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

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nti1094

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Interesting. I’m not sure if maybe it was missed somewhere, but I don’t recall ever once reading about any of that in the NGEC meeting notes.
Nor have I heard any mention at all of this issue either officially or otherwise from the board. The only ongoing issue I know of is that they are working out the maintenance and CONOPS that take into consideration that will be going on at the ACE facility in Stockton. (a sign of the further deteriorating relationship with Amtrak I suppose). I certainly hope it turns out to be a source issue and not a parts issue. We are talking about ripping out the plumbing for almost 50 cars at this point!
 

John Santos

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I think "NL" means the Netherlands because plane2train was replying to dutchrailnut. It took me a while to puzzle out, too. I'm also a little surprised, because the Netherlands is a low-lying coastal area, and you would think there would be salt water intrusions into the water table, at least frequently enough over geological time, that the soil and aquifer would be at least a little salty. (That always bugs me about the ads for Fiji Water... Fiji probably has terrible water.)
 

nti1094

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The Capitol is pretter popular from what I can tell as well, they have more weekday round trips than the Surfliner as well.

Not sure about the California ones, but the Surfliner ones were ordered in two batches. One batch was bought by Amtrak, the other was bought by the State. You can tell which is which by the seats, they have a difference design.
When the Surfline order was placed the state added on to the options from Alstom for the Northern CA IPC fleet. As those were being delivered they began to cycle the original Morrison Knudsen built cars through the Alstom plant to correct for a design flaw in the car underfloor that threatened to fore early retirement of those cars. They should have, but did not at that time u[pdate the interiors tom eliminate the stupid overhead bins. Another feature of the Alstom version is an upstairs bathroom, which allows higher capacity downstairs. I forget the total number built for the northern shared fleet, it wasn't that big an order. It was a few coaches and at least 3 cab cars that I know of.
 
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nti1094

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From what I know about the California services, those bi-levels are owned by Cal DOT, at least on the Capitol Corridor. I’m pretty sure the Surfliner equipment is State owned too.

Those lines, especially the Surfliner, are pretty popular. You could check out the ridership states on Amtrak’s website or RPA. They should break it down by state and specific service.
The Surfliner fleet is mostly Amtrak owned. The cars built during that order that were meant for the Northern CA shared fleet were Caltrans owned. Same with the F59PHI inn southern CA, which unlike the Northern fleet locomotives is quickly being replaced, this time with Caltrans owned chargers. (most of the F59PHI's were sold to Metra I think). They are retiring 2 of the F59's this month up north as part of a deal for new tier 4 locomotives with the ARB, but I think there are no plans for a full fleet replacement, especially since they all recently had their prime movers replaced and are part of an alternate bio-diesel experiment.
 
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nti1094

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When did Hanford get something called a downtown? It didn't look like much when my sister taught there.
They have a very cute downtown, and a station that was built by the San Francisco and San Joaquin Railroad (which was immediately taken over by Santa Fe upon reaching Bakersfield). The station is original, built in 1892 I believe, but rebuilt with modern amenities.

Hanford has been a long time opponent of the HSR project, but Visalia (much larger city) and Tulare county have been a big supporter and in fact purchased the cross valley former SP local brach with the hope of eventually connecting everything with the HSR station and diesel light rail line. The HSR station is a few miles closer to Visalia on the east side of Hanford.
Under the current plan it looks like Hanford, Corcoran, and Wasco will all be losing service when the blended system starts running. Of course they could always form an agency and partner with Kern County to keep a train running along the BNSF corridor south of Merced, but that means local funding and I doubt there is the political appetite for that level of commitment.
 

nti1094

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There's a lot of things to like in that document - but "vending cars" is not one of them...eek

Don't we ever learn from the past? Those have been tried and hated in just about every generation. I guess we have to try and hate them in this generation as well...
Are they insane. Everything about this is stupid! Even the SP did better than this.
 

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PerRock

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Even with PEX piping, you still are going to have sections with traditional metal & soldering; such as the fixtures. I think the article talked about swapping a part, which would indicate is is something internal that is introducing the lead. Also the fact that this is effecting both the Caltrans & the Midwest cars would point towards it being an internal fault.

peter
 

Gemuser

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at least frequently enough over geological time, that the soil and aquifer would be at least a little salty. (That always bugs me about the ads for Fiji Water... Fiji probably has terrible water.)
Actually Fiji has pretty good water and that sold as "Fiji" comes from the highlands on the NE section of the main island and is very good.
 

