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(SFGate)   Amtrak rolls out 70 new high speed, computer controlled locomotives with crumple zones. Yes, that's the joke   (sfgate.com) divider line 80
    More: Cool, crumple zones, Amtrak, rail transport  
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3027 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 May 2013 at 11:01 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-13 10:53:07 AM
Heh. Siemens Rail Systems.
 
2013-05-13 11:12:51 AM
What is the joke, exactly? People can actually die when trains hit each other, and crumple zones can prevent that.

You can read all about it if you want.
 
2013-05-13 11:18:22 AM
I imagine the crumple zone is somewhere between the back of your seat and that fold-down tray on that one in front..
 
2013-05-13 11:28:30 AM
Wish we had AMtrak here in OKlahoma. I think there is a train from OKC to  Fort Worth, but I live in Tulsa, A train connecting Tulsa and OKC with another going up to springfield, MO would be great.

I'm not asking for much.

Now, I'm asking for much below.

Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

/not gonna happen
 
2013-05-13 11:37:35 AM
and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa
 
2013-05-13 11:39:32 AM
They also feature crumple zones, which are basically cages built onto the front end of the train that can absorb impact from a collision. The new models will be the first in North America to use them, in compliance with new federal safety guidelines, Cahill said.


wow subby
they meet regulations and you think there is something wrong
LOL

/NEW CARS have FANCY SEATBELTS! news at 11
 
2013-05-13 11:44:09 AM
So our trains will look outdated for another 30 years, or is that our American style?
 
2013-05-13 11:49:17 AM

Makh: So our trains will look outdated for another 30 years, or is that our American style?


Well they do have the logo that looks like Bank of America's new logo.
 
2013-05-13 11:52:19 AM
Actually, these new locomotives are, for once, current technology.  They're based on the successful Siemens Sprinter series, though the propulsion is the newer Vectron system, which means no cool startup noises.

They're going to be VERY quiet, like NJT's ALP-46s are

FWIW, the 64 in ACS 64 is the power, 6400kW, or 8600HP.  They'll be the most powerful 4 axle locomotives in North America.  Actually, they'll be the most powerful locomotives in North America, period, though their tractive effort's somewhat low, on account of their light weight (needed to go 125mph anyway).

Rumor has it they'll be limited to 5000kW on Amtrak's 25hz system, i.e. below NYC.

Why didn't Amtrak buy American?  The last US built electric locomotives, GE's E-60, ended up in a ditch not once, but twice during testing on Amtrak.  They nonetheless got stuck with the units, which were given an 80mph speed restriction (on a 125mph railroad)  They weren't reliable and they killed track.  IIRC, Metro-North slapped them with a blanket 35mph limit, which is why they never ran above New York after '83.  Amtrak pushed a few to NJ Transit where they were notoriously flaky units.
 
2013-05-13 11:57:38 AM

PsychoPhil: Why didn't Amtrak buy American?  The last US built electric locomotives, GE's E-60, ended up in a ditch not once, but twice during testing on Amtrak.


If the entire nation didn't have less catenary than many German states, we'd probably get better at it.  As it is, electric locos are such a niche market in the US it's better to let companies who build them year-in-and-year-out do the refinements.
 
2013-05-13 12:07:27 PM
High speed rails need to be the norm, I would rather use the railroad rather than flying after our experience in Europe. Better service, free Wi-Fi, and a bar car!
 
2013-05-13 12:13:29 PM
Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,
 
2013-05-13 12:21:11 PM

JolobinSmokin: Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.


Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.
 
2013-05-13 12:30:36 PM
The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish
 
2013-05-13 12:46:24 PM

xria: and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa


I think the phrasing is awkward. 100% of the energy it captures goes back to the grid, not that it catches 100% of all energy
 
2013-05-13 12:46:36 PM

xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish


The problem is the morons who seem to think that rail is the answer EVERYWHERE.  In the NE Corridor, rail travel is a great way to get around.  Baltimore to NYC?  NYC to Boston?  DC to Philly?  Great system.  Why?  Because the NE Corridor is built up a lot like Europe.  Big cities whose suburbs run almost until you hit the next big city.  Get out of that area, and trains make a hell of a lot less sense.  The wife and I are moving right in between Baltimore and DC, and I'm looking forward to using the train a lot.  If I have to go to San Francisco though, I'll probably still catch a plane out of BWI, not a train, even if that train COULD go 175mph, non stop.
 
