• 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 scratchyX1
 
CSRR573 wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:03 pm Photobug56, who knows, the siemens techs we have on site don't even know how their locos work!
And yet, brightline isn't having these issues.
Is it different quality Siemens techs?
  by ApproachMedium
 
Brightline isnt having these issues, that we know of. They run all of their trains with two locos. No idea what their service contract is.

The other day a michigan line train had all 4 markers stuck on. No matter what position the switch was in. These things are plain STUPID.
  by STrRedWolf
 
You have to remember we're comparing ACS-44's and ACS-40's with SC-44's in commuter service -- aka what Amtrak's running VS what MARC/BrightLine/etc are running. It's a different spec... and I bet the Siemens engineers on hand at Amtrak are saying "WTF is this crap? This isn't the SC-44 I'm trained on!"
  by ApproachMedium
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:53 pm You have to remember we're comparing ACS-44's and ACS-40's with SC-44's in commuter service -- aka what Amtrak's running VS what MARC/BrightLine/etc are running. It's a different spec... and I bet the Siemens engineers on hand at Amtrak are saying "WTF is this crap? This isn't the SC-44 I'm trained on!"
The SC44s that they are running in the midwest are having just as many problems as the ALC42 that amtrak is running on their LD services. 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.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Photobug, I've seen OBB Siemens engines decide "enough for today" at Salzburg, but they have something Amtrak hasn't too many of - protect engines. They also have them at Linz or roundly halfway between Salzburg and Vienna, and surely elsewhere around the system.

Incidentally, there is a "Bar with a view" (14 stories up), the Arte, @ Salzburg.
  by scratchyX1
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 12:43 am
STrRedWolf wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:53 pm You have to remember we're comparing ACS-44's and ACS-40's with SC-44's in commuter service -- aka what Amtrak's running VS what MARC/BrightLine/etc are running. It's a different spec... and I bet the Siemens engineers on hand at Amtrak are saying "WTF is this crap? This isn't the SC-44 I'm trained on!"
The SC44s that they are running in the midwest are having just as many problems as the ALC42 that amtrak is running on their LD services. 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.
I thought these were a standard proven Eu design ?
  by photobug56
 
This all begs the question - if these locos are so bad, how come we have so many in service or going into service in multiple agencies and railroads in the US?

I can, for instance, know that back in the 1990's, LIRR bout 46 junk locos - they even created a company to build them (or rather, the politicians did). Plus, IMHO, they've been poorly maintained ever since. And as best as I can tell, no one else was stupid enough to buy this junk. But the Siemens equipment has more or less been lauded as the best thing since sliced bread. How did this sorry state of events come to occur?
  by rcthompson04
 
photobug56 wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:16 pm This all begs the question - if these locos are so bad, how come we have so many in service or going into service in multiple agencies and railroads in the US?

I can, for instance, know that back in the 1990's, LIRR bout 46 junk locos - they even created a company to build them (or rather, the politicians did). Plus, IMHO, they've been poorly maintained ever since. And as best as I can tell, no one else was stupid enough to buy this junk. But the Siemens equipment has more or less been lauded as the best thing since sliced bread. How did this sorry state of events come to occur?
Are the Siemens locomotives that bad? If they were that bad, would there be as much interest in buying them? There are other providers of diesel passenger locomotives.
  by eolesen
 
Amtrak has a history of dumb purchases, but if the Siemens locomotives were actually junk, you wouldn't have seen Via and Brightline spending their money with them.

It's change. They're different. They're not photogenic. The mechanics have to learn new systems. Of course there's going to be grumbling. Ignore that and look at the service reliability over time. It'll prove to be a good purchase by the time the trades learning curve is over.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Matt Johnson
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:21 am They're not photogenic.
I think the ALC-42 variant is pretty sharp. Brightline's version with the aerodynamic coupler shrouds is pretty cool looking too. And VIA's version looks good too. At least we're back to curved surfaces and not the Genesis faceted first generation stealth design! :grinning:
  by scratchyX1
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:35 am
eolesen wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:21 am They're not photogenic.
I think the ALC-42 variant is pretty sharp. Brightline's version with the aerodynamic coupler shrouds is pretty cool looking too. And VIA's version looks good too. At least we're back to curved surfaces and not the Genesis faceted first generation stealth design! :grinning:
I always thought the Genesis cabs looked like Iron Mans mask.
  by CSRR573
 
The ACS's are constantly going down for seized brake calipers from water intrusion and steering links constantly go bad. They're a real pain in the a** to change thanks to the design. Also ask a seimens tech for a piping schematic for the brakes and they'll hand you a wiring diagram for something not related. Glad I got out of mechanical
  by ApproachMedium
 
The siemens are not good. The railroads are not buying them because they are good. They are buying them because out of the other "passenger offerings" its the only one that lived up to the expectations they provided. The main one being 125mph capable. All other offerings are unable to exceed 90mph because of weight, poor design, horsepower etc. Its like buying a Hyndai in the earily 2000s. Yes JD power rated it for highest in initial quality, but in the end, it was still a Hyunadi, a cheap econobox car.

The ALP45 is permanently at 90mph. The FRA conducted many tests as well as amtrak and NJT running a joint test. It has too much truck hunting over 90mph and is deemed unsafe for operations at high speeds for possible derailments. You know, like an E60. Apparently the F125 had similar issues. The reason they are doing all this after the whole LIRR mess is because the railroad learns NOTHING. I also think there is some kind of secret money situation going on to make these locos affordable and attractive that siemens keeps selling them. Siemens also did in fact pay to have all of the amtrak owned AEM-7s scrapped (they costed money to scrap, the weight was not worth anything in scrap)instead of amtrak hanging on to a handful of them or at least the 8 AC models they did own to supplement service if the ACS went down.

Since the ACS64 has been the only thing out there, we have twice now had a serious issue develop with them that nearly caused them to pull the whole fleet. The other big problem here is that the Siemens people DO NOT have any previous experience with locomotives. All of the people they hired in the US are not railroad people and never worked on this kind of stuff before.
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