• Siemens to manufacture 83 Intercity Trainsets for Amtrak: Design, 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 Greg Moore
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:49 am This is a good deal.

I think we will learn a lot about these as Siemens builds them, though I think we should look at European Siemens equipment in service to answer some of our questions.

My personal hope is Amtrak and Siemens get away from narrow windows and let us look out and see.
To a certain extent, they have to. Modern requirements for evacuation require the ability to easily fit a litter with patient through the windows. The current Amfleet Is... that's barely possible (as a cave rescuer we do much tighter, but trust me, bigger is better.)
  by Ridgefielder
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:49 am My personal hope is Amtrak and Siemens get away from narrow windows and let us look out and see.
Those narrow windows are an artifact of the late 1960's design date of the Amfleets and Horizons. They're no more representative of current practice than the 5+ foot long hood on a 1972 Buick Electra is of current automotive design. They'll go away regardless, just as they did on Metro-North when the M7's came on the property in 2002.
  by rcthompson04
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:47 am
MattW wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:28 am After reading the Siemens release, I wonder if the battery will be more of a battery-assist where the battery is charged during braking, then used on acceleration so the diesel engine doesn't have to work as hard from a stop.
Yeah, I thought with this "backup" battery type of situation a diesel-pulled train might actually operate almost as well as an electric one? Say the battery is used to help with acceleration since that is where they excel, and then the battery only is used to pull through Penn Station, Amtrak could theoretically remove all the catenary and it's maintenance expense and run with hybrid locomotives everywhere.

It's only theoretical but I guess interesting food for thought.
In terms of Acelas, environmental friendliness and plethora of commuter users, I doubt the catenary is going anywhere. Diesel trains are still carbon trains.
  by MattW
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:47 am
MattW wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:28 am After reading the Siemens release, I wonder if the battery will be more of a battery-assist where the battery is charged during braking, then used on acceleration so the diesel engine doesn't have to work as hard from a stop.
Yeah, I thought with this "backup" battery type of situation a diesel-pulled train might actually operate almost as well as an electric one? Say the battery is used to help with acceleration since that is where they excel, and then the battery only is used to pull through Penn Station, Amtrak could theoretically remove all the catenary and it's maintenance expense and run with hybrid locomotives everywhere.
...in exchange for the maintenance expense of all the batteries and their inefficiency. Once catenary is up, there is no reason whatsoever to remove it if it's being used. It made sense for PC, Conrail, N&W, since diesels can run anywhere, and don't run high speed.
It's only theoretical but I guess interesting food for thought.
Last edited by MattW on Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by bostontrainguy
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:15 pm
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:47 am
MattW wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:28 am After reading the Siemens release, I wonder if the battery will be more of a battery-assist where the battery is charged during braking, then used on acceleration so the diesel engine doesn't have to work as hard from a stop.
Yeah, I thought with this "backup" battery type of situation a diesel-pulled train might actually operate almost as well as an electric one? Say the battery is used to help with acceleration since that is where they excel, and then the battery only is used to pull through Penn Station, Amtrak could theoretically remove all the catenary and it's maintenance expense and run with hybrid locomotives everywhere.

It's only theoretical but I guess interesting food for thought.
In terms of Acelas, environmental friendliness and plethora of commuter users, I doubt the catenary is going anywhere. Diesel trains are still carbon trains.
Ah, but you got to think a little more about this.

#1 fact: About 60% of electricity generation is from fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. About 20% is from nuclear energy.

#2 fact: Biomass is now being converted into fuel and the cycle is considered carbon neutral. The tree absorbs carbon during its life and it is released back into the atmosphere when it is "burned" as fuel in an internal combustion engine. It is also Sulphur free unlike fossil fuel. EPA’s regulations treat biogenic CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of biomass from managed forests for fuel as carbon neutral.

So future diesel/battery trains could potentially be more carbon neutral than electric ones unless of course the electricity is 100% generated by the sun, wind and water. Interesting stuff and great news for the ailing forest industry and potential great PR for Amtrak if it ever was to convert to this type of operation.

Sure it's all theoretical. It's presented only for your consideration.

Some info for anyone interested:



https://oilandenergyonline.com/articles ... ste-maine/
  by electricron
 
AP and Yahoo to the rescue with more information.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amtrak-p ... 13878.html
"Amtrak plans to spend $7.3 billion to replace 83 passenger trains, some nearly a half-century old, though much of the funding must still be approved by Congress. Amtrak's board has approved up to $4.9 billion for equipment, parts and service and $2 billion to modify its facilities.
Initially Amtrak will buy 73 trains and a 20-year parts and service agreement for about $3.4 billion. Amtrak says money will come from about $200 million already approved by Congress, as well as future funding that has to be approved. “We expect that we will have annual funding for our portion of the train sets," he said. "If there should be a moment in time when that money isn’t specifically available, we have the ability to finance the units as well,” Flynn said. That money would be repaid by states with trains, and passenger fares, he said."

Plans to replace 83 trains is not the same as buying 73 trains. :)
That fixes one of my inconsistencies from my earlier response.
The math now adds up better than before as well,improving but not fixing another inconsistency.
4.9 Billion + 2 Billion + .2 Billion = 7.1 Billion, still not quite the 7.3 Billion/
Now there is a new inconsistency of 1.5 Billion, because 3.4 Billion does not equal 4.9 Billion.

How hard is it to get the accounting data correct from the reporters. I'm beginning to think this reporter failed math in high school, and wonder how he ever got a bachelor's degree from any university.

