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  #861  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 12:11 AM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Over what concern was such a slow speed limit imposed?
Track condition according to NS. This is after MI gave NS 5 million dollars to maintain the line for current speeds until the purchase is complete and Amtrak/MI start upgrading the line for 110mph service. NS's fallback position is that the agreement with Amtrak only requires the line be kept at 25mph standard.

This is NS fucking with Michigan over the negotiations for the sale. Michigan should reduce their offer since the asset has clearly been left to degrade...according to NS's actions.
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  #862  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 12:16 AM
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A few more Talgo pics from this discussion forum:


Greg D. Photography


My favorite comments on the discussion page... "You see trains in Europe and Asia that look nice and aerodynamic, but here in the US, we get this. The front end of a bus."

&

"It's Talgo's revenge for their plant getting shut down at the end of the order."



Carriages in the plant.


link


link


link
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Last edited by Busy Bee; Mar 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM.
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  #863  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 2:24 AM
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Those pull-out stairs are an awesome idea. Who knows if they'll stand up over time to bulky American passengers and thudding wheeled suitcases...

Despite the epic design fail on the cab, I think amenity-wise these will push the Hiawatha to a new level of class and comfort. There's nothing technically wrong with the Horizon cars that Amtrak runs currently, but these will relieve pressure on the Amtrak fleet and the added comfort/luxury will attract new riders. Every mode of travel is full of little annoyances and indignities; any mode that minimizes these will draw substantial numbers of people.

One thing that would really push it over the top is onboard wifi. You could drive, sit on a 40-minute plane flight where electronic devices are prohibited, or take the train and use your iPad to browse the internet to your heart's content.
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Last edited by ardecila; Mar 18, 2012 at 2:47 AM.
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  #864  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 2:48 AM
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Forgive my ignorance, but what's stopping them from going to high-platform stations and rolling stock? Are there plans for this somewhere down the road? I hope so.
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  #865  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 3:12 AM
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Building high-platform stations is really costly, and causes clearance problems when freight trains need to pass the station, since freight cars are wider and bulkier than passenger cars.

European lines are designed with passenger service in mind (although European platforms are not as high as Northeast Corridor ones) and the freight cars are designed specially to clear the platforms.

High-platform stations are a good idea for urban platforms where freight service will never run, but not for main-line stations that have to mix freight/passenger.
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  #866  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natiboy View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but what's stopping them from going to high-platform stations and rolling stock? Are there plans for this somewhere down the road? I hope so.
Replacing all the existing rolling stock isn't practical. Bombardier's Bilevels and Superliners low floor heights are 22-24 inches (550 mm) above top of rail. Your typical NEC high platforms are 48 inches above top of rail in height. Most pre-ADA low floor platforms are at most 8 inches above top of rail in height. Amtrak's buying more brand new Superliners with the same dimensions and doesn't plan to eliminate older ones for many years. Replacing the existing rolling stock isn't practical now, or in the near, or far future. Therefore there are no plans to do so.
And I hope they never will.
One of the CHSR design parameters causing difficulties is how high to build the platforms? Existing Superliner rolling stock, existing commuter rail rolling stock, and future CHSR rolling stock will likely have different requirements. Low floor high speed rail sets like the Talgos might actually be favored in the West.
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  #867  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 5:13 PM
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Thanks for the clarification guys. Unfortunately my only experience on passenger rail was in Germany, so I have been using their system as my standard of measure when looking at our system.
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  #868  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2012, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
And I hope they never will.
One of the CHSR design parameters causing difficulties is how high to build the platforms? Existing Superliner rolling stock, existing commuter rail rolling stock, and future CHSR rolling stock will likely have different requirements. Low floor high speed rail sets like the Talgos might actually be favored in the West.
Not really. According to the Caltrain Compatibility Blog, the main conflict in the whole CHSR proposal is whether to integrate the Caltrain peninsula services with the standards of the HSR program - in particular common boarding platforms, which would mean a universal platform height. In the end, even with the current "bookend" approach currently under discussion, I think full compatibility will win out. It makes the most sense. They are serious about building a 21st century system that is designed to be a success. There shouldn't be much hesitation when it comes to something as fundamental as different rail equipment sharing the same platform.

Of all the reading on the CHSR program I've seen no evidence that they are considering something along the lines of a low boarding Talgo carriage. Instead, standard high level boarding has been specified.
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  #869  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2012, 4:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Not really. According to the Caltrain Compatibility Blog, the main conflict in the whole CHSR proposal is whether to integrate the Caltrain peninsula services with the standards of the HSR program - in particular common boarding platforms, which would mean a universal platform height. In the end, even with the current "bookend" approach currently under discussion, I think full compatibility will win out. It makes the most sense. They are serious about building a 21st century system that is designed to be a success. There shouldn't be much hesitation when it comes to something as fundamental as different rail equipment sharing the same platform.

Of all the reading on the CHSR program I've seen no evidence that they are considering something along the lines of a low boarding Talgo carriage. Instead, standard high level boarding has been specified.
Caltrain is discussing replacing their entire coach fleet, but not Metrolink. They're buying new cab cars with low floor access presently. Talgo train sets can go as fast as most of the others, they shouldn't be locked out of the competition.
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  #870  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 4:25 AM
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A Forbes blogger interviewed the former Amtrak chairman, who claims that UP is insisting on taking over the Chicago-StL route as a condition of allowing Federally-funded upgrades to its tracks.

Quote:
“The Union Pacific is going to be adamant about control of the railroad passenger service from Chicago to St. Louis,” Downs said. The federal government is investing $2 billion to prepare that corridor, which requires the use of Union Pacific right-of-way, track, and equipment.
Not sure if this is good or bad. UP runs a tight ship on its three Metra lines, but expect the Lincoln Service to stop running the second raindrops start to fall.

I wonder how they will handle the Texas Eagle. And will UP eventually demand the same control over the Missouri River Runner?
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  #871  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 5:06 PM
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Rochester high-speed rail could make $1B yearly (Minnesota Public Radio)

Roch. high-speed rail could make $1B yearly

by Elizabeth Baier
Minnesota Public Radio
March 26, 2012

"ROCHESTER, Minn. — A proposed high-speed Zip Rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities could generate nearly $1 billion a year, according to a report released by the Rochester Area Economic Development Inc.

The report also found that over a 25-year period, the Zip Line could generate nearly $17 billion in economic activity and 7,888 jobs.

Gary Smith, president of the Rochester economic development group, cautioned that this study looks at the proposal's potential economic benefits, not its feasibility..."

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/dis...il-line-study/
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  #872  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 6:59 PM
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One of the really nice things about those Talgo's is that they tilt. When the train goes around curves, you really don't even notice it - the ride is so smooth, it is very comparable to European trains. The interiors on the Cascades Talgo trains we have are all leather seats, very nice! So it really doesn't matter what the outside looks like.

As far as the tilting system, the Talgo trains use a passive tilting system, which is not motorized - the cars are suspended from the top like a pendulum, so they swing around corners. Therefore, it is supposed to be very low maintenance, and won't break like active tilting systems do. I've never even heard of a Cascades train that had a failed tilting mechanism.
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  #873  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 2:28 AM
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Maybe so, but this is Amtrak, the agency that can't even be bothered to put enough fuel in the tanks before setting out.

http://reasonrail.blogspot.com/2012/...seriously.html
Quote:
As a result of Amtrak failing to properly fuel its locomotives, [running out of fuel] has been a recurring problem, particularly in the area of Champaign, IL. For example, on September 4, 2011 Train #58 (New Orleans to Chicago) was delayed for half an hour in Champaign while it was refueled after it left Carbondale, IL, with insufficient fuel to make it to Chicago. Similarly, on July 5, 2011, Train #391 (Chicago to Carbondale) ran out of fuel on a single-track segment just south of Delrey (between Chicago and Champaign), causing more than 15 hours of delay to itself, another Amtrak train, and four freight trains.
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  #874  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 3:57 AM
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The interiors on the Cascades Talgo trains we have are all leather seats, very nice! So it really doesn't matter what the outside looks like.
Sorry, but I really disagree with this sentiment. What if the auto industry thought that way... the only thing that matters is under the hood or in the cabin - the hell with the exterior? NOTHING need be ugly! (see my signature)
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  #875  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 4:10 AM
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Sorry, but I really disagree with this sentiment. What if the auto industry thought that way... the only thing that matters is under the hood or in the cabin - the hell with the exterior? NOTHING need be ugly! (see my signature)
Beauty is within the eyes of the beholder. Compared to NPTU F40 cabbage cars, these look sleek and streamlined. No need for useless fins so the NPTUs can look better.
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  #876  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 7:09 AM
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Quote:
Train-maker Talgo to begin layoffs
By Sharif Durhams of the Journal Sentinel
Updated: 1:26 p.m.


