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Passenger Trains > Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars


Date: 01/21/03 00:16
Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: ThumbsUp

According to folks who ought to know, Caltrain will be sending 4 of its gallery cars to Metrolink in Southern California to shore up their fleet of collision-wrecked Bombardier cars.

I am not sure how these cars will be used due to the fact that the control cables are not compatible with Metrolink\'s F59\'s (a problem if you want to run them push-pull) and the gallery cars are set up for direct release as opposed to graduated release, which makes releasing the brakes in increments difficult, if not impossible. (Interestingly, we have a similar problem running our own Bombardier cars with our F40\'s -- the F40\'s ABV is set for direct release, but the cars are set for graduated release. This is not fun to deal with, and makes it extremely difficult to smooth out station stops.)



Date: 01/21/03 08:05
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: ps68

So all of this time the gallery cars only had/have direct release? Wow, you and your colleagues are pretty skilled to bring those things into stations with only direct release. Do the gallery cars not have the graduated release feature or does Caltrain just want to make your life as hard as possible ;-)



Date: 01/21/03 11:20
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: surflinerhogger

That\'s weird. We used those cars (if they\'re the same ones)in the San Diegan consists during the Del Mar track season for a few years , but never changed to direct release. We also used three of them sandwiched between an F40 and an Amfleet cabcar for the old Orange County Commuter train (569/582) for a long time and didn\'t use direct release then either (can\'t set the ABV for direct release on an Amfleet cabcar) without any problems. Have they changed the brake systems on those gallery cars since then?



Date: 01/21/03 11:45
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: mundo

Will be interesting to see where they put them, for few people will want to ride these cars.

Wonder why they do not send down four of the new cars which would match up to the existing equipment. Guess the caltrain commute like the new cars over the old too!



Date: 01/21/03 12:58
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: ThumbsUp

surflinerhogger wrote:

> That\'s weird. We used those cars (if they\'re the same
> ones)in the San Diegan consists during the Del Mar track season
> for a few years , but never changed to direct release. We also
> used three of them sandwiched between an F40 and an Amfleet
> cabcar for the old Orange County Commuter train (569/582) for a
> long time and didn\'t use direct release then either (can\'t set
> the ABV for direct release on an Amfleet cabcar) without any
> problems. Have they changed the brake systems on those gallery
> cars since then?

It\'s possible they changed the DIR/GRA cap on the control valves to the GRA (graduated release) position for use down there.

Someone else asked how we release the brakes and smooth out station stops with all the Caltrain equipment set for direct release. All of our F40\'s and gallery cars are equipped with an electro-pneumatic brake system (EP) whereby we can release the brakes and hold in increments by moving the automatic brake valve to the "hold" position. This causes a "magnet valve" to close and trap air in the brake cylinders.

We use a manually-lapped 26E automatic brake valve, pictured below. From left to right, the positions are: Release, Hold (EP), Lap, Service, Handle Off, and Emergency. There is no service "zone" on this brake valve. We set the brakes by moving the handle to the service position until we set the desired amount of air (a 10psi reduction, for instance), and then move the handle to the lap position. You can make further reductions as necessary by going back to service and then to lap again. To "kick off" the brakes to smooth out your stop you move the handle to the release position until you feel you have released enough of the brakes, and then put the handle in EP hold, which will hold that amount of brake cylinder pressure. You can go back and forth between release and EP hold until you have released as much brake cylinder pressure as you desire.

By the way, just as a note, the main reason for having the EP system is to recharge the brake pipe while holding onto brake cylinder pressure. This is helpful since we make station stops every 3 minutes, and it\'s very forgiving and allows you to make many adjustments without "pissing away the air" too quickly.

I\'m no expert on this system, but I use it every day, and that is my basic understanding of how it works.

(The automatic brake valve in the photo below is in the "lap" position.)





Date: 01/21/03 20:56
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: MargaretSPfan

surflinerhogger wrote:

> That\'s weird. We used those cars (if they\'re the same ones). . .

They\'re not.

My son, "daniel3197", reminds me that the cars you used in the San Diegan during that racing season were the "California cars" that are used regularly on the "Capitol" "san Joaquin", and the "San Diegan", not Caltrain gallery cars. "California cars" are completely different from Caltrain gallery cars.

A few gallery cars were used on Metrolink in 1994, after the Northridge earthquake, because of the large numbers of people riding Metrolink after the quake.

The only other times that I remember Caltrain gallery cars being used in Southern California were in 1982 when Caltrans had a demonstration commute service for several months between Oxnard and Los Angeles - with the older Southern Pacific gallery cars (numbered in the 3700\'s), and in 1994, when the SP 2472 pulled an excursion to San Luis Obispo from San Jose, and used the Caltrain 3803 and 3807.

