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6 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I would assume that there is always a price point at which you can fix old equipment to make it compliant, but this doesn't change the fact that VIA's fleet size is far too small to support three different locomotive types (Amtrak has more than twice as many P42s in its roster than VIA has locomotives). With the F40 already used across the entire network and sufficient spares and parts available for quite a few years to come, it would be extremely wasteful to invest into the P42s. If anyone wants them, I'm sure that VIA will happily sell them...

I mean the point regarding crash standards, the F40'S do not meet those requirements either. 

Nor do they meet current emissions standards. 

I guess when you break it down it makes more sense to overhaul F40'S again since you have more of them. Or replace them but unless there is a tender announced soon, there won't be enough time to deliver new locomotives before the F40'S will need to be retired or rebuilt. 

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On 11/8/2021 at 9:21 AM, smallspy said:

The P42s look to be in rough shape because they've been used for 20 years with very little maintenance to their shells. Mechanically however they are quite good, and remain quite reliable.

 

There is not likely to be a large market for used P42s - as noted, Amtrak has been flooding that market.

 

Not being rebuildable, though? That's bullshit.

There is very, very little that the F59 shares in common with the F40s from a mechanical standpoint. Along with the fact that VIA will soon have an excess of F40s - remember, the 32 SC-42s are replacing not just the 21 P42s but also a dozen-plus F40s - means that there will be no need for VIA to buy more locos for a while.

 

As for F59s in freight service, it could happen, sure. Mechanically they are just GP59s with a second engine to provide HEP, and there seems to be a bit of a lack of 4-axle power on the used market right now.

 

Dan

I am aware of the freed up F40s which should be more than enough for any potential future regional/long distance expansion. I see, so less in common than i thought between the F59 and F40. I am a bit bias towards EMD Cowl bodied units so i would've loved to see VIA F59's but yeah, it'll never happen, especially as they won't need an extra 8 units. As to where GO's units eventually end up, i hope they end up in the same places the other Ex GO units did NCDOT, EXO etc. Would freight crews want a Full width cowl bodied locomotive these days? I believe they prefer locos with open walkways along the sides of the locomotive. I've also heard also prefer entering through the nose of the locomotive rather than up side doors. 

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22 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I would assume that there is always a price point at which you can fix old equipment to make it compliant, but this doesn't change the fact that VIA's fleet size is far too small to support three different locomotive types (Amtrak has more than twice as many P42s in its roster than VIA has locomotives). With the F40 already used across the entire network and sufficient spares and parts available for quite a few years to come, it would be extremely wasteful to invest into the P42s. If anyone wants them, I'm sure that VIA will happily sell them...

On all of your points here, I completely agree with you.

 

This, however, is not the same as saying "Oh, they can't be rebuilt and thus they need to be replaced". Especially when that is not in fact the case.

 

Dan

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2 hours ago, smallspy said:

On all of your points here, I completely agree with you.

 

This, however, is not the same as saying "Oh, they can't be rebuilt and thus they need to be replaced". Especially when that is not in fact the case.

 

Dan

I lack the subject matter knowledge to confirm or challenge the points brought forward by VIA. Has Amtrak rebuilt any of its P42s yet and if yes, were they rebuilt to standards which would make them compliant to all regulatory requirements which would be applicable in Canada for a similar rebuild?

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14 hours ago, lifty4ever said:

I am aware of the freed up F40s which should be more than enough for any potential future regional/long distance expansion. I see, so less in common than i thought between the F59 and F40. I am a bit bias towards EMD Cowl bodied units so i would've loved to see VIA F59's but yeah, it'll never happen, especially as they won't need an extra 8 units. As to where GO's units eventually end up, i hope they end up in the same places the other Ex GO units did NCDOT, EXO etc. Would freight crews want a Full width cowl bodied locomotive these days? I believe they prefer locos with open walkways along the sides of the locomotive. I've also heard also prefer entering through the nose of the locomotive rather than up side doors. 

Not sure about external walkways (cowl bodied units typically have internal walkways, so it's not like it would be impossible to travel from cab to rear), but one of the biggest issues for freight is typically the need for somewhere to stand on all 4 corners of the locomotive while switching. The F59PH already has a front porch, but modifications to allow for a rear porch would be needed.

Roughly a dozen of Amtrak's F40PH locomotives were rebuilt for freight service (reclassed as F40M-3F), and porches on the front and rear were added as part of the modifications. So it is possible to do, if someone wanted.

5 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I lack the subject matter knowledge to confirm or challenge the points brought forward by VIA. Has Amtrak rebuilt any of its P42s yet and if yes, were they rebuilt to standards which would make them compliant to all regulatory requirements which would be applicable in Canada for a similar rebuild?

