No way will it be shut down. GE is the primary supplier of Tier IV compliant locomotives in the US. By primary I mean the vast majority of compliant locomotives are built by GE. The other major builder has only just begun to produce Tier IV compliant locomotives. In the locomotive business in North America there is GE, Progress Rail and a handful of small outfits. GE and Progress Rail account for almost all new locomotives sales in North America.
Whether GE owns the locomotive division going forward or not doesn't matter much. Someone will buy it.
What rename doesn't seem to get is that those of us along the route outside Fort Worth (NRH, Grapevine) aren't interested in paying our share for trains that pass us by.
Yes, I remember the outcries when DART Express Bus #205, 206,208,210,211,278,282,283 and the more publicized MAX (Arlington) routes were implemented and the DART riders telling DART that they aren't interested in paying for a bus that passed them by.
What does this have to with the price of tea in China? I've lived in NRH for the past 15 years. I've never lived in a DART member city. I care about public transit in my area. More to the point, as a citizen, I am paying in part for public transit in my area. This is the first and only route and transit option for NRH. Comparing it to any of the myriad services DART offers is disingenuous. I'm not the one here cherry picking things to get offended by.
Hasn't this express nonsense you're spouting run its course? I don't understand how the extra ten people - which I'm assuming is you and nine others - who would ride a train from downtown to the airport because it's an express train vs. a train you would not ride because it stops along the way (and picks up the people in Northside, Beach, NRH and Grapevine who might also like a ride to the airport at the same time) negate the needs of every other stakeholder along the route. It's been demonstrated upthread not only how much more expensive it is to serve these "elite riders" who would demand an express train but also how negligible the time savings would be that I cannot imagine it would be worth it to everyone getting the bill. How many times a week do you fly out of DFW? Is it always at the same time? If not will you call to get the express train rescheduled for the day?
I'm not the guy who says, "hey, these scraps are all we are going to get, let's not complain," but instead of trying to do better with this system right now, I'll be happy it's done at all in light of the long wait (I remember coming out of the hospital in Grapevine one day to tour the Colorado Railcar DMU that came through in 2003, back when this system was to be up and running a few short years later). I have lived in this particular town and in this particular part of town specifically to utilize this long-promised service when it finally becomes available. I've paid a lot of property and sales taxes along the way knowing this was coming. I'm ecstatic there is real tangible progress being made. Once it gets going and a real need is demonstrated for additional services I'm all for revisiting schedules and frequency. Throwing cold water on the project over a lack of express service is ridiculous, if I'm being kind here. I think it's a silly tangent to the discussion.
By the way, is Courier font supposed to represent sarcasm on this forum?
Posted by Not Sure
on 26 September 2017 - 04:40 PM
What you think it should be and what it really is - is often very different.
haha I know that's right!
I represent the end user, not the engineer! double track double platform - flyover bridge - whatever, I just want to take a non-stop train from the Water Gardens to the Airport!
If you want non-stop, door-to-door services from public transportation, I suggest calling Uber or Yellow cabs.
I couldn't agree more. Those of us along the line between downtown and the airport have no interest in an express. As is it configured with so few stops along the way there will be little difference between an express and the normal run anyway. The express only serves to pass up many of the people the route was designed to serve.
As a locomotive engineer who deals with signaling systems, running on the TRE, through downtown and so on, I agree with what Electricron has said about this express tangent, especially why it is apples and oranges to compare express trains elsewhere with some notion of express trains on the TexRail route.
Posted by Not Sure
on 03 September 2017 - 04:29 PM
I drove down Meacham on the way home yesterday afternoon. It looks like some more work is done on the flyover at FWWR Junction. The bases for all the piers are poured and it looks like at this point only one pier remains to be poured.
Pier construction at Old Denton Road is beginning to take shape:
The rebar-reinforced base of another pier to be constructed can be seen in the lower right of the photo. Another similar base is adjacent to the road. It looks like the pier construction west of Old Denton Road is a step or two behind the east side since none of the above-ground portion of the piers has been poured yet. Construction is progressing very rapidly.
