• 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 pbj123
 
At first blush, I couldn't imagine replacing the electrics in the middle of their life cycle, but, if Amtrak could lease those electrics to the MBTA or other commuter agencies that operate on the Corridor With diesels, it makes sense. The higher performance gained by putting electrics on the MBTA locals in RI and MA would increase capacity without any other infrastructure improvements ( Not sure if the increased electric demand would be a limiter). Can't tell you how many times I followed a Local into Boston on an Acela. And it would broaden the reach of the Corridor itself; potentially creating totally new markets with new city -pairs.
  by eolesen
 
electricron wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:52 pm 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.
It's not that hard to convert DC to AC... The Nippon-Sharyo built Highliners use inverters to change DC off the wire into three-phase AC for the traction motors (CTA's 5000-series cars do the same thing). Couple that with an order for single level commuter cars, and Siemens might even eat the cost.
  by STrRedWolf
 
realtype wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:19 pm
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).
MARC uses them sparingly because it runs diesels on it's other lines (which are owned by CSX), and doesn't have the passenger cars to run a split service. To commit to all-electric off the NEC/Penn Line, it would have to swap engines at Washington or buy more passenger cars that aren't showing their age and can fit through the B&P.

SEPTA may just have the Sprinters as rescue engines, TBH.
  by mcgrath618
 
realtype wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:19 pm 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
SEPTA is all electric, as is Denver’s commuter rail.
  by mcgrath618
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 6:27 am
realtype wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:19 pm
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).
MARC uses them sparingly because it runs diesels on it's other lines (which are owned by CSX), and doesn't have the passenger cars to run a split service. To commit to all-electric off the NEC/Penn Line, it would have to swap engines at Washington or buy more passenger cars that aren't showing their age and can fit through the B&P.

SEPTA may just have the Sprinters as rescue engines, TBH.
SEPTA owns a set of Comet II and III cars that are used on peak service on express trains. They saw limited if any use during COVID, were briefly brought back, but have since been taken out of service due to an electrical fault found in Wayne Substation that only affects the Sprinters.

SEPTA will also use them (all 15 locomotives) when their bi-level CRRC coaches begin arriving in Q4 2021.
  by MattW
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:57 am
electricron wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:52 pm 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.
It's not that hard to convert DC to AC... The Nippon-Sharyo built Highliners use inverters to change DC off the wire into three-phase AC for the traction motors (CTA's 5000-series cars do the same thing). Couple that with an order for single level commuter cars, and Siemens might even eat the cost.
It's far from trivial. Even though the Sprinters use a higher voltage DC link (2000-3000 volts if I remember) that's after the high voltage AC has been stepped down and converted to DC. The trains would need an entirely new electrical "front end" to handle the much lower, and DC, voltage. Plus, low voltage DC doesn't make much sense for locomotive-hauled trains, I'm afraid the current draw would be too high so either performance would have to be very limited, or the substations and distribution infrastructure would need some serious beefing up. Either way, EMUs are the way to go if you're electrified with low voltage DC.
mcgrath618 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 7:30 am *posts quoted by this post removed for decluttering*
SEPTA owns a set of Comet II and III cars that are used on peak service on express trains. They saw limited if any use during COVID, were briefly brought back, but have since been taken out of service due to an electrical fault found in Wayne Substation that only affects the Sprinters.

SEPTA will also use them (all 15 locomotives) when their bi-level CRRC coaches begin arriving in Q4 2021.
An electrical fault in a substation that only affects the Sprinters? How??? I know that's drifting off topic, but I'd definitely like to know more about that, it makes no sense to me.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The prospect of dual mode locomotives and the premature retirement of the ACS-64 Sprinter fleet, has not surprisingly given rise to much discussion at this topic.

True, operational efficiencies would arise should Locally sponsored trains such as those serving Virginia and North Carolina could eliminate the Wash engine change (little more to it nowadays than when the New Haven allowed the Merchants Limited 240 SECONDS to accomplish such at New Haven - and without radios).

But the "flip" is simply how successful have dual mode locomotives been at least over here (I have no knowledge to what extent they are in service overseas). I know so first hand that the New Haven's FL-9's had issues through their entire service life. Now didn't the Long Island have some Third rail diesel locomotives that proved to be "duds"?

Since we have Amtrak Passenger Engineers around here that actually operate the P-32's.(7XX), I wholly defer to them regarding their reliability.

Now so far as Diesel/Catenary locomotives go, didn't NJTransit have some from overseas that have also proven to be "duds"? All told, all I know is "my overseas Disneyland" of Austria hasn't any. I further have concerns that prime contractor Siemens, or anybody else for that matter, has the institutional expertise to draw upon beyond "trial and error". Unlike the order for "83 sets", there is the expertise with, to me, the attractive cars Siemens has built for the OBB and CD RailJets, as well as for Brightline and, I'm sure, those for the several Local agencies will prove to be.

So far as locomotives, the Sprinters are "knock off's" of those supplied to DB, OBB, and possibly other European systems.

But finally, with all these experimental locomotives being addressed here - including the one with the battery pack "Tender", and with delivery of the new equipment stretching through 2030, I think it safe to say that the 68 Sprinters have a full service life ahead - and on Amtrak!
  by mcgrath618
 
MattW wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:04 am
mcgrath618 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 7:30 am SEPTA owns a set of Comet II and III cars that are used on peak service on express trains. They saw limited if any use during COVID, were briefly brought back, but have since been taken out of service due to an electrical fault found in Wayne Substation that only affects the Sprinters.

