Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

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Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby goodnightjohnwayne » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:08 pm

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-13/amtrak-plans-to-replace-all-high-speed-acela-trains

Amtrak Plans to Replace All High-Speed Acela Trains

Amtrak, the U.S. long-distance passenger railroad, said it scrapped plans to buy more passenger cars for its Acela service and instead will replace all 20 trainsets of locomotives and cars for its highest-speed service.

The railroad plans in early 2013 to issue a “request for information” from companies that could supply the equipment, according to a statement released today

Amtrak, the U.S. long-distance passenger railroad, said it scrapped plans to buy more passenger cars for its Acela service and instead will replace all 20 trainsets of locomotives and cars for its highest-speed service.

The railroad plans in early 2013 to issue a “request for information” from companies that could supply the equipment, according to a statement released today
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby afiggatt » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:04 pm

The Amtrak news release can be found here. Chairman Mica is holding a hearing today on the NEC, so this is Boardman's response. One way to liven up a hearing. I'll have to watch the video of it on the C-Span website later.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby D.Carleton » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:46 pm

Let's see here: NRPC tested a couple of options starting in 1993, chose Bombardier's American Flyer in 1996 and finally went into service as Acela in December of 2000. History does not repeat itself but it does ryhme. Maybe Acela II will turn a wheel in service by 2020... if nothing goes wrong.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:53 pm

D.Carleton wrote:Let's see here: NRPC tested a couple of options starting in 1993, chose Bombardier's American Flyer in 1996 and finally went into service as Acela in December of 2000. History does not repeat itself but it does ryhme. Maybe Acela II will turn a wheel in service by 2020... if nothing goes wrong.


I think things will move a bit faster this time around, but I wouldn't hold my breath. :-)
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby D.Carleton » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:20 pm

Greg Moore wrote:
D.Carleton wrote:Let's see here: NRPC tested a couple of options starting in 1993, chose Bombardier's American Flyer in 1996 and finally went into service as Acela in December of 2000. History does not repeat itself but it does ryhme. Maybe Acela II will turn a wheel in service by 2020... if nothing goes wrong.

I think things will move a bit faster this time around, but I wouldn't hold my breath. :-)
That may be optimistic. The first go-round was in the 1990's (and if you can remember the 1990's you weren't really there). With some prodding the powers-that-be found the money to push the wires to Boston and build some fancy new trains. Those days are loooooong gone. How many equipment builders are willing to wade into the quagmire of today's political reality? If anything this process will take longer than the first go-round.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby CarterB » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:29 pm

For starters, who builds the German ICE, the French TGV and Japanese 'bullets"? I'd think they would all be contenders?

The way things are going, probably China as well. Lead paint and all!!
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby M&Eman » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:51 pm

Hopefully Acela 2.0 will have full tilt capabilities for the Shore Line as well as 8-10 cars to adequately meet demand. Hopefully they keep the first generation Acelas around and in service in some capacity.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby Fan Railer » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:02 pm

CarterB wrote:For starters, who builds the German ICE, the French TGV and Japanese 'bullets"? I'd think they would all be contenders?

The way things are going, probably China as well. Lead paint and all!!

Siemens is already building the new locomotives for the NEC. Who else thinks they may have a heads up on Bombardier and Alstom on this one?
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:08 pm

D.Carleton wrote:
Greg Moore wrote:
D.Carleton wrote:Let's see here: NRPC tested a couple of options starting in 1993, chose Bombardier's American Flyer in 1996 and finally went into service as Acela in December of 2000. History does not repeat itself but it does ryhme. Maybe Acela II will turn a wheel in service by 2020... if nothing goes wrong.

I think things will move a bit faster this time around, but I wouldn't hold my breath. :-)
That may be optimistic. The first go-round was in the 1990's (and if you can remember the 1990's you weren't really there). With some prodding the powers-that-be found the money to push the wires to Boston and build some fancy new trains. Those days are loooooong gone. How many equipment builders are willing to wade into the quagmire of today's political reality? If anything this process will take longer than the first go-round.


Oh, I bet someone will bid. We've got folks building new Viewliners and new bilevels.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby 25Hz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:17 pm

It's like someone was reading my mind (or this forum).

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=118027&start=15#p1116826
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby morris&essex4ever » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:13 pm

CarterB wrote:For starters, who builds the German ICE, the French TGV and Japanese 'bullets"? I'd think they would all be contenders?

The way things are going, probably China as well. Lead paint and all!!

Let's hope it's not China.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:58 pm

morris&essex4ever wrote:
CarterB wrote:For starters, who builds the German ICE, the French TGV and Japanese 'bullets"? I'd think they would all be contenders?

The way things are going, probably China as well. Lead paint and all!!

Let's hope it's not China.


These will almost certainly be built with a "Build in America" requirement. So a majority of the work will almost certainly be done in the US.

That said, the paint might come from China.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby Tadman » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:01 pm

Who owns the design to the current Acela - Amtrak or BBD?

If Amtrak owns the current design and has a laundry list of evolutionary changes (IE things that make it slightly lighter, more reliable, faster, or capacious) it shouldn't be a big deal. The Sumitomo bilevels are an evolution of the California car, and they're on a three year time table if I recall correctly.

On the other hand, if Amtrak doesn't own the design or they expect a clean sheet design, it's back to square one and ten years is a good estimate.

Can we please have 8-10 cars, though?

And what's disposition of the MkI Acela? Keystone service? Secondary train (IE regional) service? It would be interesting if they took the best of the power cars and coaches, and created 10-12 8-10-car sets for Regional service.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Replace all 20 Acela Trainsets

Postby The EGE » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:06 pm

Is there anything other than the FRA rules (and possibly different catenary voltages) preventing an off-the-shelf European or Japanese design from being used?

The Acelas would make good Keystone equipment. They'd be a problem for Regionals since many trains go off-wire in Virginia and an engine swap wouldn't be possible.
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Re: Bloomberg: Amtrak to Buy 20 New Acela Trainsets

Postby Tadman » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:51 pm

Platform heights - European platforms are halfway between high and low platforms here, which probably means their floors are below NEC platforms. At that point you've either got to stool up the truck bolsters (bad idea for many reasons) or raise the floor, which is basically a clean sheet design.
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