In 2002, Colorado Railcar unveiled its revolutionary DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) demonstrator CRMX 2002. To date, this is the first commuter vehicle to meet the stringent FRA 49 CFR Part 238 compression load requirements. In Feb., 2002, the frame of the present demonstrator survived an 800,000 pound load test to meet that standard. This self propeled car is tougher than the average freight locomotive!
DMU was envisioned as an affordable, practical extension of the manufacturer's normal business. One look at the demonstrator unit reveals its obvious development from the single level dome. The otional wraparound windows that are a trademark of the ultradome design are found on the demonstrator, as well as the aero nose option. The interior is layed out to show several different configurations.
Operationally, the DMU is a powerhouse. Powered by twin Detroit Diesel 600hp engines connected to Voith hydrodynamic transmissions, the DMU is extremely powerfull yet surprisingly fuel efficient. In testing, the aero demonstrator averaged two miles per gallon of fuel, and in a recent test conducted by Florida Tri-Rail, the DMU prototype averaged better than a mile per gallon hauling two coaches on a simulated commuter run!
A single power unit is capable of pulling additional coaches, further increasing versatility. Colorado Railcar has developed both single and bilevel tralers for the car, with optional control cabs, and of course, that dome glass if wanted. A double decked DMU power car has been engineered as well. All obviously harken to their excursion service brethren. Since its construction, the well traveled prototype has been on an almost constant tour of the continent to attract future orders.
The production DMU Aero will seat 90, with single level cars seating 96, (or 92 on cars equipped with a cab) and bi-level cars seating 185. DMUs will be available with the aero nose like the demonstrator, or with a more conventional flat nose. All cars are ADA compliant.
Florida Department of Transportation has placed the first order for DMUs from Colorado Railcar! Check the news item dated Jan. 9, 2004 for more information on this three car order. Click here to see a tour of the new cars under construction at the Ft. Lupton plant on Aug. 18, 2004.
Click here to take a photo tour of the inside of the DMU demonstrator, which I caught up with at Portland Union Station in July, 2003.
A complete roster of DMU cars ordered and built can be found on the roster page.