I'm interested in seeing the construction of a similar viaduct at Deen Road. The bridge there will be threaded between and over the Fort Worth & Western's main line, BNSF's Wichita Falls Subdivision main and Union Pacific's Choctaw Subdivision Main One (visible as the closest track in the photo above). It will certainly complicate railroad operations in the area since all these routes are quite busy.
I took some photos of the construction at Janada Street and Old Denton Road.
Janada St. looking SW
Janada St. looking NE
Old Denton Rd. looking NW
Old Denton Rd. looking NE
Old Denton Rd. looking SW
It's difficult to get near enough to the construction to see what's going on, but around Old Denton Road you can see some of the piers have already been drilled and rebar set in place northeast of the intersection while drilling operations are ongoing southwest of the intersection. I'm assuming this is for a viaduct to avoid a crossing of UP Choctaw Main 2 at grade.
Everything Electricron is saying about negotiating with FWWR is consistent with what I've heard. BNSF ran into the same problem when the reroutes for Tower 55 were being planned. Good for FWWR. I hope they get what they want because they'll give up a lot to get it. If the FAA can buy BNSF a new main line, I don't see why FWWR should lay down for the FTA.
I drove by again this morning on my way home from work. Between the low lighting during sunrise, having no place to park and walk around and the flurry of activity in the area I decided against taking photos. In lieu of photos, here's what I observed:
Site grading east of Sylvania and along the southern rail of the existing tracks. There is evidence of recent drainage improvements in the area. This is where the maintenance base will be constructed.
Clearing and grubbing along the southern rail of the existing tracks from west of Beach Street to Glenview Drive.
Utility location throughout the project area. Utility relocation in progress at Tower 18 (Old Denton and Meacham) including raising power lines crossing tracks in this area.
Pier drilling/caisson construction operations east of Old Denton Road along DART/Cotton Belt right-of-way.
The amount of people and equipment involved in this construction project is surprising so early after getting funding. It tells me funding is all they've been waiting for. It's nice to see dirt turning after so long.
The decrease in freight volume is only part of the reason for the slowdown. New emissions regulations played a large part as well. Until recently, GE was the only builder able to meet the Tier IV emissions requirements. So if you wanted to buy a locomotive once Tier IV went into effect you had to buy GE. Now Progress Rail offers a competing Tier IV model.
In the time leading up to Tier IV going into effect, railroads could purchase either the predecessor to the Tier IV locomotive (ES44AC, ES44DC or ES44C4) or the soon-to-be required Tier IV version (ET44C4 or ET44AC). For those railroads electing to take delivery of the Tier IV version, credit was given for future purchases. Since then several of the ES44C4 models have been delivered in 2016 to offset that credit.
All this activity related to emissions amounted to an arms race for several large railroads and kept the GE plant going strong until the orders placed in advance of Tier IV were filled.
I'm curious how the current administration's views on funding the EPA and even the utility of such a regulatory body will play into purchases of compliant locomotives going forward. Previously, though differences between parties on the extent of regulations were up for debate, the idea of regulation was sacrosanct. I don't know if that's the case anymore.
I drove by construction at Tower 18, aka FWWR Crossing. A large pier was being drilled and the rebar cage for the pier lay next to the drill site. I'm assuming this is to avoid a grade crossing of the UP Choctaw Sub. Too early this morning for photos unfortunately.
I don't have a problem with the mayor's comments. I'm glad he's been there championing this cause throughout his tenure as mayor. NRH is topped out on sales tax, so conventional wisdom suggested there was no way to get mass transit here. The mayor helped lead the effort to change that. And here it comes (finally).
Not to drift away from the topic, but those Sanborn links are a serious time sink for me. I spent an hour just going through the north Fort Worth maps. I sent my friend a link to the Dallas maps yesterday and other than a surprise emoji I haven't heard from him. He must be in heaven going through those maps!