2013-05-13 12:53:03 PM

Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,


Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?
 
2013-05-13 12:54:32 PM

bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?


He learned it by watching you.

/technically it should be "Koch whore"
 
2013-05-13 01:00:12 PM

anfrind: bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?

He learned it by watching you.

/technically it should be "Koch whore"


Are you saying I'm homophobic?
 
2013-05-13 01:06:03 PM

Lost Thought 00: xria: and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa

I think the phrasing is awkward. 100% of the energy it captures goes back to the grid, not that it catches 100% of all energy


It could also be a matter of scale.  The brakes probably don't require that much energy to close around the wheels and slow forward momentum; however, the energy generated by all that momentum can probably be harnessed to some extent so that the energy used for braking is made up for by the electricity generation.  So it's not saying all the energy is recovered, just that the energy required for braking is recovered.  You still lose everything that accelerates the train and maintains the its speed.

That's how I read it, anyway.  It doesn't sound very impressive that way, though.
 
2013-05-13 01:07:05 PM

xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish


The Acela is actually pretty amazing considering it has to use the existing 100 year old infrastructure. It is the best we can hope because if if unlimited funds were available to build a true high speed line the Northeast Corridor could not be out of service for 2 years to build it.  The reason rail works in the Northeast is the reason no modern highspeed will be put in the Northeast, it is too built up to build a new line and they can't take the old line out of service.  Besides Downtown DC to New York Penn Station in less than 3 hours with wifi and a bar is pretty good way to travel.
 
2013-05-13 01:19:36 PM

Makh: So our trains will look outdated for another 30 years, or is that our American style?


they look like shiny GG1s with crumple zones
 
2013-05-13 01:19:59 PM
I'm curious how they did it in europe?

Tom_Slick: xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish

The Acela is actually pretty amazing considering it has to use the existing 100 year old infrastructure. It is the best we can hope because if if unlimited funds were available to build a true high speed line the Northeast Corridor could not be out of service for 2 years to build it.  The reason rail works in the Northeast is the reason no modern highspeed will be put in the Northeast, it is too built up to build a new line and they can't take the old line out of service.  Besides Downtown DC to New York Penn Station in less than 3 hours with wifi and a bar is pretty good way to travel.


How'd they do it in europe then? just curious.
 
2013-05-13 01:24:11 PM

devildog123: xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish

The problem is the morons who seem to think that rail is the answer EVERYWHERE.  In the NE Corridor, rail travel is a great way to get around.  Baltimore to NYC?  NYC to Boston?  DC to Philly?  Great system.  Why?  Because the NE Corridor is built up a lot like Europe.  Big cities whose suburbs run almost until you hit the next big city.  Get out of that area, and trains make a hell of a lot less sense.  The wife and I are moving right in between Baltimore and DC, and I'm looking forward to using the train a lot.  If I have to go to San Francisco though, I'll probably still catch a plane out of BWI, not a train, even if that train COULD go 175mph, non stop.


I think it's the answer for travel between major cities that are within reasonable distance of each other, or between major cities where people just attempt to drive instead of taking a plane.

LA <-> SF is a great example, I'd imagine there are lots of midwestern cities that could benefit from a direct, short-haul HSR link as well.
 
2013-05-13 01:25:44 PM

bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious.


WWII is how they did it in Europe, most of the rail lines were destroyed, rebuilding started in the 1950s when high speed trains were starting to be possible.  The Northeast corridor was built starting in the late 1800s when 50 mph was high speed.
 
2013-05-13 01:27:32 PM

bopis: anfrind: bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?

He learned it by watching you.

/technically it should be "Koch whore"

Are you saying I'm homophobic?


I didn't think it would be obscure.
 
2013-05-13 01:29:05 PM
The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.
 
