It is currently Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:49 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 669
PMC wrote:
I think the point of the original question was: the people that ride tourist trains, by and large, couldn't care less about the equipment that they are riding on, and yet these trains are shortening the lives of the historic equipment they are currently using. Why not buy some cheap throw away (my words) equipment from Europe that looks like a Disney ride? I can definitely see that, and the rides could potentially support the maintenance of actual museum equipment if the organization has any. And we would all laugh at them. New build replicas is really a different issue.


I understand your point, but you have to also remember that were are not in the railroad business, we are in the entertainment business. Most people have some sort of idea of what American passenger cars are supposed to look like, and a disposable European knock off does not sell the experience. You can't substitute Mickey Mouse for Mighty Mouse. They might be rodents, but very, very different.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 226
Bombardier owns the remnants of both Pullman and Budd, the Pullman patterns are obsolete and the Budd tooling was scrapped when the Red Lion plant closed decades ago.
US Railcar - which bought the intellectual property of Colorado Railcar - has offered FRA-compliant passenger cars (and DMUs) for years, with few takers.

CD


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 220
The first question is... What rolling stock is getting "used up" by tourist lines? Durango has been using the same wooden cars for over 100 years. Strasburg continues to restore there 100+ old equipment. TVRM has an open window heavy-weight over 100 years old still in regular service. I'm just scratching the surface here... so let's take that a step forward. If Durango wants to "preserve" the old coaches instead of running them.. where do they go? Does Colorado Railroad Museum just build a car barn and they sit there? Who is going to pay for that and why?

Now if you are talking about the appeal of fancy train cars... VIA, Alaska RR and Rocky Mountaineer all bought fancy new cars from Colorado Rail / US Railcar. If you wanted to start up a luxury railroad and had extra money laying around.. those types of cars are nice. But that's going to cost MORE money.. not less.

I can't imagine buying a trainset from Europe and shipping it over here would cost less than buying from US Railcar or Bombardier... but I also have never priced it out. I don't get the appeal of European trains.... you're not going to beat the US Railcar Ultra Domes.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5550
Location: southeastern USA
Txhighballer wrote:
That does answer that question. However, they might be interested in perhaps assisting with assisting the excursion railroad industry with building some replica heavyweights? I would think that they would be inclined to assist since there would be no competitive harm in doing so. It's a limited market, but it's worth looking into.


I certainly wouldn't want heavyweights replicated as heavyweights - I would want the nice clerestory roofs and appearance of century old equipment, but why would I want to have to pay to haul around hundreds of tons of deadweight for the same number of butts in seats paying the bills? Looks like heavyweights but aren't actually heavy would be better, if one wants to cover the costs of building replicas of course.

Quote - "But I could foresee a day when, say the UP declares the Moffat Tunnel route excess and it would then only be used by Amtrak once each-way-a-day. A modern tourist operation to Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Grand Junction could be viable with modern equipment, and a waiver to have Amtrak share limited usage with the modern European equipment, especially if it could connect to Denver International Airport by either direct service, bus or light rail, and have multiple trips per day. There are some very nice and expensive ski chalets and condos in Winter Park that patrons could use that kind of service to get to and from."

Yes, and this is why we'd want to run sleek, modern and FAST comfortable European style ski trains to serve these destinations. Other countries have learned to build trains that can compete with air travel - we still plod along, even in the corridor, in comparison.

_________________
Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:06 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 700
Location: Philadelphia Pa
PMC wrote:
I think the point of the original question was: the people that ride tourist trains, by and large, couldn't care less about the equipment that they are riding on, and yet these trains are shortening the lives of the historic equipment they are currently using. Why not buy some cheap throw away (my words) equipment from Europe that looks like a Disney ride? I can definitely see that, and the rides could potentially support the maintenance of actual museum equipment if the organization has any. And we would all laugh at them. New build replicas is really a different issue.


I pretty much think we could kiss 85% of the historic equipment out there goodbye if this came to fruition. The cost of building and or purchasing new equipment would render any funds available for even the most minimal maintenance on the historic fleet moot and historic equipment would either be sold as scrap to pay down debt or left to rot on sidings they once passed, full of happy passengers.

Its kind of a cacth 22....using the historic equipment forces said organization to "maintain it" in order to keep using it. To what degree each organization does is questionable.

Covering equipment can save your organization much money in the long run. If more funds were focused on that, we'd have less natural destruction going to historic fleets.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:22 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5550
Location: southeastern USA
I'm going to get back to the difference between historic and old. Not everything old is historic. Not everything historic is old. Much of what rolling stock is in use (and this includes museum operations that have made the choice to put some items in a collection to be used) probably isn't historic but just old. Eventually, the last remaining whatevers might become historic by the virtue of being the sole remainers, but.... we're not there yet.

If you belong to the contingent that wants to assure the continued preservation of those in use, work on ways to make the use not only self sustaining but contributory to making the operator and operation also more than just sustaining.

If you believe that choosing items and segregating them into collections not to be used, generate funds for buildings and programming to make the maintenance of those collections also more than just self sustaining.

In both case (and everything in between) what's lacking isn't crafts and skills, but a business framework to pay for them in perpetuity. What I'm not seeing on this thread so far are workable ideas about how to make this happen. the rest of the discussion is moot without it.

_________________
Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:36 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 220
An operation to consider in this discussion is Steam into History in Pennsylvania. They bought a brand new steam locomotive from Kloke, and had new wooden "coaches" built by Reader Railroad for their operation. So the idea of buying new equipment for a tourist line has been done.

Would be interesting to compare their financials with the nearby Black River Western that operates a historic locomotive and coaches on a similar length of right-of-way not too far away.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:24 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1121
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
An operation to consider in this discussion is Steam into History in Pennsylvania. They bought a brand new steam locomotive from Kloke, and had new wooden "coaches" built by Reader Railroad for their operation. So the idea of buying new equipment for a tourist line has been done.

Would be interesting to compare their financials with the nearby Black River Western that operates a historic locomotive and coaches on a similar length of right-of-way not too far away.


Under my theory, SIH's overall costs should be lower than for an operation trying to keep very old equipment running. Now, I don't know the mix of volunteer/paid help for each operation, so that's a wild card. The fact that SIH should be devoting less of their resources to maintenance/restoration for the first 20 years of operation, and need a less extensive shop operation than one operating historic and obsolete equipment would suggest that their overall costs would be lower. The key to an ongoing, successful operation is realizing that eventually maintenance costs will go up and equipment will eventually have to be replaced, so the long-term operating plan would have to take that into account, instead of using most of the income as profit or dividends.

It occurs to me that there is a real-life example of trying to keep worn-out and obsolete equipment in daily service in my own backyard: Cleveland RTA rail operations, especially the former Shaker Rapid. There has been no acquisition of any new equipment in over 20 years, nearly 40 for the Shaker Rapid. It is no secret that RTA rail operations are in major trouble. It's a replay of U. S. passenger railroading in the 1960's. The equipment cannibalization of the 1980's Breda cars has been ongoing for nearly a decade, with at least a quarter of the fleet sidelined as parts cars. RTA has trouble fielding a full rush-hour fleet at times, especially in the Winter. Maintenance costs are bleeding the operation horribly. Estimates are that RTA needs as much as $800 million to replace both the heavy and light rail fleets, which is not in the cards for the foreseeable future for political reasons I will not get into here. My point is that a newer fleet for daily operations can't help but save an operation a great deal of money. Whether or not a new fleet for a tourist operation can save enough money to recapitalize the operation every 40 years or so would have to be plotted out by the green eye shade people, but the ones in Europe seem to be doing OK. A tourist fleet would not usually be in operation as intensely as that of a major urban transit system, so it's not a direct comparison. The key for long-term success of any such operation is realizing that the savings from initial lower operating costs requires setting aside some of that money towards the eventual need for more maintenance and eventual equipment replacement.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5550
Location: southeastern USA
Transit operators wear out everything faster than any other form of operation. Unfortunately, much of the more modern and digitally controlled technology lacks the robustness and reliability after 20 years that the old stuff had, or the simplicity and straightforwardness / repairability of it either. If you want to make a case for replication, there's probably nothing better to start with.

Comparing a transit operator with any excursion / scenic / tourist railroad doesn't really make sens, though..... some of the recreated trolley operations, which are really boutique operations rather than pure shifting of humans come kind of close. New Orleans comes to mind, as does San Francisco.

_________________
Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 220
'Under my theory, SIH's overall costs should be lower than for an operation trying to keep very old equipment running. Now, I don't know the mix of volunteer/paid help for each operation, so that's a wild card. The fact that SIH should be devoting less of their resources to maintenance/restoration for the first 20 years of operation, and need a less extensive shop operation than one operating historic and obsolete equipment would suggest that their overall costs would be lower."

I'm not sure if your theory actually makes sense... when you rebuild a steam locomotive, it's basically new. And you generally get 10-20 years out of it until you have to rebuild it again. So that's theoretically the same with the Kloke locomotive. The initial investment of a new locomotive vs. a restored steam locomotive could be less, or could be more. Depending on a huge number of variables.

