railohio wrote:I suppose that just, I don't know, maybe getting more matching DMUs is out of the question since CRM went * up.
Nobody said it's out of the question.
railohio wrote:I mean, it's not like TriMet acquired their patents or anything
No, TriMet did not acquire the patents to the DMU design. The designs are part of the liquidation of Colorado Railcar, of which TriMet is essentially a creditor of. Once Colorado Railcar declares bankruptcy (which is all but certain to happen), TriMet will simply get in line behind everyone else to try and collect what they can. TriMet is already considering legal action against Colorado Railcar.
railohio wrote:they're talking to other manufacturers to start production.
And those manufacturers would be...? The fact that TriMet literally handed the contract to Colorado Railcar because there was no other manufacturer capable to build the car, and no other manufacturer bid on the contract, and whoever would build the car would have to acquire the rights to the car design, purchase the tooling, have a manufacturing facility capable of building the car...
railohio wrote:Because railfans would rather speculate about rumor and innuendo on the Internet about antique RDCs, right?
That was the rumor from three years ago, which was at the time a quite credible rumor as ODOT owned the cars, and TriMet was still in the process of determining which car to acquire. I had a TriMet Commuter Rail Project Manager tell me that they did consider using RDCs, but after talking with folks who run the Trinity Railway Express weren't impressed with the reliability of the rebuilt RDCs.
However, I later spoke with an ODOT official who said that the RDCs were not automatically destined to TriMet but the Legislature ordered ODOT to sell the cars at the end of the three year Lewis & Clark Excursion Train service. Now, TriMet could have purchased the cars (I believe the sale price was around $350,000 for the trio but I could be off on the number) and then shipped them off for rebuilding, but TriMet would still need at least two additional cars (which are easily obtainable from other sources).
Apparently given your attitude and disdain towards railfans, maybe you have something insightful from an "insiders" view that you want to share? Because in another forum you seemed to have quite the attitude towards me as being mad that I didn't have a "real train" to photograph.
The fact is, even some local transit supporters AND railfans here locally in the Portland area continue to scratch their head about WES - especially given its relative lack of transit usefulness in the entire region, the price tag, and that now TriMet is slashing service -- and it's no secret that TriMet can no longer use its old argument of "delivering projects on time, and under budget" - because WES was six months late and $48.5 million over budget (over 40%). TriMet could really use the $48.5 million dollars right now but it's now lost money towards one rail line that operates rush hours only.
Due to the Colorado Railcar DMU specific engineering of this route, the ability of replacement equipment from other sources (i.e. Bombardier) is practically non-existent without a specially built design that would have to be built from scratch - this would take at least two years, and cost significantly more than an off-the-shelf design, which could have been employed had TriMet built the service to use conventional Bombardier bi-level equipment (which isn't compatible with ANY station platform, and locomotives cannot run into Beaverton TC).
Most of the locals here are well aware of the construction and design of WES, and the limitations that TriMet engineered into this project. It isn't a railfan bash-fest as is being described, and frankly I don't care if I ever take a picture of the damn thing because I haven't gone railfanning in quite a long time. But when TriMet bus service is being cut (including one very popular northeast Portland bus route) because TriMet made stupid decisions on a choo-choo train, a lot of people are asking why - and why is there no accountability at 17th & Center Street.