• Amtrak EMU Discussion - Metroliners, Current Proposals, etc.

  • 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 mtuandrew
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:09 am The one idea that I had for running EMUs is maybe Amtrak can work out something with PennDot to buy dedicated EMU trainsets for the Keystone Corridor. Mus would work great on the Keystones-many stations are close to each other, with the exception of the long gap between Parkesburg and Lancaster. Of course, the downside of this is that I don't think PennDot would want these trainset to operate on other Amtrak NEC trains.
Oh now that’s an idea. Do you suppose a Silverliner V could maintain 125 mph? It would be nice to spec something that SEPTA could maintain in lieu of Amtrak.
  by Pensyfan19
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 4:48 pm
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:09 am The one idea that I had for running EMUs is maybe Amtrak can work out something with PennDot to buy dedicated EMU trainsets for the Keystone Corridor. Mus would work great on the Keystones-many stations are close to each other, with the exception of the long gap between Parkesburg and Lancaster. Of course, the downside of this is that I don't think PennDot would want these trainset to operate on other Amtrak NEC trains.
Oh now that’s an idea. Do you suppose a Silverliner V could maintain 125 mph? It would be nice to spec something that SEPTA could maintain in lieu of Amtrak.
Funny you mention silverliners. I recall that a silverliner was streamlined in 1967 and achieved a speed record of 156 mph (faster than the average speed of the regional). With this in mind, maybe it could be possible to modify/streamline any silverliners or other multiple units of that kind to reach those speeds and pull regional service.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW7mEoZypX8
  by Pensyfan19
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:37 pm Just like the Amfleets, the Silverliner IVs are very old and are supposed to be phased out down the road.
But what about Silverliner Vs or VIs?
  by bdawe
 
Presumably 125 could be achieved by some measure of re-gearing (slower acceleration unfortunately) and an aerodynamic shroud, as was necessary for the silverliner high speed test .

Or, you could just take advantage of the newer FRA alternate compliance rules and use real-world tested 200 km/h EMU designs from Europe
  by David Benton
 
RRspatch wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 12:31 am One of the reasons EMU's and DMU's fell out of favor in this country is the added costs they entail. Every EMU and DMU is considered a "locomotive" by the FRA and therefore needs to be inspected every 92 days. Add in the fact that each cab now needs PTC (be it I-ETMS or ACSES or in the case of MARC BOTH) you're talking even more costs. I believe plain old dumb coaches only have to inspected once a year. With the exception of Metro North, LIRR and SEPTA most operators have moved towards locomotive hauled trains.

Another factor is that locomotive hauled trains are scalable. Just add more coaches and another locomotive as needed. Most EMU and DMU sets aren't.
Maybe more frequent inspections wouldn't be a bad idea on Amtrak .
92 days does not seem unreasonable to me.
  by mtuandrew
 
David Benton wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 7:49 pm Maybe more frequent inspections wouldn't be a bad idea on Amtrak .
92 days does not seem unreasonable to me.
It’s up to 184 days between inspections if the locomotive or MU is equipped with electronic loggers, which any new units (and most units since the 1990s) would be. (That’s in addition to daily inspections before use.) https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/229.23
  by Tadman
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 10:41 pm The irony is, we have truly a metric crap ton of plans which have stood the test of time.
Heavyweight Pullman’s and parlor cars ran at 100MPH behind GG1s and P-5s in the 30s. ...Streamline cars before WWIIran at 100MPH plus and did so safely on jointed rail Why are we reinventing the wheel?
Because reinventing the wheel is classic government agency scope creep, perpetuated as job security. The Amtrak rolling stock guys knew if they just fixed the rainbow fleet or ordered one giant lot of Amfleets, they were 80% out of work by 1976. Instead, they've made an entire industry for 50 years of coming up with awful rolling stock.
Pensyfan19 wrote: Funny you mention silverliners. I recall that a silverliner was streamlined in 1967 and achieved a speed record of 156 mph (faster than the average speed of the regional).
Amtrak and DOT were really hoping you didn't remember that. For those just tuning in, a four-car set of Silverliners were used as test cars to run at high speed, and they did quite well. Then they clean-sheated and created the Metroliner EMU with "advanced technology" that didn't work. The Silverliner was introduced around 1955 and lasted til 2013. The Arrow III was introduced around 1972 and still runs.
bdawe wrote:how long does it take to get a string of concrete-floor heavyweights up to 100 mph behind a GG1, and how are you running those GG1 without all those lovely PCBs?
I don't think it's John's suggestion to re-make the GG1, but to rather remember that we didn't need billions of dollars of studies and committees and such to run fast. We ran fast using really old tech, and now we have all these committees and studies and half-a** HST's and we can barely keep up. There has been little marginal improvement on safety or efficiency since the Silverliner of 1955.
David Benton wrote:Because modern designs are lighter , more efficient , and safer. Same reason they are not building automobiles like they did in the 50 's.
We have to keep in mind when we hit he margin of diminishing returns. With autos, we need to figure out how to solve 30,000-50,000 deaths per year. With trains, we don't. A bad year sees 20 train accident deaths. Many good years go by with none. Same thing with lightness. At some point, it's just not a thing. How much track damaged results from an MP54 at top speed versus a Silverliner at top speed versus an M8 or Acela at top speed? How much different is the current draw? I would argue that the Silverliner was the inflection point when EMU design topped out. Silverliners had air conditioning, disc brakes, automated doors, public address, and crumple zones. Subsequent single-mode EMU have not offered anything novel.


