• 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

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  by mcgrath618
 
hxa wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:08 pm
mcgrath618 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:03 pm
hxa wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:00 pm
mcgrath618 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 11:56 am
bostontrainguy wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 11:19 am
mcgrath618 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:43 am Agreed with above. Amtrak electric power isn’t going away, ever. Anyone implying that the Sprinters are going to be retired is jumping the shark.
Check this out:

https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2021/07/0 ... rnization/

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.
This is the second time someone has cited that website. Not only have I never heard of it before today, but it also seems to be a mostly air-related publication.

Nowhere in the Amtrak or Siemens press releases does it say ANYTHING about retiring the Sprinters specifically. I suspect that this was either bad info or simply baseless speculation on Runwaygirl’s part.

The Sprinters are only five years old. They were built for a service life at least quadruple that. Let’s use some logic here people.

If someone can provide me an official Amtrak publication, report, spec sheet, or otherwise that says that these are definitive replacement for the Sprinters, I will gladly eat my own shorts. Until then, this is all just speculation.
The author implied earlier that this info came from an Amtrak PR on twitter :
Where in that tweet is that implied?
In the comment section:

cmt.PNG
Didn’t see that tweet. Absolutely bizarre if this is the case. The Sprinters have plenty of useful life left.

I’ll bite my tongue until we see the specs but now I’m even more confused than I was at the beginning of this announcement.
  by Jadebenn
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:01 pm Keeping the Sprinters and buying these locomotives makes a lot of sense if you plan to keep the existing services plus adding a substantial number of regional services in the northeast.
An interesting point, and probably current management's thinking. However, I can't help but wonder if the amount of funds being discussed wouldn't allow for a pretty substantial buildout of catenary.
  by rcthompson04
 
Jadebenn wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 3:42 pm
rcthompson04 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:01 pm Keeping the Sprinters and buying these locomotives makes a lot of sense if you plan to keep the existing services plus adding a substantial number of regional services in the northeast.
An interesting point, and probably current management's thinking. However, I can't help but wonder if the amount of funds being discussed wouldn't allow for a pretty substantial buildout of catenary.
The infrastructure component of this is interesting unto itself. My thought went immediately to eliminating low level platforms on the existing Eastern routes.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
A lot less than half the Sprinters will be needed for the long distance trains. I think that after the closer to hourly Regional service to Richmond begins, there would only be a small number of Regionals only operating between DC and BOS or NYC and BOS. The reality of the matter is that many of the Sprinters would probably go to commuter railroads. MARC could certainly use some.

Sadly not every Amtrak station in the East will be getting their low level platforms replaced. Stations like New London and Mystic are examples as those stations are on very sharp curves. Westerly depot as as well. Thankfully, NLC has the smaller high level platforms but much of the platforms are still low level.
  by TurningOfTheWheel
 
I would ask if there were any appetite for electrifying the Richmond corridor, but clearly not if Amtrak is finding it simpler to yardsale their entire electric locomotive fleet in favor of dual-modes. Pretty disappointing.
  by pbj123
 
There are some interesting presumptions that don't make sense to me. Five or even ten year old engines are "new" on the railroads I worked on (Penn Central, Conrail, Amtrak). I don't see Amtrak selling or leasing them, but utilizing what they have to achieve their goals; to eliminate engine changes when leaving the Northeast Corridor. An existing diesel on one end, a consist of new coaches, and an existing electric on the other end works as well as a brand new dual mode engine with a control car on the other end. If the seating is fixed, like the new Avelia trains , then you could have a consist with a control car on one end, and whatever locomotive needed for the route on the other end. ( and you wouldn't have to loop it at ,say, Boston) A diesel for trains off corridor; an electric for a Corridor regional, or a dual mode for the Boston to Virginia trains. There may very well be a surplus of electric locomotives , but I don't think it will be a large number.
  by frequentflyer
 
TurningOfTheWheel wrote: Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:08 pm I would ask if there were any appetite for electrifying the Richmond corridor, but clearly not if Amtrak is finding it simpler to yardsale their entire electric locomotive fleet in favor of dual-modes. Pretty disappointing.
Hmmm, what’s cheaper,electrify right a way not built yet or buy dual mode locomotives? Hmmmm.
  by MattW
 