Same with coaches. The larger tourist lines that quickly come to my mind seem to have standardized their equipment to some extent. Again.. if you've properly rebuilt the car, it's basically brand new and will get you lots of years with min. maintenance before it has to be rebuilt again to some extent. You're always going to need spare parts, and a qualified maintenance facility if you are running trains on a daily basis.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1121
Location: Back in NE Ohio
My original post was not talking about a steam operation, or other attempt at representing a historic rail operation. It was for providing modern equipment for a tourist "ride" for a scenic route or to a popular destination. I commented on the Steam Into History operation because it was cited, and is somewhat similar to what I'm talking about, but not exactly the same thing. Of course running maintenance on new equipment is necessary; be it steam, Diesel, or electric. Yes, Strasburg, D&S and other similar operations keep rebuilding their equipment on a regular basis, and are profitable, and would probably not exist if they didn't have steam locomotives and other historic equipment. I was never intending to compare my proposal to them. My proposal is about the ride and destination, not the mode of transportation. I'm observing that if a group is proposing a railroad operation to serve a territory or destination that is a new startup with no existing equipment, they probably would be better off with the latest available technology in the long-run, than scrounging up a CF-7 and some old modified MU cars that never ran anywhere near the proposed operation, if they plan on running more than on weekends during tourist season with an all-volunteer work force. I'm not talking about something like Walkersville Southern, or Ma & Pa, or similar. I gave a prime example of where it might be the best option. I still think it would be for something like that - daily heavy operations on a near-year round basis.


Last edited by PaulWWoodring on Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 220
I understand that.

And yes I agree an example such as the Moffat tunnel route could do well with the U.S. Railcar ultra domes. But im not sure that would be cheaper than buying heritage cars and having them rebuilt to as new condition. Again, most of the tourist lines rebuild the cars and standardize the fleet to an extent.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8963
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
There's at least one North American operation that has done this several times: The White Pass & Yukon, driven by cruise ship traffic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_W ... enger_cars

https://wpyr.com/new-passenger-coaches/


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 845
Location: NJ
I did a little bit of work on this for a client maybe twenty years ago. Then and now there seems to be a market for simple, easy to maintain open window coaches for tourist service. What I came up with, and please don't laugh, was something like a heavier version of the LIRR 'ping-pong' or the B&A commuter cars.

My idea was to have the shells built, maybe overseas, and to current FRA structural specs, then equip them with American trucks, 223 glazing, E or F couplers, and ABDW air brakes. Of course the trucks would have to be beefier than the 'pregnant roller skates' that the LIRR cars, and would have rollers, maybe hidden behind journal box lids.

My idea behind the round roof is that it would be easier to construct and maintain. The interiors could be as fancy or as plain as the owners wanted; plain steel or inlaid mahogany wall panels, like the CNJ's had. There are lots of options for heat, lighting, and seating. Air conditioning would defeat the idea of an open window coach, though.

This idea is similar to the concept that Budd offered, like with the previously mentioned NYS&W coaches, but a step backwards with regard to nostalgia. If several tourist operators got together and ordered a decent quantity of these shells, the cost per unit should go down.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Modern Equipment for "Scenic" Train Rides
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 265
I was on the White Pass and Scenic this summer and they have a builder in Alaska making reproduction coaches.
I happened to ride on a new car and have some photos.
I could certainly tell the car was a new reproduction but as mentioned here nobody else seemed to care. The point of the trip was to look out the plastic sash windows at the scenery.
Two docked cruse ships emptied into three 15 car trains dockside for the trip to White Pass Summit. The trains looked to me to be around 75 to 80 percent of full capacity. Their web site says they have 69 restored and replica coaches.
They are in the process of building a siding halfway up so they can run even more trains on a more spaced out schedule. Also in the news that Carnival Corporation (Princess and Holland Cruse lines) bought the railroad for $ 290 Million. So my guess is they will continue to build more cars.
And if someone like Drango and Silverton had the ridership and the money I don’t think cars like this would be far off.


Attachments:
File comment: Interior showing new windows
Interior.JPG
Interior.JPG [ 264.07 KiB | Viewed 331 times ]
File comment: Older coaches had you typical caboose oil stove. This repo car had this little gem
stove.JPG
stove.JPG [ 322.79 KiB | Viewed 331 times ]
File comment: Looked like an older car having new windows put in
exterior.JPG
exterior.JPG [ 291.84 KiB | Viewed 331 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot], Oportotrolley516 and 48 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: