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reecemartin

Stadler FLIRT - New Trains for Trillium Line

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Hi Reecemartin, welcome to the site.

Not sure if you already read it but we have some information about the Stadler FLIRT trains here on the site : https://www.otrainfans.ca/future-fleet/stadler-flirt

Essentially, they have ordered 7 trainsets. Each train will be approximately double the length of the currently operating trains on the Trillium Line. They will enter service when the Trillium Line reopens after the upgrades and expansion sometime in 2021.

The line will be operated with a mixed fleet of the existing Alstom Coradia LINT trains and the new Stadler FLIRT trains. However, the Airport link spur line will be operated with the existing LINT trains as the platforms will need to be shorter.

Beyond the information above I don't have anything else to report at this moment. I'll reach out to the Stage2 team to find out more. Maybe someone else knows more and may add to this below.

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Received a few answers about the FLIRTs from Stage 2.

  • They will continue the tradition of not having bike racks, but will have multi-user areas between each pair of doors.
  • They will be "partially"(?) built in Switzerland and then will probably be assembled in Ottawa.
  • Spec-wise, they will be similar to TEXRail's FLIRTs.

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It will be interesting to see what the interior layout configuration will be for OC Transpo's trains. As I understand, it is possible to pass through the Power Pack. From the images and videos I've seen, it doesn't seem like the Power Pack has actual windows to see out of, which leads me to believe that there isn't any seating, just standing and pass through due to limited space.

The images from TEXRail's train brochure seems to suggest there are washrooms, which from the interior diagram appear to be located at the extremities by the driver's cab, perhaps an explanation why there aren't any windows in that portion in the images. 

On the Ottawa trains, no doubt they will be made inaccessible to passengers. It wouldn't be the first time, as the Bombardier Talents did have washrooms that were closed off from use.

occheetos was sent a link to the brochure of the units TEXRail is getting this year. Attached here TEXRail - Stadler FLIRT.pdf

Keep in mind that the TEXRail unit features only one pair of doors per car, while the OC Transpo trains will have two pairs of doors per car.

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19 minutes ago, Shane said:

It will be interesting to see what the interior layout configuration will be for OC Transpo's trains. As I understand, it is possible to pass through the Power Pack. From the images and videos I've seen, it doesn't seem like the Power Pack has actual windows to see out of, which leads me to believe that there isn't any seating, just standing and pass through due to limited space.

 The images from TEXRail's train brochure seems to suggest there are washrooms, which from the interior diagram appear to be located at the extremities by the driver's cab, perhaps an explanation why there aren't any windows in that portion in the images. 

On the Ottawa trains, no doubt they will be made inaccessible to passengers. It wouldn't be the first time, as the Bombardier Talents did have washrooms that were closed off from use.

occheetos was sent a link to the brochure of the units TEXRail is getting this year. Attached here TEXRail - Stadler FLIRT.pdf

Keep in mind that the TEXRail unit features only one pair of doors per car, while the OC Transpo trains will have two pairs of doors per car.

I doubt they will even have washrooms put in then? The only reason the Talents had them is that they were part of an existing order.

What I would really hope is that we see electrification within a reasonable timeline.

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This time around OC Transpo isn't making an off-the-shelf purchase. These trains will be designed to suit Ottawa's needs (so no bathrooms!) 

What I wish they borrowed from the TEXRail trains are those bike racks!

There are pictures/videos showing the interior of the TEXRail trains and the inside of the power pack is just a narrow, windowless hallway. 

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One thing I'd like to know is how they'll handle all the discrepancies between a FLIRT and a coupled pair of LINTs.

A coupled pair of LINTs only has 4 doors per side, compared to a FLIRT''s 8. The FLIRTs will no doubt have a higher acceleration thanks to their electric drive motors compared to the LINTs. Will yellow bollards also be installed at Trillium Line stations to prevent people from falling in between the two LINT cars? How will platform extenders be handled? (My guess is full platform-length extenders).

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I'm just generally excited to see the FLIRTs operating here, Stadler makes fantastic trains. I really hope we also see some nice LCD screens inside the FLIRTs and future Citadis vehicles akin to what we've seen on other Stadler orders and Edmonton's Valley Line vehicles.
DU0AhLSVQAAMFop.jpg

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I'm interested to see the noise levels, especially due to the fact that the diesel power unit is in the middle, so the sound levels at the ends of the train should be quite low. The acceleration should also be smooth being entirely electric traction.

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They have a diagram showing how the Power Pack is made up with the diesel engines to produce the electrical power for the traction motors. Only 3 years to go before we can ride them.

