• 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 Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Thompson, a "guess" from my having "been there done that". Rail Jet "full" cars are 60 First; 84 Second. Less of course in Control and Food Service cars, but some in both.

Regarding Mr. Olesen's immediate, of course the cars will not have "Eurocrusher" link and pin couplers (again; horrified when I have seen cars added or cut over there), but might they have couplers similar to those of transit railcars with an AAR coupler only on the Control Car?

I still think the Control Car over here will have a "Duckbill Platypus" on it rather than the sleek look of that on the Rail Jet. Incidentally, plenty of Grade X-ings throughout Austria.
  by eolesen
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:56 am Regarding Mr. Olesen's immediate, of course the cars will not have "Eurocrusher" link and pin couplers (again; horrified when I have seen cars added or cut over there), but might they have couplers similar to those of transit railcars with an AAR coupler only on the Control Car?
I might need to dig up the RFP specs for the consortium cars...

I'd be shocked to see Amtrak specify or even allow anything other than AAR couplers with hoses and jumpers if individual or pairs of cars are going to be used on foreign roads vs. a captive network like the NEC, as it limits the ability to move bad-ordered cars just about anywhere except an Amtrak terminal where there might be a switcher with the right coupler adapter.

Would that possibly also be a host-road prohibition?... God forbid a drawbar snaps and the train can't be moved after a quick field repair with a standard drawbar or knuckle...
  by Greg Moore
 
Again, I think there's no reason to think they'll be much different from the Siemens Venture series that Brightline and others in North America are using.

In that case it's 50 in Business class, 44 in cafe/economy, 70 in economy and 62 in the cab car.
For a typical 6 car train that's 316 economy and 50 business.

Only difference we might expect is more tables in the cafe care, reducing the seats there.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
That Amtrak in their Press Release referred to 83 ICT's (Inter City Trainsets), that strongly suggested - at least to me - that they had semi-permanently coupled cars much as are the OBB and CD Rail Jets.

Otherwise, I would think they would have advertised the number of cars they contemplate ordering. Any references I made to seven car sets were simply drawn from my experiences overseas with the Rail Jets, which trust me, put the Amfleets to shame. The video I posted early in this discussion showing the little kid at Salzburg and wandering through the train is "real".

Finally a bit off topic, I noted earlier I was thinking of "going back" for a week during August and the Festival. However, even if the EU is prepared to admit VAXED US citizens for visits, the reality could well remain this:

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news ... ng-minimum

"Unthink" is occurring.
  by Alphaboi
 
Greg Moore wrote:Again, I think there's no reason to think they'll be much different from the Siemens Venture series that Brightline and others in North America are using.

In that case it's 50 in Business class, 44 in cafe/economy, 70 in economy and 62 in the cab car.
For a typical 6 car train that's 316 economy and 50 business.

Only difference we might expect is more tables in the cafe care, reducing the seats there.
I'm pretty sure the trainsets will be longer, at leastonaverage. The Avelia Liberty trainsets have a maximum capacity of 386 in 9 (8 coaches, 1 cafe) car trainset. Granted the cars are shorter; but presumably Amtrak will want a similar capacity for the Northeast Regionals.

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  by eolesen
 
If the California/Midwest cars are any precedent... here's the specification on couplers:
Each car shall be equipped on both ends with an energy absorbing coupler with associated draft gear, coupler carrier, uncoupling mechanism and centering device. The couplers shall be designed to be physically compatible with, couple to, and operate with standard Type H Tightlock couplers and components conforming to MCSCM drawings and APTA standards. The coupler head and knuckle shall conform to the Type H Tightlock pattern as per corresponding MCSCM drawings and specifications. The coupler and draft gear assembly shall be compliant with the requirements of APTA Recommended Practice RP-M-003-98. Push back couplers with energy absorption shall be used as a component of an integrated crash energy management system.
I read that to require standard Type H Tightlock couplers, but the requirement for this bid was standalone cars, and not trainsets.

I can't imagine Siemens or Amtrak would want to have two different designs of Venture cars, but anything's possible.
  by Ridgefielder
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:19 am If the California/Midwest cars are any precedent... here's the specification on couplers:
Each car shall be equipped on both ends with an energy absorbing coupler with associated
draft gear, coupler carrier, uncoupling mechanism and centering device. The couplers shall be
designed to be physically compatible with, couple to, and operate with standard Type H
Tightlock couplers and components conforming to MCSCM drawings and APTA standards. The
coupler head and knuckle shall conform to the Type H Tightlock pattern as per corresponding
MCSCM drawings and specifications. The coupler and draft gear assembly shall be compliant
with the requirements of APTA Recommended Practice RP-M-003-98. Push back couplers with
energy absorption shall be used as a component of an integrated crash energy management
system.
I read that to require standard Type H Tightlock couplers, but the requirement for this bid was standalone cars, and not trainsets.

