• UK Vivarail D-Train to be tested in US cities

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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  by GojiMet86
https://m.railjournal.com/index.php/nor ... ities.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Vivarail D-Train to be tested in US cities
Written by Keith Fender March 09, 2018


RAILROAD Development Corporation (RDC) has developed plans to take a Vivarail D-Train from Britain to the United States to demonstrate how the rebuilt former London Underground (LU) trains could provide a low-cost rolling stock option for new passenger services.

RDC is a major investor in Vivarail, a British company established in 2012 with the aim of rebuilding LU D78 stock vehicles into multiple units for use on main line railways. Vivarail obtained its first firm order for three two-car class 230 DMUs from West Midlands Trains earlier this month.

RDC chairman Mr Henry Posner III told IRJ the D-train could be used to provide “pop-up rail transit or commuter rail services” in urban areas where rail infrastructure exists but is currently either not used for passenger services or is underutilised.

Posner says that with the established US practise of temporal separation - running passenger trains during one period and freight trains at other times, the lightweight Vivarail trains could be used on existing freight lines in urban areas with relatively little infrastructure expenditure.

RDC has begun sales activity with “multiple cities” on both the east and west coasts of the United States and plans to take at least one D-Train adapted for North American operation to the USA. The diesel train will be remanufactured by Vivarail at its Long Marston facility in central England.

Posner believes there is an opportunity to change the approach of US cities to rail projects by demonstrating that they can be implemented at lower cost, therefore requiring less state and federal funding, especially at the early development stage.

RDC’s core proposition is that the Vivarail train can provide a solution for cities which have previously discounted passenger rail as an option on cost or complexity grounds, enabling them to test possible services “for less than the cost of a consultant’s study into a possible service,” as Posner puts it.

Posner says that experience from Europe, and particularly Germany, demonstrates that passenger services can be reintroduced using lightweight trains and that by taking a new approach to operating costs these can be reduced significantly from historic approaches.

He reports that there is substantial interest from cities, although “nothing concrete yet” in terms of orders.

Posner suggests that the availability of suitable and affordable rolling stock could spur a “shortline passenger rail” revival in US cities with schemes “designed by communities with local focus.”

A link to a YouTube video that demonstrates the Class 230 Vivarail D-Train:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTdrtRmSUO0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Backshophoss
Regrettably, what works in the UK never works in the US for whatever reason.
Wonder if LIRR might try this on the Greenport service and some off peak Port Jeff branch diesel shuttle services. :-)

Might be useful for MN on the Harlem line,off peak Southeast(Brewster North)-Wassaic shuttles and possibly the Waterbury branch,
bringing back Devon as the transfer point instead of Bridgeport..

