Thursday, May 28, 2009

DMU Update

This post appeals to the technical geek within the history major that is me. As part of my in depth and hard hitting series "My Idea for Heavy Rail in the East End Part 7" I wrote about potential rail vehicles for this new commuter service. One big issue was the fact that Colorado Railcar had gone out of business. They were, up until their demise, the only manufacturer in the world who produced an FRA crash worthiness compliant DMU.

I wanted to follow up to see if their have been any developments because this could have a significant impact on an commuter operation from New Ken to Pittsburgh. By this I mean, if no compliant DMU could be found, whoever would operate the service (WCTA or PAAC) would have to consider either:

#1: Buying new full trainsets consisting of a diesel and passenger cars. (This is bad because it costs alot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)

#2: Scrounging up used trainsets or RDC cars ( This could be expensive in itself and the equipment would require at least an overhaul, if not a full re-build. Using old equipment could also lead to increased maintenance costs and decreased publich perception of any service).

This update comes via a post from Seattle Transit Blog from last month. In an article about the last Colorado DMU which was shipped to Alaska Railroad, they mentioned a company called "Value Recovery Group" which is supposedly interested in purchasing the remaining assets of the company and resuming operations. I sent the company a message via their website asking if the information on Seattle Transit Blog is correct or not. No answer yet, but I just posed the question.

Again, their are international players as well, but it's hard to find any real information on whether their current product lines could be made FRA compliant or not. Again, I think it would be great for potential operations around the U.S. and especially Pittsburgh if the proven designs built by Colorado Railcar could be resurrected and produced again. I will certainly post again on this subject as more information becomes available.

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