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Re: Staten Island North shore cars (Re: And the R-179 contract goes to....)

Posted by J trainloco on Sat Mar 24 18:02:31 2012, in response to Re: Staten Island North shore cars (Re: And the R-179 contract goes to....), posted by WillD on Sat Mar 24 15:53:58 2012.

Great,so order some thing like these:

It'll be largely mechanically compatible with whatever LRVs are ordered for the North Shore Line,and it'll still use the high platforms and third rail.

How is the vehicle shown in the picture you posted substantially different than a typical metro vehicle?

Who said anything about changing the South Shore line's infrastructure at all? Leave the third rail and platforms alone. Just order rolling stock which delivers some synergy with the rolling stock that would likely be utilized by the North Shore line.

You said you wanted to order LRVs for SIR. If something is totally grade separated and using high platforms, IMHO its not light rail anymore.

There's no reason light rail cannot be grade separated if the structures are in place and are structurally sound. But while the structural soundness or replacement of the elevated structures is critical to the implementation of a heavy rail line using subway cars it is merely optional with a light rail alternative. The LRT offers the possibility of taking down a particularly difficult to replace segment of structure and running at grade along the segment. It'd even be possible that they'd utilize some amount of street-running if that were required by local pressure.

In any event,the North Shore may have some grade separated elements,but it's definitely not fully grade separated. The approach to St. George will require a tremendous amount of work for a heavy rail line,particularly threading the heavy rail line along Richmond Terrace. Light rail opens up alternative approaches to implementing the line which may ease local opposition.

If you're going to go to the trouble of building rail infrastructure, I would think we would want to keep it grade separated. If we're going to make significant parts of the line street running, then maybe the studies evaluating BRT will show that it is a better option. As we all know, MTA doesn't exactly have plentiful capital dollars laying around.

The March 2004 study by URS for the SI Borough President and the Port Authority found that they could not keep O&M costs under the limit of $10 million a year if they ran the heavy rail mode at the same 12 minute headway that was proposed for all other rail based modes. The two person train operation presumably was simply too expensive. As a result the heavy rail mode was constrained by its costs to a 15 minute headway. This meant the LRT mode was projected to be capable of carrying around 2200 more passengers per day at around two thirds the annual O&M cost ($5.62 million vs $9.06 million) and 20 million dollars less in capital cost ($351 million vs $370 million

As SEPTA has demonstrated with the Market-Frankford line, and NYCT has shown with the crosstown line, you can operate heavy rail with OPTO. A SIR north shore line would likely have ridership capable of such an arrangement. Additionally, just because the capacity would be there doesn't mean it would be used. The present SIR doesn't operate anywhere near 12 minute headways for most of the day.

At the end of the day, how would a "light rail" vehicle that was designed for high platforms, ran on 3rd rail and matched NYCT car dimensions be significantly different from a heavy rail vehicle that did the same? You would essentially be able to take such a vehicle and put it on any subway line. For that matter, why couldn't you take an R68, strip its existing power collection system, throw catenary on it and run it on the street? Chicago's South Shore line runs even heavier vehicles in the street. I think we're getting to a point where making rigid descriptions of separate modes only serves to hinder what a comprehensive transportation system is capable of. So to be clear, if the light rail vehicle you want to see comes complete with high platform boarding and the ability to run on 3rd rail and catenary, I'm all for it.


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