Never-the-less, the initial press reporting on the press releases suggested Amtrak was spending $7.3 Billion on 83 trainsets, not the 3.4 Billion for 73 trainsets. So it looks like the Siemens initial -press release was far more correct. I guess Amtrak is buying $1.5 Billion more in spare parts than for just these 73 trainsets, still not sure on that.
  by David Benton
 
Catenary (why doesn't spellcheck accept that spelling?) gives you the option of using any fuel that can be converted to electricity.
The locomotives can share many similar parts . Traction motors etc can be the same regardless of the source of power. i imagine they will try and keep as many parts in common as they can . The traction motor control inverters can possibly be the same , at some point they will have a common voltage point between all models , probably the lowest of all the power sources . Say if the battery bank has a limit of 5000 volts , then the transformer from the catenary will be 25000 to 5000 volts. And the diesel motor alternator would produce 5000 volts. If there is a 3rd rail mdel planned , then that would probably be the lowest common voltage on the primary side of the locomotive.
  by pbj123
 
Seems to me the announcement is about the coaches to replace Amfleet I's. The strategy for motive power looks like new acquisitions will be dual mode and/ or battery powered. Anything that travels beyond the NE Corridor can be powered by the new acquisitions, or by a combination of existing Electric and Diesel locomotives; Electric on one end, diesel on the other. Or new Dual mode power on one end and a control car on the other. Looks like they are emphasizing flexibility with this purchase. It is not lost on me that the diagram featured in the news release looks like a control car that also has seating.
  by RRspatch
 
Regarding the battery hybrids I'm guessing they will be used only on the trains operating north from New York to Albany. Both Metro North and the LIRR are also looking towards dual mode (diesel/3rd rail) to replace their current fleet. One of the requests from the MTA (MN/LIRR) was for a battery backup in case the train got "gapped" at either Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal. I believe Amtrak requires LIRR trains to have a unit at each end to prevent a train from getting gapped. The hang up to such a unit was the weight issue on the Park Avenue viaduct. Either Siemens has figured out how to lighten the load or perhaps we're looking at A1A trucks. I guess we'll have to wait to see how long it is before NY MTA makes their move. Having the LI batteries in the locomotive rather than under passenger cars would probably make it easier to get approval from the NYFD. As I said a few years ago I don't think the NYFD would approve of an "800 series" (UK) train with fuel tanks under each car.
  by BandA
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 6:22 pm
rcthompson04 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:15 pm
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:47 am
MattW wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:28 am After reading the Siemens release, I wonder if the battery will be more of a battery-assist where the battery is charged during braking, then used on acceleration so the diesel engine doesn't have to work as hard from a stop.
Yeah, I thought with this "backup" battery type of situation a diesel-pulled train might actually operate almost as well as an electric one? Say the battery is used to help with acceleration since that is where they excel, and then the battery only is used to pull through Penn Station, Amtrak could theoretically remove all the catenary and it's maintenance expense and run with hybrid locomotives everywhere.

It's only theoretical but I guess interesting food for thought.
In terms of Acelas, environmental friendliness and plethora of commuter users, I doubt the catenary is going anywhere. Diesel trains are still carbon trains.
Ah, but you got to think a little more about this.

#1 fact: About 60% of electricity generation is from fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. About 20% is from nuclear energy.

#2 fact: Biomass is now being converted into fuel and the cycle is considered carbon neutral. The tree absorbs carbon during its life and it is released back into the atmosphere when it is "burned" as fuel in an internal combustion engine. It is also Sulphur free unlike fossil fuel. EPA’s regulations treat biogenic CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of biomass from managed forests for fuel as carbon neutral.

So future diesel/battery trains could potentially be more carbon neutral than electric ones unless of course the electricity is 100% generated by the sun, wind and water. Interesting stuff and great news for the ailing forest industry and potential great PR for Amtrak if it ever was to convert to this type of operation.

Sure it's all theoretical. It's presented only for your consideration.

Some info for anyone interested:



https://oilandenergyonline.com/articles ... ste-maine/
Biomass. Instead of converting it indirectly, steam locomotives can just burn it! :wink:
  by frequentflyer
 
https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2021/07/0 ... rnization/

An interesting point, the Sprinters will find new homes, which will not be hard for Amtrak to do.

"This phase will also see the near-complete retirement of the current Siemens ACS-64 Sprinter fleet, as Amtrak will sell or lease out the fleet rather than give them a mid-life overhaul. A small handful will be kept to support long distance trains running into New York’s Penn Station.

The new ALC-42E locomotives will open up interesting operational and route possibilities for Amtrak, in part to support its Connects US plan. Amtrak’s current fleet of 67 Sprinters can only operate in electrified territory using overhead catenary wires, limiting Amtrak’s ability to seamlessly run trains to destinations outside electrified territory.

These routes currently require a time consuming swap between electric and diesel locomotives, adding about 30 minutes to each trip each way. Amtrak will be able to run trains such as the Vermonter, which requires an engine swap in New Haven, in both diesel and electrified territory and through New York’s Penn Station, which does not allow diesel operations due to ventilation concerns.

The new locomotives will also allow Amtrak to extend existing trains that operate wholly within electrified territory, such as extending Keystone trains from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. Dual-power trains will also be able to operate along the Northeast Corridor in the event of a catenary power issue, which today would bring a train to a halt."
  by MattW
 
Using the battery trains for the Empire Connection makes no sense unless they're intended to changeover closer to Spuyten Duyvil to improve air quality on the Empire Connection. If not, then it sounds like these ALC-42Es would work just fine since the last that I knew, the Empire Connection was electrified by overhead catenary to the same point as third rail.
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