Special move (chargers)

Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

User avatar
STrRedWolf
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by STrRedWolf »

MelroseMatt wrote:Hello from SEPTA land. I only recently read about MARC's purchase of diesels to run on the electrified NEC, and I'm still trying to figure out what lead to this apparent non-sequiter. It sounds like MARC was tired of dealing with Amtrak for maintenance, and tired of unreliable catenary power. I'm curious if there was much pushback on environmental grounds? Or people are too busy trying to get to work to even notice the change? I wouldn't be surprised if most 'civialians' never ever realize the chargers don't have a pantograph raised.
Hello from an ex-MTA employee!

MARC's AEM-7 engines were out of warranty and Amtrak was refusing to do maintenance on them, plus the HHP-8's were not working all that well. MARC values operational flexibility, since they run on non-electrified CSX lines as well as the wired-up NEC. Since the SC-44's were cheaper than new electrics, and they work everywhere MARC operates, MARC got them.

Fast forward from purchase order to today. Bombardier was able to get their hands back on the HHP-8's and make significant improvements, which they're working on one engine at a time. I caught engine 4910 (the first to be rehabbed) today to work, and it hauled ass, no problems. The AEM-7's are now mothballed (as far as I have heard), since the SC-44's are replacing them.

Now, if the HHP-8's as a whole get better over time, those SC-44's may also end up replacing the under-powered MP36's instead...
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

D40LF
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:50 pm

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by D40LF »

STrRedWolf wrote:Fast forward from purchase order to today. Bombardier was able to get their hands back on the HHP-8's and make significant improvements, which they're working on one engine at a time. I caught engine 4910 (the first to be rehabbed) today to work, and it hauled ass, no problems. The AEM-7's are now mothballed (as far as I have heard), since the SC-44's are replacing them.

Now, if the HHP-8's as a whole get better over time, those SC-44's may also end up replacing the under-powered MP36's instead...
I thought the AEM-7s were all retired before the first Charger arrived. I know that one of them suffered a major mechanical failure in 2015 and never returned to service.

If anything is underpowered and in need of retirement (or a rebuild), its the GP39s. The MP36s have plenty of power, but they accelerate slowly.

User avatar
STrRedWolf
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by STrRedWolf »

D40LF wrote: I thought the AEM-7s were all retired before the first Charger arrived. I know that one of them suffered a major mechanical failure in 2015 and never returned to service.

If anything is underpowered and in need of retirement (or a rebuild), its the GP39s. The MP36s have plenty of power, but they accelerate slowly.
They were, you're correct on that. The MP36's however top out at 100 mph under load, from what I've heard.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

avgeeky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:45 pm

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by avgeeky »

Maybe with 3 single levels, but not with anything more. With 6 MARC 3s, they won't do more than 90. Add any more and they drop even further. Once had an 8 car set express from BWI to New Carrollton that never went above 81 and that was 2 MPs pushing. Marc 4s are only certified for 90 as well I believe. Don't think Camden or Brunswick has speed limits that high either
Just a guy who rides the train way too often and is kinda good with numbers.
MARC rider 6 days a week BWI-WAS
Unfortunate rider of the WMATA's "railroad"

daybeers
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm
Location: HFD

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by daybeers »

And because of that, I wish MARC had ordered more Chargers than they did.

User avatar
STrRedWolf
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by STrRedWolf »

avgeeky wrote:Maybe with 3 single levels, but not with anything more. With 6 MARC 3s, they won't do more than 90. Add any more and they drop even further. Once had an 8 car set express from BWI to New Carrollton that never went above 81 and that was 2 MPs pushing. Marc 4s are only certified for 90 as well I believe. Don't think Camden or Brunswick has speed limits that high either
Camden/Brunswick are 79 MPH max. I doubt any non-Amtrak rail is rated above that.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

scratchy
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:32 pm

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by scratchy »

daybeers wrote:And because of that, I wish MARC had ordered more Chargers than they did.
I've noticed that the station redevelopment plan for two of the Brunswick line stations had images which showed DMU, in MARC colors.
I seem to recall that DMU/EMU were in long term plans, for increased service. Perhaps that's next phase of purchase, 10 years from now.
Especially if the CSX lines get sold off to someone else.

NH2060
Posts: 1537
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:44 pm

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by NH2060 »

scratchy wrote:I've noticed that the station redevelopment plan for two of the Brunswick line stations had images which showed DMU, in MARC colors.
I seem to recall that DMU/EMU were in long term plans, for increased service. Perhaps that's next phase of purchase, 10 years from now.
Especially if the CSX lines get sold off to someone else.
Took a bit of digging, but I found it: http://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/ ... mmunities/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Those definitely look a lot like Queensland Rail EMUs with their pantographs taken off and some MARC paint applied :-P

MCL1981
Posts: 686
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:23 am

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by MCL1981 »

NH2060 wrote:
scratchy wrote:I've noticed that the station redevelopment plan for two of the Brunswick line stations had images which showed DMU, in MARC colors.
I seem to recall that DMU/EMU were in long term plans, for increased service. Perhaps that's next phase of purchase, 10 years from now.
Especially if the CSX lines get sold off to someone else.
Took a bit of digging, but I found it: http://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/ ... mmunities/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Those definitely look a lot like Queensland Rail EMUs with their pantographs taken off and some MARC paint applied :-P
What a joke. Typical montgomery county. Rezone, collect payoffs from developers, bring in more people than the county and state roads can handle, watch unicorns roam the streets, makes excessive use of the words walk and bicycle as if anyone actually will. End result, too many people, not enough road, and a bankrupt county.

scratchy
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:32 pm

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by scratchy »

MCL1981 wrote:
NH2060 wrote:
scratchy wrote:I've noticed that the station redevelopment plan for two of the Brunswick line stations had images which showed DMU, in MARC colors.
I seem to recall that DMU/EMU were in long term plans, for increased service. Perhaps that's next phase of purchase, 10 years from now.
Especially if the CSX lines get sold off to someone else.
Took a bit of digging, but I found it: http://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/ ... mmunities/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Those definitely look a lot like Queensland Rail EMUs with their pantographs taken off and some MARC paint applied :-P
What a joke. Typical montgomery county. Rezone, collect payoffs from developers, bring in more people than the county and state roads can handle, watch unicorns roam the streets, makes excessive use of the words walk and bicycle as if anyone actually will. End result, too many people, not enough road, and a bankrupt county.
You mean, because there won't be an increase in rail service to actually get them off the roads?

MCL1981
Posts: 686
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:23 am

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by MCL1981 »

No, that's not what I mean. Rail is not a magical solution to road traffic. The notion that if you add more trains to Washington DC, the roads will magically no longer be full is a drug induced fantasy.

KTHW
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:50 pm

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by KTHW »

Just saw this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBze4jhV1n0 with a couple of the Chargers operating by themselves or paired together. Seems like MARC is starting to let them run on their own a little. I will say that they seem to accelerate really well out of the station, and the train running through Riverdale towards the end really seems to be hauilin'. I know Camden Line tops out at 79mph, but at these Chargers are looking great right now!

D.Carleton
Posts: 792
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:19 pm
Location: NY or FL, depending on what mood I'm in...

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by D.Carleton »

MARC 85 is now scorching the ballast solo on the Penn Line.

User avatar
STrRedWolf
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by STrRedWolf »

D.Carleton wrote:MARC 85 is now scorching the ballast solo on the Penn Line.
Someone check if 85 is hauls my 511 around. I just saw a Charger on that consist just now . Posting from 404 out from Odenton.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

D.Carleton
Posts: 792
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:19 pm
Location: NY or FL, depending on what mood I'm in...

Re: Special move (chargers)

Post by D.Carleton »

For the record, all MARC Chargers are now in service.

Return to “DC - Maryland - Virginia Area Passenger Rail: MTA(MARC), VRE, WMATA(Metro)”