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Old March 26th, 2013, 07:05 PM   #2241
Woonsocket54
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SEATTLE | First Hill Streetcar

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Northbound First Hill Streetcar track concrete pour on Yesler Way. by Gordon Werner, on Flickr

By the end of the day, the reconstruction of Yesler Way (road and rail) will be 75% complete with just the westbound curb lane, sidewalks, curbs, and the First Hill Streetcar Yesler/Broadway tram stop platforms remaining to be finished.

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Yesler Way, Sunday March 24th by Gordon Werner, on Flickr

Completed First Hill Streetcar tracks and (almost completed) roadway

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Yesler Way, Sunday March 24th by Gordon Werner, on Flickr
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Old March 26th, 2013, 08:17 PM   #2242
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^Thanks for the photo update
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Old March 29th, 2013, 11:30 PM   #2243
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Ready to roll by SoundTransit, on Flickr

One of three new Sounder locomotives arrived here recently and is ready to go to work. Manufactured by MotivePower, Inc. in Boise ID, the locomotive is undergoing testing and is expected in service as early as May. Seen here in the the background is Safeco Field. Photo by Brian Bundridge.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 12:40 AM   #2244
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SEATTLE | First Hill Streetcar

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Northbound First Hill Streetcar platform under construction by Gordon Werner, on Flickr

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Southbound First Hill Streetcar platform under construction by Gordon Werner, on Flickr
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Old March 31st, 2013, 09:06 PM   #2245
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Quote:
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And yet again, design is thrown out of the window. Even with the safety regulations, it's not impossible to innovate just a little
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Old March 31st, 2013, 10:25 PM   #2246
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What do you mean? What complaint do you have with the trains' design?
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Old April 1st, 2013, 09:43 PM   #2247
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Quote:
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And yet again, design is thrown out of the window. Even with the safety regulations, it's not impossible to innovate just a little
Why innovate on a locomotive? Innovation costs money, and money is not something that transit agencies in the USA have much of. Using off the shelf models or combining orders with other agencies lowers costs up to several millions of dollars. Innovating new locomotive designs that may not be used elsewhere would cost Sound Transit millions more for little gain.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 01:53 AM   #2248
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^
What I mean is that US manufacturers are unable to make anything that doesn't look like some kind of tank.

It's purely aesthetics.

(DMUs could be handy too, I suspect that has terrible acceleration too)
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 06:12 AM   #2249
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Pretty sure they're required to look like that.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 06:53 PM   #2250
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Quote:
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^
What I mean is that US manufacturers are unable to make anything that doesn't look like some kind of tank.

It's purely aesthetics.

(DMUs could be handy too, I suspect that has terrible acceleration too)
Yes, I suppose they could use some imagination for different looks as long as the regulations on crash worthiness were followed. However, as I said that costs money to engineer and build and transit agencies do not usually have extra funds to throw at that. That is why basically all locomotives and passenger cars and other transit vehicles in the US look the same. That and different agencies order at the same time with the same build model to make the total order cheaper.

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Pretty sure they're required to look like that.
I believe the FRA only requires locomotives and DMU units to be up to their standards, not what they look like. Essentially it is just more plastic and metal being installed to make the unit look different and as long as there is no impact to FRA standards I should not see why they would care.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 09:13 PM   #2251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampasteve View Post
Yes, I suppose they could use some imagination for different looks as long as the regulations on crash worthiness were followed. However, as I said that costs money to engineer and build and transit agencies do not usually have extra funds to throw at that. That is why basically all locomotives and passenger cars and other transit vehicles in the US look the same. That and different agencies order at the same time with the same build model to make the total order cheaper.



I believe the FRA only requires locomotives and DMU units to be up to their standards, not what they look like. Essentially it is just more plastic and metal being installed to make the unit look different and as long as there is no impact to FRA standards I should not see why they would care.
No the problem is that FRA crash requirements are designed around conflicts with the US extremely long and heavy freight trains. For a variety of reasons Europe has a passenger dominated rail system while the US has a freight one.

