Toronto Union Pearson Express | ?m | ?s | Metrolinx | MMM Group Limited

^ what's the advantage of having a hydraulic gear box instead of a mechanical one, like UP Express has? Is this an upgrade the UP Express trainsets should get?
 
^ what's the advantage of having a hydraulic gear box instead of a mechanical one, like UP Express has? Is this an upgrade the UP Express trainsets should get?

I'm not a locomotive engineer by any means, but I believe hydraulic has a smoother ride and less wear and tear over time. If you've ever ridden the UPX you can feel and hear it changing gears. It is basically a railbus.

However hydraulic is a less efficient transfer of power, meaning some energy is lost in the conversion.

Just like a torque converter on an automatic transmission vs a manual in a car.
 
I believe they dont have a mechanical gear box on their version of the trains, but hydraulic instead. Some of the issues with the UPX trains were with the gearbox, so they shouldn't have similar problems to this. Engine problems probably fixed, but the hydraulic system is new to this fleet and so they dont have the data off the UPX to know of potential issues.

Not hydraulic - hydrostatic. I've been led to believe that they've stuck with the original spec of a Voith 3-speed gearbox, rather that the ZF 6-speed unit that UPX went with.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 
Re; Yesterdays UP service disruption

I'm shocked that news of this event hasn't been disseminated in the news. It was an extremely dangerous incident that could've potentially resulted in a fatality had the separation occurred while a passenger or employee been walking between the coaches at the moment of the separation.

The train lost brake pipe continuity for an unknown reason and went into an emergency stop on their final approach to Union(16:23 arrival) after having cleared Bathurst street on the B track(the mainline track directly adjacent to Bathurst yard). They were stopped there for over half an hour while the crew & shop attempted to troubleshoot the issue. Eventually a separated hose bag(connecting the air brakes between the cars) was identified as the cause and reconnected, little did they realize the true extent of the problem because luckily the drawbar was still in place. It was only when the train attempted to move again that all involved realized the gravity of the issue when the drawbar connecting the two coaches fell out and the train went into an emergency stop again due to the separated hose bags. This separation mostly likely occurred earlier while the train was negotiated the series of turnouts/switches entering in the west end of the USRC from the Weston sub while it was move through them at speeds up to 45 mph, then reducing to 30 mph when approaching the the B track. When the drawbar separated the coaches must have separated from themselves at least a small distance in order for the hose bag to separate. Again, if someone was walking in between the coaches at that very moment they could have fallen into the gap and been killed.

This is a serious event and I would be shocked if the Transportation Safety Board does not initiate an investigation into the matter. The UP service should have been shut down in it's entirety after it was ascertained that a drawbar had failed. While it's extremely unlikely a similar event could have happened on another train on the same day they clearly have no idea about the condition of any drawbars on the equipment in service. The GTCC was extremely narrow minded in their approach to dealing with the incident and only concerned about delays to this train and the service. The entire fleet should be immediately inspected to see if any more drawbars are on the verge of having a similar catastrophic failure. For Metrolinx to stand idly by and look at this as a one time event is incompetence to the 9th degree on their part.
 
Starting two hours ago, it seems they've having problems again.

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The problems last night were due to pulling the equipment out of service for inspections, likely in response to the incident on Wednesday night.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 
This separation mostly likely occurred earlier while the train was negotiated the series ofturnouts/switches entering in the west end of the USRC from the Weston sub while it was move through them at speeds up to 45 mph, then reducing to 30 mph when approaching the the B track. When the drawbar separated the coaches must have separated from themselves at least a small distance in order for the hose bag toseparate. Again, if someone was walking in between the coaches at that very momentthey could have fallen into the gap and been killed.

Thanks for the explanation. Just so I understand what happened, somehow at Weston the drawbar "separated" from the coaches. In other words it was still physically there but not affixed to the body of the coach or did the two couplers uncouple? Is the drawbar the same as the coupler?

So what was keeping the two coaches together? Basically just the airhose between the coaches? Where is the hose bag? If the train has been going to the airport, would the upward slope of the spur potentially out more strees on the air hose and caused the coaches to separate? Is the dome/fabric mesh/gangway material that surrounds where people pass between the coaches attached or does it just run up against the other one?

Tried to find some images to help illustration the terms. Apologies if I'm misunderstanding.

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The 'drawbar' is the long part of the coupler (the brown item in the drawing, number 28 in the drawing below) that extends into the carbody. The drawbar and the 'knuckle' together make up the 'coupler'. The drawbar has some pins and stuff holding it into the "drawbar pocket" which is a cavity in the end of the carbody. The drawbar extends a couple feet or more into the carbody, so yes if the thing came loose, it could allow the cars to separate creating a significant gap between the cars, and then slide neatly back together again when the brakes applied - without the defect being immediately apparent when the cars stopped. Kind of like dislocating your shoulder and then the bone popping back into the socket. As @vegeta indicates, for the time that the cars were apart, there would be a gap in the walkway between the cars. The UPE cars have freestanding diaphragms around the walkway, but (unlike, say, TTC subway cars) there is no physical connection between cars that would hold them together. (that is, after all, what the coupler is for!)

There are also MU cables between the cars. If these separated - which would take a somewhat greater separation distance - one would expect the field forces to more immediately suspect a drawbar defect. If these were intact and the cars slid back together as they stopped, there would not be a 'smoking gun' to observe.

Drawbars tend to be pretty standard components, built to industry templates. I would be surprised if the drawbars for the UPE cars are some specialty design. More likely the designer chose a standard mass produced drawbar and drawbar pocket from the available ARR templates.

That means the potential causes of failure may be a defective part - a true one-of occurrence, since these are built by the thousands - or the drawbar and fittings remaining intact but breaking off from the railcar - which might imply a manufacturing defect, bad weld, or bad design. ML knows (and we don't) which of these was the case.

In any event, while drawbar separations are commonplace in freight trains, which have much greater masses and tractive forces and draft forces trying to pull cars apart. it's pretty difficult for passenger railcars like UPE vehicles to generate enough force to do that, so this is indeed a disturbing event.

- Paul



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Drawbars tend to be pretty standard components, built to industry templates. I would be surprised if the drawbars for the UPE cars are some specialty design. More likely the designer chose a standard mass produced drawbar and drawbar pocket from the available ARR templates.

- Paul

Drawbars for passenger equipment are generally built specifically for that particular piece or design of equipment. Knuckles, on the other hand, are highly-standardized.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 
The part which failed appears to be item 110 in the diagram provided by Paul. It looks to be some kind of large pin which connects the drawbar to the drawer assembly which would allow the train to negotiate curves in the track. I wonder how exactly this part failed? I haven't heard anything on my end perhaps spy would know more.
 
The part which failed appears to be item 110 in the diagram provided by Paul. It looks to be some kind of large pin which connects the drawbar to the drawer assembly which would allow the train to negotiate curves in the track. I wonder how exactly this part failed? I haven't heard anything on my end perhaps spy would know more.

From what I recall of the undersides of the units, it looked like it was built as a long bolt that ran through the shank, with the head of the bolt on the bottom. I wonder if the retaining system wasn't reinstalled to spec, and it simply worked its way loose and eventually out.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 
About bloody time that the expropriation went forward. From the standpoint of the TTC also good to have a second exit in the subway station for fire safety.
 

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