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

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Eric S

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Maybe a few months ago, someone linked to a presentation that showed the Midwest cars being delivered from mid-2020 through early-2023.
 

CSXfoamer1997

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I've been wondering all this time, why did they switch from an order of bi-levels to single levels?

If you ask me, it kind of makes no sense, because think of when you mix single-levels with bi-levels. Besides, as you may know, bi-levels have more passenger capacity.
 

RPC

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I've been wondering all this time, why did they switch from an order of bi-levels to single levels?

If you ask me, it kind of makes no sense, because think of when you mix single-levels with bi-levels. Besides, as you may know, bi-levels have more passenger capacity.
Well, the original order was for bi-levels - the vendor had an epic fail at buff test, then took years to decide they couldn't actually build them. The choice at this point is between getting the single-level cars (essentially Brightline coaches with traps) quickly or having Siemens engineer a bi-level from scratch (estimate ~3 years).
 

railiner

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I haven't been following this long thread except here and there... so please pardon me for asking...if the planned design failed, why couldn't they just 'dust off' the last bi-level California Car, or Superliner design, and build more of those, instead of 3 more years to engineer an all new, untested design?
 

CCC1007

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I haven't been following this long thread except here and there... so please pardon me for asking...if the planned design failed, why couldn't they just 'dust off' the last bi-level California Car, or Superliner design, and build more of those, instead of 3 more years to engineer an all new, untested design?
The California cars currently in service don’t meet the specifications laid out by the consortium of states.
 

railiner

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I haven't been following this long thread except here and there... so please pardon me for asking...if the planned design failed, why couldn't they just 'dust off' the last bi-level California Car, or Superliner design, and build more of those, instead of 3 more years to engineer an all new, untested design?
The California cars currently in service don’t meet the specifications laid out by the consortium of states.
What are the differences, and couldn't they be modified somewhat without a drastic re-engineering?
 

CCC1007

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I haven't been following this long thread except here and there... so please pardon me for asking...if the planned design failed, why couldn't they just 'dust off' the last bi-level California Car, or Superliner design, and build more of those, instead of 3 more years to engineer an all new, untested design?
The California cars currently in service don’t meet the specifications laid out by the consortium of states.
What are the differences, and couldn't they be modified somewhat without a drastic re-engineering?
Its my understanding that they would need to loose 9 tons, be fully ADA compliant, both down and up stairs, and retain the shape of the passenger compartment in the event of an end on crash.
 

railiner

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Isn't ADA accessability to the lower level seating and restrooms sufficient in the present cars? And it seems unrealistic to expect to lose that much weight and not sacrifice strength....
 

CCC1007

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Isn't ADA accessability to the lower level seating and restrooms sufficient in the present cars? And it seems unrealistic to expect to lose that much weight and not sacrifice strength....
Again, just my understanding of the situation that led up to the structural failure only one ton short of passing...
 

Ziv

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ADA requirements trump most other aspects of design now. Unless your cars are grandfathered in and as the years go by, fewer and fewer of them will be.

And, yes, common sense would tend to indicate that decreasing weight by 9 tons would make meeting the buff test standard very difficult without spending more money on advanced design or more expensive materials. But if the acquisition board doesn't know what they are doing they can demand anything they want and then blame the supplier when the supplier tries their best and falls short. If each car weighs 9 tons less then the acceleration figures would have made a noticeable change in scheduled times for routes with a lot of stops, but lighter generally means less robust or more expensive.

Flip side of the coin, Nippon Sharyo knew the bid was going to be very tough to deliver and made it anyway.

Isn't ADA accessability to the lower level seating and restrooms sufficient in the present cars? And it seems unrealistic to expect to lose that much weight and not sacrifice strength....
 
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As I understand it the older bi-level designs in addition to not meeting crush tests and ADA requirements (which are, in and of themselves, separate items), the old designs were licensed as it was and weren't able to be relicensed (as in getting a license to produce a copyright design) - and out of date of course.
 

jis

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The old design does meet the crush test standard for trailer cars since that has not changed in over 50 years. So your understanding is at least partly wrong.
 

bcanedy

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And doesn't Bombardier hold the old Budd and Pullman Standard design right's?
You’re thinking of the Superliner plans. The California Cars were built by Morrison-Knudsen / Amerail for the first generation and Alstom for the second generation. I’m not sure who owns those designs, but the Nippon-Sharyo cars would have been the third generation of California Cars.
 

jrud

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The May NGEC minutes are out. The only real news appears to be the progress is being made on building the first carshell, and on the design of the cab and cafe cars. http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/305%20activities%20report%20-%20monthly%205-31-18.docx

Note that toward the end of the minutes they say that a Request for Information is being prepared by Amtrak for passenger cars. This is in addition to the RFP for locomotives.

BTW - a MARC train with Charger #86 just went by my Metro rail train as it headed into DC on the Camden line.
 
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seat38a

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The old design does meet the crush test standard for trailer cars since that has not changed in over 50 years. So your understanding is at least partly wrong.
Are you talking about the CAB cars? If so, would adding a second engine or a Cabbage Car solve this? Is this by Brightline is running with two Chargers?
 

jis

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The old design does meet the crush test standard for trailer cars since that has not changed in over 50 years. So your understanding is at least partly wrong.
Are you talking about the CAB cars? If so, would adding a second engine or a Cabbage Car solve this? Is this by Brightline is running with two Chargers?
No. I was not talking of cab cars in that comment.
 

seat38a

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I mentioned this in another post also but according to the longtime conductor on the Surfliner, she said the plan at the moment is to deploy the single level equipment up in NorCal and redeploy the State owned Surfliner Cars from NorCal down to SoCal for use on the Surfliner service. Not sure about the California Cars currently used up in NorCal.
 

railiner

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Whichever, it would seem to make sense to keep all of a type together in one maintenance base, I suppose....
 

MisterUptempo

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So do we have a concrete delivery date yet? I'm excited to see them start arriving here in the Midwest!
If all remains on schedule, the first car will be delivered to Caltrans in March, 2020. The first IDOT/Midwest car to be delivered in July, 2020. The final IDOT/Midwest car is scheduled for March, 2023 delivery, and Caltrans gets their final car in September, 2023.

Also, just a quick update. From the August 14, 2018 Section 305 Executive Board meeting, the following-



The full report can be found here - http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/305%20Exec%20Brd%20minutes%20%20-8-14-18%20DRAFT.doc

For anyone who might be able to access it, Revision B1 of the 305-003 single-level specifications was recently released. I'd be curious how much the specs may have been altered to accommodate Siemens.
 
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NSC1109

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Just read the full file. Looks like there will be traps for the cars after all. I'm curious to see how the door/trap combo will look in reality compared to the prototype images we've seen.
 
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