Riddle me this: If in 1971, Amtrak had ordered the following:
1. (1,000) coaches with 60 seats built to the pattern of the last Denver Zephyr order
2. (300) 10/6 sleepers built to the last Denver Zephyr order
3. (300) Silverliner 2 with gearing from the T1-T4 demo cars
4. (200) FP45 built to ATSF spec
5. (10) E44 with steam generator for Silver/Crescent etc at 90mph max

What would today look like? Instead of trying to continually reinvent the wheel, what would our world be like if they called up PRR and ATSF passenger departments and said "what is your best practice in each category?".
  by mtuandrew
 
Colonel: why only 10 E44s - would you still be looking for an AEM-7 down the road to replace the GG1 fleet? And would the extra 600 hp on the FP45 be worth the more frequent crankshaft breakage, rather than just putting a cowl on an SDP40 (and skipping the hollow bolster business?)

Also, add dining and lounge cars to your list.

But in the end, aside from the Silver Streak S-IIIs you’d have a system looking a lot like VIA. For better or for worse.
  by Tadman
 
I'm a civlian contractor, so you do not salute me. (Top Gun reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPIPLahykrI)

That list was formed from one perspective: items that work flawlessly at A-day. Sure, you could replace the ATSF FP45 with the GN SDP40. And you could replace the DZ-type coaches with KCS 1964 coaches or comets with bigger chairs. Both were later-date equipment orders.

The (10) E44 were just for moving LD trains to NYP. At the time, they were moving toward EMU service for all intra-corridor runs, hence the big Silverliner order.

The object wasn't so much to look like Via as it was to reduce complexity and especially head count, studies, concepts...

What did the viewliner really achieve that the 10/6 didn't? Was the amfleet measurably better than the DZ budd coach?

The smartest procurement Amtrak did was the Horizon. Other than the doors, there are almost no known problems.
  by mtuandrew
 
Sorry Tad, you quoted half a dozen people and I got confused :wink:

In this thread’s scope, I’d have loved to seen a Silver Streak fleet of Amtrak S-IIIs or Jersey Arrows hitting 125 mph on the daily*. I’d also love for Amtrak to have just ordered RDCs - an incrementally improved version, not a modified Metroliner. I think that 100 Super RDCs would have opened up new, smaller markets for NRPC that they never really exploited (think the Mountaintopper and the Gulf Breeze, but permanently because costs would have been lower.)

*did the Silverliners have automatic voltage and frequency switching?
  by John_Perkowski
 
I think Tad’s hypothetical order has merit. I think the other part of it is you reorder the Santa Fe hi-level cars, and fully re equip the Western fleet. Build either the lounge or the diner to be the transition, and you’re done.

Here’s a point worthy of considering: A heavyweight sleeper outshopped in 1929 by Pullman was as old on A-Day as the Amfleet I and Superliners are today.
  by John_Perkowski
 
Tadman wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 11:30 am The smartest procurement Amtrak did was the Horizon. Other than the doors, there are almost no known problems.
The window size, Tad, the window size...
  by Jeff Smith
 
mtuandrew wrote: Wed May 27, 2020 5:09 am Sorry Tad, you quoted half a dozen people and I got confused :wink:

In this thread’s scope, I’d have loved to seen a Silver Streak fleet of Amtrak S-IIIs or Jersey Arrows hitting 125 mph on the daily*. I’d also love for Amtrak to have just ordered RDCs - an incrementally improved version, not a modified Metroliner. I think that 100 Super RDCs would have opened up new, smaller markets for NRPC that they never really exploited (think the Mountaintopper and the Gulf Breeze, but permanently because costs would have been lower.)

*did the Silverliners have automatic voltage and frequency switching?
:P guess what topic I've revived: https://railroad.net/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=162152
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