Recent content by John819

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  1. J

    SSLs used as axle count cars

    I don't know about US railroads, but most European railroads have a minimum number of axles needed to (1) allow for train identification and (2) activate signals. There used to be (perhaps still is) a directive for Swiss railroads that trains cannot have an axle count of 256, because that will...
  2. J

    Danbury battery electrics?

    A quad-mode (3rd rail, overhead cat, battery, and diesel) engine would be quite a bit too heavy for the Park Avenue viaduct. The "solution" would be a tender car with the electrical equipment. I think it more likely that MN goes with either battery/diesel or battery/diesel/third rail.
  3. J

    Danbury battery electrics?

    Almost certainly would need to have recharging facility in Danbury, as unlikely that could do a round trip from the main line at Norwalk. The other factor to consider is that the line in single tracked, so expanded service would require adding track so that trains could pass. The battery/diesel...
  4. J

    North East Corridor (NEC) speeds and state of repair

    Sorry, but expanding MN trackage from 4 to 6 is a non-starter. First, you would need to rebuild every station from Portchester to New Rochelle. Second, there are many encroachments into the original 6 track space by buildings and bridges. The improvements from New Rochelle to NYP for west side...
  5. J

    North East Corridor (NEC) speeds and state of repair

    Operations east of Stamford have significantly fewer MN trains than the New Rochelle-Stamford stretch, especially in non-rush hours. So two track operation will not be devastating there. However, when they get to the Cos Cob bridge, all bets are off!
  6. J

    North East Corridor (NEC) speeds and state of repair

    The catenary from New Rochelle to New Haven has been fully updated and that is not a problem. I also understand that they can now tilt the train cars on this portion of the route. The real problems that require the trains to slow are the 100+ year old bridges with speed limits at Cos Cob...
  7. J

    Why doesn't Amtrak run significantly longer trains?

    The key economic consideration is whether your marginal revenue exceeds your marginal cost (assuming you have the equipment to add cars). To improve revenue Amtrak might consider having three classes of service on LD trains: Standard Coach, Business (which would include meals), and Sleeper.
  8. J

    Sumitomo/Siemens contract for 137 Cars (former bi-levels)

    You can't make anything idiot proof because they keep making better idiots. And in the US when some idiot gets hurt, he gets a lawyer and collects $$$.
  9. J

    Amfleet III car idea

    Just remember when it comes to interiors that all cars must be ADA compliant, which means 40" aisles.
  10. J

    Efficacy of Private vs. Public Sector Construction Projects

    The big problem today isn't the construction itself, it's the process needed to get approvals. Environmental Impact Statement - several years. Fighting off NIMBY lawsuits - several years. Procuring subcontracts - at least a year.
  11. J

    Efficacy of Private vs. Public Sector Construction Projects

    Note - in the "old days" it was not unusual to finish a project under budget and ahead of schedule. For examples, see the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.
  12. J

    The Sad Saga of Amtrak Harold Bypass

    Whenever the MTA (or any agency of New York government) gets into a construction project, you know there will be design flaws, construction delays, and cost overruns. Designing in the 21st century a "bypass" that does not allow for evacuation of a passenger train is crazy.
  13. J

    Long distance business class - why certain routes and not others?

    Having a sole source supplier has a lot of advantages (assuming that it is competent). So expect that over the next 10 years all Amtrak equipment (except for the Acela IIs) will be Siemens products. Perhaps the Viewliners will be kept on the Florida and New Orleans routes.
  14. J

    Amtrak conductor fatality in Westerly RI incident

    I don't know Amtrak procedure, but the MTA railroads (LIRR and MN) and the NYC subway procedure is that the conductor does not open the door or window to look outside the train on pulling into a station; they do so when leaving.
  15. J

    Amtrak Siemens Charger locomotive (SC44, ALC42, ALC42E)

    P42 (and P32) - Examples of what happened to General Electric when it became essentially a financing company.