The term "rebuild" in of itself is rather vague, as all it implies is some overhaul of the unit. Neither Amtrak nor any other operator of the Genesis series I'm aware of has done any sort of rebuild to the level quoted in the VIA document (specifically looking at the crashworthiness standards and engine upgrades); however, varying levels of mid-life and life extension refurbishments have occurred. CTrail is currently in the middle of having Amtrak rebuild their (ex-Amtrak) P40DC locomotives, which would be considered a true mid-life rebuild. Amtrak's own remaining active P40DC units were also considered "rebuilt" when they were upgraded using stimulus funding in the late 2000s. I'm also certain that over the years Amtrak has done enough body and mechanical work to the P42DC fleet that would be considered comprehensive enough for a "rebuild".

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1 hour ago, Articulated said:

The term "rebuild" in of itself is rather vague, as all it implies is some overhaul of the unit. Neither Amtrak nor any other operator of the Genesis series I'm aware of has done any sort of rebuild to the level quoted in the VIA document (specifically looking at the crashworthiness standards and engine upgrades); however, varying levels of mid-life and life extension refurbishments have occurred. CTrail is currently in the middle of having Amtrak rebuild their (ex-Amtrak) P40DC locomotives, which would be considered a true mid-life rebuild. Amtrak's own remaining active P40DC units were also considered "rebuilt" when they were upgraded using stimulus funding in the late 2000s. I'm also certain that over the years Amtrak has done enough body and mechanical work to the P42DC fleet that would be considered comprehensive enough for a "rebuild".

As I said before: I lack the expertise (and to be honest: also the interest) to determine the remaining economic life of VIA's P42 fleet. Nevertheless, I hope we can all agree that VIA objectively doesn't have any need for this tiny 21-units fleet in the next few years. Sure, the F40s won't last forever, but I assume that Siemens will be very interested in replacing VIA's non-Corridor, given the considerably synergies they could exploit given that they will have already established maintenance facilities...

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I still think the northern Quebec and Rupert Rocket (aka Skeena) runs would be best suited to those trainsets outside the corridor. It would probably less expensive to create panorama ceilings (like the Colorado Railcars) than sleeping cars. Also those trains often have the same cars all the time. It wouldn't work well for the northern Manitoba trains as those trains have more cars in winter than summer and need sleeping cars due to the trip length and more importantly tour groups.

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2 hours ago, Viafreak said:

I still think the northern Quebec and Rupert Rocket (aka Skeena) runs would be best suited to those trainsets outside the corridor. It would probably less expensive to create panorama ceilings (like the Colorado Railcars) than sleeping cars. Also those trains often have the same cars all the time. It wouldn't work well for the northern Manitoba trains as those trains have more cars in winter than summer and need sleeping cars due to the trip length and more importantly tour groups.

Are you seriously suggesting that modifying the shell of a car design is easier than changing its interior, which is modular anyways?

As for changing the train length, the nominally 5-car Siemens trainsets are semi-permanently coupled, meaning that they can be shortened to 3 or 4 cars or lengthened to 7 cars. It may take a few hours, but it can for sure be done in response to seasonal demand.

Anyways, any new fleet will need adapted maintenance facilities and that's why everything else than converting the entire non-corridor network doesn't make any sense. Converting the JONQ/SENN services would certainly still be the easiest, but converting the Skeena (with its two measly cycles which run hundreds of kilometers away from the next maintenance center), but not the Canadian would border on insanity...

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22 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

I lack the subject matter knowledge to confirm or challenge the points brought forward by VIA. Has Amtrak rebuilt any of its P42s yet and if yes, were they rebuilt to standards which would make them compliant to all regulatory requirements which would be applicable in Canada for a similar rebuild?

A number of ex-Amtrak units have been rebuilt in a manner that would be similar to the level of rebuild that the F40s went through - so, at least as thorough as would be required for VIA's P42s or more so.

 

They still meet all of the regulatory requirements for which are applicable to them, yes.

 

VIA's instance of having the units to meet certain current very specific regulatory requirements - such as crashworthiness - is in my mind a red herring, as no other equipment operating anywhere in Canada has had such demands made of them.

 

Dan

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7 hours ago, smallspy said:

VIA's instance of having the units to meet certain current very specific regulatory requirements - such as crashworthiness - is in my mind a red herring, as no other equipment operating anywhere in Canada has had such demands made of them.

Okay good, I was thinking the same thing but don't have the full knowledge to confirm.

I agree, to me it is unusual that any pre-existing equipment would be required to be immediately upgraded and modernized to meet a newly-introduced standard. This goes for both the crashworthiness standards (there's no mention about the F40PH fleet also needing these upgrades, despite being designed decades before the Genesis design debuted...) as well as the emissions standards.