2013-05-13 01:31:31 PM

xsarien: / Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast


Yep.  Primarily due to right-of-way issues.  You just sit there while a 10,000-car freight train lumbers along at 7 m.p.h.

/would take an I-70ism midwest train - even with said delays
 
2013-05-13 01:40:15 PM

bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious


The US spent all its money on car infrastructure and freeways instead of on mass rail transit like those European Socialists

spectrumculture.com
 
2013-05-13 01:46:04 PM

JolobinSmokin: Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.


How much people traffic moves between Tulsa and OKC on a daily basis?

2011 Census says 396k or so in Tulsa, 590k in OKC.
The distance is 107 miles

Is there really a demand for it? At 100mph, it's still an hour on the train for a commute, plus travel time to/from the stations. Doesn't sound particularly viable from the outside. If you have better information, I'm all for it.
 
2013-05-13 01:51:25 PM

Lsherm: Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.


Even at a cost of 10 million per mile, you could cover the 107 mile distance for 1.07 billion.
 
2013-05-13 02:03:16 PM

Carousel Beast: JolobinSmokin: Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

How much people traffic moves between Tulsa and OKC on a daily basis?

2011 Census says 396k or so in Tulsa, 590k in OKC.
The distance is 107 miles

Is there really a demand for it? At 100mph, it's still an hour on the train for a commute, plus travel time to/from the stations. Doesn't sound particularly viable from the outside. If you have better information, I'm all for it.


Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.
 
2013-05-13 02:30:46 PM

JolobinSmokin: Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.


The main problem is that very few people are going from 'downtown core' OKC to 'downtown core' Tulsa (as much as either term is even meaningful).   You've got people in one apartment or business park in Broken Arrow going to some other apartment or business park in Moore.  By the time they drive from their burb to the "Tulsa station", park, get on a train, get to "the OKC station", presumably grab a Zipcar or something, and drive to the other burb?  Might as well have driven yourself.

If there was much 'downtown to downtown, don't need a car at the other end' traffic, there'd be more market for a 'premium class of bus' between the two. At 75mph speed limit on the Pike, you're already faster than most Amtrak routes.  There isn't much demand on the few buses that go that way.
 
2013-05-13 02:38:02 PM
I'm posting this on an Amtrak train so I'm getting a kick
 
2013-05-13 02:43:11 PM

Lawnchair: JolobinSmokin: Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.

The main problem is that very few people are going from 'downtown core' OKC to 'downtown core' Tulsa (as much as either term is even meaningful).   You've got people in one apartment or business park in Broken Arrow going to some other apartment or business park in Moore.  By the time they drive from their burb to the "Tulsa station", park, get on a train, get to "the OKC station", presumably grab a Zipcar or something, and drive to the other burb?  Might as well have driven yourself.

If there was much 'downtown to downtown, don't need a car at the other end' traffic, there'd be more market for a 'premium class of bus' between the two. At 75mph speed limit on the Pike, you're already faster than most Amtrak routes.  There isn't much demand on the few buses that go that way.


I'm not disagreeing or arguing with you, but your assessment of travel from downtown to downtown may be a bit off. it may be spot on, but increasing travel opportunities between the two cities will only increase economic activity.

good bye
 
2013-05-13 02:46:53 PM
There should be three tiers to travel; bus, train, plane. Each serving a different distance of needed travel.

At least that what the engineer in me says. Use buses for the less than 100 and getting from minor or rural to the majors, trains for major city to major city, airplanes if you need to hop more than a two major cities or a thousand miles.

The problem is classism. If you can afford soap you don't want to sit next to the filth on the bus to get from your minor town to the major town. Once you're driving from the minor to the major you might as well be driving to the airport where you know you can get parking and won't be sitting next to the unwashed for hours on end.

And some SSB time. I had an interview with Schlumberger in Shreveport back when I lived in Tyler, TX. Their travel coordinator managed to get tickets for me to take an American Eagle flight to DFW in the morning, sit for eight hours, and fly an equally small airplane to Shreveport. It was 100 miles on the dot from my driveway to the Harrah's Casino. So I was the only person at the interview with a car and a knowledge of the locale. Still didn't get the job.
 