I found this diagram of the TEXRail FLIRTs. It shows their layout and how the seats are arranged. Not necessarily how it will be for our trains but gives an idea. It also suggests the PowerPack is just a pass through corridor with no seating. It is separated from the passenger cars by sliding glass doors.

Overview_PowerPack.jpg.c55eec9c2c8c7aa795279fb7fa7e0457.jpg

Overview_Measurements.thumb.jpg.7ac7148e243827a58c9b320bf5851c28.jpg

Lots of great information and pictures on the TEXRail website. http://www.texrail.com/about/overview/

 

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I'm wondering what kind of livery they'll go with for the FLIRTs. They could stick with the current Trillium Line scheme but I can also imagine they might go with the new scheme they're using on the Confederation Line. That said, I find the scheme on the Confederation Line to be a little bland and the swoosh is a bit outdated at this point. It'd be cool if they could work the "Red O" into the designs more.

I have a neat idea for a scheme that could look cool on the trains, maybe if I have time I'll try and draw it out and share it.

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Personally, I don't have anything against the Confederation Line train paint scheme but it is a bit less exciting than what's on the buses or even the Trillium Line. To me a solid colour is more appealing even than just white. I would assume they would try to blend in the FLIRT trains with the LINTS to make them consistent. Then again they could do the opposite and have 3 paint schemes for the three types of train in service.

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To project a uniform look , the new trains should have a livery similar if not the same to the LINT trains. Athough as the LINTs will be reduced in numbers on the Trillium Line following the Stage 2 and mostly on the airport spur, they could go with the Confederation Line look.

I do find it interesting if i haven't already said it above that they are getting yet another model of train. Two lines operating three models of train.

Has anyone heard of any reason why they didn't just get more LINTs, and operate them coupled for the main line and as singles for the Airport Spur? The LINTs started service in 2015. Unless the intention is to future proof for electrification. Assuming they keep the trains for around 15-20 years before replacing, you would expect the electrification of the line would happen sooner than 10-15 years from now.

Definitely interesting their choice. I have nothing against either one, just quite curious why not stick with what is currently being used to expand further than operating a mixed fleet. Could also be that they want the trains to have circulation from end to end. The LINTs I believe max out at 3 cars, while the FLIRTS will have 4. In that respect, the cost may be more economical to have a premade 4 car train than 2 two-car trains coupled.

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There is also a new bus paint scheme that will be seen on the new Novabuses coming in a couple months, from what Inhave heard it is similar (ish) the the Confederation Line livery, so I would guess the FLIRTs will be similar as well. I also quite like the LINT paint scheme, as it is a clean solid colour and just suits the train well. I really enjoy riding on the LINTs, very comfortable and a very smooth ride, and will be sad to see them go, except when I will take the train to the airport, of course.

-Charlie

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Just found this video of an operator walking from end to end of a FLIRT train. Note that this one is a EMU electric and not diesel so there is no Power Pack in the middle. But gives an idea of the layout and drivers cabs. Interesting the size of the drivers cab. The access door has some cabinets or whatnot between it and the actual control seating area.

Be sure to watch from the beginning till about 4 minutes. The walkthrough is from about 2:00 to 3:45 ish.

 

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On 9/22/2018 at 9:22 AM, Charlie said:

There is also a new bus paint scheme that will be seen on the new Novabuses coming in a couple months, from what Inhave heard it is similar (ish) the the Confederation Line livery, so I would guess the FLIRTs will be similar as well. I also quite like the LINT paint scheme, as it is a clean solid colour and just suits the train well. I really enjoy riding on the LINTs, very comfortable and a very smooth ride, and will be sad to see them go, except when I will take the train to the airport, of course.

-Charlie

Do we have any images of these new buses?

I for one am a big fan of the new trains, I think the design is a lot nicer than the lints.

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8 hours ago, reecemartin said:

Do we have any images of these new buses?

I for one am a big fan of the new trains, I think the design is a lot nicer than the lints.

No images yet... but we're supposed to be getting them in ..4 months? A little less of a wait than for the FLIRTs!

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Stadler has unveiled the "FLIRT Akku" which is a battery powered version of the FLIRT.

It has a top speed of 140km/h and a range of 80km. It can charge via overhead electrification (in parts of routes that are electrified), via a dedicated power supply at terminal stations (kind of like how the Nova Bus LFSe works I guess?) and through regenerative braking.

https://www.stadlerrail.com/en/meta/news-media/article/stadler-unleashes-flirt/

This seems like it would be perfect for use on the Trillium Line.

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See, the perfect solution for the Trillium Line. No doubt there are potentially a few spots where full electrification would not be possible, so this train could bridge the missing gaps.

For example, the section between Bayview and Mooney's Bay could be electrified, and the section beyond that as it crosses other tracks could rely on the battery. Take this with a grain of salt, I'm not knowledgeable on the areas where electrification would be suitable or possible.