To me, the list definitely reads like a "throw-in-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink" approach, which serves two purposes: 1) promotes the preferred case for retirement by making it seem too uneconomical to keep them around, and 2) in case they do need to rebuild them, gives them a full list (or "worse-case scenario") of everything that could potentially be done, and be able to "negotiate" down the list by removing some of the non-essential items. Also, it's better to ask for things up front when first submitting a budget request, rather than needing to come back and ask for more money later.

23 hours ago, Urban Sky said:

As I said before: I lack the expertise (and to be honest: also the interest) to determine the remaining economic life of VIA's P42 fleet. Nevertheless, I hope we can all agree that VIA objectively doesn't have any need for this tiny 21-units fleet in the next few years. Sure, the F40s won't last forever, but I assume that Siemens will be very interested in replacing VIA's non-Corridor, given the considerably synergies they could exploit given that they will have already established maintenance facilities...

For the record, I certainly agree with you (and most other posters in this thread), with the entire Corridor being standardized with the Siemens trainsets, and long-distance routes standardized with the F40PH fleet, there is zero future need for the P42DC units. There are significant benefits to retiring the P42DC fleet and standardizing with the other locomotives, which have all been stated above that there is no point in me repeating.

While I did not clearly state that viewpoint in my post, my previous post was just trying to dispel the false notion that the Genesis series is "unrebuildable", and was in no way intended to critique you, just trying to answer the question you posed.

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On 11/9/2021 at 10:02 AM, Urban Sky said:

I would assume that there is always a price point at which you can fix old equipment to make it compliant, but this doesn't change the fact that VIA's fleet size is far too small to support three different locomotive types (Amtrak has more than twice as many P42s in its roster than VIA has locomotives). With the F40 already used across the entire network and sufficient spares and parts available for quite a few years to come, it would be extremely wasteful to invest into the P42s. If anyone wants them, I'm sure that VIA will happily sell them...

Since the only place high speed running exists is in the corridor that's the only place where Siemens locomotives are needed now. 

The P42's have higher speeds and more horsepower but that won't matte much outside the corridor when 90mph is more than sufficient. 

 

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On 11/10/2021 at 6:27 PM, Urban Sky said:

As I said before: I lack the expertise (and to be honest: also the interest) to determine the remaining economic life of VIA's P42 fleet. Nevertheless, I hope we can all agree that VIA objectively doesn't have any need for this tiny 21-units fleet in the next few years. Sure, the F40s won't last forever, but I assume that Siemens will be very interested in replacing VIA's non-Corridor, given the considerably synergies they could exploit given that they will have already established maintenance facilities...

Then again. VIA may look to GMDD again for a more conventional design of locomotive. The fact of the matter is, VIAs F40s have lasted so long because of their reliability, ease of maintenance, and low cost of running. Plus, their conventional design made them easier to overhaul and rebuild. The F40s now are older than the original F units were back in 1987 when the F40PH-2D was built and older still if you count the original F40 design from 1973 and they'll continue for at least another decade though i hear another major-ish overhaul for the F40 is in the works. Could Siemens make a locomotive to replace the F40? Perhaps but would it be as good as the F40? I question that. I think EMD are the only ones who can make a new locomotive, based of the rebuilt F40 but with much more modern design philosophies. But in this way, we get a locomotive as venerable in theory as the F40 and will again, in theory last as long as the F40 has and will.  

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5 minutes ago, lifty4ever said:

Then again. VIA may look to GMDD again for a more conventional design of locomotive. I think EMD are the only ones who can make a new locomotive, based of the rebuilt F40 but with much more modern design philosophies. But in this way, we get a locomotive as venerable in theory as the F40 and will again, in theory last as long as the F40 has and will.  

Google the EMD F125 and see how that has gone.
 

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5 hours ago, lifty4ever said:

Then again. VIA may look to GMDD again for a more conventional design of locomotive. The fact of the matter is, VIAs F40s have lasted so long because of their reliability, ease of maintenance, and low cost of running. Plus, their conventional design made them easier to overhaul and rebuild. The F40s now are older than the original F units were back in 1987 when the F40PH-2D was built and older still if you count the original F40 design from 1973 and they'll continue for at least another decade though i hear another major-ish overhaul for the F40 is in the works. Could Siemens make a locomotive to replace the F40? Perhaps but would it be as good as the F40? I question that. I think EMD are the only ones who can make a new locomotive, based of the rebuilt F40 but with much more modern design philosophies. But in this way, we get a locomotive as venerable in theory as the F40 and will again, in theory last as long as the F40 has and will.  

The reason why the F40s have lasted so long is because they are freight locomotives in a pretty shell, and so parts are quite literally a dime-a-dozen. Even their frames are built like freight locomotives - it would be totally possible to run an F40 without it's cowl.

 

The P42s, while mechanically have some commonality to most GE freight locos, also are quite different in many other respects and are built specifically as passenger locos. This means that it is harder to source those parts as the supplies are far more limited, and expensive.

