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Old July 31st, 2013, 07:02 PM   #2561
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
What's to travel in a Talgo trainset? Better than a Amfleet (average carriage) one?
Yeah it's better than the old Cascade, the Talgo is nothing special for more advanced rail countries but it's a significant upgrade for Amtrak. I always thought the old Cascade smells like dirty bathroom.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 07:44 PM   #2562
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Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
200 kph on wooden sleepers, you don't see that often
When the french started commercial trains @200 km/h in the sixties, there
were only wooden sleepers on the Paris-Bordeaux and Paris-Toulouse lines,
where those trains ran. And the speed record of 331 km/h of 1955 was on
wooden sleepers too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHWjelxe_MU
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Old July 31st, 2013, 10:31 PM   #2563
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Quote:
The Flawed Federal Rule That Killed High-Speed Rail to Vegas
Jul 29, 2013



Considering how much the Obama administration has encouraged high-speed rail, the Department of Transportation's recent decision to suspend consideration of a loan for the XpressWest line between Las Vegas and Southern California came as a bit of a surprise. DOT's reasoning was even more unexpected. The problem had nothing to do with the cost or promise of the Vegas HSR line — both of which have been questioned in the past — and everything to do with a rule requiring rail operators to buy their all material from U.S. manufacturers.

Some background: the XpressWest plans were far from perfect. The initial phase of the multi-billion-dollar route would connect Vegas with Victorville, California, nearly a hundred miles east of Los Angeles. Eventually the tracks would reach Palmdale, making the full trip from L.A. accessible by rail; in the meantime, however, the idea that people driving to Vegas would pull over in Victorville and hop on the fast train felt more than a little naïve.

But in his letter to XpressWest, made public in slightly redacted form a couple weeks ago, outgoing DOT chief Ray LaHood cited none of these concerns. Instead, LaHood invoked the "Buy America" provision, an early 1980s relic that directs the transportation secretary to approve federal rail loans "only if the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States." LaHood writes.

The RRIF Program prioritizes projects that promote economic development and enable U.S. companies to be more competitive in international markets. To that end, the Department has made clear that we prioritize projects that build a foundation for economic competitiveness by advancing domestic rail manufacturing in the United States.

The problem, of course, is that the United States doesn't really have a domestic high-speed rail manufacturing industry at the present time. That makes meeting the Buy America provision "not commercially possible" in this particular case, counters XpressWest in a statement posted on its website. XpressWest says it suggested a "realistic" work-around, but LaHood's letter makes clear that this counterproposal was either incomplete or insufficient or both.

When the Obama administration made its high-speed rail push a few years back, it anticipated this exact problem with respect to Buy America principles. In a primer for loan applicants, the Federal Rail Administration explained how to satisfy the requirement when technology is "not readily available domestically." In such instances the grantee is supposed to look for the bidder with the "highest domestic content" — and failing that, there's always the possibility of applying for a Buy America waiver.

But LaHood's letter alludes to several reasons why XpressWest wasn't eligible for such a waiver, most notably "the size of the requested loan." ("The multi-billion-dollar loan you propose would be the largest that the Department has ever been asked to consider," he wrote.) While the letter doesn't explicitly kill the project — and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, for one, says he'll continue to fight for it — XpressWest clearly has to adjust its project if it hopes to secure any federal money.

Still, major transportation projects do get relief from Buy America now and then. The Systemic Failure blog astutely points out that, just this month, the federal government gave a billion-dollar highway project additional time to meet a new Buy America stipulation that requires "all" related contracts to meet the requirement — even, for instance, the relocation of utility lines. The fact that XpressWest wasn't granted that same leniency raises the possibility that the Buy America provision was simply a pretense for some larger discontent with the plans.

The purpose of Buy America is no doubt a noble one: use American workers to build American projects. But as presently conceived the provision may do more harm than good. By reducing competition, the rule can increase the cost of projects considerably, which is bad for all taxpayers. Determining the fate of transportation projects on the basis of short-term job creation, as opposed to long-term mobility needs, is also a risky precedent to establish. So before the federal government considers the next loan request for a major new rail project, it should probably spend a moment reconsidering the well-intentioned but very flawed provision that may have killed the last one.


http://www.theatlanticcities.com/job...il-vegas/6347/


But:

Quote:
High-speed rail agency to weigh contracts for Valley survey work
Published: July 30, 2013 Updated 14 hours ago



Contracts worth up to $6 million will be at stake Thursday for mapping and surveying parcels along proposed high-speed rail routes between Fresno and Bakersfield.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority's board members, at their meeting in Sacramento, will formally begin their search for companies to survey and map parcel lines, utilities and easements. Those activities will set the stage for property appraisals and acquisition after the agency finalizes a route through the southern San Joaquin Valley for the statewide bullet-train system.

Two years ago, the rail board authorized its staff to solicit competitive bids for rights-of-way services, including appraisals, mapping and surveying, and negotiating with landowners for property needed for the rail line. On Thursday, however, the board will be asked to tweak the process. Instead of seeking bids and the choosing contractors largely on the basis of price, companies will be asked to submit their qualifications for the work.
"The most qualified teams will be identified and a reasonable fee will be negotiated," assistant chief program manager Scott Jarvis said in a memo to the board.

Jarvis described the issue as a "technical 'clean-up' item" to comply with terms of the California Government Code that require a qualification-based selection, rather than price-based competitive bids, for certain licensed professions including architectural, landscape, engineering, environmental, land surveying and construction management.

