Finally!....New VIA Equipment

Discussion in 'VIA Rail Canada Discussion' started by NS VIA Fan, Feb 28, 2018.

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  1. Feb 28, 2018 #1

    NS VIA Fan

    NS VIA Fan

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  2. Feb 28, 2018 #2

    Eric S

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    32 trainsets with 9100 total seats. (Any idea how that compares to what is used currently?)

    Good news, indeed. Will be interesting to see the proposals and which company/equipment is selected.
     
  3. Feb 28, 2018 #3

    Trogdor

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    I wonder if the Siemens Charger has any shot of winning this order for locomotives, given that it has had relatively abysmal performance in the midwest this past winter.
     
  4. Feb 28, 2018 #4

    jis

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    Looks like five or six car train sets. Seems almost ideal for a Railjet/Charger based Siemens thing (similar to Brightline sets) or equivalent from Bombardier or Alstom (which will be merged with Siemens rail transport stuff).
     
  5. Feb 28, 2018 #5

    Eric S

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    So that's not just been my bad luck with two of the worst Hiawatha delays/disruptions in my 20+ years of riding those trains occurring this winter.
     
  6. Feb 28, 2018 #6

    Lonestar648

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    It is great news. Cold weather reliable operations will be something that the bidding companies should be required to demonstrate. Just the approval for new equipment is a great step forward for Canada.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2018 #7

    jis

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    Although the train I was on traveled fine with SC-44s, I did see another train with a BNSF unit ahead of the SC-44 because apparently the horn on the SC-44 had failed thus making it illegal as a lead unit.
     
  8. Feb 28, 2018 #8

    MikefromCrete

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    That's first I'm hearing about a lot of problems with the Chargers. What's been happening with them?
     
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  9. Feb 28, 2018 #9

    PerRock

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    There was some issues with the scrubbers, although I think the problems with them were blown a bit out of proportion by Charger-haters. They don't yet have the Michigan PTC system installed/turned on. Been a few accidents (no fault to the Chargers), and a horn not working on one run of one. That's all I can remember off the top of my head, no where near as bad as the HHP-8s when they were delivered.

    I've not heard of any problems with the Brightline ones, nor the ones on the west coast.

    peter
     
  10. Feb 28, 2018 #10

    Metra Electric Rider

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    Were there still plans to electrify the corridor too?
     
  11. Mar 1, 2018 #11

    seat38a

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    I'm assuming its these cars that are being replaced? Not the LRC?

    [​IMG] by B H, on Flickr
     
  12. Mar 1, 2018 #12

    NS VIA Fan

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    Yes....hopefully the cars with the blue and yellow stripe will be the ones replaced. These were rebuilt in the early 90 in the HEP II programme. A lot are former Amtrak cars.....the interiors are nice (see below) but are very rough riding.

    The car with the solid blue strip is a HEP 1 long distance coach rebuilt in the late 80s or early 90s. It is xCPR Canadian equipment. Dont think they are going away anytime soon.

    I think the LRC will be around for years to come and along with the new equipment.increased service!

    20180220_083912.jpg
     
  13. Mar 1, 2018 #13

    Lonestar648

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    Be nice to see the design of the new cars. The photo makes the interior look good still, but as mentioned, rides rough. Wonder if they will be kept for extras and special trains.
     
  14. Mar 2, 2018 #14

    NS VIA Fan

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    From an old Transport 2000 Newsletter: Perhaps we'll see any surplus LRC coaches deployed to routes they were originally envisioned for 40 years ago!

    A Prairie Intercity run: Winnipeg-Calgary or in the Maritimes: Halifax-Moncton-Saint John? But that Halifax-Saint John-Montreal daytime run across Maine....Not a chance!

    Image_2_.jpg
     
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  15. Mar 2, 2018 #15

    Northeastern292

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    I thought the LRC cars were the problem children, as they were made of a carbon steel or something?
    Regardless, new equipment is good news for VIA. They can do more and better than they have now. Hopefully, Siemens gets the contract as I've a huge fan of both the Brightline coaches (despite one ride in them) and I bet you they'll deliver on time. Talgo I've heard is also interested in pursuing the contract, but it would have to be a high-level car, as Montreal and Quebec City both have high level platforms that I don't think are going anywhere.

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  16. Mar 2, 2018 #16

    NS VIA Fan

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    The LRC cars are about 35 years old and still the backbone of VIAs corridor fleet. The LRC locomotives are long gone..having been replaced by P42s in 2001..and used along with the older but extensively rebuild F40s

    Regarding High Level Platforms: Yes, Montreal and Quebec City and currently under construction in Ottawa.

    85-06Scan10064.JPG

    85-06Scan10034.JPG
     
  17. Mar 2, 2018 #17

    jis

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    It seems like Amtrak has scads of LRC derivative cars in the Acelas too. AFAICT the Acela cars have almost nothing to do with any TGV cars that I have ever seen.
     
  18. Mar 2, 2018 #18

    Trogdor

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    I dont remember the specifics, because I was only half paying attention when a Chicago ops manager told me, but they have had a lot of trouble with the HEP on those engines this winter.
    The Florida and west coast engines have not had to endure any real winter conditions, so it would make sense that they wouldnt be experiencing trouble.
     
