• All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

  • 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

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  by Backshophoss
The Horizon fleet with a Cascades NPCU now cover the 500/505 RT run
Ph I Heritage unit 156 was on 11(16) this AM.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Since it appears "Cascades" are presently the "one a day" noted by Mr. Backshop, as well as the "Starlight", the Talgos have been withdrawn from revenue service.

Post-CV, whenever that may be, hopefully there will be sufficient unassigned single level equipment, to fill the normal Cascade schedules and those "buckboards" will find their way to the docks, loaded aboard a vessel, and some railfan group wishing them "bon voyage" to "go back where they came from".

For me, one ride in those things, namely Bilbao to Madrid during '90, was quite enough.
  by Tadman
I've had good and bad rides aboard Talgo, and I like and dislike them for various reasons. Some have been very bumpy and some pretty decent. My experience is both Washington and Spain. I dislike them because the economic model stinks, and I don't feel the extra coin is worth it for a 20 minute shorter ride that very often is 20 minutes late anyway. I love the step-aboard low floor feel.

But I come to their defense every time we discuss removing them for safety reasons, as the trains were found to be compliant but the "imagine a disaster" nanny grannies are indeed science deniers at FRA.
  by Backshophoss
The Model 8 set that was running had a mech failure at Eugene Or and was deadheaded home to Seattle king st. the next day. WSDOT 1408 is testing at AAR Pueblo test facility.
Ph II Heritage unit 130 was on 14(16) as leader is AM
  by dowlingm
Are the Wisconsin Talgo 8s now out of the mix even as temporary replacements?
  by John_Perkowski
This just in from Washington State DOT

https://wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2020/07/ ... s.html?m=1

Verbatim (it’s a government agency)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
An update on Amtrak Cascades as we move through the summer
By Janet Matkin

As with many other transportation modes, 2020 is proving to be a challenging year for Amtrak Cascades service. The spread of COVID-19 led to large drops in ridership, Canadian border closures, new safety and distancing protocols to protect passengers and staff and significant decreases in revenue.

Amtrak Cascades is currently only operating one daily roundtrip between Seattle and Eugene, including Portland and all other stops in between. All other train service, including all service north of Seattle due to the border closure, is suspended. We continue to monitor ridership levels and will start adding more trips as demand increases. Ridership is down more than 90% below levels as at the same time last year and we continue to follow the Governor's directives related to non-essential travel. This includes limiting ticketing on the trains to 50% capacity to allow plenty of room for physical distancing. Our ultimate goal is to return to a full schedule when it's safe and smart to do so.
Amtrak's Horizon equipment now operating in the Cascades corridor
Amtrak's Horizon equipment now operating in the Cascades corridor
Train equipment

Amtrak recently delivered Amtrak-owned Horizon train cars to Seattle to replace the Talgo Series 6 trainsets taken out of service in June 2020. This interim Horizon equipment will remain in service on the Cascades route until new trains are manufactured and delivered in the years ahead. In addition, the Talgo Series 8 equipment owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation will continue to operate in the corridor and Amtrak is evaluating adding other interim equipment as demand for service increases.
Consistent with our fleet management plan and as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board, we are disposing of our two Talgo Series 6 trainsets and spare cars this summer. Information on this competitive bid process is posted on our web pages, with bids due by Aug. 3, 2020.

A new Charger locomotive will be delivered to Seattle by September to replace the one lost in the 2017 derailment. It's being paid for with insurance proceeds from Amtrak. Locomotive 1408 was manufactured at the Siemens facility in Sacramento – the same site all our other locomotives were crafted – and is now at the Transportation Technology Center test site in Pueblo, Colorado. It will be moved to Washington once testing is completed.
Amtrak Cascades locomotive 1408 on its way to the testing facility.
Amtrak Cascades locomotive 1408 on its way to the testing facility.
Point Defiance Bypass

We continue to meet bi-weekly with Sound Transit, Amtrak, ODOT and Federal Railroad Administration to move forward on the return to the Point Defiance Bypass between Tacoma and DuPont. As the track owner, Sound Transit is leading those discussions and managing the schedule and next steps.

