Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Triaxle » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:12 am

ApproachMedium wrote:I think they are smart enough to know the beating they are receiving and they are begging for mercy.


This may be a groan-inducing question, but how can running on rails constitute a 'beating'? They are industrial equipment, designed to run at rated loads all day, every day until some service interval, right? It's not like you can take them off-roading, over-rev the engines or hook up a trailer which the transmission wasn't designed to handle. Heat and cold are known conditions, we're hardly the world's worst (check out the video of a gas pump hose freezing in Siberia). Regarding heat, Libya is known to top 125 degrees. Obviously I have no direct experience with railroading, but from my limited knowledge of industrial equipment is that it's rated for a duty cycle ranging from occasional use to 24/7.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:30 am

I think it has more to do with the less-tangible features of our operating environment. The electric power is dirtier, the track is worse, and the maintenance regimen is not nearly as rigorous as the European environment these were designed for.

I'm not a fan of buying anything from Russia or China, but both have fully developed electric locomotive lines that are designed for similar conditions. Strictly from a technological standpoint, it might make sense. I'm not sure if either nation is ready for prime time in railroad equipment export, I know the Argentine purchases of Chinese equipment have been less-than-stellar and the Chinese maintenance mentality is more like a prewar US mentality. Big back shops make everything. Also, it's politically untenable.

So we're back to square one. I think the real solution is to upgrade the power on the NEC, but that's a tall order.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:23 pm

Triaxle wrote:This may be a groan-inducing question, but how can running on rails constitute a 'beating'?


The previous consensus has been that multiple conditions on the NEC are much rougher than what the components are built to tolerate. This includes both mechanical and electrical.

The understanding is that European rail networks are maintained to much higher standards (more precise tolerances on rails/switches, tighter control of power conditions etc). Siemens components are designed for operation on rail networks that operate at these tolerances.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:06 pm

gokeefe wrote: Siemens components are designed for operation on rail networks that operate at these tolerances.


Good point, will be interesting to see if their new coaches hold up. Obviously a lot lower impact because rolling stock versus locomotive, but still worth paying attention to. If it's got those euro-style doors, will they freeze up easier?
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:46 pm

Maybe and maybe not. I would imagine that Siemens has made some adjustments to their equipment based on Amtrak specifications. Unfortunately these don't seem to be sufficient with the ACS-64.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Tadman » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:38 am

It’s also worth taking all this with a grain of salt. The MP36 at Metra had a horrible rep on forums like this, and it’s still rolling 16 years later despite online predictions they would be soon removed in disgrace.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby 8th Notch » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:59 pm

I don’t think anyone is implying that they will live a short life in this case, rather that things are going wrong that shouldn’t be at this stage of the game. This is more on Amtrak for lack of maintenance vs build quality (minus some of the cab defects that are already present.)
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ryanov » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:40 am

The ride all over Amtrak is bad. Next time you're on the NEC and moving at a fairly high speed (110+), just pay attention to how smooth the ride is. Constant shudders, little shoves left and right, etc. There are railroads worldwide that are a lot more like glass between switches. The ride here isn't terrible absolutely everyplace, but it's irritating enough that typing for long periods while traveling is tedious.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby typesix » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:40 pm

If you're riding Amfleet, the constant shudders are normal on any track.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:08 am

I'm in agreement with Ryanov, the NEC tracks are definitely not up to the standards of DB or SNCF.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ryanov » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:28 am

I've never ridden on either, but I've been on both JR on Trenitalia. Hell, I've been on WMATA (though obviously the speeds are much lower), and the track is smoother there. Obviously also much newer, and I think lots of it is direct attached.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:31 pm

Over here, In addition to interlockings which make their presence felt, there seems to be noticeable lateral movement when crossing over, even on No. 20 crossovers. On my first trip in a TGV from Paris to Lyon and back I was quite surprised to note on the return trip, observing the opposing track, that there were universal crossovers every 5 to 10 miles (hard to tell at TGV speeds) which I neither saw nor felt on the trip down because my seat was on the left side.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby SRich » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:01 pm

ExCon90 wrote:Over here, In addition to interlockings which make their presence felt, there seems to be noticeable lateral movement when crossing over, even on No. 20 crossovers. On my first trip in a TGV from Paris to Lyon and back I was quite surprised to note on the return trip, observing the opposing track, that there were universal crossovers every 5 to 10 miles (hard to tell at TGV speeds) which I neither saw nor felt on the trip down because my seat was on the left side.

That’s normal on dedicated high speed tracks. Even on brightline, China, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium al those high speed tracks have special requirements and small tolerances. The NEC should have it to with speeds above 200 kph/125 mph.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby rcthompson04 » Mon May 06, 2019 8:51 pm

8th Notch wrote:I don’t think anyone is implying that they will live a short life in this case, rather that things are going wrong that shouldn’t be at this stage of the game. This is more on Amtrak for lack of maintenance vs build quality (minus some of the cab defects that are already present.)


It will be interesting to see Howe SEPTA does with these locomotives? Definitely a different tempo and service model though.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Backshophoss » Tue May 07, 2019 1:00 am

SEPTA is trying to run a "all day" push-pull Comet set with mixed results,Due more to the beat up Comet cars,the OTP is not great,
also the Ex-RDG wire is at 11kv 25hz,a hair weaker than Amtrak's 13kv 25hz on the Ex-PRR wire.
Better details on the SEPTA board. :wink:
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