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Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV

Posted by WillD on Sun Mar 18 23:25:23 2012, in response to Re: PHOTOS: CALTRAN CALTRAIN IV, posted by Jersey Mike on Sun Mar 18 22:15:56 2012.

Unless that comes with a revenue source don't believe anything one of those voter approved "props" enact. The good citizens have been cutting taxes and approving mega projects for decades now.

It was a proposition to allow the sale of bonds to build the initial phases of the HSR project, so yes it has a revenue source.

Then why isn't every commuter railroad looking to electrify? Why is NJT buying dual modes? Why is the MBTA and MARC running diesels under wire? Perhaps the cost of MU's is a bit more than the cost of diesel push-pull trains.

I already said why. We hold the operational savings to be less worthwhile than the capital savings, even when the operational savings will amount to a lower lifetime cost. NJT had plans to fully electrify their system, in part to reduce operational costs, before Warrington came in and ruined it. In any event on the NEC Amtrak's fairly punishing power-at-pantograph metering is enough to reduce the operational cost savings that the commuter lines otherwise would achieve.

So now Buses cost more to operate than light rail vehicles? Last I checked you can stop maintaining a road and the bus won't derail. Buses can run line of sight and don't need an electric power supply system. On wait, in Europe the state provides all of that pesky infrastructure free of charge!

I'm not sure if you understand this, but when we build things, we don't exactly plan on how they'll perform if we don't maintain them. In terms of infrastructure the LRT tracks will last much longer and provide a superior ride quality over a longer time than pavement continually being subjected to the weight of a bus.

But the real killers of a bus as compared to an LRT are in terms of its lower capacity per operator and far higher energy costs. LRTs simply provide superior operational costs per passenger than buses. But again, because we hold capital cost savings as being more valuable than the operational cost savings we end up building BRT systems and ultimately spending more money.

Then why haven't they?

They're working on it. Give them a few years.

If electrification was such a big money saver we would have seen much more of it in the last 50 decades.

Oil glut.

Not when cars load unevenly. There are plenty of seats today, the problem is getting stuck in the part of the train where everyone else has chosen to sit. That's why passing through helps.

Chances are Caltrain would operate a maximum of 8 to 12 TPH during rush hour. To that end they'd be well positioned to operate trains consisting of 8 cars composed of two four car sets. That'd also fit well with their off peak 4 to 6 TPH schedule. During off peak hours the entire train would be fully capable of being walked from one end to another. Peak hour operation would place the impassable point on the train at the center of the platforms, thereby spreading the passenger load, normally concentrated at the center of the platform, across the two trainsets.

Anyway the LA Metro tried to get away with low enforcement level POP and they got burned.

Except that they didn't. The conclusion that locking the fare gates resulted in an increase in revenue does not logically follow when many of the passengers using those stations were transferring from bus lines and would not have paid a fare anyway.

Today everyone riding Caltrain gets their ticket checked for most rides which is a pretty good system.

Which is already POP. If you'd stopped to ask the ticket inspectors you'd find that they are assigned to check tickets within a three to four car set.

The expenditure is less because the trains have a higher utilization, especially in the off peak times.

Then do they need the 2TPH midday express run or not?

caltrain can easily expand capacity by simply taking on new Gallery cars or buying other used rolling stock. That's the beauty of locomotive hauled services, it the marginal costs of capacity is very low.

The marginal capital cost may be low, but the marginal operational cost is MUCH greater than Caltrain's electrified EMU operation.

If they aren't doing that now they aren't going to do it with MU's. A diesel locomotive trainset today does not have significantly different operating costs compared to MUs, and its probably cheaper if you factor in all the associated infrastructure costs.

Again, are you incapable of reading? The GO electrification studies and Caltrain 2025 studies are unambiguous in their statement that diesel hauled trains are significantly more expensive than the electric trains they propose to operate, even with the infrastructure costs.

With MU's all the cars have parts that can go wrong and need to be maintained, not to mention the 92 day inspections etc.

Except that they get down the line as much as a half hour faster than a diesel hauled trainset, which means you're operating fewer trains to provide an equivalent or greater level of service on the line.

MU's are cheaper than steam locomotives, that's why railroads electrified in the 20's and 30's, but since then they are not cheaper than push pull services. MU's have higher performance and can support higher capacity, but it increases the costs to move those people.

Again, the numbers clearly show that the EXACT opposite is the case.

Caltrain's best option is to electrify and then use push-pull electric locomotives with the existing gallery car stock, plus any additional stock they happen to pick up. With the ALP-44s available they can have a whole electrified service up and running for almost no money. If NJT can move the NEC crowds using push-pulls Caltrain can do the same.

The locomotive hauled train's performance is not nearly as great as the EMU and thus the operational savings over the diesel trainset are not as great. Caltrain cannot afford to electrify AND go with a solution which does not result in the greatest operational savings.

Um...how is that attributable to their new MU cars?

If they'd purchased some more rational EMUs then maybe their operational costs would have held flat rather than steadily rising.

some Eurotrash MU's (that would probably freeze solid if they got close to a real winter)

Sure, what could the Europeans like Norway, Sweden, or Switzerland possibly know about a real winter?

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