ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

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ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:32 pm

I'm surprised this announcement hasn't been talked up yet on the forums. From Nov. 7: http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/201 ... ar-ol.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
NJ Transit's oldest locomotives, some of which have been on the tracks for almost 50 years, are on being put on the road to retirement.

The GP-40P locomotives will be replaced by 17 "dual mode" engines, which are powered by either electricity or a diesel engine, officials said on Tuesday.
. . .
NJ Transit will putting together a change order for the dual modes in early 2018, said Steven Santoro, executive director.

NJ Transit has 35 dual mode locomotives in its fleet now. Buying more of them will give the agency more flexibility and will reduce delays due to mechanical breakdowns, Santoro said.

So 2020 will see a supplemental order of ALP45-DP's delivered, final retirement of all revenue Geeps (excluding the 7 Metro North units that roam the Main/Bergen en route to Port Jerv), and final retirement of all sub-4200 HP revenue power (excluding the MNRR Geeps & F40's) restricted from hauling MLV's.


That's a pretty big development.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:18 pm

This does not in any shape way or form solve their locomotive shortage issue, unless they keep all of the current functional GP40s
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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:09 pm

Correct...the numbers don't wash on first take for solving fleet shortages. But if this gets structured like any typical order, the 17 units being quoted today will comprise the base order and there'll inevitably be a TBD number of additional contract options baked in that would presumably square some/all of the remaining power deficit. In absence of any pre-announcements of how they plan to structure the deal, we'll have to wait a few months and see what the actual board vote specifies for the breakdown of base vs. option units and whether there's enough above-and-beyond in the options to cover fleet needs.

High likelihood is that there will be some substantial-ish quantity of beyond-base option units provisioned, because it's extremely rare to see a vehicle procurement contract get drawn up that's base-only with no possibility given for as-needed extras. How many options it'll be and...then...what funds are available for tapping them are the next burning questions.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:16 pm

This is probably by far the stupidest move that NJT will ever do next to replacing the Arrows with Multilevels. ALP45s do not have dual cabs. Its more often than not that a train in the Am leaves the yard with a failed control car and they have to swap the engine from one end to the other. The ALP45s will require being turned around to do such, since they cannot run long hood forward like a GP40 and do not have a cab on the other end.
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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:05 am

Does NJT have that many many more cab failures than the average commuter road that this truly factors in a procurement decision (beyond the obvious "replace 'yer failing cabs!" action)? Reverse-running is not an option at all for all the cowl bodies that make up vast majority of the passenger fleets across the continent. The second-largest remaining installed base of passenger Geeps, the MBTA's GP40MC's, don't even have long-nose running ability anymore because they lost their auxiliary control stands during the rebuild from freight to passenger units. What does that leave in the universe of North American passenger diesels that can still run multi-directional in a pinch? The only ones bought all-new with that capability this century are the 12 BL20GH's of Metro North East-of-Hudson...the only examples of that make ever built. I don't even know if the freight-to-passenger conversions of CDOT's 6 GP40-2H's, MARC's 6 GP39H-2's, or Tri-Rail's 6 GP49H-3's retained use of the rear-window auxiliary stands or if those also went by the boards during passenger conversion like they did with the T's Geeps.

It's not common at all. And if cab car failures are such an enormous issue crippling NJT in a way that isn't crippling all the users of exclusively cowl-bodied power elsewhere...well, that's a whole separate five-alarm urgency procurement decision in itself.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by ApproachMedium » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:58 am

Cab car failures are literally an every day problem at NJT. They shop for cab controls, for brake failures (EPIC II is a POS) or cab signal failure most frequently but even things like problems with the bathroom will shop a car. The toilet in the control car must be functional on an initial terminal departure.

Nothing on NJT has "auxiliary" control stands. What you are thinking of at the back of the P40s was useless and only good for shop movement. The dual control stand has been long since gone in the industry. NJT crews will just run the engine long hood forward from the single control stand that is there, which is likely what the MBTA, MARC etc has done with their engines.
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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by TDowling » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:08 am

I wonder if this move was prompted by the Congressional injunction for railroads to have PTC? Or is that irrelevant to the Dual modes?

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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by ApproachMedium » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:59 am

Totally irrelevant. There are already conventional old diesels with PTC components. A full 9 aspect cabs and ACSES system only costs $150k to be amtrak compatible. The i-ETMS is a little bit more, but nowhere near the justification to replace a whole locomotive with a 11 million dollar piece of crap.
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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:52 am

ApproachMedium wrote:Cab car failures are literally an every day problem at NJT. They shop for cab controls, for brake failures (EPIC II is a POS) or cab signal failure most frequently but even things like problems with the bathroom will shop a car. The toilet in the control car must be functional on an initial terminal departure.

