WALLY group eyes diesel option

From The Livingston Daily Press & Argus:

usrailcarrenderingDiesel multiple-unit rail cars, or DMUs, have been suggested as an alternative to Washtenaw and Livingston Line rail cars, said Michael Benham, strategic planner for the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, which oversees the WALLY commuter train project.

Benham said DMUs can be less costly to operate, although the cost of having personnel to run them could dash any savings. Only a few diesel rail cars have been approved for use by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The self-propelled, diesel-fueled cars are most common in Europe, Benham said.

“It’s out there as a possibility,” he said, but, “you can’t just put anything on the tracks.”

“As a planner, we need to know about these things. We need to be aware these technologies are out there,” Benham added.

DMUs produce 72 percent less pollution and 75 percent less noise than traditional rail cars and save on purchase and operating costs, according to the FRA’s website.

WALLY, first proposed in 2006, would create a commuter rail line between Howell and Ann Arbor on existing rail.

Source: http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20140609/NEWS01/306090014/WALLY-group-eyes-diesel-option