But this train could allow for switching back and forth to allow operation no matter where the overhead cantenary is suitable and where it is not. Great development. Almost certain it is too late for the Stage 2 LRT, but maybe it is possible to later on upgrade the FLIRT powerpack to allow this type of operation. The FLIRTs being ordered are bi-power, meaning they operate on diesel generators that power the electric motors, thereby allowing a conversion later on to full electric operation. When that does come to pass in the future, the FLIRT Akku could help bridge any potential gaps.

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Personally, I think the LINT units NEED to be kept and used to expand the LINE 2 (O-TRAIN vs. O-TRAM) services further afield within the Ottawa - Gatineau area.

Ottawa has lots of abandoned and little-used freight line that are currently in-place and pass through suburban areas that are crying out for a rail service to get commuters into the downtown core. 

  • We've got the old OA&PS line thru Bells Corners and Kanata North;
  • The VIA Rail line to Barr Haven (2 tracks essential!);
  • The M&O Sub could be used to reach into Orleans South (use the hydro easement across Innes Rd to access Trim Road South), via Chapel Hill South;
  • Even the former CPR North Shore route into Hull, and Gatineau;
  • The ex-CPR Prescott Sub will need a LOT of work (2 tracks) to access Riverside South - including a southern alignment to reach Riverview P&R

With the recent Phase 2 contract announcement, Ottawa has missed a golden opportunity to extend the O-TRAIN beyond the LINE 2 limitations and run out to Kanata North, Barr Haven, and Orleans South.  With the co-operation of the City of Gatineau we COULD even take the O-TRAIN across the river to serve Hull and Gatineau.

The LINT DMUs are more than good enough to run all of these 'proposed extensions of service' (on a 15 min frequency).  I'm sure ALSTOM would welcome adding more units into the Ottawa fleet - they have the maintenance capacity at Walkley Road.  The LINT units appear to have held their own in Ottawa service (opinions?) yet these STADLER Flirts are only running in Texas (no winter down there!).  As said in a previous post, Ottawa has acquired another model train.

Keeping the fleet focussed on ALSTOM products simplifies procurement, and maintenance.  The LINT DMUs are no-doubt convertible to OLE power - they operate both diesel and electric models in Europe!

Just my opinion - (feel free to comment)

Jon in Ottawa

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I believe from what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong), several lines that are currently not being used are part of the MOOSE transit proposal (commuter rail) to the outskirts and beyond.

The expansion to Kanata and Barrhaven is part of a future Stage 3 expansion, but as a matter reality, need Stage 2 to get the tracks that far.

I do agree that I am somewhat surprised they are not getting more LINTs instead of the FLIRTs for the Trillium Expansion. While there is no issue with a dual model fleet for the line, training, maintenance and part stores would be easier to maintain with one model in service than two. I guess it comes down to bids and that the FLIRT may be more easily switched to electric power than the LINTs are in their current configuration.

Again please correct me if I got any details wrong. But this is my thinking.

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Just my thought, but I think acquiring 14 Lint 41 vs 7 FLIRT was not only an economical decision, but likely one of timeframes also. Alstom might not have had a proper timeslot to offer OC, and therefore would have delayed launch of Stage 2 further back. Kinda of a similar thing with airlines, you often see predominently Airbus, then they get a bunch of Boeing simply because Airbus couldn't meet their deadline for delivery.

 

EDIT: Also to add to the decision, FLIRT are definitely easier to switch to full-on electric mode compared to the LINT, but also offers better performance in terms of pollution (Tier 4 vs Tier 3). Might also be related to Transport Canada crash test requirements, but I don't know for sure.

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20 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

Might also be related to Transport Canada crash test requirements, but I don't know for sure.

Wasn't really a requirement since the LINTs are allowed to operate anyway, but the FLIRTs do have better crash resistance (they meet the FRA's alternate requirements). 

The FLIRTs also have the advantage of being more configurable over the LINTs. Each side of each car on the FLIRT has 2 doors, whereas the LINT 41 only has 1 door per side per car (and that's a huge bottleneck). Other variations of the LINT like the LINT 54 and LINT 81 offer two doors per side per car, but aren't really configurable to the length the city needs. The LINT 81 may be the right length, but loses out in just about every other category.

Coupling two LINT 41s together also offers far less capacity than a single 4-car FLIRT. I also read that FLIRTs are some of the most reliable trains in existence(?) so that must be pretty nice too.

The City didn't lock themselves down to getting DB-speced DMUs this time so it's probably given them a lot more freedom in configuring the trains for use here (PTC being one of them, I imagine). Overall, I'm sure they'll be some very nice trains.

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