• Acela II (Alstom Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by RandallW
 
I think the test requirements are to test at 5 MPH over the design speed of the infrastructure, or to test at 165 MPH at those places where the train is intended to operate at 160 MPH, to test at 130 MPH where the train is intended to operate at 125 MPH, etc. I can't find any requirement to test equipment at 110% of its design speed.

Alstom's literature states the Avelia Liberty is designed to operate at 186 MPH with a tilting mechanism or 220 MPH without (110% of which is 204 MPH and 242 MPH respectively), but I don't think anywhere on the NEC is designed to handle trains at those speeds.
  by JuniusLivonius
 
9:31PM KP2022 wanted to move west [from County/Delco]

Edit: completing log

Night 5/8 - morning 5/9

9:31PM KP2022 needed signal from CETC-8 to go west
9:34PM (what was probably the engineer of #3855 asked if Acela 2 was "fixed yet or still broken")
11:11PM #3742 out of Jersey Ave (deadhead to EWR) needed to wait for signal run-down due to test train (probably just about to end eastbound run)
11:35PM KP2022 told about train #3893 in front low leveling at Jersey Ave
11:39PM KP2022 on the move west
12:20AM KP2022 ready west, waiting for foul in CETC-7 territory to clear
12:53AM KP2022 asked to call dispatcher
12:59AM KP2022 ready west, informed that Delco will be the furthest it can go on return trips for rest of the night; #67 told it's taking 2 track from Lincoln and rest of the way
1:55AM Dispatcher asks foreman if test train can foul 4 track CP Clark to HAM.
2:05AM Foreman informed that foul is clear and test train is ready to go east
2:17AM Test train needed foul again, same limits
2:29AM Cleared foul
2:51AM KP2022 confirmed clear of Jersey Ave low levels (#3805 approaching)

Someone please get Slavinski some pizza already.
  by JuniusLivonius
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 9:58 am On the clip at the 1:34 mark in this video I get 2.7 seconds for the train to pass as my best stopwatch estimate, which given the train length of 698.5 ft would put it at about 258 ft/sec or 176 mph.
I broke that clip down into frames using Invidious to download (or use youtube-dl) and ffmpeg to split. It appears to be 86.5 frames over a fixed point which, at 30 FPS and 698.5 feet, is 165MPH. To get 176MPH you'd need 81.1 frames which is just 180ms shorter. This train is too fast and too short to time with a stopwatch such that you can have a huge error with just 180ms inaccuracy.

It's too bad nobody wants to touch the 171MPH record.
TheOneKEA wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 6:26 pm
Acela150 wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 9:51 am The FRA gave approval for the next round of testing last week, that should begin this week.
Is any testing south of Philadelphia likely to occur anytime soon? I would really like to see this train moving in person but so far nearly all of the testing that I've heard about is in NJ. Is there really no need for further testing on the southern electrified portion of the NEC?
There's a bit of a bias in the amount of attention given to the speed tests. Don't take this as a talk-down as I'm just mentioning tangential things... these are some of my observations and points:
1. The speed tests attract a lot of attention
2. The speed tests are extremely repetitive and predictable with ~40 minute round trips for 4+ hours straight
3. The speed tests are obviously not just point-to-point and involve turning around, so there's more attention from the dispatcher to setup the block (County - Ham) for each direction which means more radio traffic
4. Because it's a predictable test plan, it also has a predictable name "KP2022" whereas equipment moves have a less predictable name like "Extra 845", so radio traffic is easier to interpret
5. When not running under an approved test plan, Acela 2 is a "Type D" train and timetable-limited to 90MPH. It will not run at line speed for simple equipment moves. People aren't as excited.
6. I'm seemingly the only one paying good attention to the radio in the NJ area and I'm also able to capture KP2022's radio traffic (and all CETC-8 dispatcher communications) at its north/east end at County interlocking
7. Media/railfan attention has waned even on the speed tests. It seemed that attention died down in early March. There have been dozens of nights with KP2022 running from early March until the present. I couldn't find any media relating to the last two nights.
7. A lot of information is hidden away in restricted Facebook groups or Discord servers and not forums or other normal websites reachable by search engines - I'm doing my part to stop that from happening. I hate it, but you could try looking at those groups. There are Amtrak employees who trickle down information. I climbed a mountain to see the speed tests myself and I want to make sure nobody else has to do that. If anyone has access to relevant railfan groups, please feel free to share my posts from here and point them to this forum for updates.

That being said, I saw this single video of an Acela 2 move at Halethorpe on April 9th: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHA0L9pVOFY
  by Matt Johnson
 
Thanks for the detailed analysis and response! I'm most interested in capturing some video of the Avelia Liberty in nice daylight conditions, so I'm personally not too inclined to stay up late and go hunting for the night time test runs. I'd love to catch it at top speed through Princeton Junction when that starts happening in daytime, but otherwise I'd just like to see it at any speed outside of vampire hours!
  by JuniusLivonius
 
Started tracking train movements with traffic cameras on I-95 and I-76. Details later.
A mystery train was parked on the bridge near Zoo for 20-30 minutes until 9:02PM. An Acela-shaped train with LED headlights (who else could it be?) passed near Eddington at 9:15PM.
  by TheOneKEA
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 11:51 am Thanks for the detailed analysis and response! I'm most interested in capturing some video of the Avelia Liberty in nice daylight conditions, so I'm personally not too inclined to stay up late and go hunting for the night time test runs. I'd love to catch it at top speed through Princeton Junction when that starts happening in daytime, but otherwise I'd just like to see it at any speed outside of vampire hours!
Same! I want to try to catch it at Halethorpe, Odenton or Bowie State MARC stations, traveling at line speed in either direction on any track, and doing so at night is not really an option for me right now.
  by JuniusLivonius
 
Saturday 5/11
10:15PM KP2022 asked to call dispatcher at County

Another rogue Saturday test... didn't even document the last day yet. Maybe the testing day was moved because they didn't go out Thursday. Engineer forgot an umbrella I guess.
TheOneKEA wrote: Sat May 11, 2024 8:35 pm Same! I want to try to catch it at Halethorpe, Odenton or Bowie State MARC stations, traveling at line speed in either direction on any track, and doing so at night is not really an option for me right now.
Has it ever gone above 90MPH on any run other than the County-Ham speed test or other 150/160MPH areas? County - Ham is really convenient for them and the only 150/160MPH section with 4 tracks. I imagine speed is the most volatile part of testing so it gets a lot more testing

I hope I can still help you guys out by informing you when it's not doing County - Ham due to my silence. Finding it at line speed may be hard because I don't think they've done that for a while.
  by JuniusLivonius
 
Night of 5/13, Avelia Liberty (KP2022) spotted again on PADOT cameras. This time it was bright enough to be distinguishable rather than just deduced by shape, lights and timing. It's hit or miss with where the cameras are pointed (none pointing at Schuylkill bridge today) but good success so far.

~8:31PM near Tacony
~8:32PM near Homlesburg Junction
~8:35PM between Cornwells Heights and Eddington
  by TheOneKEA
 
JuniusLivonius wrote: Sat May 11, 2024 9:30 pm Saturday 5/11
10:15PM KP2022 asked to call dispatcher at County

Another rogue Saturday test... didn't even document the last day yet. Maybe the testing day was moved because they didn't go out Thursday. Engineer forgot an umbrella I guess.
TheOneKEA wrote: Sat May 11, 2024 8:35 pm Same! I want to try to catch it at Halethorpe, Odenton or Bowie State MARC stations, traveling at line speed in either direction on any track, and doing so at night is not really an option for me right now.
Has it ever gone above 90MPH on any run other than the County-Ham speed test or other 150/160MPH areas? County - Ham is really convenient for them and the only 150/160MPH section with 4 tracks. I imagine speed is the most volatile part of testing so it gets a lot more testing

I hope I can still help you guys out by informing you when it's not doing County - Ham due to my silence. Finding it at line speed may be hard because I don't think they've done that for a while.
I appreciate your efforts to keep us informed!

If all types of speed testing are important then I would have assumed that a few runs between North Point and Perry Interlockings would have occurred at some point during the testing. If I remember correctly the line speed along that segment of the NEC is 125mph to 135mph, and is regularly used by freight traffic, which should make the track conditions "interesting" for testing of the Avelia suspension and trucks at speeds above 90mph. I am assuming that few or no tests have taken place here because they either aren't necessary, or there are no paths along the double track segments that could be acquired for testing outside of regular passenger traffic hours.
  by JuniusLivonius
 
Completing backlogged radio summaries. There are hilarious conversations sometimes.

