderance for passengers to move from one car to another. Why would anyone wish to do so now?
1) To find a restroom because every car doesn't have one
2) To find a food or beverage bar because every car doesn't have one
3) To find an empty seat
(1) wouldn't be a problem if every cab car had a restroom, (2) isn't much of a problem because few commuter trains have these, and (3) can be solved by switching cars at the next station - or avoiding boarding the last cab car in the first place.
What I'm suggesting is that there are few valid reasons to move between cars in commuter trains, pick your car before boarding the train. It's not like all the cars are configured the same way. And I've read few riders complaining about this on light rail trains.
Large commuter rail operators routinely run cab cars mid-set as trailers for variety of reasons.
-- Car shortages
-- Equipment distribution mismatches across the system requiring temporary scramble of equipment
-- Car surpluses
where spare cabs are pressed into service as extras
-- Cabs that need repairs to their controls but which are fully OK to run as trailers while they await repairs
The MBTA does this all the time. They have 25 Bombardier cab cars with long-term mothballed controls that just run as permanent blind trailers until whenever the day comes that they need the controls reactivated and signaling equipment reinstalled. And they are doing a rebuild program of some of their bi-level cars which has pressed some of their to-be-retired single-level cab cars with active controls into temporary trailer service. It's complete, fluid operational complexity.
GO is most definitely a large enough operator to have scenarios pop up where it needs to from time-to-time pinch-hit some cabs as regular trailers. And they can't do that with these new things. If the entire cab fleet eventually overturns to these, they are going to find themselves in occasional tough spots where they have a mismatch of bodies and can't put together a full-sized consist. No doubt. This is not an uncommon practice.
Hell, even ever-cautious Amtrak isn't giving up pass-thru ability with its new bi-level cab cars. Those have the distended end caps all the same to keep the cab recessed for maximum crashworthiness...but still have the pass-thru doors. It's not hard to fit in. I get the appeal of having a full unobstructed view, and spacious cab...but does it matter that much? The MP40 loco on the other end has 4 window panes divvying up the view and controls very far recessed from the window for a more obstructed view. It's not like their aren't cab layouts to be had with good visibility that do retain the full crashworthiness AND the operational flexibility. Metrolink's purchase was an overreaction...and seems to be spawning copycats elsewhere.