Acela 21 development, testing and deployment

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I think the obvious answer to the ADA issue is have a mixed trainset.

First 3 cars, bi level. Center three cars, including cafe and business, single level. Rear 3 cars, bi level.

That gives wheelchair customers 3 cars with full access to restrooms, cafe car, and multiple seating locations.
Not really sure why the obvious fix to our ADA issue isn't just single level fleet throughout the country.

The only real reason in my mind to have bi-level cars is for the SSL. But perhaps we can just order dome cars to replace those?
 

jis

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I think the obvious answer to the ADA issue is have a mixed trainset.

First 3 cars, bi level. Center three cars, including cafe and business, single level. Rear 3 cars, bi level.

That gives wheelchair customers 3 cars with full access to restrooms, cafe car, and multiple seating locations.
What does this have to do with Acela 21? That order is done and the configuration is already known. No bi-level.
Not really sure why the obvious fix to our ADA issue isn't just single level fleet throughout the country.

The only real reason in my mind to have bi-level cars is for the SSL. But perhaps we can just order dome cars to replace those?
Indeed, multiplying car types just adds cost. The tradeoff would be if one could avoid double spotting for higher capacity. But many of the typical double spotting stations can;t really handle a proposed 9 car train without double spotting either.

Besides what we are talking of here is not bi-level but mutli-level cars (like tarns dorms or just plain multi-level like the NJT MLVs or the Bombardier/Alstom Lozenges, since at least the gangway connecting to the single level car will have to be at mid-level at 4' height
 
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jamess

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What does this have to do with Acela 21?
I am responding to the last 2 pages of discussion.

Besides what we are talking of here is not bi-level but mutli-level cars (like tarns dorms or just plain multi-level like the NJT MLVs or the Bombardier/Alstom Lozenges, since at least the gangway connecting to the single level car will have to be at mid-level at 4' height
Yes, because the platforms are high level, any bi-level trains needs a mid-level height zone like the commuter rail stock. That in turn makes it trivial to connect a bi-level car ro a single level car - MBTA does it every day

Not really sure why the obvious fix to our ADA issue isn't just single level fleet throughout the country.
To add capacity because train sets are limited by platforms as per the last 2 pages of discussion
 

jis

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Yes, because the platforms are high level, any bi-level trains needs a mid-level height zone like the commuter rail stock. That in turn makes it trivial to connect a bi-level car ro a single level car - MBTA does it every day
MBTA uses Tri-Level cars, not Bi-Level cars.
 

Touchdowntom9

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1. Anything from Europe plopped down on American rails rides like ****. That is because the flange profile used in the US is very different from the European one. Ride quality is intimately related to the wheel tire and flange fitting exactly with the rail head, the shape of which is different in the US from Europe. Indeed, even within the US, it is different between the freight railroads and the NEC high speed trackage. Has to do with quality of high speed ride requiring a different shape form what is good for heavy freight.
Hi Jis, sorry to pull this back up after over a year but I had been trying to track down this specific comment for a while now. Can you talk a bit more about what the US flange profile is vs the Euro one? I recall riding a French (non high speed) train from Paris to Normandy and recall how much smoother a ride it was compared to the NEC and was struggling to determine why that was (the rides were comparable in speed ~100mph but not nearly as much rocking and bumps on the french train even though it was very old). Should the US rail that is exclusively passenger try to shift to a new profile if it is such an advantage (ie Brightline West)? Couldnt find any solid info about the differences on wiki etc so any info would be great.
 
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Hi Jis, sorry to pull this back up after over a year but I had been trying to track down this specific comment for a while now. Can you talk a bit more about what the US flange profile is vs the Euro one? I recall riding a French (non high speed) train from Paris to Normandy and recall how much smoother a ride it was compared to the NEC and was struggling to determine why that was (the rides were comparable in speed ~100mph but not nearly as much rocking and bumps on the french train even though it was very old). Should the US rail that is exclusively passenger try to shift to a new profile if it is such an advantage (ie Brightline West)? Couldnt find any solid info about the differences on wiki etc so any info would be great.
I can think of several reasons why European tracks may give a smoother ride.
1) Lack of heavy freight trains as in the US that throw tracks out of alignment.
2) A milder climate with less temperature extremes
3) Better maintenance

I have noticed in particular interlockings (switches) seem to be rougher here in the US, which may be also due to differences in designs as well as the effect of heavy freight trains.
 

jis

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Hi Jis, sorry to pull this back up after over a year but I had been trying to track down this specific comment for a while now. Can you talk a bit more about what the US flange profile is vs the Euro one? I recall riding a French (non high speed) train from Paris to Normandy and recall how much smoother a ride it was compared to the NEC and was struggling to determine why that was (the rides were comparable in speed ~100mph but not nearly as much rocking and bumps on the french train even though it was very old). Should the US rail that is exclusively passenger try to shift to a new profile if it is such an advantage (ie Brightline West)? Couldnt find any solid info about the differences on wiki etc so any info would be great.
@George Harris may have the details since he has been professionally involved in such. All that I know is that the rail head shape and the wheel profile must match closely for things to operate smoothly, and those are different in Europe from what we have in the US.

Actually even more interestingly the the profile used on the NEC for high speed operation is slightly different from the one used by freight railroads, which causes the LD trains operating on the NEC to ride slightly rougher than they would if their wheel profile matched the NEC better.

I don't have specific technical info to post since the documents that I have seen were viewed under non disclosure. Again, George may have more specific material to share.
 
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Touchdowntom9

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I can think of several reasons why European tracks may give a smoother ride.
1) Lack of heavy freight trains as in the US that throw tracks out of alignment.
2) A milder climate with less temperature extremes
3) Better maintenance

I have noticed in particular interlockings (switches) seem to be rougher here in the US, which may be also due to differences in designs as well as the effect of heavy freight trains.
That makes sense, but I was comparing it to the NEC, in particular NB to PJunct, which I dont believe has seen freight rail in decades (maybe I am wrong). Also the track on the 'raceway' is pretty new isnt it?
 

jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: A number of posts on track quality, axle load and ride quality have been moved to their own thread:


Please continue that discussion in that thread and keep this thread focused on Acela 21 development, testing and deployment
 
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Saw this posted on the wall at Union Station in Washington last week. It was a poster put up in 2021 for the Amtrak 50th Anniversary. Nothing like a little ironic humor, eh? And who knew that the Acelas were going to be stopping in Halethorpe? "MARC tickets not accepted on this train. You need an Amtrak ticket for this train. If you have a red and yellow ticket, please get off this train and wait for the next train."

20230117_105553.jpg
 

jis

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Problem of left hand - right hand coordination or lack thereof. This is the developing norm at Amtrak. Contract given to marketing agency without any further communication or support possibly?

Does not engender much confidence, does it?
 
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