Talgo Inc. announced Wednesday that it would start the process of laying off workers involved in building two trains for Wisconsin on Milwaukee's north side.

The move prompted Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to criticize Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans, claiming their opposition to a major expansion of passenger rail was hurting the prospects of jobs for Milwaukee workers.

As many as 35 jobs would be lost at Talgo's Milwaukee facility June 3 because of a decision by the state to decline federal funding for passenger rail that would have prompted Talgo to build more trains for Wisconsin. Barrett said a decision by Republican lawmakers last month could put another 30 maintenance jobs at risk.

In a letter dated Monday, the Spanish train maker notified unions that it would start laying off employees involved in building two trains for Wisconsin. That layoff does not affect employees who would be involved in maintaining the trains, but the maintenance jobs are also in jeopardy because of a decision by state lawmakers last month to cut off funding for a study on building a maintenance facility for the new trains. The company sent a similar letter to state officials Tuesday.

Despite Walker's decision to decline a $810 million federal grant to extend passenger rail service from Milwaukee to Madison, the governor's administration supported borrowing $2.5 million for planning a new maintenance base for two trains Talgo workers were building in Milwaukee. The new trains would have replaced 20-to 30-year-old Amtrak equipment that's used on the Hiawatha line from Milwaukee to Chicago.

A legislative committee led by Republicans voted to cut off that funding last month after the state Department of Transportation estimated that using the Amtrak equipment would be $10 million a year cheaper than using new state-owned trains. Talgo says the state would save $12 million a year by using its equipment, including $260,587 in fuel costs.
What a waste. Talgo, you're welcome to set up shop down in Illinois.
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  #877  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 11:14 PM
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So, all of that just to same a measily 10 million a year? It will be cheaper to go with the status quo?!! Why must our Republicans be just as stupid and narrowminded as their Democratic counterparts when it comes to our nation's infrastructure improvements?!!

Sure, so when something fails and you have a train derail as a result of this "cost saving" measure, yeah, will it be cheaper then?!! Suppose you have a breakdown, causing a train to be out of service, I guess that lost revenue AND cost of repair will be worth it then...
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Last edited by Jonboy1983; Apr 6, 2012 at 12:54 AM. Reason: error correction
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  #878  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 12:11 AM
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I'll admit I don't know which side is telling the truth. Talgo says using their equipment will save $12 Million every year, WDOT says using Amtrak equipment will save $10 Million every year. That's a $24 Million swing. Also that I haven't kept up how much a maintenance facility including any track upgrades will cost in Wisconsin

But what I do know is that the money spent by Wisconsin for Talgo maintenance employees stays in Wisconsin while the money spent for Amtrak maintenance employees will go to Illinois. And that the Milwaukee mayor would prefer that same money was spent in Milwaukee.
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  #879  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 12:55 AM
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Well, Illinois will eventually need a new maintenance facility as well. Because Union Station is split in two, the two through tracks are in heavy demand. As Amtrak adds trains, it will no longer be feasible to use those tracks for service moves and send the Hiawatha fleet to yards south of Union Station.

The best option to me seems like a midpoint yard in a cornfield somewhere. Super-low construction costs and no neighbors to complain. Instead of using long service moves, Amtrak could just do a "commuter run" that stops at local stations along the way, accepting Metra tickets.

Besides that, Amtrak could also look at sites along Lehigh in Skokie/Morton Grove.
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  #880  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2012, 4:39 AM
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Why must our Republicans be just as stupid and narrowminded as their Democratic counterparts when it comes to our nation's infrastructure improvements?!!
Are you joking? Have you been paying attention to politics in this country?
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