Train Sim World
TSW: The “Baby Bullet!”
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Caltrain’s “Baby Bullet” – MPI’s MP36PH-3C diesel and Bombardier Bi-levels – is coming soon to Train Sim World!
Stylish, powerful, and fast, Caltrain’s popular “Baby Bullet” commuter trains consisting of Motive Power (MPI) MPXpress MP36PH-3C diesels and Bombardier bi-level cab cars and coaches – soon will arrive for service on the TSW Peninsula Corridor: San Francisco-San Jose route!
Caltrain’s Baby Bullets – the name is credited to California State Congresswoman Jackie Speier – began revenue service in June 2004, fulfilling the role of limited-stop expresses on the Caltrain commuter line linking San Jose and San Francisco. From 10 scheduled services on weekdays in 2004, the popular Baby Bullet services have grown to 22 in number, and the trains typically have made four or five intermediate stops over the 47-mile Caltrain route.
To equip its Baby Bullets, Caltrain in 2002-2003 purchased six Motive Power MPXpress MP36PH-3C diesels (Caltrain road numbers 923-928), eight Bombardier bi-level cab cars, and nine bi-Level coaches (trailers). Caltrain’s fleet of Bombardier bi-levels has since grown to 35 cars. Both the cab and trailer car fleets feature multiple configurations with cars equipped exclusively for passenger seating or with a mix of seating and space for passengers’ bikes. The “push-pull” Baby Bullets have typically operated in five- or six-car consists with the locomotive placed on the south end of the train.
If a diesel locomotive can, at once, be both stylish and rather brutish, the MPI MPXpress fits the bill. Packing 3,600-horsepower, the MP36PH-3C stretches to 70-feet in length, stands 15-and-a-half feet tall, weighs in at more than 280,000 pounds – and yet manages a sleek, rather European-style visual panache.
Introduced in 2002 by Motive Power, Inc. (a Wabtec company), the MPXpress line of diesel locomotives largely became the standard-bearer for commuter motive power in North America in the decade that followed. The first MPXpress locomotives, designated the MP36PH-3S, were powered by EMD-derivative 645-series 16-cylinder power plants which supplied power both for traction and, via a static-inventor HEP system, for train requirements.
What would become a popular edition of the MPXpress line of locomotives was born when Caltrain ordered its six MP36PH-3C diesels. Like the first locomotives, the MP36PH-3C employed a 16-cylinder, 3,600-horsepower 645-series power plant to provide traction, but the “-3C” model was equipped with a separate V12 Caterpillar diesel to supply HEP power.
Since its debut on Caltrain, the MP36PH-3C has been put into service by 10 commuter railroads and can be found from coast to coast in the United States. The MP36PH-3C was designed to be compliant with Tier 2 emissions standards, and in 2007 the locomotive was joined in the MPXpress line by the Tier 3, 4,000-horsepower MP40PH-3C which is powered by an EMD-derivative 710-series power plant. Another MPXpress model, the MP32PH-Q, has been constructed using reconditioned EMD 645-series power plants and is rated at 3,200 horsepower. In total, more than 220 MPXpress locomotives are in service across North America. Representing the latest generation of MPI commuter power is the MP54AC, a locomotive based upon the MPXpress design but powered by two Cummins QSK60 Tier 4-compliant diesel engines providing up to 5,400 horsepower.
Train Sim World’s upcoming Baby Bullets will be highly detailed and authentic re-creations of the flashy and colorful red, white, and black train sets serving Caltrain. The locomotives will feature interactive cabs and controls and realistic operations procedures and operating characteristics. Likewise, the Bombardier cab cars feature full and authentic controls and the Bombardier equipment will be provided both in all-passenger and passenger/bike variants.
TSW’s upcoming Baby Bullet Add-On will also feature scenarios and a full range of timetabled service to put the Baby Bullets right to work on the Peninsula Corridor route! – Gary Dolzall
Caltrain’s popular Baby Bullet commuter trains are coming soon to Train Sim World and the TSW Peninsula Corridor: San Francisco route! The Baby Bullets’ flashy and potent Motive Power (MPI) MPXpress MP36PH-3C diesel (above) delivers 3,600 horsepower, stretches 70-feet in length, stands 15-and-a-half feet tall, weighs in at more than 280,000 pounds – and yet manages a sleek, rather European-style visual panache. The upcoming TSW version of the MP36PH-3C will feature highly interactive and authentic cab and controls (below). Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Joining the MP36PH-3C in the upcoming TSW Baby Bullet DLC will be Caltrain’s Bombardier bi-level cab car and coaches (above). As an engineer for the “push-pull” Baby Bullets, you’ll have the chance to operate from the snug confines of the bi-level operating cab (below). Note: Screenshots depict content still in development.
Day or night, the TSW Peninsula Corridor route is always humming with action. Against the magnificent San Francisco skyline, Caltrain MP36PH-3C 924 leads a Baby Bullet southbound (above), while a mix of Baby Bullet and standard Caltrain equipment await the next call at Caltrain’s San Francisco 4th and King Street station (below).
It’s a foggy Bay Area day as a Caltrain Baby Bullet hustles south from San Francisco (above), and a northbound train led by Bombardier bi-level control cab 117 swings past Caltrain’s sprawling Centralized Equipment Maintenance and Operations Facility (CEMOF) in San Jose (below).
Commuters have settled into their seats on the upper deck of a Bombardier bi-level coach (above). The upcoming TSW Caltrain Bombardier equipment will be provided both in all-passenger and passenger/bike variants. With its dramatic styling on full display, a Caltrain MP36PH-3C diesel stands in front of the equally modern San Jose CEMOF (below).
Stylish, powerful, and fast, Caltrain’s popular “Baby Bullet” commuter trains including Motive Power (MPI) MPXpress MP36PH-3C diesels and Bombardier bi-level cab cars and coaches – soon will arrive for service on the TSW Peninsula Corridor: San Francisco-San Jose route!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval. Screenshots taken on Windows PC.
Train Sim World
TSW: The “Baby Bullet!”