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VIA Rail

cplchanb

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One study I found in a quick Google scan suggested that underbody drag accounts for perhaps 15% of the total aerodynamic resistance of a high speed train. This compares with up to 30% for a highway trailer - which is why one does see skirts on highway vehicles.

Of the 15%, about half was attributed to the trucks, which is unavoidable especially given that the trucks and suspension have to be designed for function and are impossible to streamline. Merely skirting the underfloor equipment (which again has to be built for function) is not a satisfactory solution to the problem because the flat front-facing and rear-facing surfaces of HVAC units, retention tanks, and brake gear are not addressed.

So while the Brightline may look nicer, I doubt there are big energy gains, particularly at the less than high speed velocities that VIA runs at on shared trackage.

Interestingly, a much higher amount of drag can be reduced by using full-width diaphragms that cover the gaps between coaches. And the front and rear end shaping is paramount, at least according to this author.

- Paul
interesting. can you share the link for our perusal?
 

roger1818

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One study I found in a quick Google scan suggested that underbody drag accounts for perhaps 15% of the total aerodynamic resistance of a high speed train. This compares with up to 30% for a highway trailer - which is why one does see skirts on highway vehicles.

Of the 15%, about half was attributed to the trucks, which is unavoidable especially given that the trucks and suspension have to be designed for function and are impossible to streamline. Merely skirting the underfloor equipment (which again has to be built for function) is not a satisfactory solution to the problem because the flat front-facing and rear-facing surfaces of HVAC units, retention tanks, and brake gear are not addressed.

So while the Brightline may look nicer, I doubt there are big energy gains, particularly at the less than high speed velocities that VIA runs at on shared trackage.

Interestingly, a much higher amount of drag can be reduced by using full-width diaphragms that cover the gaps between coaches. And the front and rear end shaping is paramount, at least according to this author.

- Paul

That is exactly what I was thinking. If you look at a typical truck trailer, there is a large, wide open space in front of the wheels and each axle has 4, large tires, meaning there is lots of space for air to get back under the truck and stabilize before being hit by a large wall, which is the leading tires and axle.

By contrast, the wheels on a passenger train are much smaller and the undercarriage is filled with a bunch of stuff (air cylinders, HVAC units, etc) giving the air less space to stabilize.


truck_types_dry_trailer_image.jpg
 

crs1026

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That is exactly what I was thinking. If you look at a typical truck trailer, there is a large, wide open space in front of the wheels and each axle has 4, large tires, meaning there is lots of space for air to get back under the truck and stabilize before being hit by a large wall, which is the leading tires and axle.

By contrast, the wheels on a passenger train are much smaller and the undercarriage is filled with a bunch of stuff (air cylinders, HVAC units, etc) giving the air less space to stabilize.
The stuff I read seemed to suggest (there is a lot of math that’s way over my head) that under car air flow is a concern both for drag and also for noise. Skirts that deflect air away from the trucks do help, but these would look more like snowplow blades (Think of an old-school flanger car) and not longitudinal skirts.

Undersides of railway cars have so many nooks and crannies - that’s an aerodynamic disaster. But as noted, enclosing everything in fairings is impractical, and lengthwise fairings don’t help.

- Paul

PS - Now I’m thinking of the existing LRC trains with an F40 at either end. That mismatch of roof heights must be an aerodynamic fail ….. not that an F40 is all that sleek to begin with. The original LRC locos probably were a lot better for air flow… but two 18-251 prime movers was never a recipe for fuel conservation ;-)
 

kEiThZ

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PS - Now I’m thinking of the existing LRC trains with an F40 at either end. That mismatch of roof heights must be an aerodynamic fail ….. not that an F40 is all that sleek to begin with. The original LRC locos probably were a lot better for air flow… but two 18-251 prime movers was never a recipe for fuel conservation ;-)

Among many reasons why the improvement in fuel efficiency is going to be spectacular with the new fleet.
 

cplchanb

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i wonder if in this case with the ventures they can fit an external diaphragm over the existing one to seal off the gaps between cars. If what is reported in that study is true this could help a lot in the long run.
 

cplchanb

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Is there any interior shots of inside the first trainsets or more photos in general? Anyone know when testing will commence?
 

roger1818

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Is there any interior shots of inside the first trainsets or more photos in general? Anyone know when testing will commence?

Most of the pictures I have seen look to be high quality renderings; however, The Roaming Railfan got to tour BrightRed II (shipped last week), which seems very similar to VIA's renderings.


It is the second part in a series about his tour of Siemens's factory in Florin, CA. In part 1 you can see some of VIA's order under construction.

 

EnviroTO

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You will also note that consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution participate have redacted and protected...
So the minutes of all the meetings, where they talked about what the plan is, are excluded. While 212 pages may seem like a lot, I'm curious to see what that will be. I could probably find 212 pages on "why HFR" and not get to anything about an implementation plan. Hopefully something substantive is found, but I'm curious what stage of the project they are really at, especially on the routing. However, routing options are normally presented at an environmental assessment first round meeting so we aren't there yet.
 

trebello

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Great to see they're commited to a full return to service!

I wonder if the full service on The Canadian includes those additional Edmonton-Vancouver trips (were those train 3 and 4?). I was trying to figure out what days service would be between Vancouver and Jasper for next summer and the additional Canadian departues don't seem to show up (and the new website doesn't have the PDF schedules that indicated what days the additional service ran).
 

Urban Sky

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Great to see they're commited to a full return to service!

I wonder if the full service on The Canadian includes those additional Edmonton-Vancouver trips (were those train 3 and 4?). I was trying to figure out what days service would be between Vancouver and Jasper for next summer and the additional Canadian departues don't seem to show up (and the new website doesn't have the PDF schedules that indicated what days the additional service ran).

This is the last pre-Covid schedule (Train 4 left VCVR on Tuesdays, Train 3 Edmonton at 00:01 on Fridays):
 

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