 

If you think that EMD is the only one capable of making a good passenger locomotive, you are dreaming with some rosy, railfan-tinted glasses.

16 hours ago, Articulated said:

Okay good, I was thinking the same thing but don't have the full knowledge to confirm.

I agree, to me it is unusual that any pre-existing equipment would be required to be immediately upgraded and modernized to meet a newly-introduced standard. This goes for both the crashworthiness standards (there's no mention about the F40PH fleet also needing these upgrades, despite being designed decades before the Genesis design debuted...) as well as the emissions standards.

To me, the list definitely reads like a "throw-in-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink" approach, which serves two purposes: 1) promotes the preferred case for retirement by making it seem too uneconomical to keep them around, and 2) in case they do need to rebuild them, gives them a full list (or "worse-case scenario") of everything that could potentially be done, and be able to "negotiate" down the list by removing some of the non-essential items. Also, it's better to ask for things up front when first submitting a budget request, rather than needing to come back and ask for more money later.

There are always going to be some regulations that the units will need to be updated to meet. Radios, RSCs (alerters), windshields.....sure. But structural? That's highly unlikely. And there's not really much precedence for it.

 

I agree with your summation of it, with the added caveat that it's also disingenuous to make these claims when they are not applicable. Yes, VIA needs new equipment. Yes, they will need to justify that need. But you don't need to lie about it.


Dan

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Is there any reason why the MP40 (and now 54) never caught on for long distance or even Corridor-like routes? There’s been a need for new locos for a few years now (here and in the US given all the Charger orders), and unless I’m missing something, the MP40 has proven to be reliable no? I understand the 54 hasn’t had as good a start. 

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That's why i like EMDs units. They took the GP40, a very successful and venerable freight diesel and made a passenger locomotive based on the basic design of the GP40. Same with the F59 and the GP59. Perhaps they could take another successful 4 axle freight diesel and look at making a locomotive based on that. It's a proven formula. I wouldn't doubt them. 

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16 hours ago, smallspy said:

I agree with your summation of it, with the added caveat that it's also disingenuous to make these claims when they are not applicable. Yes, VIA needs new equipment. Yes, they will need to justify that need. But you don't need to lie about it.


Dan

With all due respect, I don't think it's fair to accuse someone of lying, when you can neither rule out incompetence, human error while acting in good faith nor that the information used was either incorrect or actually correct and just unknown to you. Having worked 3 years in the same team as the guys who write the Corporate Plans and another 3 years in close collaboration with the Fleet Planning team, I believe I'm slightly better placed to make assumptions about why these claims found their way into these reports and how plausible they are...

Have a good night!

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Alright, so the Canadian is definitely suspended, at least through BC. The torrential rains have washed out TCH and the ballast under the CN tracks at what I have always called the "sketchy swerve underpass" Tank Hill Underpass on the CPR along the Thompson at 50.255057, -121.446962. TCH is a total loss, will need to be completely rebuilt, and I suspect the rail bridge will be torn out and replaced. Rail traffic through that corridor is about to get very bad for the next few months. I suspect the BC Rail line will be reopening to handle some of it.

Edit: Services suspended... west of Winnipeg. Not Edmonton, Winnipeg. Why?

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37 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

Alright, so the Canadian is definitely suspended, at least through BC. The torrential rains have washed out TCH and the ballast under the CN tracks at what I have always called the "sketchy swerve underpass" along the Thompson at 50.255057, -121.446962. TCH is a total loss, will need to be completely rebuilt, and I suspect the rail bridge will be torn out and replaced. Rail traffic through that corridor is about to get very bad for the next few months. I suspect the BC Rail line will be reopening to handle some of it.

Edit: Services suspended... west of Winnipeg. Not Edmonton, Winnipeg. Why?

The washout is on the CP, not the CN line on the other side of the canyon, which apparently has washouts too, though if they're not as severe the CN side may go back into service sooner than CP.

Aside from the former BCR the only other plausible detour is on BNSF via Chicago, which I suspect will be how containers bound for the GTA will get moved out of the Port of Vancouver if the Fraser Canyon is blocked for an extended period of time.

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12 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Edit: Services suspended... west of Winnipeg. Not Edmonton, Winnipeg. Why?

Cycling: Train 1 (which departed Toronto on Sunday) was scheduled to arrive in Edmonton only at 20:50 today - one hour after Train 2 (which was supposed to leave Vancouver yesterday) was scheduled to leave Edmonton...

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VIA Rail sent some of their Vancouver rolling stock out to Hope for evacuation. It carried 200 passengers. I'm surprised all the tracks were clear enough through the valley last night already. 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-evacuation-train-departs-hope-bc-bound-for-vancouver-with-200/

I'll point out that even with road infrastructure destroyed, the railway is still in one piece up to Hope. All the more argument for a small intercity "corridor" through the Fraser Valley. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/evacuation-train-hope-1.6253392

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