Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby electricron » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:35 pm

east point wrote:If the Hippos can be rebuilt to operate at the specs of ACS-64s that would be a plus for MARC. MARC locals need the extra acceleration to operate on Amtrak's Penn line that unfortunately is mainly 2 and 3 main tracks. If an Amtrak train is late on the timetable MARC trains get held at WASH, Baltimore, Perryville until the faster Amtrak gets in front. At present there are anywhere from 1 to 4 weekday MARC trains a day held for an Amtrak train to get in front.

It’s a Hobson’s choice! Buy faster locomotives to get out of Amrak’s way, or add additional tracks to the corridor so you will have your own tracks to run on? Eventually, as ridership rises on all the trains more tracks are going to be needed, why not build them now. In Europe there are far more quad tracks on busy corridors for a valid reason. Having both fast and slow up and down tracks works so much better in busy corridors than just double tracks.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby east point » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:36 pm

If the Hippos can be rebuilt to operate at the specs of ACS-64s that would be a plus for MARC. MARC locals need the extra acceleration to operate on Amtrak's Penn line that unfortunately is mainly 2 and 3 main tracks. If an Amtrak train is late on the timetable MARC trains get held at WASH, Baltimore, Perryville until the faster Amtrak gets in front. At present there are anywhere from 1 to 4 weekday MARC trains a day held for an Amtrak train to get in front.

MARC's diesels cannot ever meet Amtrak's fluidity requirements for that section of track. That will even apply to the new Chargers unless 2 were to be put on front of a MARC train.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby Tadman » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:05 pm

Obviously I'm no transport planning expert, but I thought this MARC decision looked fishy from a long way off. The argument that Amtrak's electricity was too expensive always puzzled me. If it's price competitive for Amtrak, SEPTA, NJT... you get the picture.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:16 pm

Both SEPTA and NJT have to use Amtrak's power to access their largest stations (can't run diesel through the North River Tunnels or the CCCT), and further they both have much larger electrified systems than just the NEC and Harrisburg Line. MARC doesn't have to use juice to access Baltimore Penn or Washington Union, and now has the technology to potentially run 125 moh without tapping the wires either.

I think it is silly to dump motors for an entirely-diesel system, mind, but someone there thinks it's a good idea for the above reasons.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby STrRedWolf » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:15 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Both SEPTA and NJT have to use Amtrak's power to access their largest stations (can't run diesel through the North River Tunnels or the CCCT), and further they both have much larger electrified systems than just the NEC and Harrisburg Line. MARC doesn't have to use juice to access Baltimore Penn or Washington Union, and now has the technology to potentially run 125 moh without tapping the wires either.

I think it is silly to dump motors for an entirely-diesel system, mind, but someone there thinks it's a good idea for the above reasons.


The reasoning came down to two big factors: Money and flexibility.

The flexibility one first. For those who don't know, MARC runs on three lines. Only the NEC (the Penn Line) is electrified. That means any electric engine is restricted to the NEC. It can't go on the CSX lines (Camden, Brunswick) unless it's bypassed and being hauled by a diesel. Buying 1-to-1 electrics to replace the AEM-7's doesn't alleviate a logistics headache that MARC goes through.

Now, add the fact that buying the Chargers was about ten times cheaper than buying all new ACS-64's... and you'll see why they went diesel.

That's not to say they're also dumping the HHP-8's. Just read my comments above.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby east point » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:02 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:[.

Now, add the fact that buying the Chargers was about ten times cheaper than buying all new ACS-64's... and you'll see why they went diesel.

.


A complete fabrication Sprinters costs are about 1-1/2 times a Charger. Some one have the actual numbers ? It may be difficult due to different maintenance and spare parts contract provisions ?
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:46 pm

While the Amtrak Hippos are getting their 90 day check over to keep BBD happy,and wander back to storage at Bear.
Are any of the MARC hippos in service pulling trains,or are the BBD wrenchs just going thru the MARC Hippos to see if they can run? :wink: :P
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:05 am

STrRedWolf: nah, I get it, having a one-locomotive-type one-car-type railroad is a wonderful thing for maintenance and operational costs. It'll be interesting to see if MARC can get more Hippos in service though, and if they might consider subleasing Amtrak's as well.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:44 pm

Backshophoss wrote:While the Amtrak Hippos are getting their 90 day check over to keep BBD happy,and wander back to storage at Bear.