So you end up with extremely heavy and slow fuel guzzling passenger trains in the US, while European trains are light and accelerate quickly.

European regulations stress the importance of avoiding a crash in the first place and the reality that any collision between a passenger and freight train at speed is going to have one conclusion. Kinetic energy always wins!
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Old April 4th, 2013, 06:42 AM   #2252
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Perhaps the US should build some more tracks with some dedicated to passenger service.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #2253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rational Plan View Post
No the problem is that FRA crash requirements are designed around conflicts with the US extremely long and heavy freight trains. For a variety of reasons Europe has a passenger dominated rail system while the US has a freight one.

So you end up with extremely heavy and slow fuel guzzling passenger trains in the US, while European trains are light and accelerate quickly.

European regulations stress the importance of avoiding a crash in the first place and the reality that any collision between a passenger and freight train at speed is going to have one conclusion. Kinetic energy always wins!
Without wanting to open a can of worms, have a look at the trains in Australia... They share tracks with extremely long and heavy freight trains, yet they are light like in Europe...

So you have trains like this...


Sharing tracks with trains like this...
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http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6203/6...a6826299_z.jpg

Just saying.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rational Plan View Post
No the problem is that FRA crash requirements are designed around conflicts with the US extremely long and heavy freight trains. For a variety of reasons Europe has a passenger dominated rail system while the US has a freight one.

So you end up with extremely heavy and slow fuel guzzling passenger trains in the US, while European trains are light and accelerate quickly.

European regulations stress the importance of avoiding a crash in the first place and the reality that any collision between a passenger and freight train at speed is going to have one conclusion. Kinetic energy always wins!
You are essentially correct, but at the same time not completely. There is no conceivable reason that one could not design a "good" looking train that meets FRA standards. Transit agencies choose not to pay additional for a more inventive design because they do not have the cash to do so.

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Without wanting to open a can of worms, have a look at the trains in Australia... They share tracks with extremely long and heavy freight trains, yet they are light like in Europe...
It can be done in the USA with some waivers, both of these systems (and there are others) share mainline freight tracks. Generally they are time separated from freight running trains.

Austin:


San Diego:
image hosted on flickr

SPRINTER by rjmcconnell, on Flickr
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Last edited by tampasteve; April 5th, 2013 at 02:49 PM.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #2255
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I never noticed it until now, but that Sprinter train (currently out of service during the Sprinter-Ruption) looks like a blue/green Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:11 AM   #2256
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First Hill Streetcar northern Terminus track excavation by Gordon Werner, on Flickr

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First Hill Streetcar northern terminus under construction by Gordon Werner, on Flickr
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Old April 15th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #2257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngplanner View Post
Without wanting to open a can of worms, have a look at the trains in Australia... They share tracks with extremely long and heavy freight trains, yet they are light like in Europe...

So you have trains like this...


Sharing tracks with trains like this...
image hosted on flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6203/6...a6826299_z.jpg

Just saying.
Well yes, I did not fancy trying to construct an extremely long essay.

The US also suffers from low investment levels in public transport so there is little business for a innovative transport supply business. The market is also dominated by the freight business and hence they have all the pull in Washington and they are not interested in installing fancy signalling or building decent quality track so passenger trains can run along them. The FRA rules suit them fine as it makes it expensive for passenger rail to expand.

Australia on the other is a small market, with stronger state control over it's railways and a long history of commuter rail systems in it's big cities. While it has local manufacture it has long accepted the reality of importing trains wholesale or even just their designs from Britain, or now Asia, it could not afford to be so protectionist as the US, if it wants an affordable train system.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #2258
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I wonder if the trolley wires are deenergized or not?
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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:36 AM   #2259
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They'd have to be. You can't work that close to live wires.

Some trolley buses are running diesel and/or hybrids for portions of this project.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #2260
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Quote:
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They'd have to be. You can't work that close to live wires.

Some trolley buses are running diesel and/or hybrids for portions of this project.
I know the 70 has been dieselized for several years already, what else is dieselized?
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