2013-05-13 03:00:07 PM

Tom_Slick: bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious.

WWII is how they did it in Europe, most of the rail lines were destroyed, rebuilding started in the 1950s when high speed trains were starting to be possible.  The Northeast corridor was built starting in the late 1800s when 50 mph was high speed.


Also, major European cities are a lot closer than they are in the US.  You could squeeze Germany and all of the UK into Texas, with plenty of room to spare.
 
2013-05-13 03:05:52 PM
Zombies ride traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnsssssssssssss
 
2013-05-13 03:38:55 PM

CokeBear: Zombies ride traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnsssssssssssss


everyone say traaaaaainnnnnnnsssss
 
2013-05-13 03:40:25 PM
Tom_Slick:

WWII is how they did it in Europe, most of the rail lines were destroyed, rebuilding started in the 1950s when high speed trains were starting to be possible.  The Northeast corridor was built starting in the late 1800s when 50 mph was high speed.

Guess how I can tell you've never been on a European train or taken Amtrak on the NEC....

Hint: The NEC below NYC is pretty much dead straight through New Jersey.
Hint: Most European HSTs tilt and run 9 or more inches cant deficiency.

Also:  Most European locomotives couldn't break 160km/h until the 70's, and even then, they were generally restricted to 160 km/h.   Germany didn't break 160km/h anywhere until LZB was proven out, and even today, you don't break 160km/h unless the line has LZB, which only the trunk lines do.  The backwater stuff has PZB, and is limited to 160km/h as a result.
 
2013-05-13 03:46:29 PM

WhyteRaven74: Lsherm: Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.

Even at a cost of 10 million per mile, you could cover the 107 mile distance for 1.07 billion.


I was just pulling a number out of my ass.  My point was it's a no-brainer as long as you don't count the money involved.

I love me some high speed rail, but I want it on the Northeast Corridor before they connect Tulsa and OKC, for purely selfish reasons.  But financially, it makes sense to start there.  Acela is nice, but it could be so much more.
 
2013-05-13 03:54:44 PM
Does this mean no more F40PH Friday?
 
2013-05-13 04:12:41 PM

Tax Boy: bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious

The US spent all its money on car infrastructure and freeways instead of on mass rail transit like those European Socialists

[spectrumculture.com image 620x350]


No, it's because the Continental United States (not counting Alaska and Hawaii) is about  3.1 million square miles, with about 310 million people living in it.  All of Europe from Moscow to Portugal, including England and the Scandinavian countries is only about 3.9 million, with almost 750 million people living there.  So you have just about double the population density, in an area that pretty much got to completely rebuild after 1945 (with massive American loans).  Also, the REALLY high speed stuff is mostly west of Berlin, so half of Europe is still pretty much not going a hell of a lot faster than Amtrak.  When we were building the infrastructure, we had tons of space and cheap gas.  It made sense to build roads.
 
2013-05-13 04:18:21 PM
Thread needs MOAR Joe Biden

24.media.tumblr.com

25.media.tumblr.com

25.media.tumblr.com

graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2013-05-13 04:30:19 PM
Blaine is a pain.
 
2013-05-13 04:33:13 PM
The joke?
It's e-lectrik.

Bwah-hahahahahahaha.
That's a commie socialist train!
 
2013-05-13 04:48:28 PM

bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?


The anti-conservative slurs aren't always homophobic. They're frequently also racist.
 
2013-05-13 05:00:08 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.


So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.
 
2013-05-13 05:02:28 PM

GaperKiller: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.

So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.


Throw it in neutral and hook it up to a diesel engine.  Fundamentally, it's just another train car.
 
2013-05-13 05:12:56 PM

Lsherm: GaperKiller: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.

So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.

Throw it in neutral and hook it up to a diesel engine.  Fundamentally, it's just another train car.


Living a few miles away from Truckee CA and the Donner Pass rails, that's a train I'd like to see go by. Truckee is a whole lot busier now that they completed the double-tracking for double stacked containers over the summit. Reno built the train trench, thank god, and now theres a ton more traffic.
 
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