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  1. VIA Rail Canada

    Could the couple be coincidental to the smoother ride from the MUs providing their own discrete propulsion working simultaneously? Yes. Renaissance baggage transition car
  2. VIA Rail Canada

    Just from reading the Wikipedia description there seems to be little advantage and lots of disadvantages like compatibility and strength. At least with knuckle couplers just about anything can couple to anything else in North American and draft gears deal with slack where it matters. What benefit would there be to justify the incompatibility?
  3. VIA Rail Canada

    I'm pretty sure they refuel in Saskatoon, each of the last 3 times I've departed or arrived from Saskatoon there was a bulk fuel delivery truck (the same kind that delivers to farms) waiting on the platform for the train to arrive. I don't know if that means anything, if it's a custom blend for Via or just the same generic diesel the deliver to everyone else.
  4. VIA Rail Canada

    Unless we get someone with first hand expert knowledge of the issue it's anybody's guess. It could have just been a pretty simple problem that's hard for a train crew to troubleshoot and repair on a half frozen train in the middle of nowhere. I found this web page with some great information on HEP systems while looking for information how much power might be needed: http://www.nwrail.com/HEP_config.html This article on Global quoted one passenger saying "some of the cars got cold", it sounds like they lost power to one electrical bus and didn't have enough capacity to supply the whole train. I presume the reason for 3 locomotives on the Canadian in the winter when it's shorter vs 2 in the summer when it's longer is for a backup HEP in case one fails.
  5. VIA Rail Canada

    Nice idea but that theory is a stretch. We've had colder weather in SK since they've been rebuilt. I didn't even need to break out my -60C gloves yet.
  6. VIA Rail Canada

    Thanks! That's actually a pretty robust design, assuming each car can select which bus it's drawing from. Everything I found researching this talked about Amtrak equipment with a single bus and some references to GE locos that could with great difficulty synchronize HEP generators. The Via design is way more elegant for it's simplicity and reliability.
  7. VIA Rail Canada

    In one article, it was describe the train was close to the SK/MB border and then reversed back to Spy Hill so that would suggest it wasn't gelled in the tank and the prime movers were getting fuel. It was a brutally cold night so they would have needed all the HEP to keep things warm. I doubt they could have carried on to Winnipeg without making things at best extremely uncomfortable for passengers. A couple questions for you Dan or someone else who knows their way around HEP systems: do you know if they can supply HEP from any one locomotive or just the last one? Can only one loco supply HEP? I'd assume only one loco can provide HEP because it's AC and multiple AC machines would have to be synchronized in both phase and speed to work in parallel. That's difficult although not impossible.
  8. Amtrak

    I saw one article yesterday that had the NTSB stating the line was equipped for PTC but the locomotive had not yet been fitted with PTC equipment. A number of articles I read had officials saying PTC was currently being tested on that line and was to be in use in early 2018. I don't think we can blame the federal politicians beyond extending the original PTC deadline from 2015 to 2018. This is entirely on Amtrak and state officials who chose to accept the risk pressing the brand new line into service before PTC was ready or not accelerate PTC roll-out on the line to have it ready for the launch of the new route. Undoubtedly the NTSB will call out Amtrak and the state for this while the state and Amtrak will pin the blame entirely on the locomotive crew.
  9. Amtrak

    In a way, it's good there was a quickly discovered obvious cause, speeding rather than some quirky mechanical issue. It's terribly unfortunate that it was entirely preventable.
  10. Amtrak

    Best to wait for some information from the NTSB. If I were to judge from the wreckage, I'd guess the lead jumped the rail, went down the hill and stopped just beyond the bottom at which point the remaining cars started coming off the other side of the bridge. I'm less inclined to jump to the conclusion of speeding on the curve. My first instinct was to compare to the Philadelphia incident but in this case, I'm wondering if the new Charger locomotive is a significant factor. It wouldn't be the first time Amtrak has had a derailment problem with a new locomotive. In the 70's the new (then) SDP40F had a series of derailments initially thought to be a design flaw in the locomotive which actually turned out to be a combination of the locomotive and baggage cars. Perhaps there's an issue with Chargers and Talgo sets.
  11. Ontario Northland Railway

    Take the "aa" off the end of the URL and it works.
  12. Saskatoon Updates

    Presumably there is other data supporting that reliability argument. The 4:1 ratio in the shop could just mean newer buses are less likely to need repairs and because they represent a proportionally larger part of the fleet are going to be represented in the service bay in higher proportion.
  13. Bombardier needs to split into two firms along the rail and aerospace lines. That would be a good first start. The challenges surrounding each of those markets spaces is quite different and really needs to be structured in a way that attracts the best corporate leadership and investment dollars to each. As it stand now if I was a conservative investor who was comfortable with the rail business I'd be really spooked by the troubles dogging the aerospace side of the house. Similarly on the high risk, high reward aerospace side of the house, the bleak looking prospects and huge debt on the rail side of the house would scare me. In fact, if Bombardier had split before the C-Series program, they likely would have attracted more private investment and they wouldn't have given Boeing and Embrarer the ammunition to claim it's receiving unfair subsidies, that could ultimately kill the entire company.
  14. Poop powered bus

    $2 or 2lb per ride!