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Passenger Trains > Caltrain Test Car


Date: 11/25/11 16:26
Caltrain Test Car
Author: walstib

I spotted this Caltrain test car in San Francisco today. Looks like a former Metroliner.

It's been on the property for a few years at least, but I've never seen it run.

Anybody know exactly what this test car is for?




Date: 11/25/11 17:13
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: The_Chief_Way

dunno but it obviously started life as an SPV-2000



Date: 11/25/11 17:20
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: railwaybaron

I believe this was originally a Budd SPV-2000 which was based on the Metroliner. It was the unsuccessful successor to the Budd RDC. This unit was modified by USDOT into a self-propelled track inspection car. I rode it from the Davis, CA depot, where I worked, over the SP and the Santa Fe to Oakland, CA at the surprise invitation of the local FRA chief (a noted railroad antique collector/dealer) back when rules were winked-at and all the world was young. :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/11 17:40 by railwaybaron.



Date: 11/25/11 19:31
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: SW1200

It is a track geaometry car, used by Caltrain to perform quarterly inspection of the railroad. It runs at night, making two round trips in less than four hours. It is hauled south by a single locomotive, shoved north. I rode several times during my stint at Caltrain - our fastest trip was 43 minutes non-stop from San Francisco to San Jose. Quite a thrilling ride.

SW1200



Date: 11/25/11 22:32
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: Evan_Werkema

SW1200 Wrote:

> It is a track geaometry car, used by Caltrain to
> perform quarterly inspection of the railroad. It
> runs at night, making two round trips in less than
> four hours. It is hauled south by a single
> locomotive, shoved north.

So is the "SPV" no longer a self-propelled vehicle?



Date: 11/26/11 08:14
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: daylight

The trucks with the drive lines were changed out but it does have the controls on one end so it operates as a cab car.

Agree with SW1200, it is a blast to ride on especially with the vestibule doors open at track speed.



Date: 11/26/11 09:13
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: Out_Of_Service

i'll take an original Budd Car any day of the week ... these things didn't hold a candle to Budd Cars of yesteryear ... dieselized metroliners was all they were



Date: 11/26/11 13:28
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: swirsk53

Looks like it could be one of the former Metro North or Connecticut DOT SPV's that had a very short service life. The Metro North units were ordered with the idea of supplementing/replacing the former NYC and New Haven units that were acquired as hand me downs from Penn Central/Conrail, to serve the extremities of the Upper Harlem line (above Southeast, formerly known as Brewster North), on Danbury and Waterbury branches on the former New Haven and on some of the West of Hudson services on former E-L lines. CDOT cars were, I believe, to provide New Haven-Hartford (possibly on to Springfield) connections to NEC service at New Haven.



Date: 11/28/11 07:35
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: xrds72

It was the former FRA T-10 track geometry car.

As noted above, "It only comes out at night" and it is a fun run from SJ to SF in 42 minutes.

It now runs with an extra car between the it and the engine since a cab car is technically a "locomotive" in Amtrak's playbook and two "locomotives" running without a car attached would be restricted to 50 MPH, so they add a car



Date: 11/28/11 09:00
Re: Caltrain Test Car
Author: ThumbsUp

xrds72 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It was the former FRA T-10 track geometry car.
>
> As noted above, "It only comes out at night" and
> it is a fun run from SJ to SF in 42 minutes.
>
> It now runs with an extra car between the it and
> the engine since a cab car is technically a
> "locomotive" in Amtrak's playbook and two
> "locomotives" running without a car attached would
> be restricted to 50 MPH, so they add a car


That's interesting. I was always taught that cab-cars are only considered "locomotives" in the application of certain rules in the AMT-3, such as the requirement for daily inspections (MAP101/MAP100), whereas in the application of the other rules (brakes cut-out en-route, for instance), cab-cars are just considered to be cars.

I never would have considered a locomotive pulling a single cab-car to be a "light engine" move. What about a locomotive pulling 10 cab-cars and no trailers? Would Caltrain consider that a "light engine" move as well? I think someone needs to re-examine this interpretation.



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