• Amtrak HHP-8 Discussion: Use, Reliability, Disposition

  • 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 mlrr
Hi guys,

I've always seen some people bashing the HHP-8s performance but never understood what the problems were with it. I remember seeing some engineers briefly expressing thier frustrations with operating it but it wasn't in a discussion devoted to the HHP-8, so I figured starting one would be appropriate.

If anyone has any input on what the "problems" are with the HHP-8s, please let me know.

PS This is not another attempt to bash Amtrak, just an honest inquiry, lol.

  by AEM7AC920
Well I am one to bash the HHP-8 so.... I been up in one with an engineer and he says they are babies on slick rail. I remember my second time in one.. Cab signals died. But I have to say they still are nice loco's at times :D

  by hsr_fan
One thing I've noticed is that the HHP-8's sway noticeably at speed, as do the Acela Express power cars. I don't know if that's a symptom of the truck hunting issues, but they don't seem to track as smoothly as they should.

  by AEM7AC920
What do you expect there flying bananas :P

  by DutchRailnut
Ok so their bad because of railfan rethoric???
The HHP-8 just like any other AC locomotibve handles different on wet rail than older DC locomotives, same with diesels , most engineers did not understand that and were handeling wheelslip same as on DC locomotives and claiming the pieces of S*** did not work.
Now a lot of those old dogs are learning new tricks, and are no longer complaining, the failure rate is much less as wel due to engineers learning tricks to get the thing going.
your cab signal failure can happen to any locomotive, a road failure can happen to any locomotive, the trick is to give your engineers a full tour and lessons in troubleshooting. don't buy $6 million locomotives and give the personel operating it the $4 tour.

  by R143MAN
I have also heard of the brakes locking up. Glitches in the software,etc

  by AEM7AC920
I wouldn't be suprized of software issues I mostly all software is going to have bugs to work out.

  by DutchRailnut
The HHP-8's are doing great guys, most 99% of problems were solved over a year ago.
the reliability on road has been better than the AEM7DC's
The AEM7AC rebuilts are basicly a HHP-8 in old AEM-7 body and even those work great.

  by AEM7AC920
I would hope they would be better on the road then the AEM-7DC's they are newer :wink: It sure would be nice to see the rest of the AEM-7's be rebuilt and kept into the original paint

  by mlrr
Just a side note, about a year ago, probably longer than that, I remember that whenever I was on a train with an HHP-8 it always seemed to run late, lol. So my first hand experiene with HHP8s weren't the greatest, but I am growing to love them, not as much as the AEM7s of course, lol.

Thanks for your input guys!! You basically answered my questions, because the underlying question was if Amtrak had solved the problems they were having with the HHPs before.
  by Tiggerhappy1977
Hi everyone, I am hoping you guys can be of some help here, I am looking for info on the HHP-8s, ie, design specs, how many there are, where they work, what trains they work etc.

I know I am asking alot, but my circumstances don't allow me to find out much info, let alone even see one for real (I am in Scotland), but on a visit to Philly in 3 weeks I am hoping to be able to photo some (do I need to be aware of any rules with photography? in france they tried to ban all railroad photography) and also on my visit I hope to get to travel on one (or two), do I need to book in advance for the trains they work?

Sorry for asking so much, any info and help is very much appreciated.

  by Gilbert B Norman
HHP-8's are assigned to any Corridor train that needs them, you will have opportunities to observe them while in Philly.

Rail photography over here, especially in the Northeast, is a real can of worms. Personally, I no longer do it, but there are fellows out there who are more willing to "push the envelope' than I. My best advice, even though I am mindful that there are others around here who will say "stand up for your rights against the Gestapo", is to refrain.; But if you must, AFAIC, if any law enforcement officer asks you to cease and desist, do so without any question whatever.

  by RMadisonWI
Amtrak has 15 HHP-8s, of which (as of yesterday, and these numbers can and do change on a daily basis) 7 were available and 8 were out of service.

They operate between Washington, DC, and Boston, MA, and can be found on pretty much any non-Acela (2000-series in train numbers) train on the NEC, mixed in with the 49 active AEM-7s.

In other words, there's no way to know in advance whether your train will have an HHP-8 or an AEM-7.


  by Noel Weaver
The HHP engines are generally pooled to the best of my knowledge. I
would suggest you get yourself a unreserved tickets for the two points
where you want to travel and then go to a station where platform access
is not a big deal. Most of the stations north of New York allow access to
the platform without a big deal except maybe for reserved seat trains.
Going south out of New York, get to Newark by any available train whether
Amtrak or NJT. Hang out on the track 3-4 platform and just wait for a
train to come in with one of these engines. Might be harder on a weekend
as all major NEC trains are reserved. Metro Park might also work for you
on this one too. Out of the Washington end, try the New Carrollton or
BWI stations. On the Boston end, Back Bay would be a good bet for
waiting for the right one to come along.
OH yes, do not fail to provide yourself with a timetable.
Noel Weaver

  by AEM7AC920
Before you could usually find them on the heavier trains but now i herd an AEM-7AC can just about do the same. Finding an HHP-8 in philly should be easy that is a large terminal and there are plenty of trains so that should be the least of your worries.

Any one check the bombardier web page for a copy of the HHP-8 specs? I know GE has he Genny's etc.

This is the best I could do for now with HHP-8
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