Nothing on NJT has "auxiliary" control stands. What you are thinking of at the back of the P40s was useless and only good for shop movement. The dual control stand has been long since gone in the industry. NJT crews will just run the engine long hood forward from the single control stand that is there, which is likely what the MBTA, MARC etc has done with their engines.
I searched back into old threads on the MBTA subforum to ID the reason that the MC's don't run reverse: their AAR controls were swapped out for desktop controls during the conversion to passenger units, and that ruined all practical capability of running in reverse for more than very short movements. They can still physically do it at 30 MPH restriction, but it's been banned from road practice by the last 3 operators of the MBTA commuter rail. 2 of the units got re-modded with AAR stands and rear ditch lights during a top-deck overhaul a few years ago in anticipation of post-retirement conversion to work motors, but those microprocessor-control units are so hated by employees that the prospect of using them as switchers or work trains is treated like a sick joke. Pretty unlikely that they have any future in that role; current operator Keolis has taken to stocking up with GP38-2 leasers to buff out the work fleet, and that seems to be working out fine for them so far.

So...the entirety of non-NJT passenger locos that can run long-nose still boils down to just 31 scattered units:
-- 12 MNRR EoH BL20GH's
-- 6 CDOT GP40-2H's
-- 6 MARC GP39H-2's (however long they last)
-- 6 Tri-Rail GP49H-3's
-- 1 MNRR WoH GP40PH-2M

...if any of these are actually run that way in regular practice, which may not be true of every single one of these operators. All of these makes are outnumbered at their respective agencies by cowl units, so blanket protocol could always end up being the same as if a cab car crapped out on a P40, P32, F40, or MP36 -hauled train running the same routes: wait for the rescue engine to attach a double-draft. At any rate, it's a very small total number of units continent-wide that even retain this capability so the only thing that may be an outlier about NJT is its woeful cab car MTBF. But that's just as big a poopshow with a PL42AC or an MNRR F40PH-3C on the train as it is with an ALP-45DP, so they aren't going to lick that issue without going straight at the root problem with the cabs' reliability. That's going to cut across multiple types of power any which way, because they've always had a very mixed loco roster of significant numbers of cowl units and significant numbers of cab-or-double ended units.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Usage/Service Patterns

Post by EuroStar » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:28 am

Here are my thoughts on the procurement. I am not defending it or attacking it, this is just a random collection of numbered thoughts.
1. At $11million or so, the dual modes are definitely expensive compared to straight diesels, there is no question about it.
2. It is not surprising that NJT is looking to replace the GP's in spite of the cost as they cannot keep schedules with the heavy MLV cars -- that is why the GPs are only used on single level consists. Remember that long term thinking is that the single level cars are out.
3. More dual modes will allow the eventual elimination of the Bay Head shuttles in favor of more runs without transfers at Long Branch. This can probably be accomplished immediately as opposed to what might be a long term hope to make use of these on bringing some of the diesel lines into Penn (Penn South, Secaucus Loop, whatever...). The thinking high up, whether justified or not, is probably 'let us get these now because we will eventually need them anyway'.
4. This procurement is Bombardier's to loose. I do not see Siemens bidding on a small order like this even if the options double it -- the chance of the options remaining unexercised is too big given the precarious financial condition of NJT. The dual mode variant of the Sprinter/Charger has not been designed yet, and this order seems just too small to justify doing so unless there is a reasonable expectation that someone else will buy more of them. Amtrak could use a few and Cali HSR could order some, but that is about it and without firm orders it is highly speculative undertaking.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:50 am

Split topic; certainly seems to warrant it.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

Post by SecaucusJunction » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:43 pm

NJT is hedging their bets that this Gateway Tunnel will actually be built in the next decade. We can only hope...


So how long until MTA starts ordering these dual modes? I'm sure they are going to want to get in on this Secaucus Loop, one seat ride to NYP too.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

Post by EuroStar » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:14 pm

The tunnel will not create more track space at Penn, so you will not see those serving Penn from MTA territory.

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Re: ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:23 pm

actually you may be wrong, as MTA will fund part of tunnel .
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Re: ALP-45-DP Supplemental Order

Post by time » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:22 am

It's cheaper to buy a $11M locomotive with a gigantic generator than it is to build backup generators to power catenary. A lot of the comments here are directly related to whether this is a good replacement for the current 45+ year old diesels. But, those comments ignore the fact that a dual mode has benefits when running as an electric-only replacement as well.

Dual modes:
1) Provide greater fleet flexibility
2) Can run in electric and diesel territories
3) Provide emergency power when catenary loses power
4) Can pull heavy sets, like 12 multi level cars
5) Further consolidation of NJT shop bin parts to service less variations of vehicles will save money in the long run (dual modes could eventually replace all only-diesel and only-electric vehicles).

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