TurningOfTheWheel wrote: Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:08 pm I would ask if there were any appetite for electrifying the Richmond corridor, but clearly not if Amtrak is finding it simpler to yardsale their entire electric locomotive fleet in favor of dual-modes. Pretty disappointing.
It could be well over a decade before Virginia's dedicated tracks are operational, if not longer. Look how long it took them to build 11 miles of third track. Amtrak needs a new fleet now, to suit their operational needs now, not a hypothetical for 10 years down the line that may not materialize. Even if they electrify to Richmond, that's as far as they'd be going. There are still trains going to Newport News, Norfolk, and Roanoke (via two routes no less). There will still be a need for dual modes on these lines.
pbj123 wrote: Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:43 pm There are some interesting presumptions that don't make sense to me. Five or even ten year old engines are "new" on the railroads I worked on (Penn Central, Conrail, Amtrak). I don't see Amtrak selling or leasing them, but utilizing what they have to achieve their goals; to eliminate engine changes when leaving the Northeast Corridor. An existing diesel on one end, a consist of new coaches, and an existing electric on the other end works as well as a brand new dual mode engine with a control car on the other end. If the seating is fixed, like the new Avelia trains , then you could have a consist with a control car on one end, and whatever locomotive needed for the route on the other end. ( and you wouldn't have to loop it at ,say, Boston) A diesel for trains off corridor; an electric for a Corridor regional, or a dual mode for the Boston to Virginia trains. There may very well be a surplus of electric locomotives , but I don't think it will be a large number.
Hauling around two separate locomotives is very inefficient. During a chunk of the route, one of those engines could be used elsewhere. People responding to this plan are already complaining how much extra equipment a dual mode locomotive has to haul around for part of its route, that's nothing compared to an entire locomotive!
  by realtype
 
This article perfectly sums up a lot of the concerns over this order:
https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/in ... hallenges/

Siemens builds reliable products, but the track record of US-spec passenger locomotives in general is very spotty, and very hit-or-miss regarding reliability. Yet Amtrak has a brand new singular fleet of very reliable electric locomotives and they're willing to replace them with heavier, more complex, more expensive, and unproven units. Replacing the Genesis units for the Upstate NY/New England and VA/NC/GA routes is one thing but it makes a lot more sense to keep the dedicated fleet of ACS-64s for the NEC.
mcgrath618 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:45 am Handing the Sprinters off to another organization would also not be “easy,” as you have described. The only other transit agencies in the country that could use them would be MARC and SEPTA, both of which have no use for them (SEPTA already owns Sprinters and barely uses them as it is, and MARC’s electric traction needs are… complicated, to say the least). The MBTA might eventually have some use for them, but as it stands their trains are still pulled by diesel.
Reading this made me realize just how few railroads in the US actually operate push-pull electrics. Aside from Amtrak, NJT is really the only railroad that uses electric locos extensively (but not exclusively). As mentioned, MARC and SEPTA use them very sparingly (although MARC announced that all trains in the new Douglass Tunnel will be electric).

Come to think of it there's there's just a single all-electric railroad in the country, NICTD
  by eolesen
 

I see the comments about being able to retire or dispose of the ACS-64's as an option more than a necessity. What gets ordered vs. what gets delivered may be completely different as these variants go thru development and testing.
realtype wrote:Come to think of it there's there's just a single all-electric railroad in the country, NICTD
Even that is questionable. Their freight operation is dieselized. They have no electric road power left.

NICTD and Metra might be a possible home for Sprinters combined with surplus Amfleets or Horizons..... Does it make sense for Alstom to build out a MU variant of their bilevel now on order for MARC and Metra, or stick with unpowered trailers?

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  by electricron
 
eolesen wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:27 pm I see the comments about being able to retire or dispose of the ACS-64's as an option more than a necessity. What gets ordered vs. what gets delivered may be completely different as these variants go thru development and testing.
realtype wrote:Come to think of it there's there's just a single all-electric railroad in the country, NICTD
NICTD and Metra might be a possible home for Sprinters combined with surplus Amfleets or Horizons..... Does it make sense for Alstom to build out a MU variant of their bilevel now on order for MARC and Metra, or stick with unpowered trailers?
NICTD and Metra single and double level EMUs use 1500 volts "DC", not the 25Hz and 60 Hz "AC" voltages used on the NEC. That is significant, because it makes the ACS-64s incompatible with the NICTD and Metra electric lines.
  by MattW
 
All electric or all EMU? SEPTA is all electric as I recall, as-is Denver's RTD. Also, I believe South Shore long ago handed responsibility for the commuter operation to the State. They may still operate it, but it's at the state's behest, and none of their passenger equipment is diesel or even locomotive-hauled.
  by frequentflyer
 
For all we know Siemens may take the Sprinters in as trade, just like EMD with the SDP40s on the first batch of F40s.

In the future most of NEC trains will be run throughs. Washington DC and NYC will be points on a route not the end point, this will facilitate that.

Will there be teething problems with the bi motors, yes there will be, just like there were problems with the Genesis locomotive when it debuted. 30 years later the Genesis is still doing its job at Amtrak. The same with the bi motors, we will get used to it and wonder why did Amtrak do the other way for so long.
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