• Amtrak’s Growing Pains with Siemens Locomotives

  • 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 rcthompson04
 
eolesen wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:18 pm Brightline losing a trainset is going to be a heck of a lot more disruptive than if Amtrak does.
Brightline also has one maintenance point. Amtrak has several for this locomotive alone.
  by scratchyX1
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:42 pm The ACS 64s are nearing a million miles on the oldest units. I highly doubt Brightline comes close to that. There is also other factors, track condition (destroying truck components), Multiple seasons and various weather conditions. Florida is hot and damp. They havent had the issues with snow and etc.

While it hasnt been public, i think VIA has had issues with their stuff too. Siemens is dedicated to making the customer happy at first and getting things going, they were with amtrak. But now they are just constantly coming up with revisions and things to try and push amtrak mechanical away from actually working on the locomotives. My previous job there has since been eliminated by such.
In other words, They are going more the Tesla route with updates, and having the same effect. (Though no locomotives have driven into buildings. yet).
Are the other locomotive vendors pushing as many updates?
  by CSRR573
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:42 pm But now they are just constantly coming up with revisions and things to try and push amtrak mechanical away from actually working on the locomotives. My previous job there has since been eliminated by such.
Amen to that. We spend way more then necessary trying diagnose an air issue or electrical problem only for their techs to casually mention that there's been a mod or revision last LCPM and the siemens repair manuals are never updated or revised. Some of their techs have an air of arrogance that they feel above the mechanical forces at Amtrak. Hell the Cabbage cars have had so many mods done to them during their lives and they're still easier to diag then the ACS
  by photobug56
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:31 am
ApproachMedium wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:42 pm The ACS 64s are nearing a million miles on the oldest units. I highly doubt Brightline comes close to that. There is also other factors, track condition (destroying truck components), Multiple seasons and various weather conditions. Florida is hot and damp. They havent had the issues with snow and etc.

While it hasnt been public, i think VIA has had issues with their stuff too. Siemens is dedicated to making the customer happy at first and getting things going, they were with amtrak. But now they are just constantly coming up with revisions and things to try and push amtrak mechanical away from actually working on the locomotives. My previous job there has since been eliminated by such.
In other words, They are going more the Tesla route with updates, and having the same effect. (Though no locomotives have driven into buildings. yet).
Are the other locomotive vendors pushing as many updates?
I'm guessing that these locos are not programmed to go through stop signs (or signals) at 5mph as Tesla did recently.
  by 8th Notch
 
CSRR573 wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:18 pm
ApproachMedium wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:42 pm But now they are just constantly coming up with revisions and things to try and push amtrak mechanical away from actually working on the locomotives. My previous job there has since been eliminated by such.
Amen to that. We spend way more then necessary trying diagnose an air issue or electrical problem only for their techs to casually mention that there's been a mod or revision last LCPM and the siemens repair manuals are never updated or revised. Some of their techs have an air of arrogance that they feel above the mechanical forces at Amtrak. Hell the Cabbage cars have had so many mods done to them during their lives and they're still easier to diag then the ACS
The fact that they have been around for at least 10 years and you cannot run with 2 online with most of them still boggles my mind. I’ll give the ALC a pass for now with the software glitches since it’s still fairly new but as far as the ACS goes, the software updates seem (or lack of) seem to be an utter disgrace. No I045 fault fix, only a fraction have the updated software which I cannot stand that flips the TOD screen to traction status every time you move the controls, and I was told that they have 2 ship a second unit offline most of the time because software inconsistencies…
  by STrRedWolf
 
I would contend that a better comparison of the ALC-42's would be MARC's own SC-44's. Given what I've seen of the trainsets I've ridden in the past, it would not be surprising to have a Martinsburg-DC-Perryville movement, 150 miles, all along Amtrak traveled rail (from CSX in Martinsburg down to DC, then Amtrak NEC up to Perryville)... and with the same SC-44.

Same track, similar equipment.

That said, I expect some teething pains with the new locomotives, on both sides. What I didn't expect is Siemens panic-hiring.
  by ApproachMedium
 
8th Notch wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 7:05 am
CSRR573 wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:18 pm
ApproachMedium wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:42 pm But now they are just constantly coming up with revisions and things to try and push amtrak mechanical away from actually working on the locomotives. My previous job there has since been eliminated by such.
Amen to that. We spend way more then necessary trying diagnose an air issue or electrical problem only for their techs to casually mention that there's been a mod or revision last LCPM and the siemens repair manuals are never updated or revised. Some of their techs have an air of arrogance that they feel above the mechanical forces at Amtrak. Hell the Cabbage cars have had so many mods done to them during their lives and they're still easier to diag then the ACS
The fact that they have been around for at least 10 years and you cannot run with 2 online with most of them still boggles my mind. I’ll give the ALC a pass for now with the software glitches since it’s still fairly new but as far as the ACS goes, the software updates seem (or lack of) seem to be an utter disgrace. No I045 fault fix, only a fraction have the updated software which I cannot stand that flips the TOD screen to traction status every time you move the controls, and I was told that they have 2 ship a second unit offline most of the time because software inconsistencies…
There has only been a very short period of time that two ACS would work together correctly. V10 was the only software version that both units would be online and work correctly.