I can't imagine Siemens or Amtrak would want to have two different designs of Venture cars, but anything's possible.
Given that the ACS-64's are only 7 years old, at the oldest, I have to assume any rolling stock Amtrak buys is going to be compatible with them. And given the need for the ACS-64's to haul everything running south out of NY Penn there's no way Amtrak is going to change out the couplers on those for some kind of transit- or Euro-style thing that wouldn't be compatible with LD equipment.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:56 am Regarding Mr. Olesen's immediate, of course the cars will not have "Eurocrusher" link and pin couplers (again; horrified when I have seen cars added or cut over there), but might they have couplers similar to those of transit railcars with an AAR coupler only on the Control Car?
Could have both for emergency situations.

Image
  by Marcop23
 
I don't think that anybody actually would consider a buffer and chain style coupler. It is only used in Europe because it is the status quo, and it often makes to use something that is compatible with the other equipment than change it for a slight advantage.

Nobody in the EU actually likes buffer and chain couplers. They can handle less tonnage and are not automatic so relatively unsafe. No three step protection: Often, the locomotive is actively pushing against a braked trainset to ease the coupling, while a worker is standing between them, haha.

So, with something better being also the status quo in the US, and with Siemens already having experience with them, I don't know why they would consider something else. Maybe indeed married pair sets to reduce slack, but nothing more.
  by Greg Moore
 
A link to the local dead tree: https://www.timesunion.com/business/art ... 133782.php
And it's not clear what exactly the trainsets will look like. But Jack Madden, a retired official with the New York State Department of Transportation who serves on the Next Generation Equipment Committee, an industry organization established by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, has some ideas.

"The PRIIA trainset specifications use the same type of shell and some of the subsystems" as current equipment being produced by Siemens, Madden said. So he expects Amtrak's new equipment will resemble the so-called Venture cars that were acquired by Illinois and several other Midwest states for use on their state-supported routes.
  by electricron
 
Greg Moore wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:36 pm A link to the local dead tree: https://www.timesunion.com/business/art ... 133782.php
I suppose it would not be bad timing to refresh everyone what Amtrak California and Amtrak Midwest bought as Venture cars.
Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_Venture
The California Department of Transportation has ordered seven trainsets for the San Joaquins service with seven cars each: four coaches with economy seating, two coaches with economy seating and vending machines, and one cab car (control car) with economy seating. The order includes 49 cars for California, formed into seven semi-permanently-coupled trainsets.

Uniquely among Siemens Venture trainsets, the Midwest trains will be made up of married pairs (two coaches semi-permanently coupled with open gangway-style connections) and 26 individual coaches with traditional gangway connections. The married pairs will consist of 17 café cars mated to 17 economy seating coaches and 17 combination "business class"/economy coaches mated to 17 economy seating coaches. The business class and cafe cars will have two vestibules each, while the coaches will have one. Wisconsin later ordered six coaches and three cab cars, for use on the Hiawatha Service, paid for with a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. The additional six coaches will be added to the pool of equipment used by the Midwest states. The three cab/coach cars will be used exclusively on the Hiawatha Service.

A Brightline trainset consists of four semi-permanently-coupled coaches: three coaches with "Smart" economy seating and one with "Select" premium seating. Each trainset is paired with a Siemens Charger SCB-40 diesel-electric locomotive on each end. Once the route to Orlando is in operation, the trainsets will be expanded to seven coaches, and five more complete trainsets will be purchased.

Via Rail announced that it was purchasing 32 Venture trainsets to replace the entire fleet used on its Québec City–Windsor Corridor. Via Rail trainsets will consist of five individual coaches: two coaches with "business class" premium seating, two coaches with economy seating, and one cab car (control car) with economy seating.

Generally Siemens has mostly delivered semi-permanently coupled trainset, with the exception of the Midwest order of semi-permanently coupled married pairs with additional traditional coupling coaches. What the new Amtrak corridor trains will be has not been announced, it could go either way. Passengers do seem to prefer the open gangways between the coaches that can only be accomplished with semi-permanently couplings.

The married pairs for the Midwest order might be caused by what the different states are willing to subsidize. Wisconsin prefers a train more equivalent to a long range commuter trains than an intercity train full of just standard coaches - not willing to subside food services or business class. Missouri, Michigan, and Illinois on the other hand with longer trains prefer the opposite, an intercity train rather than a long distance commuter train.

It will be interesting to see what Amtrak will want on the NEC and what the respective states will be willing to subsidize for train extensions off the NEC. I'm thinking married pairs like the Midwest order seems more pausible, as different states will be willing to subsidize different levels of service. But that is just my opinion.
  by bostontrainguy
 
MattW wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:08 pm I'd just like to see an American version of a British Class 800 series. Maybe with tilt too.
UK
Fatigue cracks sideline GWR Class 800s
27 April 2021
UK: Great Western Railway has taken some of its Class 800 inter-city trains out of service following the discovery of fatigue cracking in the yaw damper bolsters on a number of vehicles.
  by David Benton
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:20 pm
MattW wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:08 pm I'd just like to see an American version of a British Class 800 series. Maybe with tilt too.
UK
Fatigue cracks sideline GWR Class 800s
27 April 2021
UK: Great Western Railway has taken some of its Class 800 inter-city trains out of service following the discovery of fatigue cracking in the yaw damper bolsters on a number of vehicles.
Maybe they copied the Acela's design. :wink: