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Old June 14th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #21
Myrtonos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
I don't think that rolling stock procurement worked like that back in the 1960s. Rail operators now issue performance specifications and expect manufacturers to design trains to satisfy them, making their own decisions about how to meet the client's requirements. Each manufacturer bidding for a contract will use off the shelf parts where possible to keep costs down.

Up until the 1980s and 1990s (in Europe at least), operators were much more directly involved in design and engineering, and different companies would be contracted to supply different elements (e.g. one company for the body, one for the bogies, one for the motors and electrical system, etc.). For one company to be able to design and build everything is a relatively recent phenomenon. In any case, BART was intended to be more technologically advanced than any other subway, so even if it had adopted standard gauge the trains would have been designed from scratch, without existing off the shelf parts.
Some standardised designs did exist, such as Duewags GT series, the Swiss standard tram, and the Tatra KT4s. And really, in case of on street trams, I am a believer in custom design.

Let's note that different gauge variants of the same model rail vehicle do share most of their parts in common.
The second most common gauge after standard is the Soviet gauge meaning there is a considerable market for standardised Soviet gauge rolling stock. Riga, the second customer for the ForCity, has tramway built to that gauge. And it differs from Irish gauge by only three inches, so it doesn't make much difference to the bogie design. As far as I know, Irish gauge bogies are the same as Soviet gauge ones except that the axles are three inches longer. The Pennsylvaina trolley gauge is in between the Russian and Irish gauges. So if, Cincinnati, or any other US city were to choose Skoda, Pennsylvania trolley gauge would not very much to the cost.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #22
Myrtonos
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More information from Railpage. Apparently, the reason that an unusual gauge supposedly adds to the cost because the chosen supplier needs to retool specially for that order. But consider this. If a client with an existing system built to an unusual gauge shows no intent of changing gauge, and is in the market for new vehicles, whechever supplier they select has to retool and set up equipment to suit. What does this mean for other clients who want that same gauge and choose the same supplier?

Last edited by Myrtonos; July 15th, 2012 at 04:49 PM. Reason: fix spelling
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 05:06 PM   #23
intres
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Originally Posted by Myrtonos View Post
When Chemitz was using the 950mm gauge, ...
Sorry to interfere me so late in this conversation, but the space of the streetcars of Chemnitz was not of 950mm. When first horse tram routes were built, we used the English gauge of 3 feet, that is 914mm. Afterward, during the electrification, over-gauging were noticed and the gauge was redefined, at the time, in 925mm. It is this gauge which was kept until the putting into service of the network with standard gauge. The 950mm is very an Italian affair.</SPAN>
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Old January 24th, 2014, 08:49 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Myrtonos View Post
More information from Railpage. Apparently, the reason that an unusual gauge supposedly adds to the cost because the chosen supplier needs to retool specially for that order. But consider this. If a client with an existing system built to an unusual gauge shows no intent of changing gauge, and is in the market for new vehicles, whechever supplier they select has to retool and set up equipment to suit. What does this mean for other clients who want that same gauge and choose the same supplier?
Obviously, running costs (maintenance, spare parts stocking, flexibility in operations, etc.) is a lot cheaper if you only operate on one gauge. Hence, the added cost for new vehicles can be compensated. But I'm pretty sure that it still is cheaper to use a "standard" gauge when designing a system from scratch as you can basically take for everything proven components from the shelf. It's not only about the bogie design.
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Old July 30th, 2014, 07:17 AM   #25
Myrtonos
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You can still take plenty of components from the shelf of you build to metre gauge or Russian Broad gauge.

If your town used to have Soviet gauge tramways and you order new trams from a supplier that is still tooled for that gauge, such as Belkommunmash, you probably wouldn't have a reason to choose a gauge any narrower. The long term consequences of building a new system to a narrower gauge than a pervious system in the same urban area will be pretty similar to the long term consequences of converting an existing system from a wider to a narrower gauge.
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