Author Topic: BART to Run Diesels  (Read 1313 times)

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Blazeman

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BART to Run Diesels
« on: July 01, 2016, 11:42:40 AM »
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Similar to the old Lindenwold High Speed Line station with walk to the RDC's to get to Atlantic City.

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/mechanical/news/BART-unveils-new-diesel-trains-for-Antioch-extension--48683?

C855B

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 11:55:00 AM »
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Quote
...and will operate on standard-gauge track instead of the agency's wider track, ...

That whole 5-foot-gauge thing has been a huge albatross for BART. :facepalm:
...mike

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Missaberoad

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2016, 12:18:24 PM »
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That whole 5-foot-gauge thing has been a huge albatross for BART. :facepalm:

What was the logic behind choosing that gauge?
5' really isn't that much wider then Standard gauge and wouldn't provide the stability or capacity benefits of say Erie's 6' gauge or Brunel's 7 ft 1⁄4 in gauge.

With concrete ties it seems like it would be quite the undertaking to re gauge the track...
Ryan in Alberta

C855B

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2016, 12:45:00 PM »
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I stand corrected, the gauge is 5'6". IIRC, the justifications were "smoother ride", more car capacity with the added width, and the wider sleepers could be used without ballast. I understand a little bit about the "capacity" argument as even 35 years ago when I rode it the rush hour crowd out of downtown was sardine-can SRO.

Also, it can be defended because when the system was designed they had a mostly blank slate, trying to redefine heavy rail, breaking the molds of the NYC subway and Chicago El that were the standards for urban transit at the time. The gauge choice - even the rail is a custom spec - was unfortunate because their maintenance and equipment costs are now through the roof because everything has to be custom. But they couldn't know that, in the late '50s when the engineering was committed.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Missaberoad

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2016, 12:59:44 PM »
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I see... An extra 7.5 inches makes a bit more sense...

If you look at it historically standard gauge was a poor choice in the long term. It won out mostly because construction was cheaper,
and the hold out broad gauge railways were forced to conform for many of the reasons that BART is considering it. (and the added interchange problem)

It would have be interesting if things worked out differently and North America used a 6ft or 7ft gauge... 200+ ton cars and high capacity intermodal...
Ryan in Alberta

eric220

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 10:07:09 PM »
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As far as I'm concerned, whoever sold BART on 5.5' guage took their friggin' sales bonus home and bought a new Ferrari or twelve. Not only is BART broad gauge, its cars are ridiculously light. An 80' BART car weighs less than a 40' NYC subway car. What that means is that any new car purchases have to be custom orders, effectively locking BART into the original supplier. Too bad they got bought out...

As for the new standard guage diesel powered eBART extension, it's just about the dumbest thing in the history of the system. They put in the diesels because the neighbors were concerned about the noise of the standard electric BART trains.  :facepalm:  Fortunately, the roadbed was built to support the full 5.5' gauge so that they have the option to upgrade it later. Give it a decade at most.

Apologies if that was overly blunt.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 10:08:45 PM by eric220 »
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Bob Bufkin

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 10:17:48 PM »
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Noise from electric run trains?  Sometimes (most times) NIMBYs are idiots.

jagged ben

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 10:30:16 PM »
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Actually BART is incredibly loud.  Not sure why but it is.

eric220

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 10:33:04 PM »
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Actually BART is incredibly loud.  Not sure why but it is.

Pretty simple. The system is 50 years old and it was designed for a 40 year life span.

That factors into my decade prediction. With the Fleet of the Future scheduled to come online in the next few years, the noise from operations should go down. That, plus the transfer at Bay Point, should help convince the Pittsburgers and Antiochians that full 5.5' service is in their best interest.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 10:35:56 PM by eric220 »
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jagged ben

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 10:52:08 PM »
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Pretty simple. The system is 50 years old and it was designed for a 40 year life span.

That factors into my decade prediction. With the Fleet of the Future scheduled to come online in the next few years, the noise from operations should go down. That, plus the transfer at Bay Point, should help convince the Pittsburgers and Antiochians that full 5.5' service is in their best interest.

