• Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

  • 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 Greg Moore
 
David Benton wrote:Possibly , though we are talking a 30 year life span , and would have thought the benefits of mass production would outweigh any extra costs .
I'm thinking perhaps different platform height capability is the problem .
More than that.

You're more likely to go with a tilting train, and a train set vs. individual cars. So, for other routes where you're more likely to swap cars in and out, you get less flexibility.
  by afiggatt
 
The Fred Frailey Trains magazine column Amtrak and CHSRA team up for new high speed trains is the source of the Railway Age article. I would have expected a lot more discussion on the railroad forums about the proposed plan or least discussion by Amtrak and the California High Speed Rail Authority to submit a joint order for 62 HSR trainsets, 32 for Amtrak to run on the NEC presumably as Acela 2s and 30 for CA HSR. There are many obstacles to a joint order, but the railfans should not complain that Amtrak management is not considering a rather bold plan for the Acela supplement & replacement trainsets.
  by electricron
 
afiggatt wrote:The Fred Frailey Trains magazine column Amtrak and CHSRA team up for new high speed trains is the source of the Railway Age article. I would have expected a lot more discussion on the railroad forums about the proposed plan or least discussion by Amtrak and the California High Speed Rail Authority to submit a joint order for 62 HSR trainsets, 32 for Amtrak to run on the NEC presumably as Acela 2s and 30 for CA HSR. There are many obstacles to a joint order, but the railfans should not complain that Amtrak management is not considering a rather bold plan for the Acela supplement & replacement trainsets.
I would be much more excited if they were releasing a RFP instead of a RFI.
I would also prefer to see Amtrak refurbishing its NEC tracks before buying new faster train sets. The slow tracks they have will also force faster trains to run slower, as they are forcing Acela slow downs now.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
Given the lack of technical expertise, and the disregard for economics, facts or even simple common sense at CHSRA, we can only hope that Amtrak's purchasing decision isn't guided by the HSR fantasists in California. There isn't even very much common ground between the operating conditions on the NE Corridor and the prospective California network.

Right now, it really doesn't matter if Amtrak procures 220MPH trainsets, because there's no prospective 220MPH right-of-way until half-way through the life cycle of the projected Acela replacement trainsets. What Amtrak really needs is something capable of supporting a much higher utilization rate that the current Acela sets, without the design and reliability issue that beset the Acelas at the beginning of service.
  by afiggatt
 
electricron wrote: I would be much more excited if they were releasing a RFP instead of a RFI.
I would also prefer to see Amtrak refurbishing its NEC tracks before buying new faster train sets. The slow tracks they have will also force faster trains to run slower, as they are forcing Acela slow downs now.
For major orders such as this, an RFI is a a necessary step before issuing a RFP. Need to see which vendors are interested and what they may have to offer, before releasing a RFP and the specs. I doubt if a RFP would be released before 2014, too many issues to resolve first.

If Amtrak waits until the entire NEC is "refurbished" or fully modernized, they would never issue an RFP for Acela 2s. Amtrak is leaving revenue on the table with the sold out Acelas and inability to meet the market demand. Upgrade the NEC where possible, but order the Acela 2s to bring in the additional revenue to provide more money for NEC and Amtrak system improvements. The major takeaway from this is that Amtrak is issuing an RFI without waiting for funding approval from Congress for an Acela 2 order first. Amtrak might - or should - ask for equipment order direct funding in the FY2014 budget, but may be prepared to place an order for Acela 2s without specific funding from Congress. That would be a significant moment if it plays out that way.
  by electricron
 
I wouldn't be against ordering Acela "2" train sets to increase the frequency of services as much as I'm against retiring Acela train sets early. I can see Amtrak phasing out Amfleet trains that never leave the NEC with the additional HSR train sets. That would allow using the existing Amfleet cars on trains that do leave the corridor - Keystones, Empire, Vermonter, Ethan Allen, Virginia extensions, etc. That would allow Amtrak to delay replacing the Amfleets.
  by Adirondacker
 
goodnightjohnwayne wrote:Right now, it really doesn't matter if Amtrak procures 220MPH trainsets, because there's no prospective 220MPH right-of-way until half-way through the life cycle of the projected Acela replacement trainsets.
It will matter if halfway through their lifecycle the track is capable of 220 or even 180 and all they can do is 160.
  by Greg Moore
 
Adirondacker wrote:
goodnightjohnwayne wrote:Right now, it really doesn't matter if Amtrak procures 220MPH trainsets, because there's no prospective 220MPH right-of-way until half-way through the life cycle of the projected Acela replacement trainsets.
It will matter if halfway through their lifecycle the track is capable of 220 or even 180 and all they can do is 160.
Unfortunately, I think the likelihood of us seeing any 220mph stretches in the NEC in the next 2 decades is pretty low.
  by MattW
 
Perhaps we won't see much 220mph right of way, but what other high speed trains are out there, off the shelf, offer the amenities of Acela, and can operate at 160mph? Frankly I don't see why it's a problem to use say, a Siemens Velaro, but only run it 160mph, I highly doubt there would be much price difference for ordering a 160mph only version.
  by george matthews
 
Proper High Speed rail needs better track and light weight trains, as in France and Germany.
  by David Benton
 
and a european maintenance culture , which we donthave in the colonies . thats where something like talgos supply and maintain stance comes form . I believe Bombardier had a maintenance contract for the first five years for the Acela , but that turned to custard .
  by Matt Johnson
 
MattW wrote:Perhaps we won't see much 220mph right of way, but what other high speed trains are out there, off the shelf, offer the amenities of Acela, and can operate at 160mph? Frankly I don't see why it's a problem to use say, a Siemens Velaro, but only run it 160mph, I highly doubt there would be much price difference for ordering a 160mph only version.
Exactly. In fact, that's what Russia did. I think its Velaro trains run at 155 mph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapsan
  by Arlington
 
Matt Johnson wrote:
MattW wrote:Perhaps we won't see much 220mph right of way, but what other high speed trains are out there, off the shelf, offer the amenities of Acela, and can operate at 160mph? Frankly I don't see why it's a problem to use say, a Siemens Velaro, but only run it 160mph, I highly doubt there would be much price difference for ordering a 160mph only version.
Exactly. In fact, that's what Russia did. I think its Velaro trains run at 155 mph:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapsan
Right, a procurement win! 220mph is what "off the shelf" HSR trains do these days. If Amtrak says the whole reason for cancelling the extra Acela cars and getting FRA waivers was to buy "off the shelf" then they darn well better actually buy off the shelf!
  by Greg Moore
 
Arlington wrote:
Matt Johnson wrote:
MattW wrote:Perhaps we won't see much 220mph right of way, but what other high speed trains are out there, off the shelf, offer the amenities of Acela, and can operate at 160mph? Frankly I don't see why it's a problem to use say, a Siemens Velaro, but only run it 160mph, I highly doubt there would be much price difference for ordering a 160mph only version.
Exactly. In fact, that's what Russia did. I think its Velaro trains run at 155 mph:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapsan
Right, a procurement win! 220mph is what "off the shelf" HSR trains do these days. If Amtrak says the whole reason for cancelling the extra Acela cars and getting FRA waivers was to buy "off the shelf" then they darn well better actually buy off the shelf!
So, what off the shelf equipment meets current FRA (or proposed) specs?
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