Caltrain gallery cars are very light - only 113,000 lbs. (56 1/2 tons) - and have very stiff springs, which makes for a very rough ride if the track they run on is not in tip-top condition. I wonder....are they the roughest-riding passenger cars in the country?? We can blame the old SP for the rough ride, as it was their solution to dealing with the gentle curve leading into the south end of Tunnel #4 in San Francisco, and the tight clearances in the 4 tunnels in San Francisco on their line. The SP did not want the cars to sway laterally and scrape the tunnel walls.

I like the gallery cars, but their ride quality leaves a lot to be desired. It reminds me of the way the cargo truck I used to drive when I was a bridge maintenance worker at the Bay Bridge rode: the thing was built to carry 4 or 5 tons, and had stiff springs, too, but I never got to drive or ride in it when it had a heavy load. It would really jounce you around when driving down Nimitz (I 880)!

I hope the Caltrain gallery cars that will be sent down to LA will be used on the "Orange County" (Fullerton) line, so we can see them on the webcams there!

About the new Bombardier cars: the commuters I talked to did not like them: the seats are too hard. They are nice in one important way: the doorways are in the low-floor area, so there is only one step between the floor and the ground. That IS nice! : )

Margaret (SP fan)



Date: 01/21/03 21:57
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: BarryDraper

I don\'t know if there is any connection, but one of the new Caltrain Bombardier cars came to LA on the Starlight last week.



Date: 01/21/03 22:14
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: ps68

Caltrain-Engr you lucky dog. You probably have more flexibility with your brakes than those with straight air/graduated release. In Chicago
they used to use the electro-pneumatic brakes exclusivly on the BN E-9\'s and cab cars (the valves were called ps68 which is where I got my handle from). The RTA cab cars on other routes like the Milwaukee and the Rock had 26-E. I thought you were bringing the trains in on straight air with direct release which would seem to get on one\'s nerves after doing it 20-25 times within two hours.



Date: 01/21/03 22:43
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: calhog

mundo wrote:

>wonder why they do not send down four of the new cars which would match up to the existing equipment<

Please! Don\'t even suggest such a thing. As MargaretSPfan said, the Caltrain gallery cars are very rough riding and the more of them we can get rid of, the better I\'ll like it. The Joint Powers Board seems convinced the cars are going to bang into the tunnels if the springs are loosened up, even though the Bombardier cars make it through just fine, as did the Metra cars and Surfliner cars when they were here.
Metrolink riders: If you have the misfortune to ride on one of these cars, I hope your track is in good shape. Metrolink engineers: Might be a good idea to pinch \'em down a bit over the rough spots like I do.
By the way Dan, nice job of explaining how our 26E brake valve works.



Date: 01/21/03 23:40
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: surflinerhogger

No, these were indeed the silver Caltrain Gallery cars with one set of center doors on each side. The California cars had not yet even been built. Anyone who remembers the Orange County commuter train we ran will verify this. Mundo can testify that they were indeed Caltrain Gallery cars. They rode like a boxcar at 90 and everyone hated them.



Date: 01/22/03 00:02
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: ThumbsUp

surflinerhogger wrote:

> No, these were indeed the silver Caltrain Gallery cars with
> one set of center doors on each side. The California cars had
> not yet even been built. Anyone who remembers the Orange County
> commuter train we ran will verify this. Mundo can testify that
> they were indeed Caltrain Gallery cars. They rode like a boxcar
> at 90 and everyone hated them.

I think that\'s being a little unfair to boxcars.



Date: 01/22/03 00:02
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: surflinerhogger

PS:

This was while the San Joaquins were still using Horizon cars well prior to the introduction of the two level California cars. We used them in 1990/91 on the San Diegans. Sorry, I didn\'t mean to sound so tart in the previous post, but I remember how awful they were for the conductors to work, not being used to handling two levels of passengers at the same time with one person. Something that could never be done on the California cars. I also remember a couple of scary incidents when we had standing room only and the center doors on one of the cars had a tendency to open by itself on a hard brake application. Seems it didn\'t lock into the closed position properly and would slide open in one direction when stopping and another direction when we accelerated.



Date: 01/22/03 00:04
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: surflinerhogger

Caltrain-Engr wrote:

>
> I think that\'s being a little unfair to boxcars.

Yeah, yer right. Sorry, I take that back. :)



Date: 01/22/03 06:23
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: puckeringswine

Amtrak had four Gallery cars on loan to Orange County from about 89 or 90 to the time that Metrolink started. They were used with an F40 and a Amfleet cab car, on weekends the cars were added to regular trains, especially during Del Mar Race season, For a short time Metrolink borrowed some after The Northridge earthquake, but I think they were found to be not suited to the operatation at the time, and were replaced as soon as they could with leased GO transit cars.



Date: 01/22/03 12:54
SURF LINE COMMUTERS Video
Author: kimura

surflinerhogger wrote:

> No, these were indeed the silver Caltrain Gallery cars with
> one set of center doors on each side.

I believe the Valhalla video "SURF LINE COMMUTERS"

http://www.valhallavideo.com/vdetails/vv37.html

has a shot of those silver Caltrain Gallery cars on an Amtrak Orange County commuter train. Lots of good stuff on this video. Highly recommended.

------
Exciting passenger action on the fabled "Surf Line" between Los Angeles and San Diego, featuring Amtrak, Metrolink and Coaster trains. Also includes freight operations with warbonnets, pumpkins, and a variety of other equipment. Even includes a head end ride along the Coast. Six years in the making, this video is a comprehensive railfan guide to the Surf Line!

(VV37) 90 Min. / $21.95

Producers Notes

As a life-long Californian I\'ve always enjoyed riding the "Surf Line" to San Diego. I can remember special cub scout trains with green heavyweight coaches, and 3700\'s on the point taking us down there for the day. So it was natural to start shooting tape of the line as video became available. By the summer of 1998 I decided it was now or never to edit all the tape into a completed program, and Surf Line Commuters is the result.

The video is presented in geographic order from Los Angeles Union Station to San Diego, with a few steam scenes thrown in as appropriate. We have 3751 and 2472 coming together at Mission Tower when 3751 returned from her Chicago trip, and 3751 at DT Junction on her California Limited excursion in 1991. We also have Metrolink\'s first day of operation at L.A., a ride on the ICE train demonstrator, and a lot of variations in power and consists on the line. One of my favorite scenes is a freight going through San Clemente, taken from the pier. The train has nine units of Santa Fe diesel power, all in blue and yellow! We\'ll never see that lash-up again! We also have many scenes of the Coasters in San Diego County. I have to say I think their color scheme puts Metrolink to shame.

We also have included the radio frequencies and mile post numbers so the tape can be used as a railfan guide to the line. I know lot\'s of railfans come to California to see the surf line, but use Disneyland as a cover story. We offer a free six page location guide which gives comments and instructions on how to reach 45 places shown in the video, along with some food recommendations, since most of our railfan friends seem to naturally end up at restaurants close to the tracks. Whether you have three days, or just 3 hours to spend railfanning the area, we\'ve tried to provide useful information for foaming the surf line.

Bob McMillan


VALHALLA VIDEO PRODUCTIONS
1100 Irvine Bl. #325W
Tustin, CA 92780-3534.
Order toll free (888) 843-3698
24 hr. Fax (714) 544-3290
e-mail: valhallavideo@trainweb.com
© 2000 entire site, Valhalla Video Productions.





Date: 01/22/03 17:45
Re: Metrolink to borrow 4 Caltrain cars
Author: MargaretSPfan

surflinerhogger wrote:

> No, these were indeed the silver Caltrain Gallery cars with
> one set of center doors on each side. The California cars had
> not yet even been built. Anyone who remembers the Orange County
> commuter train we ran will verify this. Mundo can testify that
> they were indeed Caltrain Gallery cars. They rode like a boxcar
> at 90 and everyone hated them.

I apologize for the misinformation; Dan was sure that they used the "California cars" back then, but you are right. Yep, they DO ride like empty boxcars! (Weigh about the same.) And "Caltrain-Engr" is SO funny - "unfair to boxcars" - LOL!!



Date: 01/22/03 19:19
Re: SURF LINE COMMUTERS Video
Author: mcdeo

I have this video, I don\'t recall any \'Silver Gallery\' cars. I know about 1/2 through there is the Metrolink train with an Amtrak cab car near Santa Ana. And the ICE train ending segment is neat to see.

Where abouts in the video is the section you\'re talking about? Thanks.



Date: 01/22/03 19:43
Re: SURF LINE COMMUTERS Video
Author: espeeboy

No, those are the Amtrak California cars that used to be in service down south but are now up here on Capitols and San Joaquins. Those were not the CalTrain cars up here running on the Peninsula. The new cars going south are the extra Bombardier cars that Sounder had a surplus of that went to CalTrain in the new Red and gray paint scheme.


See thread below for some info on those new cars...

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?f=4&amp;i=63494&amp;t=63461



Date: 01/24/03 17:17
Correction!
Author: kimura

mcdeo wrote:

> I have this video, I don\'t recall any \'Silver Gallery\' cars.

> Where abouts in the video is the section you\'re talking
> about? Thanks.

Please see my correction on this post:

01-24-03 17:16 Correction: VR Amtrak Surfline Video kimura
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?f=4&amp;i=64527&amp;t=64527



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