Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Modern AC locomotives provide their maximum tractive effort at walking speeds, and that's how fast they go. (Slip ratios on the driving wheels under these conditions can exceed 40%!) How does one fit a 100+ mph passenger train into this situation?

By leaving the heavy freight on the existing track, which will in any event have little or no superelevation at all, and run the Rapid Rail freight and passenger trains on the Rapid Rail track next to it.

The Express Freight that is taking road freight market share, deliverying freight on schedule at high reliability, will have smaller consists, typically single-stacked containers, and higher power/weight ratios. If you can slot in a 100mph medium/light freight service to run to schedule, you can slot in a 100mph passenger tilt-train to run to schedule.

The hard division between all freight and modern passenger trains is an artifact of the FRA system of regulations, which itself is in service of freight railroads pursuing the available market share under the conditions of the age of cheap crude oil. As described in part 1, this proposal does not change the FRA approach on the existing heavy freight rail network, but sets up a parallel Rapid Rail network that requires PTC and operating procedures to permit safe mixing with UIC compliant passenger trains.

So, as described in part 1, there would be three classes of trains:

  • FRA compliant, able to operate on the heavy rail network, barred from the Rapid Rail network
  • Dedicated Rapid Rail, able to operate on the Rapid Rail network, barred from the heavy rail network
  • FRA compliant Rapid Rail, able to operate on either network.

Since all of the Rapid Rail network will be electrified, Amtrak would upgrade its existing stock to be FRA compliant Rapid Rail, and its expanded capacity would be Dedicated Rapid Rail.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 13th, 2008 at 01:11:59 PM EST
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