engineerboy6561 220 Posted February 3 Share #26 Posted February 3 (edited) On 1/29/2023 at 9:35 PM, Lex said: The first one comes down to will. I was born less than a decade after the stretch between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma was electrified, and east of Farmingdale, this stretch was merely single-tracked with sidings. The latter project was only somewhat cheaper than the last estimate for electrifying the rest of the Port Jefferson Branch, but finishing PJ electrification has never been considered a high priority, hence the lack of investment for the last 40+ years. Oyster Bay also has a short electrified portion and that's it, yet it's almost entirely double-tracked, which is insane when trains almost never run more frequently than every 120 minutes. The third is hardly surprising when you lack the ability and/or will to provide even remotely better service, which is a common issue with diesel service, as they have (at best) mediocre C3 availability and laughably poor locomotive availability, hence the lack of service east of Ronkonkoma and along the aforementioned Oyster Bay Branch (which is further influenced by the flat junction in Mineola). This and the above create a negative feedback loop that could be addressed with greater electrification and a fleet expansion, among other things. The second one is absolute bullshit. Diesels emit far more particulates than electric trains and require a far more finite power source with inherently terrible efficiency (internal combustion produces plenty of waste heat in addition to those aforementioned particulates). Honestly it sounds like the ideal solution would be for the next order (M11/M11A) to be comprised of lightweight Euro-style stock with trap doors, a universal powertrain (25Hz/60Hz AC plus both varieties of third rail), and a dual mode option; that would basically let the units run anywhere along the NEC they want, as well as all over MNR/LIRR territory. If you go with something FLIRT-based that gets even easier, because the powertrain mostly lives in dedicated sub-units about 20' long that combine four small diesel engines to get 1500-2000kW available electric power in diesel territory. At that point you could probably even do a split MNR/LIRR/NJT order; the dual-mode equipment would be able to run on the third rail and under the wire where those options are available (conceivably at up to 125-150mph under wire; probably still limited to 100 on third rail (and in practice probably to 79 along most MNRR/LIRR routes)) and then up to 80-100mph on diesel. The best part of that approach is that if/when the MTA and NJT add electrification along the entirety of their turf you can just drop the diesel power packs from the equation (or if fuel cell technology gets better we could replace the diesel power packs with fuel cell stack-based power packs; right now that's expensive as hell given that a 6kW fuel cell station goes for $27k, so a 6MW stack capable of running an 8 car train would cost like $27M off the Internet. Even if you assume a 30-50% discount from economies of scale and the contract being between large companies you'd still be looking at $10-15M extra per train for hydrogen power). Do a joint order of that MU between all three agencies in the NYC area plus SEPTA, use the cost savings from the order size to drive down unit cost, order enough trains for a meaningful service increase in the spots that need it, and then we can get to a place to start fixing the other issues. Edited February 3 by engineerboy6561 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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