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

Posted by WillD on Sat Mar 24 23:37:00 2012, in response to 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.

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

It isn't! And that's the beauty of ordering something like that. You can effectively create one large fleet from what otherwise would be two smaller fleets, thereby reducing O&M costs. It is the commonality with the light rail North Shore fleet which is the primary selling point ordering something along those lines for the South Shore lines.

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.

But I didn't say totally grade separated. There are plenty of LRT systems which have some segment that is grade separated. What the LRT provides is flexibility in routing while a heavy rail alternative is entirely wedded to the North Shore line alignment.

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.

That may well be, but light rail occupies the sweet spot combining low capital and low O&M costs with some flexibility in using the alignment. The 2004 study is valuable because it's the last one before the BRT figures become so optimistic they go off into the realm of science fiction.

As SEPTA has demonstrated with the Market-Frankford line, and NYCT has shown with the crosstown line, you can operate heavy rail with OPTO.

Oh of course. But you'd have to push the OPTO arrangement past the UTU. Going with an LRT makes it easier to do OPTO from the beginning.

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.

Those figures were for peak headways, my apologies.

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?

Because the North Shore Line would be unlikely to be operated with that vehicle. It'd be operated with a 70% low floor, catenary powered LRV similar to those used by NJT just north of there. They may be a different vehicle, but as with Cologne's Flexity fleet the high floor third rail equipped units would be largely mechanically compatible with the low floor units for the North Shore.

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