If that in fact happens, it's one more thing to nudge me toward the conservative attitude that government organizations can't be trusted not to waste taxpayer dollars irresponsibly.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby OrangeGrove » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:22 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:While the Amtrak Hippos are getting their 90 day check over to keep BBD happy,and wander back to storage at Bear.


If that in fact happens, it's one more thing to nudge me toward the conservative attitude that government organizations can't be trusted not to waste taxpayer dollars irresponsibly.


Amtrak is, indeed, required to maintain the HHP-8 locomotives in serviceable condition; This wouldn't be the first instance (since retirement) of their receiving mandatory time in the shop. Granted, it is a waste for engines which have no future outside of scrap metal, but I'm not sure Amtrak really deserves the blame here. Arguably, such a clause seems an ill advised part of the agreement, but then nobody could have predicted the extent to which Bombardier was delivering fifteen lemons; The expectation would have been for the HHP-8 to long outlast the length of its lease agreement in daily service, not be retired early. This shouldn't have ever been a problem.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:59 pm

Potentially silly question: are the HHPs actually reliable enough to be in regular service (for even one RT BOS-WAS) or would they be shop queens? Pretty clear that Amtrak considers them more trouble than it's worth to keep them in everyday service regardless.

Oh, the glory days when we discussed how the HHPs might be candidates to become ad hoc AX-1 power cars with new-build tilt coaches.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby amtrakhogger » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:20 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Potentially silly question: are the HHPs actually reliable enough to be in regular service (for even one RT BOS-WAS) or would they be shop queens? Pretty clear that Amtrak considers them more trouble than it's worth to keep them in everyday service regardless.

Oh, the glory days when we discussed how the HHPs might be candidates to become ad hoc AX-1 power cars with new-build tilt coaches.


It would be neat to run one again. The HHP8's were the first ones to be mothballed when the ACS-64's started to arrive and I figured the most of the meatballs would go first.
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby 8th Notch » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:25 pm

amtrakhogger wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:Potentially silly question: are the HHPs actually reliable enough to be in regular service (for even one RT BOS-WAS) or would they be shop queens? Pretty clear that Amtrak considers them more trouble than it's worth to keep them in everyday service regardless.

Oh, the glory days when we discussed how the HHPs might be candidates to become ad hoc AX-1 power cars with new-build tilt coaches.


It would be neat to run one again. The HHP8's were the first ones to be mothballed when the ACS-64's started to arrive and I figured the most of the meatballs would go first.


Only if they decided to modify the terrible wheel slip software in them!
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:45 pm

Can't remember which member it was (Greg Moore maybe?) but he laid out why it would be pretty expensive to reprogram due to needing either new logic boards or an entirely new modern hardware and software operating system. The electrical equipment isn't the issue, from my very limited knowledge of power electrical engineering.

And if we are getting that in-depth, it'd only be a few million more to use one and a half HHP-8s to repower a GG-1 :P
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Re: Amtrak HHP-8 Locomotives

Postby amtrakhogger » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:44 pm

8th Notch wrote:
amtrakhogger wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:Potentially silly question: are the HHPs actually reliable enough to be in regular service (for even one RT BOS-WAS) or would they be shop queens? Pretty clear that Amtrak considers them more trouble than it's worth to keep them in everyday service regardless.

Oh, the glory days when we discussed how the HHPs might be candidates to become ad hoc AX-1 power cars with new-build tilt coaches.


It would be neat to run one again. The HHP8's were the first ones to be mothballed when the ACS-64's started to arrive and I figured the most of the meatballs would go first.


Only if they decided to modify the terrible wheel slip software in them!


Yes, they were terrible on wet rail but were good pullers on dry rail and did not overheat in hot weather.
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