EuroStar wrote: ↑Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:55 am
The real reason why this is not done now is not the cost of the diesel fuel or electricity, it is the lack of capital dollars. Amtrak does not have enough electric motors to constantly have several of them wonder around in Virginia or further south. The same is true for the diesels. There are not enough of them to let them wonder around the NEC. If the capital dollars were there, a Sprinter on one end and a Charger on the other is the way to run most of the trains that go south of DC, especially the ones that go only to Virginia.
Well, this depends on ridership. What is left out is storage space. There isn't an infinite amount. As an example, Norfolk only holds 9 pieces of equipment. If you need to add another coach to accommodate ridership, the presence of another engine (that isn't even being used) could impact potential ridership. Bryant Park in Richmond is another example. They have a 7 piece limit. If the train is going to lay up in this location, you already have to cut a coach at WAS. Adding another engine would mean you'd have to cut another coach or not send the train. There are numerous examples and while you can probably add to the infrastructure in some places, other areas can not be extended and some would generate a large expense.
Still, once they are done with the overhauls on the ACS fleet, I think they could spare a few to go down south for a day. You'd need to train personnel and establish a parts supply at the outlying points. If would also leave the ACS at an unapproved facility, which would mean the builder is not responsible for delays associated with failure, but it is probably doable.