Currently, Sound Transit is developing its Rail Activation Plan related to safety criteria, outreach activities and processes they need completed before they will approve track testing and Amtrak crew qualification. Once those activities are underway, Sound Transit will determine a date for returning passenger rail service to the Point Defiance Bypass.

When service returns to the Bypass, the demand for intercity travel increases, the pandemic risk is minimized and the state transportation budget issues are resolved, we will move forward with adding two more daily roundtrips between Portland and Seattle. These will offer passengers both an earlier morning and later evening trip in each direction, allowing both business and leisure travelers to take day trips back and forth between the cities. We do not have a date when this will happen.

The years ahead

Despite the challenges facing Amtrak Cascades service in the years ahead, we're committed to continue to provide memorable intercity passenger rail service in the Pacific Northwest. The Cascades route is one of the most scenic and popular routes in all of North America. We look forward to the return of riders and the expansion of service in the years ahead.
  by CraigDK
David Benton wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:21 pm Every charger has to go to Pueblo for testing?
Part of the contract, if I remember right, requires Siemens to run a number of hours or miles on each unit before they are accepted for delivery. They choose to do it at Pueblo.
  by gokeefe
That is a very positive and forward looking statement. Great to see the strength of state government serving as a backstop to Amtrak's service plans now and long into the future.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by Tom6921
I'm sorry if it's been discussed, but what are the plans for the Talgo series 6 trainsets? Are they to be scrapped? Would any museum/tourist RR be interested in obtaining a set?
  by Backshophoss
With the NTSB recommendation of scrapping of the Tago six sets,at best as a possible static display,"mounted and stuffed" at a museum site,NEVER to run again.
  by Tom6921
I wonder which museums could/would take a Talgo 6 set if Amtrak offered?
  by wigwagfan
There's been next to zero interest for preserving the Talgo trainsets. Nowhere to run them, and a simple derailment is not so simple with these trains so even having one axle run off the rail would be difficult for most tourist/shortlines to deal with. The overall length is too much for nearly any operation around here, and then having a place to park it. Basic maintenance is also complicated.

At best, I could see a couple cars for a static display a la the Aerotrain. But when most museums around here already have more equipment than they can reasonably maintain, having one more piece of very long, and very maintenance intensive, equipment is not in their minds.
  by electricron
gokeefe wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:44 am That is a very positive and forward looking statement. Great to see the strength of state government serving as a backstop to Amtrak's service plans now and long into the future.
WDOT will be selling its' 2 Talgo train sets and Amtrak will probably join suit with its' 2 remaining sets. Hopefully somebody using Talgo train sets in the world could use four of them. Maybe India will buy them cheap since they tested some a few years ago but balked at its price. A Talgo train set between New Delhi and Mumbai set records times a few years ago during the tests over existing tracks.

The Wisconsin sets have not been purchased by WDOT. I believe WDOT desires to buy true HSR train sets in the future if they somehow can find some financial help from anyone for building a new HSR line. The rail corridor between Seattle and Portland is much too crowded with Sounder and BNSF freight trains to actually take advantage of higher speed train sets. I believe WDOT has learned that lesson and will now pursue a new passenger only line.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Ron, I think your immediate needs some clarification; too many "W's" being thrown about.

Let's see; of the four Talgo Series 8 sets that were built in Wisconsin pursuant to ARRA09 (Obama stimulus), two of those were sold to Washington State DOT, and the remaining two to the Wisconsin DOT. The latter two have never been placed in revenue service and are stored giving the "Beech Grove Artists Society" some easels on which to "express themselves".

After December '17 DuPont, WSDOT and the Oregon DOT decided "time to phase 'em out". The two earlier Series 6, WSDOT has decided to sell 'em; good luck finding a buyer. Amtrak has withdrawn their two; which could become stages on which the Amtrak Police can practice SWAT exercises. With the "one a day" Eugene-Seattle, that appears to be handled with Amtrak Horizon cars; who knows if post-COVID the four Series 8 (two each Ore and Wash) will return to service.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Send 'em back where they came from". Maybe RENFE can find some revenue use for 'em (my one and only ride on such was May '90 Balbao to Madrid; a ride I'd be happy to forget).
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