MARC Rider

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I think "NL" means the Netherlands because plane2train was replying to dutchrailnut. It took me a while to puzzle out, too. I'm also a little surprised, because the Netherlands is a low-lying coastal area, and you would think there would be salt water intrusions into the water table, at least frequently enough over geological time, that the soil and aquifer would be at least a little salty. (That always bugs me about the ads for Fiji Water... Fiji probably has terrible water.)
Salt water is denser than fresh water, so in coastal areas aquifers can contain freshwater even at some distance offshore. This, of course, is under "equilibrium" conditions where recharge of fresh water into upland areas provides enough hydraulic head to keep the salt water at bay. Salt-water intrusion is a problem in coastal areas because they're usually heavily populated with lots of wells pumping lots of fresh water out of the aquifers, messing up the natural ground-water flow, reversing head gradients, and allowing salt water to flow inland towards the wells. I imagine that the Netherlands is having or will have some serious problems with this, as it's not only a flat coastal area, but a lot of the country is reclaimed "polder" land that's below sea level. Plus sea level is rising.

Lens (hydrology) - Wikipedia
 

Burns651

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I would assume that they also need to be careful with lead because the coffee maker uses train water.
 

jis

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I'm wondering too. This lead in the water pipes is just ridiculous imho. Should not have happened. There should not be months of no updates from the Amtrak and Siemens.
Actually the updates really should come from Illinois DOT since they are the responsible customer counter party in the deal with Siemens.
 

NSC1109

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I'm wondering too. This lead in the water pipes is just ridiculous imho. Should not have happened. There should not be months of no updates from the Amtrak and Siemens.
There are updates, just not public ones because it’s not good news. I’m not at liberty to share specific information but suffice to say these cars will not be in service for quite some time….
 

Steve4031

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There are updates, just not public ones because it’s not good news. I’m not at liberty to share specific information but suffice to say these cars will not be in service for quite some time….
Thank you. I appreciate your updates. The news is disheartening to say the least. I’m at the point now where I suspthese cars will never enter service.
 
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NSC1109

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Thank you. I appreciate your updates. The news is disheartening to say the least. I’m at the point now where I suspthese cars will never enter service.
Oh they’ll enter service. It’s just been delayed until these issues can be worked out. There are a lot of problems that have cropped up that thankfully occurred in storage versus in revenue service, or so I’ve been told by a very reliable source.
 

neroden

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Oh they’ll enter service. It’s just been delayed until these issues can be worked out. There are a lot of problems that have cropped up that thankfully occurred in storage versus in revenue service, or so I’ve been told by a very reliable source.
I'm going to wildly speculate that there was a bad subcontracting or parts acquisition problem; there's been a known problem in household plumbing with Chinese suppliers supplying "lead free" products which when tested were full of lead.

If I can just ask you one question: I hope none of the problems are with the structural shell. Is that correct? Internal fit-out problems can be worked through, structure problems can't, as we saw with Nippon-Sharyo.
 
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NSC1109

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I'm going to wildly speculate that there was a bad subcontracting or parts acquisition problem; there's been a known problem in household plumbing with Chinese suppliers supplying "lead free" products which when tested were full of lead.

If I can just ask you one question: I hope none of the problems are with the structural shell. Is that correct? Internal fit-out problems can be worked through, structure problems can't, as we saw with Nippon-Sharyo.
As far as I am aware the issues are all fitting out problems and not structural, otherwise I would imagine we’d be seeing the Brightline cars get pulled too.

As far as the exact issues, it seems like the problems stem from either bad subcontracting or poor quality control, the latter being something I don’t typically associate with Siemens products so I’m hesitant to say that they screwed up.
 

neroden

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Probably a symptom of the larger problem with fraudulent "lead free" products which aren't lead-free then.

By the way, if you're doing household plumbing? Worth getting your own tests to make sure they're genuinely lead-free, because of this.
 

MisterUptempo

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Oh they’ll enter service. It’s just been delayed until these issues can be worked out. There are a lot of problems that have cropped up that thankfully occurred in storage versus in revenue service, or so I’ve been told by a very reliable source.
It tells you something when the PRIIA 305 Committee reports, as of early September, that of 94 railcars under construction or completed that IDOT has conditionally accepted only 8 cars and Caltrans has not yet conditionally accepted a single railcar.

Caltrans is the lead agency on the project, but Sumitomo is technically the lead contractor, no? Does Sumitomo have any decision making authority at this point, and, if so, were they engaging in "value engineering" by going cheap on some of the finishes and fittings? Did the Sumitomo cash run out and Caltrans and/or IDOT are trying to get these cars under the wire by pinching pennies?

ETA - Happy 1800th post on this thread!
 
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