Thats version 10. 10. 10 times they changed this software till they got that far. Now they are on V12. V12 is an utter disaster and now we have Metro North telling us that we have to restrict the locos from going over 15 on their property. Instead of modfiying the overspeeds in the ADU when in metro north they changed traction software so when cabs are restricting they dont go over 15. Well, these locos cannot be used in push pull service or in trail. If they are trailing, they cut power over 15mph or will eventually plug the air. USELESS.
  by Fishrrman
 
Approach Medium:
"I can also vouch that the ACS 64 is just as much of a big software problem pileup and poorly located parts with poor components that love to accept water intrusion and cause chaos.
If you lick your fingers or get a snowball and open an MU port on a Siemens and put said moist object in the port you get trailing unit failts. Like, come on. EMD figured this crap out almost a century ago and we cant even get two of these things to play well with each other."


If they'd kept the AEM-7's, they'd STILL be running. They ran as good when I retired (2012) as they did when they were brand-new (1981).

Wait until they get those newfangled Siemens dual-power (or whatever) locos and go to fixed length trainsets (that are going to be semi-permanently coupled, right?).

On the railroads I worked, simpler was better...
(J.Albert)
  by photobug56
 
DM's are, IMHO, a necessary evil - in my experience. I live in diesel (what I used to call rust bucket) territory on Long Island. The trio of rebuilt FL9AC's were in some ways amazing - fairly fast, wonderful to look at, but according to LIRR people I talked to back then, had bleeding edge technology, but most importantly, the inverters didn't get enough ventilation and easily fried. Not being cheap, MNCR, which controlled the parts flow to LIRR, was very stingy on replacements. And it didn't help that LIRR cannibalized one of the 3 (2 needed to operate an 8 car train) for parts, so if one broke down, the train was out of service. But they were meant to give LIRR experience, though I'm guessing LIRR learned nothing from them, including the need to provide proper PM. Plus instead of going with known DM's, regardless of known faults, they ordered 23 DM's, and 23 DE's from a company created by politicians (from what I was told). Junk from day 1, at least one burnt down, another had to lose it's 3rd rail gear and inverter, and they've been breaking down ever since. FYI, as I understand it, instead of selling the FL9AC's, they scrapped them. 20 some years later, they don't have enough, never did, and while MNCR ordered new DM's, as I understand it LIRR did not.
  by ApproachMedium
 
There is not going to be a Siemens DM loco. Its going to be an ACS and a Charger one on either end of the train or both at the head end. Siemens has provisions for mode change controls in the ALC software and hardware utilizing a pantograph rear unit. The LIRR and MNRR dual mode order is effectively been canceled because of the drop in ridership from covid. From what i understand this also puts amtrak out on the line with the 3rd rail dual mode order and will have to stick to this dual engine dual mode option.
  by photobug56
 
LIRR's DM fleet can't have much life left in it, and one of the big problems in diesel country is the lack of enough DM based direct trains. Now, with ESA, that LIRR chose to build the C3's (and presumably their current DE's and DM's) a few inches too tall for the East River tunnel prevents them from going into GCT-LIRR is not going to help ridership, though I'm guessing that if they were moving forward they'd still buy equipment too tall for ESA. What I read of MTA documents is that they no longer had plans to buy new diesel equipment for LIRR but still did for MNCR. Either way, it takes years to get them built and tested, and probably 2 or 3 times as long for anything for MTA, so putting it off risks the diesel fleets from becoming far too small to maintain even a reduced service level, and it's become clear they won't put the money into electrification, either.

Question - is anyone running Siemens DM's in the US, and if so, how are they doing?
  by ApproachMedium
 
The siemens dual mode 3rd rail edition is a pipe dream. They put a bunch of stuff siemens developed into two of the current DMs at LIRR for testing. They ran a test down the main on all 3rd rail to test braking and accel with the new equpment. i have no idea if it is still installed or not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQT_almZpsE
  by rcthompson04
 
It should be noted that two of Amtrak’s best performing routes (two of the four with over 90% OTP) in terms of OTP use Siemens trains. The trains seem more than capable of running Harrisburg to Philadelphia and Milwaukee to Chicago.
  by ApproachMedium
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 7:47 am It should be noted that two of Amtrak’s best performing routes (two of the four with over 90% OTP) in terms of OTP use Siemens trains. The trains seem more than capable of running Harrisburg to Philadelphia and Milwaukee to Chicago.
Yea two routes that regularly have two locomotives because ONE is not reliable.
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