MARC HHP-8

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STrRedWolf
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by STrRedWolf » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:13 pm

Depends. There's been some breakdowns on the line over the past two weeks up in the Aberdeen/Perryville area. Any word on them or do you need date/times and train numbers?
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TheOneKEA
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by TheOneKEA » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:33 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:Depends. There's been some breakdowns on the line over the past two weeks up in the Aberdeen/Perryville area. Any word on them or do you need date/times and train numbers?
Unfortunately I don’t have any information on recent breakdowns. All I have is the info that was given to me by an MTA spokesperson a while back when I asked why no electric locomotives were rostered for the weekend Penn Line service.

dt_rt40
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by dt_rt40 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:41 pm

Anybody who knows my posting history would know I am loathe to report a problem with the electrics.
That being said, on Monday I was NB on the new 148 (cross honored regional leaving at 3pm, now something like 196 IIRC) and saw reversed MARC consist - both locos facing south - with an HHP-8 seemingly being towed by the "Jeep". In theory, this could have been a non-revenue move right? Isn't it true they often move locos with a several-car consist for some odd reason...brake reserve capacity or something? Maybe it was one of the non-operational HHP-8s being towed to Ivy City? At any rate, did not get a number on the HHP-8 or notice if the panto was up or down. I barely caught it in fact.
Am annoyed they are not running more Chargers in the Penn line, but realized they might have a somewhat perverse justification for that. If any of the older locos breaks down on the Penn, it's easy to arrange a rescue train. Not as easy on Camden or Brunswick lines! At least they didn't destroy one in the recent Brunswick line flooding LOL. Almost happened!
But MARC doesn't seem panicked because tonight's 4:22 departure was pulled by an HHP-8.

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by dt_rt40 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:22 pm

More MARC motive power woes: this afternoon, while riding the much delayed 532 north, I saw a SB MARC consist with a MP-36 AND a charger! As though the MP-36 was being towed. Fairly sure I saw some figures inside so am assuming it was a regular revenue service. Neither train was going very fast, we were about to stop for Odenton, and they might have just stopped for it.

FWIW, 4912 was pulling 430 today.

Odd question: if an HHP-8 or Charger is towing an MP-36, are they allowed to go 125mph?

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by amtrakhogger » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:37 am

No, max speed is 90.
You think that was slow? Next time it will be even slower! Ya see, the headlight will be coming through the steam and its
never gonna get there!

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by STrRedWolf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:09 pm

Same here on both MARC 404 and 445 -- Charger was towing/pushing an MP36.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:10 am

I dont think theres any real reason they are dragging the MP36s around with the charger other than marc likes to run double headers. Theres been plenty of trains with the old GP39s trailing recently and i believe i saw one with the gp39 behind the charger. Marc might just be doing this to ensure compatibility.

The big issue with the MARC MP36 is they still have older style bearings on the traction motors that rely on being greased frequently. That limits them i believe to 90mph. There has also been in the past few years quite a few issues with hotboxes on these locos for this reason. I am not sure what other railroads like metra and VRE have done as far as traction motor bearings in their order. There is another type of EMD truck that the F59PHI uses that has roller bearings to eliminate this problem. Only way to tell is get under the loco and look. The MARC units seem to be cheapos. they bought the least featured least modified units, vs VRE and Metra whos are decked out with all the cameras computers and electronics.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by gokeefe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:22 pm

Is there any reason to believe that MARC would consider buying (at low prices) Amtrak's remaining HHP-8's?

Do they even run enough Penn Line trains to support such a fleet? Does MARC have any older diesels that they could dispose of?
Last edited by gokeefe on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:23 pm

IF marc was to put wire into the Martins facility, they could switch to all electric and it would be worth it. That would free up the diesels for other lines and for backup power on the penn line.

Will it happen? Who knows. With the push for greener diesel locos and the high cost of maintaining Tier 4 equipment paying that amtrak electric bill might be worth it.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by STrRedWolf » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:47 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:I dont think theres any real reason they are dragging the MP36s around with the charger other than marc likes to run double headers. Theres been plenty of trains with the old GP39s trailing recently and i believe i saw one with the gp39 behind the charger. Marc might just be doing this to ensure compatibility.
I really doubt that. That would of been in the spec for the Chargers, and they tested those Chargers with MARC III cars before the left the testing facility!

The only real reason I can see running the double diesels is to reallocate power, having one engine doing just the push/pull and the other providing HEP. You can hear it as it passes by; both the Charger/MP36 and the GP-39 are running.
gokeefe wrote:Is there any reason to believe that MARC would consider buying (at low prices) Amtrak's remainimg HHP-8's?

Do they even run enough Penn Line trains to support such a fleet? Does MARC have any older diesels that they could dispose of?
There's no reason. MARC's got their hippos that are going through refurb, and that'll take the rest of the decade. Plus, "low prices" may be more than a new Charger by two orders of magnitude.

The only other thing is that they can't run more Penn Line trains without more track capacity, and that means four-tracking WAS to BAL at least! The schedule is *full* with MARC and numerous Amtrak lines.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by gokeefe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:26 pm

I would venture a guess that an HHP-8 would go for under $1,000,000 and thats fully refurbished ... Still too pricey?

Would refurbished or double headed HHP-8s allow for longer consists? They run seven car trains right now ... Perhaps as much as ten cars possible?

I'm just having a hard time believing this wouldn't be a good deal if it means they can reallocate their diesels and gain on fuel efficiency elsewhere.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:22 pm

NJ Transit is running 10 car double decker trains with 1 7100/7600HP 1kW HEP ALP46. They very well can run 10 cars with a single HHP-8, but why they give them 6-7 cars and put 8 cars on a diesel is beyond me.

The AEM-7 ACs were in the contract to be purchased by amtrak for 1.5 Million each. I am not sure what bombardiers contract says, but if they accept return from amtrak and the bank decides to sell to other parties they will sell at "scrap" value of about 20k a locomotive as is. It could be a good deal for MARC, much more over the cost of buying new locos when these could probably be updated for under 500k each.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by gokeefe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:I am not sure what bombardiers contract says, but if they accept return from amtrak and the bank decides to sell to other parties they will sell at "scrap" value of about 20k a locomotive as is. It could be a good deal for MARC, much more over the cost of buying new locos when these could probably be updated for under 500k each.
That's the kind of deal I think is possible in this case. At those prices there is no good reason for a commuter agency to turn down the opportunity, especially if they are already running "heavy" on the NEC. It's also worth remembering that some of the additional costs for propulsion could be covered by an increase to annual FTA grants. It's not as if a state budget would have to cover 100% of the increased reimbursement to Amtrak for power.

I'm assuming that the NEC power distribution grid is strong enough in Maryland to sustain more trains running electric as opposed to diesel power ...
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by STrRedWolf » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:05 pm

gokeefe wrote:I would venture a guess that an HHP-8 would go for under $1,000,000 and thats fully refurbished ... Still too pricey?
Still. I think the Chargers were $175,000 each. Someone check my figures!
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by gokeefe » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:44 pm

$6,000,000 per copy ...
Each Buy-American compliant locomotive costs approximately $6 million—funding for the California locomotives came from Federal Recovery Act Funds and California Proposition 1B Infrastructure Bonds.
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