All of these routes already have Hi-Level platforms.
Last edited by Backshophoss on Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by electricron
It’s a retired 6 cars long D train rolling stock London “Underground” train being replaced by new modern 7 cars long S train rolling stock for the District Line.
Geoff Marshall recently posted a video on these, here’s the YouTube link.
https://youtu.be/SnNaMPR-e1I" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
D train Wiki https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_ ... _D78_Stock" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
S train Wiki https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_ ... d_S8_Stock" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Per Wiki:
In 2014, Vivarail purchased 156 Driving Motor cars and 70 trailing vehicles for conversion to diesel-electric multiple units. It is proposed to run 75 units of two or three cars per unit.They will become known as class 230 under TOPS.
Class 230 Wiki https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_230" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In November 2014, Vivarail purchased 150 driving motor cars and 300 carriages of London Underground D78 Stock, which has been replaced by S Stock before the end of their lifespan, so that the subsurface lines (Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan) could have a common rolling stock fleet compatible with a new ATO system. The stated purpose of the D-train is to ameliorate a perceived shortage of affordable, modern rolling stock on Britain's regional rail routes, resulting from the slow pace of electrification.
In the conversion programme, the company plans to re-use the aluminium bodyshells, traction motors and bogies from the D78 units, and fit them out with new diesel engines and interiors. Rail Magazine reports that each power car will have two underfloor engine-generator sets. The 3.2 litre, five cylinder diesel engines will be made by Ford in South Africa. Vivarail claims that fuel consumption will be around 0.5 litre ( gallons) per car per mile. This is about half the fuel consumption of a Pacer. Maximum speed will be 60 mph (97 km/h).
  by DutchRailnut
would take a lot of $$$ to make them FRA compliant.
  by electricron
DutchRailnut wrote:would take a lot of $$$ to make them FRA compliant.
It certainly would. They weren't suggesting they would - they were suggesting getting time separation FRA waivers. But they will still have to spend some money to make them FRA compliant as much as they could to get the other waivers. ;)
So far they have only placed less than 10 cars out of 450 or so back into service in the UK. I believe they thought they would have won more orders by now. Maybe VIA will buy them for regional services in the Maritimes since they missed out on the 12 DART RDCs sold to AllEarth Rail? Bombardier bogies and trucks are used underneath the cars - so Canada might buy them! ;)
  by D Alex
I'm trying to imagine where these might work in my town, but I can't see anyplace. Most of the old abandoned rail corridors have been torn out and turned into rail trails. The one line that this might work on is now the CSX mainline, so I doubt they would hold freight traffic until night time. This might've worked 30-40 years ago, while there were still un-used or barely-used rails just sitting there.
  by DutchRailnut
even with separation of passenger and freight, does not absolve train manufacturer/operator from complying to most of FRA rules.
it is not a free for all, and just looking at picture I spot at least 4 items that need correcting.
  by RRspatch
The other thing to remember about these trains is they're built to fit the VERY restrictive British loading gauge*. Extensions would have to be added under each door to close the gap between the train and the platform. Also since these are ex London Underground (subway) cars they do not has traps or steps so high level platforms would have to be built for each stop. If the platforms are NOT shared with normal sized trains then I guess you could build the platforms closer to the train.

* England, the only country in the world that runs narrow gauge trains on standard gauge tracks. :P
  by D Alex
From what I can see, these would only work on lightly used freight spurs that happen to go to and from someplace where a lot of commuters would rather get off the highways. but, considering the de-centralization of most of our urban areas, I don't see a lot of need. Maybe would work between, say, an urban center and a large college? But only if there is an existing, non-busy rail there. We used to have such a rail right-of-way, but it was ripped out 60 years ago.
  by electricron
If anyone is really interested in these things for use in the USA, they would probably be better off buying and refurbishing retiring NYC subway cars - or retiring BART cars - or any other retiring "metro" cars. At least the flooring, seats. and windows will already meet FRA standards. Even better, retiring US commuter rail cars where everything meets FRA standards.
And yes, retiring US models will probably be much older as we don't tend to retire subway and railroad passenger cars early, but at least they will probably would have been made with stainless steel.
Golly, these UK cars entered service in 1980, that's 35 years ago. They were not put out to pasture that early. What they have done is designed and engineered the process converting these specific EMUs into DMUs. They are selling a complete package.
  by bdawe
Refurbing NYC cars could work similarly to the VIVA rail cars, but BART cars are, of course, the wrong gauge and are much older.

Part of the appeal of Vivarail was that the subway cars were retired for fleet-standardization purposes, rather than because they were at the end of their operating lives.
  by ExCon90
RRspatch wrote:* England, the only country in the world that runs narrow gauge trains on standard gauge tracks. :P
Not to nitpick, -- though I am -- Scotland and Wales run the same equipment on the same gauge as England.
  by DutchRailnut
most people associate England as Great Britain , just like they associate Holland as The Netherlands.
rest of each country is regarded as the red headed stepchild.
  by ExCon90
That brings up a question I've sometimes wondered about: are the Dutch seriously offended when foreigners talk about Holland when they mean the Netherlands, or to they just shrug it off, figuring what can you do?