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  19. Mar 2, 2018 #19

    jis

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    Chicago Ops seems to have a lot of trouble with everything irrespective of season, no? [​IMG]
     
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  20. Mar 3, 2018 #20

    Lonestar648

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    All the equipment out of Chicago is aging with few spares for protection.
     
  21. Mar 4, 2018 #21

    williamn

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    It would seem bizarre to replace the LRCs but not the HEPs. Any chance that the new stock will work the LRC routes and the LRCs will then displace the HEPs?
     
  22. Mar 8, 2018 #22

    jamesontheroad

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    Here's the interesting thing. The press materials released at the time of the announcement (including this web page on viarail.ca specifically state (with my emphasis):

    The LRC entered service 1981-84, so it's clear that the fleet renewal announcement refers to them. If the HEP2 cars were being replaced, surely VIA Rail would want to celebrate the retirement of carriages that are almost seventy years old? This could mean a couple of things. One: they're perhaps embarrassed about the age of the HEP2, and will quietly retire them anyway without reminding customers of their age. Two: they'll be retained for new or additional services outside the Corridor when new rolling stock would be too expensive. Three: they'll have another heavy rebuilt (as happened before entry into Corridor service in the 1990s) and join the HEP1 fleet on long distance services.

    The request for tenders goes live very soon, so it's up to the different companies and consortia who bid to present their own designs.

    This one is probably Bombardier's to lose. Having said that, they did just lose the bid to build rolling stock for the Montréal REM (standout quote - "that you can't even get your own government... to buy your product, it's something that will cause them sales grief around the world for a while to come") and in 2016 they screwed up the specification and delivery schedule of double-deck vehicles for the Deux-Montagnes line. So don't underestimate Bombardier's ability to screw things up in their own backyard.

    There is still an ambition to, hence the request for proposals for push-pull units with locomotives ready for future electrification, suggesting bi-mode diesel-electrics.

    This article from last year summarises recent developments quite well. We should see Transport Canada reporting back this year on some of the options, but in my heart I suspect that provincial and federal politicians will never have the courage to go with the up-front cost of full 300km/h high speed rail, and will instead plump for a new dedicated VIA Rail right of way, somewhere inland from the current lakeshore route.

    This map was published by VIA a couple of years ago...

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Mar 8, 2018 #23

    Trogdor

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    It's hard to find anyone that's actually satisfied with Bombardier's work as of late.

    Their aircraft division had to basically give away their newest commercial jet to Airbus because they were running out of money to guarantee the program's future (it's also very slow-selling, and even slower at delivering). They had to abandon their Learjet 85 development due to lack of orders and, from what I understand, major defects discovered during flight test.

    On the rail side, Amtrak's Acela trains are Bombardier products, and they had a very rocky start. Plus, those trains aren't even 20 years old and they already have replacements on order, while the rest of the system uses equipment twice as old.

    Bombardier also built the HHP-8...need I say more?

    On the transit side, TTC is upset with Bombardier over slow delivery of their new streetcars. CTA in Chicago changed the specifications of their next railcar order, dropping the requirement that it be compatible with their Bombardier-built 5000s. While nothing official was ever said, someone I spoke with who was very high up in their engineering department and recently retired basically confirmed my suspicion that it was because they didn't want Bombardier to win the bid.

    If politics is the biggest influence, then Bombardier might win. But realistically, any decision based on quality and contract performance would have to eliminate Bombardier from contention almost from the start.
     
  24. Mar 23, 2018 #24

    neroden

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    Yeah, Bombardier's demonstrated incompetence means they are very, very, very unlikely to win any order. Toronto rather loudly cancelled forthcoming procurements from Bombardier, leaving only the one delayed streetcar order (with all the options cancelled, IIRC) and is trying to get compensation from Bombardier for the delays on that. Bombardier has gone from the leader in passenger rail cars to a company which nobody will buy from -- a true management failure.

    I'd bet on Siemens, FWIW. They may offer to put a factory in Canada.

    VIA is clearly replacing the entire LRC fleet, which was always the problem fleet. I suspect they're replacing the HEP 2 cars on the Corridor as well, but I also suspect the HEP 2 cars will end up being shuffled off to join the HEP 1 fleet: since nobody's making new parts for those old Budd cars, anything they can do to shore up the fleet will help them keep it operating.
     
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  25. Mar 23, 2018 #25

    Northeastern292

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    I second the Siemens prediction. They have an off-the-shelf product, are already building cars that can run at speeds up to 125mph and they've built equipment for Western Canada properties (Edmonton and Calgary). VIA might give the contract to Siemens based on delivery times, etc. I feel that the Siemens single-level car might be the standard North American intercity railcar for the next few decades.
    It's also worth noting that VIA has a non-voting representative to the PRIIA Section 305 (AASHTO) committee and in minutes VIA indicated a willingness to participate.

    The bonus for Siemens to open a plant in Canada also helps their light rail production.

    I agree with others on here and I can't see Bombardier getting the contract on part because of their history- they've upset at least two provinces. With the Canadian government trying to spend little as possible on this (I feel), an expensive R&D process I can't see going well.

    I don't know the average length of a VIA train, but if you add up the current fleet of LRC's plus the 47 Renaissance coach and club cars you get 145, and based on 32 trainsets of five cars gets you 160 cars. In reality, VIA should order 200 and call it a day. Use it as an excuse to junk the Renaissance cars.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2018

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