Cascade Service - Talgo replacements

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Palmland, Aug 21, 2019.

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  1. Aug 21, 2019 #1

    Palmland

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    Got this email today from WSDOT:

    WSDOT awarded $37.5 million federal grant for train equipment

    WSDOT received notification this week from the Federal Railroad Administration that it was awarded a $37.5 million Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant to acquire at least three sets of new passenger rail cars for the Amtrak Cascades service.

    WSDOT plans to procure the new passenger train equipment as part of Amtrak’s 2019-20 national equipment replacement contract. By participating in this national procurement process with other states that sponsor passenger service, WSDOT will be able to leverage the buying power of both Amtrak and other states. The new passenger rail cars are expected to be delivered from the selected manufacturer in the mid-2020s. The award of this grant will allow for the replacement of the WSDOT-owned Talgo 6 trainsets, including the two currently in service and the one lost in the derailment.

    In the interim, prior to delivery of the new equipment, Amtrak is working to identify temporary passenger equipment to replace the Talgo 6 train sets currently in service. This is consistent with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations following its investigation of the 2017 derailment in DuPont.

    WSDOT continues to work with Amtrak, Sound Transit, and FRA to address other safety measures identified by NTSB in anticipation of the return of Amtrak Cascades service to the Point Defiance Bypass between Tacoma and Nisqually. A date for that shift to the Point Defiance Bypass has not yet been determined. You will receive notice from Amtrak and WSDOT well in advance of the move to the new route.

    The new modern train equipment that will be acquired through this grant will help increase ridership and ticket revenue by improving reliability, comfort and capacity on the Amtrak Cascades system that connects 18 cities between Vancouver, British Columbia and Eugene, Oregon.
     
  2. Aug 21, 2019 #2

    bretton88

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    So what happens to the schedules if these aren't tilting trains? Are we going backwards?
     
  3. Aug 21, 2019 #3

    jis

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    They could be tilting trains. Talgos are not the only tilting trains in the world. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's at least wait to see what Washington State's RFP/RFQ looks like.
     
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  4. Aug 21, 2019 #4

    DSS&A

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    One option for new trainsets; Alstom's new NEC passenger trains will tilt and they could be pulled by Seimens Charger locomotives or other 125 mph diesel locomotives.
     
  5. Aug 22, 2019 #5

    bretton88

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    They aren't going to do a state specific RFP. They are going to go with whatever Amtrak chooses for their replacements and add their 3 trainsets to the order. So my guess is it won't be tilting equipment unless Amtrak goes a different direction than Siemens. The line about purchasing power with other states makes me think they're just going to add onto the other states Siemens order.
     
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  6. Aug 22, 2019 #6

    jis

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    Have they said so or are you speculating?
     
  7. Aug 22, 2019 #7

    Trogdor

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    Well, the opening post does say this:

    It doesn’t mean there can’t be a subset of the contract for a handful of tilting trainsets, but I would imagine the design would be different enough that if the main order for however many hundred or so cars isn’t tilting, it wouldn’t necessarily be a simple task to say “take that same design, but build three tilting trainsets with it.”

    Now, we still have the unknown status of the two Wisconsin trains, which should still be serviceable (since those are series 8, not series 6). I haven’t seen any confirmation that they are going to the northwest, but that’s the only logical, practical place for them to go.
     
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  8. Aug 22, 2019 #8

    jis

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    Yeah, we have to see what comes of the corridor equipment acquisition. It could be a tack onto the NEC Amfleet I replacement, or it could be a separate process, considering that some stat3es might wish to keep bilevels in the running. I have not heard that they are being abandoned for good yet.

    Frankly whether a piece of equipment is tilting or not is not a carbody issue. It is a truck and suspension issue, except for exotic designs like the Talgo.

    I also find it hard to believe that a serious passenger railroad in the 21st century would refuse to consider D/EMUs with integrated 5/6 car units. But the US has developed quite a history of being 40 years behind everyone else using all sorts of bizarre arguments, and that apparently won't get fixed until the current leadership generation makes horizontal exit.
     
  9. Aug 22, 2019 #9

    frequentflyer

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    That route does seem tailor made for DMUs. And Stadler could make them close by in Utah.
     
  10. Aug 22, 2019 #10

    Maglev

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    I don't understand why tilting passenger cars are allowed to operate at a higher speed with the same locomotives and cab cars as conventional passenger car-equipped trains. Are the passenger cars really that much more likely to tip over than locomotives and NPCU's?

    Whatever type of cars is chosen, their popularity largely will be determined by factors such as seat design. I hope the design is better than the Series 8 Talgos!
     
  11. Aug 22, 2019 #11

    jis

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    The tilting is entirely a passenger comfort thing and has little impact on safety. Those cars have to be certified safely at the max permitted speed even with tilt disabled.
     
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  12. Aug 22, 2019 #12

    bretton88

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    My question is, are the Hiawatha Talgos radioactive or something? The release also states that "Amtrak is looking for suitable interim equipment." I would think that even with interior refits needed, this would be an easy choice.
     
  13. Aug 22, 2019 #13

    Chris I

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    It's entirely passenger comfort. If you read through the Talgo analysis of the Bypass Crash, they note that the center of gravity of their series 6 car was roughly half that of the Charger locomotive that initiated the derailment. They also noted that they believe the Talgo cars would have safely negotiated the curve at 80mph, but the locomotive derailed and the trailing cars followed it.

    I get the logic behind standard equipment acquisitions, but this is going to be really bad for ridership if they have to add time to the schedule. When they sub in standard Amtrak cars during the holiday periods, they extend the scheduled time from 3:20 to 3:40. This would essentially nullify all of the time-saving benefits of the Point Defiance Bypass. The bypass would still permit additional round trips, but obviously they aren't planning that if they are only buying 3 trainsets. This entire process has been infuriating. Poor planning and execution at all levels both before and after the crash. We could have 6 daily round-trips with 3:10 travel time. Instead, we will end up with 4 daily round-trips at 3:30.
     
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  14. Aug 23, 2019 #14

    keelhauled

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    In addition to the WSDoT grant, the FRA awarded funds to a number of other states, including for new equipment in North Carolina and Wisconsin, as well as various infrastructure grants.
     
  15. Aug 23, 2019 #15

    John Bredin

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    Unless Wisconsin joins with other states or Amtrak for its procurement (which it well might), what car manufacturer would trust Wisconsin as far as one can throw a mothballed Milwaukee-built Talgo set?! :eek:
     
  16. Aug 23, 2019 #16

    Seaboard92

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    I was under the impression NC had enough equipment. I believe they bought ten circus cars when Ringling auctioned their equipment away.
     
  17. Aug 23, 2019 #17

    MikefromCrete

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    Well, for one thing, Scott Walker is no longer governor.
     
  18. Aug 23, 2019 #18

    John Bredin

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    True, but it was the (still-GOP) legislature that sank the Talgo deal; Walker urged the legislature to not do so but the anti-rail rhetoric he fostered and rode into office outran him.
     
  19. Aug 23, 2019 #19

    frequentflyer

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    As long as the producer gets paid they could care less what happens to the product. Talgo must have been desperate to get a foothold in the US if they did not at least have a contract getting 50% upon delivery. I don't see Siemens being as generous in terms as Talgo was.
     

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