ApproachMedium wrote:The state of PA wants nothing to do with the AX1 sets. They would rather purchase the Siemens cars and engines and do a a-la brightline (if they can get past the entire turnpike funding disaster) but with electric on the other end. The concept was already tested as some know. It also doesn't require any special maintenance facilities and would keep trains within current and future parts repair and overhaul programs for the company.
Is there anything worth salvaging or scavenging in the power cars? How much commonality is there with the HHP-8? Mostly a moot question since Amtrak's pretty much done with the HHP-8s and without a dual cab, they can't run the power around at DC.
The only AX1 fantasy I'd remotely consider is cutting the number of cars in a few sets and run them as morning super-expresses: limited stops (BOS, NYP, WUS; maybe PHL and BAL). Compete more directly with airline time since much of the time lost is stopping in stations. This hasn't worked previously since those limited stop expresses weren't well patronized (hence the suggestion to shorten the car length). You could run these with a short regional set since you pick up more time savings from limited stop than 135 mph, but know you have a lower class train competing with first class service. Hence my suggestion to keep Acela-class equipment.
I know, I know. That was a foamer's fantasy that would only accomplish two things: keeping the worn out junk in service longer and some expensive "pride" for Amtrak on it's improved running times.
The crushed dead of those incidents applaud you.
You can fully up-armor a jetliner but it won't be able to fly. You always have to accept some risk. I'm an electrical engineer: my biggest objection to most of the FRA rules is that there seems to be no engineering basis for any of the numbers they use. Why does a cab car need to withstand a 800,000 lb crush test? Why isn't 600,000 sufficient? Why shouldn't it be 1,000,000? Why do mid-train cars need to be built to the same standard (they didn't always)? Why do the standards need to double the instant the train goes 126 mph? Why is a Nippon-Sharyo coach unsafe if it crushes at 798,000 and not 800,000?
Likewise, why is a train "unsafe" if it goes 81 mph without cab signals or ATS? I get that some of these rules are written in blood (the blood of passengers and crews). Yes, the cab signal rule is based on a 1946 accident in Naperville, IL. But where do the numbers come from?
The "buff strength" rule is supposed to prevent the FRA's nightmare scenario of a passenger train having a head-on collision with a freight train. Look what happened at Chatsworth. 800,000 lbs buff strength didn't prevent the locomotive telescoping into that Bombardier coach.
The ICE train didn't handle derailing into a bridge abutment very well, but an up-armored Amfleet didn't handle a catenary pylon either. And your car certainly won't handle either of those. Maybe you should drive an Abrams tank.