As a reminder, I capture almost all dispatcher messages in CETC-8 (Union [at Rahway] exclusive to Ham [at Trenton] exclusive) and most train/cab transmissions north of the Adams Yard at MP 35.
There appear to be a few antennas at (usually in the range of 100-150W) that CETC-8 uses:
- Rahway (Union Int.)
- Metuchen (Lincoln Int.)
- North Brunswick (Adams Yard)
- Monmouth Junction (Midway Int.)
- Trenton (Ham Int. - don't think I can hear this one)

Night 5/10 - morning 5/11
10:32PM - KP2022 asked to call dispatcher
10:34PM - KP2022 needed crew to check MCB
11:22PM - Casual conversation with KP crew, dispatcher, NJ Transit crew (likely the 11:34PM #3742 from Jersey Ave, deadheads to EWR, deals with KP2022 every night)

* Did they just complete 300 trips?
* The KP crew was celebrating the 200 mile an hour [what]? I can't tell if this was sarcasm and whether there was actually champagne.


12:53AM - KP2022 stopped at Delco and needed foul on 2 track Adams to County (had an issue with [couldn't hear])
1:03AM - Cleared foul
2:18AM - Ready to go west; CETC-7 asked for 3 to 2 west at Ham (probably went home on that run)

Night 5/11 (Saturday)
10:05PM - KP2022 asked to call dispatcher

Night 5/13 - morning 5/14
10:38PM - KP2022 needed 4 track protection
10:46PM - #3737 told to hold at Lincoln for foul
10:50PM - received foul
10:54PM - #3891 also held at Menlo/Metropark
10:58PM - KP2022 clear of foul
12:05AM - #3895 - 3 track County to Midway, Midway to Ham on 1; #3897 did the same at 1:53AM - KP2022 likely went home before then

Night 5/15
No traffic camera sighting though the array of camera alignment was awful today; didn't expect the test train in NJ tonight as there was a move this morning to Sunnyside. (amtraktrains.com user Acela150)

-

As a trainset is reported moved to Sunnyside, I'll be dormant and not watching closely, though I review radio logs the day after.

TheOneKEA wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 8:24 pm I appreciate your efforts to keep us informed!

If all types of speed testing are important then I would have assumed that a few runs between North Point and Perry Interlockings would have occurred at some point during the testing. If I remember correctly the line speed along that segment of the NEC is 125mph to 135mph, and is regularly used by freight traffic, which should make the track conditions "interesting" for testing of the Avelia suspension and trucks at speeds above 90mph. I am assuming that few or no tests have taken place here because they either aren't necessary, or there are no paths along the double track segments that could be acquired for testing outside of regular passenger traffic hours.
I think it's evident by all the fouls they needed that County - Ham is the only appropriate place to do speed tests until those "pass". Maybe after that's done they can start testing line speeds in other places. The 2- and 3-track segments seem inappropriate until they're really sure.

South of New York, except County - Ham, the limit does not exceed 135MPH. County - Midway is 145MPH (ex. two curves) and Midway - CP Clark is 150MPH. North of New York (in fact, narrowed down to Rhode Island and Massachusetts) there are 3 segments with 150MPH. I assume these will be bumped up to 160MPH. I wonder what will happen to County - Midway (145MPH) as Acela 2 only uses one pantograph rather than both like on Acela 1.
  by JuniusLivonius
 
JuniusLivonius wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 9:06 pm Night 5/15
No traffic camera sighting though the array of camera alignment was awful today; didn't expect the test train in NJ tonight as there was a move this morning to Sunnyside. (amtraktrains.com user Acela150)

-

As a trainset is reported moved to Sunnyside, I'll be dormant and not watching closely, though I review radio logs the day after.
Either it's back so soon or it never really stopped nightly testing. Dormancy is over...

KP2022 (Acela Test Train) was testing last night (night 5/16 - morning 5/17) in NJ, County - Ham.

KP2022 is out again tonight. It was stopped right on the PRR Connecting Railway Bridge over the Schuylkill just as I went to go on camera watch.

~8:19PM Departed from a stop on the PRR Bridge
~8:30PM Passed Tacony
~8:34PM Passed Torresdale
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