Lisa Marie Alley, a spokeswoman for the authority, said that up to four contractors will be chosen for the work. The value of each contract could be between $1 million and $1.5 million.

The rail agency hopes to begin construction of the statewide system later this summer with a 30-mile stretch from northeast of Madera to the south edge of Fresno. About $6 billion is available for construction in the Valley between Madera and the northern outskirts of Bakersfield, intended to form the backbone of a line where high-speed trains would operate once tracks are extended into Southern California. Future extensions would stretch tracks to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and San Diego.

Also on Thursday, the rail board will also consider issuing requests for qualifications for regional consulting services for the Bakersfield-Palmdale, Sacramento-Merced and Los Angeles-San Diego sections of the statewide project. The contractors will be responsible for work such as environmental analyses, preliminary design engineering or planning in the section for which they are chosen.

The contract costs for each section are anticipated to be:
  • Bakersfield-Palmdale: $46.1 million over five years.
  • Los Angeles-San Diego: $2 million over two years.
  • Sacramento-Merced: $1 million over two years.
http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/07/30/...contracts.html
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Old July 31st, 2013, 11:18 PM   #2564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagus70 View Post
This Talgo train might be the "descendant" of John Quincy Adams or Speed Merchant trains.
The John Quincy Adams and Speed Merchant carriages were built by ACF (American Car and Foundry) using a Talgo project, with two FM P-12-42 locomotives in push-pull scheme.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_Merchant_%28train%29
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Old August 1st, 2013, 01:46 AM   #2565
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All-abroad Florida unveils the safety procedures for embarkation on its trains:

Quote:
Because the AAF service will be an ‘all reserved service,’ ticketed customers will pass through a control gate to gain access to the vertical circulation leading to the secure ‘ticketed passengers only’ spaces. In all cases, passengers will not be allowed access to the station platforms until approximately 4 or 5 minutes before departure of an arriving train. Train departure and arrival information will be electronically updated both in the public ticketing/information area, as well as in the secure waiting room and Business Class lounge. Access to the platform will be provided by means of two escalator/stair pairs and ADA compliant elevators, controlled by an AAF usher in the secure waiting room.
So they are doing the right thing, though on the cheap: segregated passenger-only sterilized areas for people waiting trains, instead of treating train platforms like sidewalks where people can go and stay at whim.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 04:04 AM   #2566
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Grand Central Bound M8 Express Train from Mamaroneck to New Rochelle
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Old August 1st, 2013, 04:32 AM   #2567
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There's something about the MNRR that lends it to having really poor track quality, I remember seeing sleepers bouncing up and down as trains rolled over them and generally rocking and bouncing all over the place when riding them. Are there any improvement plans?
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Old August 1st, 2013, 05:53 AM   #2568
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Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
There's something about the MNRR that lends it to having really poor track quality, I remember seeing sleepers bouncing up and down as trains rolled over them and generally rocking and bouncing all over the place when riding them. Are there any improvement plans?
All tracks should be replaced by 2017 , a few 10 mile chunks remain. The Branches will be fully upgraded and Electrified by 2022.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 08:52 AM   #2569
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Montreal, Atlantic & Maine Railway's chairperson:
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Podcast featuring interview now available as follows ... it's the first one, occuring about 2 minutes into the audio file: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/a...0731_27318.mp3
'... We're all victims. ...' 9'35"
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 07:57 AM   #2570
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I did find two new videos apparently from someone who has access at Pueblo.
- Flyby video
- Video of info screen showing acceleration with 8 amfleets from stop to 125 mph.
I also find the comments from the crew about the engine being "too quiet" amusing. #thatsthewayitshouldbe
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 11:57 PM   #2571
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What a bad horn, no? A unsuccessful attempt to make a modern version of classic GG1 horn...
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:39 AM   #2572
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Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
And one Talgo Series 8 trainset has been delivered for Oregon Dept. Of Transport to operate the Amtrak Cascades. Amtrak will operate these carriages in "push-pull" scheme with a EMD F59PHi.
What the heck did the designer of that driving trailer sniff before he went to work?!?
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 07:09 AM   #2573
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
What the heck did the designer of that driving trailer sniff before he went to work?!?
You can thank the Frankenstein Railway Administration for the 800,000 lb of pressure dating from the 1900s back when the Postal service started delivering mail with carriages.

Last edited by G5man; August 3rd, 2013 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Spelling error
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 03:27 PM   #2574
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What the heck did the designer of that driving trailer sniff before he went to work?!?
Yes, It's a Big Head Talgo.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 01:28 AM   #2575
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In response to Lac-Mégantic, this country's FRA has issued fresh, strict directives.
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Old August 6th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #2576
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
All-abroad Florida unveils the safety procedures for embarkation on its trains:
So while they haven't gotten any trains yet, nor a train service they are already putting lots of thought in how they can make it less attractive?
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Old August 6th, 2013, 01:02 PM   #2577
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So while they haven't gotten any trains yet, nor a train service they are already putting lots of thought in how they can make it less attractive?
It was part of the safety component of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Mitigation PLan, without which they wouldn't have been allowed to start services to begin with.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #2578
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Supposedly, the rail industry is going to fight the FRA's new safety directive
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Old August 7th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #2579
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And so they should. Rail travel is inherently safer than plane travel, and should be regulated as such.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 05:08 PM   #2580
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Your response is topsy-turvy
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