I don't think it's that simple.  I remember BART being just about as noisy when I first rode it 35 years ago.  Caltrain's gallery cars are 30+ years old and make no noise at all.  Even Muni's LVR's aren't as noisy (granted they go slower).  I would hope it's something about the car design that can be addressed with a new generation, and not something inherent to the track beds and concrete viaducts.

nkalanaga

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2016, 02:10:19 AM »
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I wonder if part of the decision to use wide gauge was political?  It would forever prevent interchange with the freight railroads, thus ensuring that the neighbors wouldn't have to endure such nuisances.  Never mind that it probably doesn't go where the freight wants to be in the first place, and if it's built for such light cars, freight trains couldn't use it.

After all, New York state chartered the Erie on the condition that it be 6 foot gauge specifically to prevent it from interchanging with anyone else.
N Kalanaga
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sirenwerks

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2016, 10:46:04 AM »
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Wide gauge is not that uncommon in the US.  First let's not forget that 'standard gauge' at the onset of the nation's railroad network.  Cities in upstate were connected by 6' gauge lines that ran with a dual gauge third rail into 1880 and a 5' gauge was preferred down South in Confederate states through the same period.  Even today, Pittsburgh's PAT trains and Philly's Frankfurt line are considered wide gauge and DC's Metro is narrower than conventional standard gauge by a 1/4 inch.  Transit systems are closed systems, like operating a railroad on a small island, connection's not a concern and it can run whatever gauge it chooses.  The cost differential of doing so is minimal compared to transit systems that run standard gauge.  In fact, the added attention by a manufacturer of the special design requirement may prove a benefit, as designers aren't asleep at the wheel and just cutting and pasting.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 10:49:12 AM by sirenwerks »
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jagged ben

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2016, 10:49:08 AM »
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I wonder if part of the decision to use wide gauge was political?  It would forever prevent interchange with the freight railroads, thus ensuring that the neighbors wouldn't have to endure such nuisances.  Never mind that it probably doesn't go where the freight wants to be in the first place, and if it's built for such light cars, freight trains couldn't use it.

After all, New York state chartered the Erie on the condition that it be 6 foot gauge specifically to prevent it from interchanging with anyone else.

Certainly there was a conscious intention that it wouldn't interchange with any other system.  Beyond that, I think Mike has it basically right.  They were thinking futuristically, probably thought it would be considered wildly successful and other would copy them. Thus if they even  anticapted higher costs for custom equipment in the future, they probably dismissed it as a minor risk.

I also think this notion that the gauge costs so much more is probably about 90% BS.  Most major subway systems around the world have unique equipment and the wheel guage is just one of the many ways BART equipment is custom.


RBrodzinsky

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 10:56:56 AM »
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I don't think it's that simple.  I remember BART being just about as noisy when I first rode it 35 years ago.  Caltrain's gallery cars are 30+ years old and make no noise at all.  Even Muni's LVR's aren't as noisy (granted they go slower).  I would hope it's something about the car design that can be addressed with a new generation, and not something inherent to the track beds and concrete viaducts.

Years ago (36, to be exact), we looked at an apartment that was "close to BART" in North Berkeley. We thought 'great -- since my fiancee had to commute into SF'.  Well, it was about halfway between stations - but the tracks were right outside the apt windows.   Two trains went by while we were there -- extremely loud. 
Rick Brodzinsky
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eric220

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Re: BART to Run Diesels
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2016, 11:32:26 AM »
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My dad lived in an apartment overlooking BART when we moved out here about 25 years ago. He knew exactly when BART started running.

My statement about the age of the system was admittedly over simplistic. The drive systems of the current trains have always been loud, but they seem to have gotten worse of late. At certain locations, under the right weather conditions, you can hear them from miles away. Somehow, I still doubt that diesel prime movers are going to be much quieter. The new Fleet of the Future cars are designed to be quieter, so as long BART stops dumping them into sand piles, they should help the problem.

Oh, and for those who think BART has no interchange:

https://goo.gl/maps/zeRaBDLBh6n

On a desktop, you can make out the dual gauge track that switches back from the siding off the UP to the right. OK, true interchange? Maybe not. But it's as close as you'll get with different gauges.
-Eric

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