• Should Amtrak have considered new Motivepower 5400 HP Locomotive?

  • 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 MattW
 
The idea of a single unified fleet is certainly nice, has lots of advantages, but is it absolutely necessary? I don't mean from Amtrak's point of view, I know they'll say yes. But why not have different units for different purposes? ALC-42 for northeastern service, MP54Ac for the heavier trains across the rest of the country? I don't know of too many railroads that have truly uniform fleets. Different equipment is for different purposes.
  by Backshophoss
 
The MP54 will make some of the host RR's balk,due to it's weight
The Chargers are a better design for system wide use,while the Dual mode units add a small amount of parts specific to them
  by Tadman
 
MattW wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:27 pm The idea of a single unified fleet is certainly nice, has lots of advantages, but is it absolutely necessary? I don't mean from Amtrak's point of view, I know they'll say yes. But why not have different units for different purposes? ALC-42 for northeastern service, MP54Ac for the heavier trains across the rest of the country? I don't know of too many railroads that have truly uniform fleets. Different equipment is for different purposes.
It's not necessary and virtually impossible. Everybody loves the idea because Ryanair and Southwest do it. But I can't name any railroad other than some of the really small (IE 3 trainsets) carriers that have a homogeneous fleet.

Given that most major passenger carriers receive quite a bit of federal funding, and 3/4 of them are in the Northeast Corridor, it would be interesting if FRA/DOT sat down with the carriers and came up with a cohesive plan. This plan might include designating certain shops as centers of excellence for common makes/models of equipment. That way equipment that is considered orphan on one carrier but common on a nearby carrier could be contract maintained at a place that is familiar with the model and stocks parts.

For example, CtDot has perhaps four Genesis. It's an orphan carrier. But Amtrak has hundreds, and maintenance at Albany makes good sense. If MBTA were to run electric trains on the Providence line, rather than building an electric shop, they could have Amtrak maintain a small group of ACS or MTA maintain a small group of M8's.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Wasn't the old idea that we should buy a bunch from EMD and a bunch from GE? In that way we support two rivals who will provide competitiveness in innovation and pricing. If there were only one locomotive maker left, they would have us over a barrel and charge whatever they wanted.
  by mtuandrew
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 9:44 am Wasn't the old idea that we should buy a bunch from EMD and a bunch from GE? In that way we support two rivals who will provide competitiveness in innovation and pricing. If there were only one locomotive maker left, they would have us over a barrel and charge whatever they wanted.
That’s about right, and Amtrak has done a fair job of getting their fleet from different builders. At first mainly EMD with GE outliers, then the great switch in about 2000 to a mainly GE fleet with EMD outliers. It’s the case today too, even though Siemens is getting the vast majority of Amtrak orders, Alstom is building the Acela. As of yet we don’t know who is getting the Amtrak/MTA order, and the replacement P32BWH order (if/when that happens) will go to someone else entirely.

I wish the HSP-46 hadn’t turned out so poorly, because it would look right at home leading an Amtrak LD. On the other hand, I understand the MP54 to be a particularly thirsty locomotive - not good for long distances.