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VIA preparing to acquire new equipment worth upto C$ 4 billion


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#1 jis

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 11:15 AM

From he International Rail Journal

 


CANADIAN inter-city passenger operator Via Rail is moving forward with preparations to procure a new fleet of bi-mode (diesel and electric) trains as part of its $C 4bn plan to upgrade the Toronto – Ottawa – Montreal corridor.

 

CEO Mr Yves Desjardins-Siciliano told IRJ at InnoTrans on September 21 that Via Rail is seeking to acquire a proven design that is “in production or in use today,” with the first trains due to enter service by 2020.

 

http://www.railjourn...new-trains.html



#2 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 12:36 PM

Ah the Justinian Paradise continues!


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#3 Anderson

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 01:07 PM

On the one hand, it's not likely to be a C$4bn equipment order alone; on the other hand, presuming 32-48 trains of 6 cars (the seat/train ratio given is about 300, which is probably four all-coaches, one coach-with-food-service, and one BC) you're looking at about 192-288 cars (call it 200-300).  That's probably around C$500-600m (considering where the CAD is right now).  The locomotives are probably another C$300-600m (probably towards the higher end since I'm thinking you're looking at NJT-configuration ALP-45DH locomotives based on the description of the order, what they're trying to do with them, and since AMT already has some trains in that family) but that probably only chews up C$800-1200m of the C$4bn.


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#4 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 02:11 PM

How much will the electrification and track upgrades cost?


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#5 Seaboard92

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 02:44 PM

I'm wondering if this might be a kin to the ÖBB and ĆD Railjet actually.

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#6 Anderson

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 02:17 PM

I've put a call into VHSR.  If VIA is ordering 125/100 dual-modes, those are what VA has wanted to get for a while (so as to limit or eliminate the locomotive swaps at WAS), so it might make sense for VA to join in on such an order (particularly given that we're flush with cash).  We'd probably need 15-20 of them (6 Regionals, soon to be 7, and you effectively need two locos per frequency given how far they run, plus spares and so on) but an order of 15-20 which piggybacks on an already-extant order of 30-50 should be more doable (and might benefit both sides)

 

Moreover, depending on the railcars VIA is looking at, it also might make sense for VA to "get in the game" on that if the cars are either US-compatible or can be made so with very little work.  Again, building on a base order of 200-300 cars (even if our configuration is a bit different, having a batch of six-car sets and a batch of 9-10 car sets isn't exactly reinventing the wheel) makes things feasible, and VA would probably be looking at a pretty good-sized order so as to get rid of most of Amtrak's equipment billing.


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#7 neroden

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:47 PM

VIA might be getting MUs.  While VIA's locomotives are old, they're OK; VIA's rolling stock, however, is on its deathbed, as bad as the Amtrak Heritage diners and sometimes worse.  It's interesting that the article says "diesel/electric trains" because the priority for VIA is very definitely carriages, not locomotives  Maybe this means MU.


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#8 Anderson

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 02:26 PM

Well, IIRC there's a plan out there to electrify Toronto-Montreal...so I'm thinking they're looking at dual-mode trains to facilitate such (as well as to avoid some of the power games they have to pull at Gare Central).


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#9 jis

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 02:35 PM

DEMUs (of the catenary variety) are in vogue these days. The Brits have been acquiring quite a few, as have the French. Maybe the Canadians will follow in their footsteps.



#10 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 04:36 PM

I've put a call into VHSR.  If VIA is ordering 125/100 dual-modes, those are what VA has wanted to get for a while (so as to limit or eliminate the locomotive swaps at WAS), so it might make sense for VA to join in on such an order (particularly given that we're flush with cash).  We'd probably need 15-20 of them (6 Regionals, soon to be 7, and you effectively need two locos per frequency given how far they run, plus spares and so on) but an order of 15-20 which piggybacks on an already-extant order of 30-50 should be more doable (and might benefit both sides)

 

Moreover, depending on the railcars VIA is looking at, it also might make sense for VA to "get in the game" on that if the cars are either US-compatible or can be made so with very little work.  Again, building on a base order of 200-300 cars (even if our configuration is a bit different, having a batch of six-car sets and a batch of 9-10 car sets isn't exactly reinventing the wheel) makes things feasible, and VA would probably be looking at a pretty good-sized order so as to get rid of most of Amtrak's equipment billing.

If I'm understanding you, this could be a boon for Amtrak capacity. It could allow 14 or more trains' worth of equipment to cascade to other routes -- some so desperate for equipment they'd be happy to try to use Heritage-level stuff.



