Do The SkyTrain MK.3 Cars Have A Fatal Flaw?

Really. No, really, can’t TransLink come up with a better excuse than a “high tech glitch” for the recent embarrassing problems with the brand new MK.3 cars?

Evidently not.

Mk.3 cars high tech? No.

What the Mk.3 car is a new universal body shell to fit all of Bombardier’s ‘rail’ light-metros or other like light-metros that are in operation today.

The only real difference with a MK.3 car and a Mk.2 car, other than fewer seats, is that the light metro line now has coaches or cars that are gangwayed at both ends. Nothing high tech about that as railways have been doing that for over 100 years.

What the problem could be is that the new body shells are too heavy for the LIM’s and with heavier trains, the LIM’s overheat.

According to a letter, written to the late Des Turner, from the UK Professor Eric Laithwaite (who won a gold medal for his work on Linear Induction Motors) in the 1980′s , ALRT SkyTrian’s LIM’s were the wrong sort, as they were attractive LIM’s and not the more efficient repulsive LIM’s.

Professor Laithwaite

Being “attractive LIM’s” it was essential to maintain the almost impossible to maintain 1 cm air-gap between the LIM and the reaction rail. If not, the LIM would consume more power and generate more heat than it was designed for.

The LIM patents used by the UTDC on their ICTS/ALRT proprietary railway came from the Krause Maeffi MAGLEV which was once demonstrated at Toronto’s CNE and had a notorious reputation for not being able to operate on anything but a straight track.

The Krause Maeffi MAGLEV

From the start, SkyTrain’s LIM’s caused overheating problems and fans were added to cool the motors, which in turn cause problems in snowy weather where the fans blew we snow on the LIM’s causing short circuits.

The MK.2 cars or Bombardier’s ART cars used bigger LIM’s, to counter the problems of the heavier cars, which caused problems but most problems were “kept in trade” with but with TransLink replacing LIM’s at a high rate, which in turn drove up operating costs.

So, based on an educated guess, the new MK.3 cars are too heavy for the LIM’s; the LIM’s overheat; and the car stops. That is not a high tech problem, rather a production problem and it could be that the MK.3 cars have a fatal flaw for operation on LIM powered railways.

New Mark III SkyTrains so high-tech theyai??i??re glitching up

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News. Vancouver’s Talk
New Mark III SkyTrains so high-tech they're glitching up

Posted: October 25, 2016

It was a ai???cooling fanai??i?? issue that sidelined one of the new SkyTrain cars during this morningai??i??s rush hour, causing commuter gridlock for a brief time, mainly at the Surrey stations.

The President and CEO of the BC Rapid Transit Company, which is responsible for the SkyTrain lines, says the new Mark III trains which were recently added to the system are so technically advanced theyai??i??re highly sensitive.

That increased sensitivity is whatai??i??s causing them to shut down when they detect what they see as a problem on the tracks.

Vivienne King says engineers are now working to re-calibrate the computers.

ai???What Iai??i??m doing is working with my engineers and because of this sensitivity of the calibration with the computers Iai??i??m going to put more techsAi??around the system so that when these things do happen we can get in quickly, we can correct it, we can learn and start to adjust this calibration.ai???

She adds that glitches are bound to arise as the new technology is pressed into service.

ai???New trains will have bugs in them no matter how much we work and we test and we re-test. Ai??Iai??i??ve commissioned a number of trains in my career and you will get those things happening in the beginning of running them.ai???

King will also be looking into how TransLink communicated the delays with commuters.

READ MORE:Ai??SkyTrain delays as another Mark III train fails

This morningai??i??s disruption is at least the third time one of the new Mark III trains has failed.

Yesterday, another Mark III went down, due to a power surge.

And back in September, one was sidelined after losing power.

Seven of the new Mark III cars have been budgeted at $91 million, with 28 in total expected over the next three years.

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