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DMU and Commuter Options

Florida's New DMUs part 2

The double decker DMU was much further along in the construction process, at least to the point of actually looking like a railcar. This view is from the business end. The cab will be on the lower level, hence the windows on the sides and ends. Although not shown in this photo, smaller windows were also added to the side of the upper level.

The car was being prepped also for its 800,000 lb buff load test, which was performed successfully under FRA supervision about a week after these photos were taken.

Too bad for the tough exposure, because the open doors to the left revealed the nose of the single level DMU prototype. Given proper time and a tripod, I might have done better, but I was trying to keep out of everybody's way and not take up too much of my host's time. (When the VP of the company halts his busy day to cart you around for a spell, you don't dally around.) One thing I did note is that it seemed much darker inside than it was when I toured the plant last November.

One feature of note was the lack of windows in the upstairs front. Though shown in double Decker DMU concept illustrations, the windows were left off per the purchaser's request. According to the illustration on the first page, a rather sizable RTA logo will occupy the slanted section instead.

Looking at the back side of the car. Per Tri-Rail's order, the DMU and coach will both feature dual entrances, more akin to the Bombardier coaches that they will be working around.

A closer look at the stairwell and 52 inch wide ADA-compliant doorway at the rear of the car. When completed, the entry will have dual sliding doors similar to those applied to the 2002. (Seen best in this view while the 2002 was in Vancouver, BC)

The major feature of the DMU that differs from the illustration is best shown here in this upstairs view looking from the back toward the front of the car. While Florida DOT's specifications didn't call for the curved glass dome window option featured on the prototype, they did request larger windows with a slight curve in them. This will be unique application for CRM, and is another great illustration of the company's "you asked for it, you got it" attitude. The coach will have the same windows.

Specs call for this car to seat 114 passengers upstairs, and 74 downstairs, for a total of 188. The coach will seat 118 upstairs and 82 down, providing for 200 passengers. It will also have storage racks for bikes and luggage.

Quality control is very important. As a result, every weld on every car is double checked by a supervisor, as seen here on a brace in the cab section of the car. Note the thick layered collision posts on the corner and the opening for the diaphragm.

One final look at the lower level, looking back from the cab area. Plans call for an ADA restroom on this side of the left staircase, with ADA seating across from the stairs. On this car, the entire floor is at the same level, where the unpowered trailer will have a low floor entrance and center section with short steps up to the end sections. This isn't possible with the powered DMU because the motor and transmission sets are mounted under the floor inline with the trucks.

It's obvious that the new DMUs are being carefully thought out. This is a critical time for Colorado Railcar's effort. A lot of time and money has been spent developing the concept, producing it, and presenting it to the various agencies and the public. Now, we'll get a very detailed look at the DMU's grace under fire. If the performance of the prototype in Florida is any indication, there will be plenty to celebrate. Already, it seems that interest is high from agencies all over the country. This historic set could very well be the first in a wave of orders over the next several years.

I hope that you have enjoyed this up close and personal tour through Colorado Railcar's new double Decker DMUs. I hope that some of you get the chance to try these out in person either in Florida or in other locations where they are ordered and put into service.

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