#11 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 04:54 PM

I've put a call into VHSR.  If VIA is ordering ... VA would probably need 15-20 of them (6 Regionals, soon to be 7, and you effectively need two locos per frequency given how far they run, plus spares and so on) ...

How do you figure more Amtrak Virginia Regional frequencies? I'm counting on one to Roanoke and two more to Norfolk as soon as upgrades Richmond-Petersburg permit it. Total 3. Am I getting ahead of myself?



#12 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 08:11 PM



 piggybacks on an already-extant order ... might benefit both sides

... depending on the railcars VIA is looking at, it also might make sense for VA to "get in the game" on that if the cars are US-compatible ... and VA would probably be looking at a pretty good-sized order so as to get rid of most of Amtrak's equipment billing.

It also might make sense for Amtrak to get in and make it a mega order. We need to see hundreds of single-level coaches and lounges replaced, and the fleet expanded.

 

I hadn't realized that VIA would be buying 200-300 new cars. Amtrak's needs are huge. Add Virginia's fleet and it's a total order of around 1,000.

 

The Amtrak fleet plan a few years ago explained that for economies of scale, that is, for the lowest prices, the order should be big, but spread over the years, at a rate of 100 cars a year, or two per week. Teaming up with Canada, and any states that want in, makes a big 1,000-car order. It also means the 100-per-year schedule doesn't have to commit so many Billions per year. Amtrak could take, say, 50 cars in a given year, VIA 40, and VA 10, depending on the federal funding that year. That would let Amtrak say to Congress, it's not that big a deal, thereby making it easier to budget and to vote for. Or if Congress allows barely enuff funding, Amtrak orders 200 while VIA orders 200-300 and VA takes 70, that gets 5 years of output before an option order from Amtrak extends the run. While a RFP for 500 cars wouldn't get the volume discount of ordering 1,000, that should be enuff to launch and get production rolling.

 

That article in International Rail Journal says Canada will be seeking equipment with "a proven design that is 'in production or in use today,' with the first trains due to enter service by 2020." Well, 'in production today' sounds like a nice opening for Siemens to put forward something very much like the trains it is building for Brightline.



#13 Anderson

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 04:25 AM

 

I've put a call into VHSR.  If VIA is ordering ... VA would probably need 15-20 of them (6 Regionals, soon to be 7, and you effectively need two locos per frequency given how far they run, plus spares and so on) ...

How do you figure more Amtrak Virginia Regional frequencies? I'm counting on one to Roanoke and two more to Norfolk as soon as upgrades Richmond-Petersburg permit it. Total 3. Am I getting ahead of myself?

 

Ok, the order is as follows:
-Present: NPN (2), NFK (1), RVR (2), LYH (1).  Six.

-We're going to add another one out to ROA/LYH before too long.  Seven.

-Onto the RVR-WAS/Hampton Roads-Richmond studies.  Plan is a total of nine trains/day.  Three are already heading to the area, two to be extended (the RVR two), but that adds four.  Technically speaking the plan is for ten trains per day: One will originate/terminate at RVR heading north, one will be a short-hop train between RVR and NFK, but both portions will have 9x daily trains.  That brings us to 11 total on deck.

-Now we go to NC.  Right now they have 2x daily Piedmont frequencies and the Carolinian.  The Piedmonts are set to double before too long.  SEHSR suggess 4x daily trains (the exact mix varies based on the report, but I know one version terminated a frequency at RGH while initiating an additional Piedmont there while another version just ran all four through.  Bottom line?  4-5x Piedmonts, 3-4x CLT-WAS[-NYP] trains, plus the Carolinian.

 

Figuring that you can flog 5 frequencies out of four Piedmont sets, you're looking at roughly:
-4 Piedmont sets

-8 CLT-WAS sets

-2 Carolinian sets

-18 Hampton Roads sets

-1 NFK-RVR set

-4 LYH/ROA sets

 

Basically just under 40 sets of equipment with plans which are arguably "on deck".  Of these, in the projected timeframe the Piedmont sets, Carolinian sets, LYH/ROA sets, and Hampton Roads sets (albeit with some terminating at RVR) are usable within the next 6-10 years (depending on some project timelines).  For example, remember that once a second train goes to NFK that opens up a parking space at RVR (much like the ROA extension opens up a space at LYH, and any further extensions out west would open up space at ROA or LYH).

Granted, a lot of this equipment is redundant with the NEC itself, but at the same time extending a ton of trains into VA will, at some point, play merry hell with turning patterns at WAS (particularly if Amtrak and VA want to avoid lots of bad-hour trains...I may be an exponent of overnight trains, but I also see those as being 2-3 trains out of a few dozen, not half of the timetable).


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)




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