SEPTA will also use them (all 15 locomotives) when their bi-level CRRC coaches begin arriving in Q4 2021.
An electrical fault in a substation that only affects the Sprinters? How??? I know that's drifting off topic, but I'd definitely like to know more about that, it makes no sense to me.
We talked about it briefly on the SEPTA subforum: septa-push-pull-overview-t167092-195.html

The cause is still unknown. Makes me wish COVID Had never happened; we probably would’ve seen the toasters make a last stand.
  by mdvle
 
[quote="Gilbert B Norman" post_id=1575735 time=1626182175 user_id=256]
Now so far as Diesel/Catenary locomotives go, didn't NJTransit have some from overseas that have also proven to be "duds"? All told, all I know is "my overseas Disneyland" of Austria hasn't any. I further have concerns that prime contractor Siemens, or anybody else for that matter, has the institutional expertise to draw upon beyond "trial and error". Unlike the order for "83 sets", there is the expertise with, to me, the attractive cars Siemens has built for the OBB and CD RailJets, as well as for Brightline and, I'm sure, those for the several Local agencies will prove to be.
[/quote]

NJT and the Bombardier ALP-45 dual mode perhaps? NJT placed a 4th order last September for more ALP-45 locos (another 8, to bring fleet to 60). So I guess it depends.

As for both Siemens and overseas:

Siemens offers Vectron Dual Mode, launched in 2018, with DB Cargo ordering 100 (with an option for a further 300), delivery starting in 2023.

Stadler built a dual mode for the UK (Class 88) 6+ years ago and there haven't been any public comments about reliability issues - and Stadler is now creating a tri-mode (25kv overhead/diesel/batttery) for the UK market with 30 on order (Class 93)

Stadler also offers their dual mode elsewhere, under the brand Euro Dual, and seems to have sold it in Germany and South Africa and a few other places.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
OK, so I'm correct that there were problems with the NJT units, but such have now been resolved.

While, "the Jury is still out" regarding the Siemens freight units ordered by DB, it's pleasing to learn that the Stadler equipment sold to one UK operator or the other designated Class 93 is performing OK.

But for Amtrak, five minutes station time at WAS, could mean a lot for Mr. Wolf if he were traveling BAL-RVR. Wouldn't mean much to one traveling NYP-MIA where the same diseconomies would be in play when Amtrak needs to assign both a P-42 and an ACS-64 to 66-67 when wire maintenance is done.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Those dual powered trainsets continuing onto points south might be waiting at WUS for 15 minutes rather than 5 minutes. Assuming that Amtrak still decides to have the passengers boarding in DC who are heading south wait for passengers who are coming from the north getting off, that requires a longer dwell time than five minutes. Remember that at WAS, you can only access the building from the south end of the platform. Plus many of those platforms are still low level.

I think it's safe to say that as more of these dual powered trainsets enter revenue service, the P42s will be retired. The Silver Service trains will be powered by Sprinters and then at DC, sooner rather than later, the ALC-42s will power them south of there. Amtrak wants the P42s pulled from long distance train service sooner rather than later.
  by Marcop23
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:07 am [...]
While, "the Jury is still out" regarding the Siemens freight units ordered by DB, it's pleasing to learn that the Stadler equipment sold to one UK operator or the other designated Class 93 is performing OK.
[...]
The Siemens-locomotives ordered by DB are 'light' dual power, with only 1300 hp diesel and 2.2 MW from the catenary. While the lessons learned will probably help for the Chargers, they are not entirely comparable.

The Stadler EuroDual on the other hand, has a much larger 3750 hp diesel, 6 MW electric, and works on both 16.7 Hz and 50 Hz catenary. It's also 126 tonnes, so light enough for a 4-axle American locomotive. Although only used for freight, I think that this locomotive is the closest to the Amtrak order that you'll find in Europe. They're in service for a few years now, and I think they're received very positively.
  by scratchyX1
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:24 am Those dual powered trainsets continuing onto points south might be waiting at WUS for 15 minutes rather than 5 minutes. Assuming that Amtrak still decides to have the passengers boarding in DC who are heading south wait for passengers who are coming from the north getting off, that requires a longer dwell time than five minutes. Remember that at WAS, you can only access the building from the south end of the platform. Plus many of those platforms are still low level.

I think it's safe to say that as more of these dual powered trainsets enter revenue service, the P42s will be retired. The Silver Service trains will be powered by Sprinters and then at DC, sooner rather than later, the ALC-42s will power them south of there. Amtrak wants the P42s pulled from long distance train service sooner rather than later.
I don't understand. You mean that people are traveling from the south through first street tunnel, just to transfer and go south again? Couldn't they just transfer at ALX?
Wouldn't the trains still have to contend with limited slots over long bridge, even with the reduced transfer?
  by eolesen
 
Keep in mind that 70 years ago, single E units rated at 2400hp (or less) used to handle much heavier cars and consists than what the Siemens sets look to be.

Having two power cars at about 2600hp combined should be just fine. If they manage to get the combined power up to 3000-3600hp, even better.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

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