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Author Topic: Vehicle obsolescence  (Read 2849 times)

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Offline ӔO

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Vehicle obsolescence
« on: August 12, 2013, 10:02:35 PM »
Should not vehicles obsolete themselves earlier than what they are presently?

It is my understanding that, in general, locomotives and rolling stock have a 20 year life span, at which point they are considered old. After 30 years, they may be considered for replacement and at 40 years, they would only be used if there was nothing else that could be used.

Some cheaper trains, like pacer series, would have an even earlier obsolescence, as their maximum usage age was originally intended to be 20 years.


As a general rule, should this not be better?
Buses and Trucks: 10 years
Trains and Trams: 20 years
Airplanes: 15 years
Ships: 20 years


Basis for those numbers
- Buses and trucks have around 15 years maximum life. After 10 years, they normally require more maintenance.
- Trains and Trams have anywhere from 15 years to 40 years depending on build quality. Well built rolling stock are normally refurbished/overhauled after 20 years, then again at 30 years.
- Airplanes have a good 12 to 20 years, with 40 to 50 years being an absolute limit. Absolute life is determined by flight cycles, so long distance airplanes will last longer than commuter airplanes that make frequent hops.
- Ships have anywhere from 25 to 30 years of life before they may need to be scrapped.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 11:04:08 PM »
Thank you for your observations. May I ask: where did the figures come from? I should note that the concept of obsolescence is to some extent under review: since the thing that causes the increase of maintenance is usually wear, there is much to be said for moving to a model in which mileage is tracked and increases in maintenance determined based on that. See here for the full discussion of this.

I had not considered the issue of flight cycles versus mileage for aircraft: for most other vehicles, of course, it is mileage that counts, so longer distance vehicles become worn out sooner than shorter distance vehicles, which seems to be the opposite than for aircraft.

Whether to retain obsolescence to represent the increase in cost caused by lack of availability of spares needs to be considered in light of the proposal for inflation also set out in the post to which I refer.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 11:50:09 PM »
For road vehicles, trains like the pacer, which use bus parts, have a designed maximum life of 20 years.
Military trucks are designed to last 20 years as well.
I think it should be safe to guess commercial grade equipment is designed for less than 20 year life span, with 15 years being more likely. After 10 years, some might be retired for spare parts.

For rail vehicles, which are better documented, this number can vary greatly.
I know that in japan, trains from the 1950's to 1970's were designed to last at least 20 years, with some trains still being in service for even longer after receiving life extension refurbishments.
In the UK, class 47 and 50 were well obsolete and in need of replacement by the time class 158/159 were being delivered.

Airplanes are also well documented. Air Aloha 243, a boeing 737-200 built in 1969, which ran frequent short hops, had failed after 19 years of use, well before it's theoretical 30 to 40 year life span.
http://www.planespotters.net/Production_List/Boeing/737/20209,N73711-Aloha-Airlines.php

for ships, I am hoping wiki is correct.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_ship
Although, there have certainly been passenger ships, such as RMS QE2, which have been in service for nearly 40 years. (1969-2008)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 11:55:21 PM by ӔO »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 11:59:39 PM »
Hmm - the trouble is that there is great variation. The HST (BR Class 253/254, later renamed class 43) was built from the late 1970s onwards, and is still in front-line service, 36 or so years later, and there are no immediate plans to retire it, albeit the power cars had their engines replaced in 2007. There are trains running on the Isle of Wight that were built for the London Underground as long ago as 1938, albeit that is an unusual case. Last year, Underground trains built in 1960 were finally replaced (the A stock), and other Underground trains dating from 1971 are still running on the Bakerloo line and are not due for replacement for another four years or so.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 12:37:19 AM »
HSTs are old - but nowhere near as old as the Class 20 and 37 locomotives that are still in service on goods trains in the UK (up to 55 years old in some cases). It's worth keeping in mind that HSTs are planned to be replaced by 2020 or so with IEP. Also of similar vintage to HSTs are the 1970s EMUs (class 313 et al) which are also in everday passenger service in many places across the country. Unlike the HSTS however these are planned to be used long after 2020 - indeed some will be refurbished to run the electric Welsh Valley services when they start in that year at which point they will be over 40 years so a lifetime of 50 years would probably be expected for these at least.

When you talk about the class 47 being obsolete in 1990 - well for some uses yes but there are still some in use on the network 20 years later (mainly for maintenance or special trains it has to be said....)

In general in the UK there is a divide in multiple units around 1975 - before then, even if only marginally so is counted as old - after then as new because of the introduction of sliding doors. Hence to the casual observer and unit from 1975 onwards, as long as it's been fitted with a modern interior and passenger information services isn't that distinguishable from brand new stock. Air conditioning is the only real sign that stock has been made after 1995 or so - before then only long distance had it.

That's before we start talking about Special Trains, preserved railways and so on.


Buses have much shorter lifetimes it has to be said! A bus from the 1990s is quite clearly seen as being old - one from the 1960s or 1970s would only be seen in a preservation context.

Boats - well they can have lifetimes of at least 40 years (not just liners - I live in a town with a port and some of the ferries are that old and in use every day).

Offline Junna

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 05:11:12 AM »
The Swedish class Ma electric goods locomotive remained in regular use until earlier this year, when they were withdrawn after consistent service since 1953. Provided a unit is of good reliability, service can continue for a very long time. Many early french electric units from the 1920's remained in semi-regular service until the 1980's (albeit as shunters and extras, but still). The Ma were withdrawn not because of their problematic reliability, but because they were simply regarded as old, and newer locomotives were available in abundance. Admittedly, the new replacements are of... less than satisfactory reliability.

Offline greenling

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 05:13:52 PM »
Hello All
The Class 59 & 66 in Pak128.Britain now self a obsolescence type, they are not more new buyable on the market.
And The Class 77 they was develops from the class 66 it now self a obsolescence vehicle.
The EU have take a new rule of smokelimit for diesel engines.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 05:22:15 PM »
Greenling - there is a difference here between the retirement date - the date on which a vehicle can no longer be bought - and the obsolescence date: the date on which its maintenance cost starts to rise.

Offline Ves

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Re: Vehicle obsolescence
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 05:48:11 PM »
May I throw a coin into this? :)
In Sweden, we have railcars from the sixties and even some from the forties (!!) running in regular traffic today. They are in many ways not the same cars as when they where built. They have been through many rebuilds and refurbishments, repainting, and some have even changed role in the traffic, for instance becoming a sleep wagon. Because of good steel and engineering, those cars are still valuable!

The way I would go, is to track those major 'upgrades' to the cars, and simply use the "upgrade"-function in the depot to force the player to make the choice, either to upgrade the car (with new seats, 20-year-maintenance, another function or whatever the real-world-cars was through) or to let the car become obsolete in its existing existence.
This would require the pakset-maintainer to create copy's of the same wagon but with different build- and retire-dates and with the text: only_aviable_as_upgrade=1 in the dat file to the copy's.

In this way, one can have many old vehicles, without any of them being obsolete. Exactly as it appears in the real world :)