new Double Decker DMUs
you know me by now. I took a much-needed vacation to Durango, Col. in
mid-August 2004. I knew I was going to be on the same general side of
the planet as Colorado Railcar's plant, so I arranged to pay a visit
to Ft. Lupton and see what was up. First and foremost on my mind was
getting a sneak preview of the new DMUs under construction for Florida
DOT to test on Tri-Rail. As a bonus, I also photographed Alaska
Railroad's new cars, and the former Marlboro SPA
car, which are covered in the linked pages.
above illustration depicts the new DMU set at Tri-Rail's Ft. Lauderdale
Hollywood International Airport station in Dana Beach, Fla., and gives
good idea (with one key exception that we will cover later on) of what
the finished products will look like. The lead unit is the new double
decker DMU, followed by the unpowered
coach and the original DMU
prototype. The illustration was prepared and generously provided
by Colorado Railcar.
Janaky, Colorado Railcar's VP of Sales, was my guide for this tour.
If there is one person on the planet that could be labeled as the DMU's
biggest fan, I think he would be the guy. It's pretty obvious if you
spend any kind of time at all talking to him that the DMUs are a source
of the pride for the company, starting right at the top. With the prototype
sitting beside the shop to receive a little TLC, Mr. Janaky was more
than happy to pose for a quick portrait.
sold to the FRA and Florida DOT, the car's exterior was temporarily
changed to reflect the project. Prominent RTA logos now adorn her flanks
and nose, along with some other lettering.
As part of it's visit back to Ft. Lupton, the 2002 will receive a new
coat of white and blue paint to match the rest of the Tri-Rail equipment
that it will be running with.
built, CRMX 2002 was designed to be a show-and-tell, everything to everybody
car. Even so, the transformation to a working revenue car has been remarkably
subtle. Since I last saw the 2002, the interior has changed only slightly.
Most obvious is the removal of the carpet in favor of more utilitarian
vinyl flooring. The silver backed "no frills" seating isn't
long for the car either, and is slated to be replaced by more of the
cushier business class seating. Also, the small service bar in the back
half of the cars is being removed to allow for another group of booth
seats. The dome type windows will stay.
used the term "spatial concept" several times, and here's
a good example of what he meant. The proof is in the pudding - or in
this case, a full size mock up of
one entrance, the lower level with windows, stairs, and the upper level
of the double Decker DMU. Before committing it to more expensive sheet
metal, several key measurements needed to be tested. Much more effective
to make mistakes before it takes a welder to fix them.
about your models. This 1:1 scale job was intended mainly to prove one
point: that the headroom would be sufficient at the top of the stairs.
If you think about it, the double deckers are the first cars built by
CRM with straight staircases. The more elegant spiral staircases that
the luxury domes have would be out out place on a car where moving volumes
of people in and out in a hurry is a priority. So the concept had to
Mr. Janaky put it (and I'm paraphrasing) "you can make lines on
paper and have it look good, but nothing beats actually trying it in
three dimensions." In keeping, this mock up was built to exact
specifications (that's the DMU's plans taped to the wall) so people
could come outside and walk up and down it. And if even one change was
made as a result of this test, then it more than paid for itself. And
even if it was perfect the first time around, a little peace of mind
goes a long way.
the shop, we found the top of the double Decker coach on the assembly
jig. This car wasn't quite as far along as the double Decker DMU, so
it was still more or less spread out across the back half of the shop
in several different assemblies. The car's center sill was right next
to the double Decker, but was not photographed.
being an unpowered trailer coach, the car will still the DMU-type roof
fans, etc. to accommodate the air conditioners and other comfort appliances.
After looking at the top of the coach, we headed over to look a the
star attraction, the double decker DMU...
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