Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby FISHMANPET » January 6th, 2017, 11:58 am

Why would a freight railroad suddenly want to get in the business of passengers? Other than they both run on rails, it's a totally different business. And is there a whole fleet of Budd RDCs sitting unused somewhere in usable shape? We certainly could build platforms quickly and easily, and even make them accessible. Pressure treated lumber is cheap. But America is pretty stupid and isn't willing to run those kind of low cost experiments. That's a whole other can of worms.

And yeah I see there's been a bit of movement on both the specific state law (it looks like the state or Met council can study and plan, but not build) but also Cities are prohibited from studying or planning, but then there's the commuter vs regional rail switcheroo. Just really dumb all around.
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby SkyScraperKid » January 6th, 2017, 12:24 pm

shout out to DanPatchToget, for derailing the Orange line thread to talk about his little train idea. smh.


So back to the little orange buses. 2021 sounds like it will take a while before this corridor is ready to open. Better late than never I guess.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby DanPatchToget » January 6th, 2017, 4:54 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Why would a freight railroad suddenly want to get in the business of passengers? Other than they both run on rails, it's a totally different business. And is there a whole fleet of Budd RDCs sitting unused somewhere in usable shape? We certainly could build platforms quickly and easily, and even make them accessible. Pressure treated lumber is cheap. But America is pretty stupid and isn't willing to run those kind of low cost experiments. That's a whole other can of worms.

And yeah I see there's been a bit of movement on both the specific state law (it looks like the state or Met council can study and plan, but not build) but also Cities are prohibited from studying or planning, but then there's the commuter vs regional rail switcheroo. Just really dumb all around.
You pay the railroad to provide the service. No idea how many Budd's are out there, or if another DMU could be used with a waiver from the FRA, but it has been done.
SkyScraperKid wrote:shout out to DanPatchToget, for derailing the Orange line thread to talk about his little train idea. smh.
I don't really see how its derailing. If the Orange Line might take awhile longer to implement and 35W will be a mess in the next few years why not consider using an existing and light traffic freight rail corridor for passenger service to give people the option not to drive?

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby twincitizen » January 6th, 2017, 5:16 pm

Image


Note: all of the above nonsense was moved from the Orange Line thread for obvious reasons. Be grateful I didn't just delete it.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby SkyScraperKid » January 6th, 2017, 8:12 pm

DanPatchToget wrote:
FISHMANPET wrote:Why would a freight railroad suddenly want to get in the business of passengers? Other than they both run on rails, it's a totally different business. And is there a whole fleet of Budd RDCs sitting unused somewhere in usable shape? We certainly could build platforms quickly and easily, and even make them accessible. Pressure treated lumber is cheap. But America is pretty stupid and isn't willing to run those kind of low cost experiments. That's a whole other can of worms.

And yeah I see there's been a bit of movement on both the specific state law (it looks like the state or Met council can study and plan, but not build) but also Cities are prohibited from studying or planning, but then there's the commuter vs regional rail switcheroo. Just really dumb all around.
You pay the railroad to provide the service. No idea how many Budd's are out there, or if another DMU could be used with a waiver from the FRA, but it has been done.
SkyScraperKid wrote:shout out to DanPatchToget, for derailing the Orange line thread to talk about his little train idea. smh.
I don't really see how its derailing. If the Orange Line might take awhile longer to implement and 35W will be a mess in the next few years why not consider using an existing and light traffic freight rail corridor for passenger service to give people the option not to drive?
Unless Uber's last update included DMU trainsets... not sure how you could order one so quickly. Or maybe we should just shut down Northstar and use those trainsets? Instead of stations we just buy ladders at home depot for people to climb on! People could park in ditches so we won't need to build more parking either!

Now were talking! Dan Patch line cost would be less than a 1,000 bucks for ladders. unless.... we get them on cregslist.. mhmmm...

Seriously though, how are you suggesting this? Private company stepping in or just wishlist, are you being serious? How could any rail line skip all those long expensive boring process of planning and impact studies, on and ridership studies to see if they are feasible?

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby Tiller » January 6th, 2017, 9:00 pm

Tbh, the Northstar trainsets could probably be better used here if they ran them all day.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » January 6th, 2017, 9:51 pm

SkyScraperKid-Well, it doesn't necessarily have to be DMUs. Perhaps lease some locomotives and coaches. You're making it sound like I want this done in a year. I realize this would take quite a bit longer, and the various studies and meetings would have to be streamlined.

twincitizen-How about you tell me how/why this isn't how it works instead of posting a picture. What makes this unworkable? Government bureaucracy, the various studies and meetings that would have to be done, etc.? As for moving my posts, I'm used to people saying the Orange Line replaces the Dan Patch Line so the two are somewhat related, but if you think my previous posts should be here then fair enough.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby SkyScraperKid » January 6th, 2017, 11:40 pm

"You're making it sound like I want this done in a year."
wait what? so what? timeline of 2 years?
I'm guessing its too late/too complicated to put some DMUs on the Dan Patch Line during all this construction to give people an option across the river without having to deal with traffic?
Construction timeline for the I-35W was 4 years, and you're only asking everyone if it's too late and to complicated? You must be new here, right? What trail line has ever been planned and built in such a short timeline? Or maybe you meant a timeline of 3 years? Of which what value would that bring to avoiding the construction traffic?

Can you please explain what you are thinking about a bit more in detail?

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » January 7th, 2017, 12:02 am

SkyScraperKid wrote:
"You're making it sound like I want this done in a year."
wait what? so what? timeline of 2 years?
I'm guessing its too late/too complicated to put some DMUs on the Dan Patch Line during all this construction to give people an option across the river without having to deal with traffic?
Construction timeline for the I-35W was 4 years, and you're only asking everyone if it's too late and to complicated? You must be new here, right? What trail line has ever been planned and built in such a short timeline? Or maybe you meant a timeline of 3 years? Of which what value would that bring to avoiding the construction traffic?

Can you please explain what you are thinking about a bit more in detail?
2 years or almost 3 years was what I was thinking, but from what you're saying government bureaucracy can't handle that. Not that I'm too surprised.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Tiller » February 18th, 2017, 5:12 pm

There isn't really a "general" thread to post this in, so I'm putting it here.

Federal Regulators Will Let U.S. Railroads Run Faster, More Efficient Trains
http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/11/30/f ... nt-trains/
Why are American trains so expensive and yet so slow? One factor that rail advocates often point to is the Federal Railroad Administration and its rail safety regulations — rules that are finally on the verge of changing.

Antiquated regulations that date all the way back to the late 1800s (they were updated in the 1930s) compel American passenger rail operators to use trains designed like “high-velocity bank vaults,” as former Amtrak CEO David Gunn once put it. While European and Asian railcars became lighter and sleeker in recent decades without compromising safety records, FRA rules continued to insist on heavy, slow, outdated, and expensive equipment.

That finally appears set to change with the FRA’s release of new draft safety rules for traincars.

The FRA expects the new rules will enable railroads to use trains that are safer, more energy efficient, and cheaper to operate. The rules will allow American passenger train operators to purchase rolling stock designed to European safety standards (but not Japanese standards), without going through an expensive waiver process.
Anyone know of any updates on this?

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » February 18th, 2017, 6:04 pm

CalTrain ordered double-deck Stadler EMUs which don't comply with FRA standards but do have a crash energy management system (pretty much the same as how modern cars are designed, in which the front absorbs most of the energy from a collision). The FRA granted them a waiver as long as a couple other requirements were met but I forget the specifics, I think one was grade-separating some crossings.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » July 8th, 2017, 10:27 am

Edina is having a "community conversation" on the Dan Patch Corridor the evening of July 25th:
http://edinamn.gov/index.php?section=pa ... ail-report

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby David Greene » July 10th, 2017, 3:08 pm

The Edina page talks about "passenger rail," not Dan Patch in particular. That's probably for political reasons. But it got me asking questions.

How many trains a day currently run through Edina/SLP in this corridor? The SLP portion of the corridor is narrow and would be tricky to expand (lots of takings involved) but what about Edina and points south? Does it at all make sense to consider a shortened LRT line in this corridor? I'm fuzzy on the details, but would the planned junction that's part of SWLRT be reusable for LRT in this corridor? If so it could interline with the Green Line.

A Bloomington-Edina-south SLP line would be less expensive than one crossing the river, but would it make sense to consider connecting to Burnsville or even Lakeville with LRT?

This is all off the top of my head with zero real thought put into it, but I imagine LRT would be a much easier sell in Bloomington/Edina/SLP than diesel trains, and it might provide a useful suburb-suburb service.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » July 10th, 2017, 3:36 pm

Last I checked here's the traffic through that area:
-one train on Monday serving Hill Salt in St. Louis Park
-one train on Wednesday and Saturday to Bloomington to interchange with Progressive Rail

While this is still up in the air in terms of when it will start, the Twin Cities & Western plans to operate grain trains from St. Louis Park to Savage. Expected frequency is four times weekly.

The suburb-suburb LRT concept is an interesting idea, as the new connection between TC&W and CP in St. Louis Park would allow LRT trains from the south to connect with the Green Line extension at Louisiana Avenue. However as mentioned, assuming the frequency is as high as the other LRT routes, LRT on the Dan Patch Corridor would require full double tracking and in parts of St. Louis Park and Edina that would probably require property acquisitions.

While still diesel a diesel multiple unit (DMU) service could be a better sell to people along the corridor, or self propelled units using other fuel sources (natural gas, hydrogen, etc.). I would prefer electric especially if its routed on the Wayzata Subdivision into downtown. The Wayzata Sub. is the only rail line going into downtown so electrifying the route could allow other regional routes serving Minneapolis to use electric trains.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby David Greene » July 10th, 2017, 3:47 pm

Are you saying with the freight traffic, that LRT would require takings? That is, three sets of tracks (one (two?) freight plus two LRT)? What if there were no freight? I known, not gonna happen, but humor me. :)

I am assuming LRT would not run north of the Green Line because there's just not enough room.

All-electric would be great, but I can't imagine the railroads would go along with it. Wouldn't that require lots of capital to purchase new equipment? TC&W seems like a pretty shoestring operation. I guess they wouldn't have to use the electrical infrastructure, but does it make sense to build electric commuter rail in that scenario?

Why would suburbs be more amenable to DMU than a standard diesel train? I'm not very familiar with locomotive technology.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » July 10th, 2017, 4:13 pm

I assumed you meant LRT sharing tracks with freight trains (with FRA compliant equipment of course), but yeah three tracks would definitely take a lot of property. Considering CP doesn't want to let go of the tracks between Savage and Lakeville that haven't seen a train since the 90s I'm not going to consider the "what if" of freight no longer using this line.

The freight railroads don't have to use the overhead lines, though if they want to I wouldn't be opposed, but its just for passenger trains. If we considered regional rail to Wayzata, Northfield, Norwood/Young America, Carver, Medina, and Monticello all of those lines would have to use the Wayzata Sub. to a certain extent to get to downtown, so the more routes there are the more economical electrifying becomes. The whole route of each of these lines doesn't have to be electrified either as there are bi-mode units using overhead lines and on non-electrified segments switch to diesel. These are used in France and Italy, and in New Jersey they have locomotives that can run on diesel and electric.

DMUs are quieter than diesel locomotives (speaking from experience) and they're not giant like almost all trains in America. Of course this is matter of opinion, but I think a small diesel railcar that only blocks a railroad crossing for 30 seconds is more accepting than a large diesel locomotive thundering through neighborhoods and taking three times as long to clear a crossing.

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby David Greene » July 10th, 2017, 8:19 pm

Thanks. I hadn't considered LRT sharing tracks with freight but that would seem to be the way to go here, if LRT is considered at all. It's mostly a pipe dream, of course. Still, there's something enticing about that new junction...

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby FISHMANPET » July 11th, 2017, 9:50 am

LRT basically can't share tracks with mainline freight. There's a segment in New Jersey where it happens, but they're temporally separated. LRT only runs until night time (around 10 PM I think) and then freight trains run overnight until service starts again the next morning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Lin ... _agreement

E: DanPatchTarget already mentioned it, whoops, but yeah this is all about FRA crash requirements. That would be a reason to go with a DMU, because you can actually get DMUs rated for mainline service. An electric EMU vehicle would have to basically be designed from scratch, and be absurdly expensive. The crash rated DMUs are expensive, just not quite as absurdly so.
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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby mattaudio » July 11th, 2017, 10:22 am

Maybe MT could get some electric locos and make some money moving freight during the overnights...

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Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » July 11th, 2017, 3:13 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:
July 11th, 2017, 9:50 am
LRT basically can't share tracks with mainline freight. There's a segment in New Jersey where it happens, but they're temporally separated. LRT only runs until night time (around 10 PM I think) and then freight trains run overnight until service starts again the next morning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Lin ... _agreement

E: DanPatchTarget already mentioned it, whoops, but yeah this is all about FRA crash requirements. That would be a reason to go with a DMU, because you can actually get DMUs rated for mainline service. An electric EMU vehicle would have to basically be designed from scratch, and be absurdly expensive. The crash rated DMUs are expensive, just not quite as absurdly so.
CalTrain ordered Stadler KISS EMUs to replace their existing diesel locomotive fleet. While the KISS doesn't meet FRA crash standards it did pass FRA crash tests so they were given a waiver. Not sure how much more expensive they are than DMUs (keeping in mind the KISS is double-deck) besides the cost of electrifying the route.

Edit: Also for anyone wondering about my username, "Toget" is train in Norwegian.


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