• Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, 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

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  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:54 am Anyone see this on CBS Morning News?

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/an-inside ... t-train/#x
No, but a good find. Plus a good point midway and at the end: The NEC wasn't designed for it. "The trains are fine. The tracks are terrible."
  by Matt Johnson
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:09 pm
No, but a good find. Plus a good point midway and at the end: The NEC wasn't designed for it. "The trains are fine. The tracks are terrible."
The point is valid, if not entirely technically accurate. The tracks on the NEC are pretty decent, but for every raceway stretch like the one through the Trenton-Princeton Junction-New Brunswick area there's a bottleneck somewhere, likely with an aging bridge or tunnel that's overdue for replacement.
  by gokeefe
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Anyone see this on CBS Morning News?

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/an-inside ... t-train/#x
Mr. Norman,

I had seen it in my news feed a but figured it would be more or less "the usual" bland content for a broadcast outlet. I'm pleased that I was wrong. There was some notable content in particular if your ears are sensitive to certain catch phrases.

"Speed upgrades" which was uttered by (I believe) a federal employee of TTCI is interesting in that it confirms (again) that there is an intent to run at faster than the current Acela. This is likely for NJ and RI segments.

The discussion of ongoing engineering activity in the HVAC was interesting to me as well. I have started to think that one of the most significant outcomes of COVID will be the creation of a new set of standards for air sanitation in public spaces exceeding certain size or density of use thresholds. One method in particular that might be applied could be the use of ultra violet light sources in an attempt to destroy organic matter which particulate filters do not currently capture. UV is currently used for certain applications in water and appears to hold promise in commercial HVAC applications. I have seen some early indications of this in equipment procurement for offices which now feature little UV based air sanitizers. The airlines may attempt something similar given the apparent inability of HEPA filters to prevent virus spread in onboard cabins. I suspect Amtrak is looking at air flow patterns as well of course.

Regardless, there are some significant challenges to be considered. The good news in all of this is that there will be follow on benefits with reduced influenza and rhino virus (common cold) transmission.

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  by gokeefe
 

STrRedWolf wrote:The NEC wasn't designed for it. "The trains are fine. The tracks are terrible."
I'm not necessarily a buyer on this. Although it is of course very true that the NEC has lots of deferred maintenance it is hard for me to accept that "the tracks are terrible". They are certainly not as smooth as the dedicated high speed rights of way in France, Japan and Germany however they also have many good track sections that are newer and very well maintained. Take a look at some of the videos of the German ICE coming into major stations and the interlocking conditions will sound (and look) comparable to parts of the NEC.

Where Amtrak does fall short in certain specific locations is on maintenance, which pre-COVID was at least in part due to extremely high schedule frequencies and long term funding shortfalls.

I guess it's hard for me to hear these broad generalizations of "the tracks are terrible" when the truth might be better said as "the tunnels and bridges are terrible". Perhaps too much nuance for a broadcast audience but also an important point to keep in mind. Amtrak deserves credit for running the world's busiest mixed operations high speed corridor. They have expertise at a level that would be on par with any other high speed system operator in the world.


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  by Rockingham Racer
 
Well said. However, has anyone been in an Amfleet going 125 MPH and getting your teeth loosened by the wicked vibrations?! :wink:
Last edited by Rockingham Racer on Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:16 am Well said. However, has anyone been in an Amfleet going 125 MPH and getting your loosened by the wicked vibrations?! :wink:
Pennsylvanian, between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. WiKeD vIbRaTiOnS on some sections of track. Ended up complaining to Amtrak via Twitter about it.
  by gokeefe
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:Well said. However, has anyone been in an Amfleet going 125 MPH and getting your teeth loosened by the wicked vibrations?! :wink:
I have been in an Amfleet headed south from Boston striving for 125 MPH through Mansfield as I recall. I was sitting near the vestibule door which was open for much of the time as the train set powered up to track speed and although the expected vibrations did not materialize the increasing pitch of the wheels whining away below on the track was a sound I will never forget. 1960s mechanical at its finest.

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  by dt_rt40
 
No, what's really exciting was the Amfleet cafe car I rode during one of the Polar Vortex blizzards that had "frozen air bladders". Felt like an amusement park ride and not in a good way. I'm really surprised they let it go into service but a lot of trains were delayed and I think they had an equipment shortage in DC, it was the old 148 that MARC monthlies could ride and it was already more than an hour late leaving. Some ambulance chaser could have gotten whiplash or fallen over into someone's hot cup of coffee, and had grounds to sue Amtrak.

Couple other ride anomalies I I have experienced in over a decade of riding MARCs and cross-honored regionals: when a regional is forced to stop at the most super-elevated curves north of Baltimore, and people ask "is something wrong with the train" LOL. One wonders: will the new tilting train 'reverse compensate' in such a scenario? Also, a MARC Kawasaki car with weak or damaged yaw damper pistons. They really do make a difference! (...if they didn't, they wouldn't bother installing them!) As the train rose above 90 mph - and this one was being pulled by an HHP-8 to 125 mph - a surprisingly rhythmic back and forth swaying would begin. People who usually sat 'above stairs' moved down because they 'couldn't stand it up there' 'going to get seasick', etc. I explain to some people that it was a non-hazardous mechanical defect. That evening I sent an email to MARC's customer service with the car #.
To relate this back to Avelia: I'm really curious to see how the jacob bogies do on NEC corridor track. I don't mean in some long term maintenance sense...I just mean with respect to how they "feel" for passengers. I can't remember...are the Cascades talgos articulated? Mind you, Amtrak's NEC track refreshes DO result in a smoother ride. I can attest to that having noticed the improvement on both regionals and the MARC III Kawasaki cars. (Which, overall, have a better or at least smoother feeling suspension than Amfleet) BUT, is the track quality really up to European/Japanese standards? I have no idea. What I can say is the smoothest I have felt on a train was the TGV Est line for the first several miles leaving Paris. I think at that point, the train was only going about 125 mph on track built to 200 mph standards. So smooth it was surreal. You could have built a house of cards! For most of the trip at 200 mph, there was a bit of very slight shuddering, swaying or oscillation as expected, but still definitely better than Acela at its full speed.
  by mtuandrew
 
The Talgos are articulated, but not in the same way. Instead of an independent Jacobs-style truck pivoting independently of both car bodies (as for Avelia) Talgo has a single axle fixed to one car body, and that axle also supports a pivot that supports the next car in line. Talgo is quite like a series of semi-trailers in line behind a semi-tractor, with each successive trailer riding partly on a fifth wheel mounted on the previous trailer, and where only one car has both front and back axles.
  by Marcop23
 
mtuandrew wrote:The Talgos are articulated, but not in the same way. Instead of an independent Jacobs-style truck pivoting independently of both car bodies (as for Avelia) Talgo has a single axle fixed to one car body, and that axle also supports a pivot that supports the next car in line. Talgo is quite like a series of semi-trailers in line behind a semi-tractor, with each successive trailer riding partly on a fifth wheel mounted on the previous trailer, and where only one car has both front and back axles.
In addition: The Talgo trains don't even have solid axles. Both wheels can turn independently. This allows for a continuous low-floor. The axles don't steer themselves as traditionally, but the wheels can turn like a car wheel. The steering angle is set by the angle between the adjacent cars. That should lead to smoother riding at high speeds as well.

It also leads to a relative easy change of gauge, which is mainly used in Spain where high-speed rails are standard gauge while the rest is wide.
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