• Acela 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 ApproachMedium
 
mtuandrew wrote:My prediction:

—RRMPA gets a full set
—another museum gets a full set, but I don’t know which
—a third and fourth museum get a power car and passenger car each
—we all get surprised by some unlikely operator grabbing four sets of cars to use behind diesels, non-tilting
—all the rest go to the tin can factory.

These things will never be behind diesels because of the couplers and nonstandard vestibule connections as well as many many more non standard things with car body ends, HEP, and internal car controls. These cars DO NOT work 100% without the power cars attached at either end. The cost to make any such modifications would most likely far exceed the cars value. Any chance that a museum would want a power car and a single car would need to either take two power cars so it can be moved around or have some kind of turntable so the end with no power car is not a problem. They do not exhibit normal draft gear boxes so swapping the draw heads out with regular couplers cannot happen. Also another problem here is these sets have a complicated braking system that has a parking brake on every car. once air runs out, the parking brakes apply unless its electrically applied from the power cars. With them dead, to get one to move you need to know how to properly release them or you will drag axles.
  by mtuandrew
 
ApproachMedium wrote:These things will never be behind diesels because of the couplers and nonstandard vestibule connections as well as many many more non standard things with car body ends, HEP, and internal car controls. These cars DO NOT work 100% without the power cars attached at either end. The cost to make any such modifications would most likely far exceed the cars value. Any chance that a museum would want a power car and a single car would need to either take two power cars so it can be moved around or have some kind of turntable so the end with no power car is not a problem. They do not exhibit normal draft gear boxes so swapping the draw heads out with regular couplers cannot happen. Also another problem here is these sets have a complicated braking system that has a parking brake on every car. once air runs out, the parking brakes apply unless its electrically applied from the power cars. With them dead, to get one to move you need to know how to properly release them or you will drag axles.
I didn’t say any of the museum pieces would ever be operational :P

As for operators, I’m picturing either a low-rent tourist line that will barely even have lights on let alone tilt, or possibly a luxo-train willing to install a HEP generator in an end coach and switch out the end drawbars for Type H couplers. No serious daily railroad will be applying.
  by ApproachMedium
 
mtuandrew wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:These things will never be behind diesels because of the couplers and nonstandard vestibule connections as well as many many more non standard things with car body ends, HEP, and internal car controls. These cars DO NOT work 100% without the power cars attached at either end. The cost to make any such modifications would most likely far exceed the cars value. Any chance that a museum would want a power car and a single car would need to either take two power cars so it can be moved around or have some kind of turntable so the end with no power car is not a problem. They do not exhibit normal draft gear boxes so swapping the draw heads out with regular couplers cannot happen. Also another problem here is these sets have a complicated braking system that has a parking brake on every car. once air runs out, the parking brakes apply unless its electrically applied from the power cars. With them dead, to get one to move you need to know how to properly release them or you will drag axles.
I didn’t say any of the museum pieces would ever be operational :P

As for operators, I’m picturing either a low-rent tourist line that will barely even have lights on let alone tilt, or possibly a luxo-train willing to install a HEP generator in an end coach and switch out the end drawbars for Type H couplers. No serious daily railroad will be applying.

The end draw bars cant be swapped out. And these things get hot inside REALLY FAST without the HVAC. and the HEP isnt really standard either. Well, it is 3 phase 480 but the cable set up is different.
  by DutchRailnut
 
other than front coupler on power cars I believe all other couplers are not at standard height , And Kadee does not make offsets large enough.
  by ApproachMedium
 
if the 4 HHP-8s that are set out to pasture and not going anywhere (lease ran out) is any indication of the future of any of that junk im fairly certain its none.
  by george matthews
 
French TGV trains are much lighter than Acelas - and much faster. American rules, which produce very heavy trains, make them unsaleable almost everywhere.
  by Tadman
 
Another thing to consider about sale to developing nations:

Most developed nations building advanced HST are in a position where they have excess capacity and government backing, which makes their HST similar to our defense industry. It is sold on very favorable terms to friendly developing nations. Recently, France sold a TGV system to Morocco and financed half of it to the tune of $1b. Although it's not HST, China sold quite a lot of suburban trains to Argentina on very favorable terms.

Why would any developing nation want our barbaric lead-balloon HST with 20 years on the odometer if they can get the best HST brand new and interest-free?
  by ApproachMedium
 
The latest fleet summary plan says they will be retired and does not mention anything of keeping them other than full replacement.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
ApproachMedium wrote:These things will never be behind diesels because of the couplers and nonstandard vestibule connections as well as many many more non standard things with car body ends, HEP, and internal car controls. These cars DO NOT work 100% without the power cars attached at either end. The cost to make any such modifications would most likely far exceed the cars value.
How much did VIA spend to convert LRC to regular coaches?
  by ApproachMedium
 
I dont know but the LRC cars were already pretty much regular coaches the acela cars are far more complicated electrically and mechanically.
  by Backshophoss
 
The LRC coaches and food service cars were built as standalone cars,only way the tilt mech worked was only with the LRC Alco power cars.
In corridor service,and the tilt mech gear removed,are pulled with Via's F40's and P42's,in mixed consists with HEP-2 cars.
  by Matt Johnson
 
Backshophoss wrote:The LRC coaches and food service cars were built as standalone cars,only way the tilt mech worked was only with the LRC Alco power cars.
In corridor service,and the tilt mech gear removed,are pulled with Via's F40's and P42's,in mixed consists with HEP-2 cars.
Actually I understand that when the P42's were acquired by VIA, they were configured to work with the LRC tilt mechanism (I presume they had to feed data back to the first coach?). But with the most recent LRC coach rebuild, the active tilt was disabled/removed. Bottom line - the LRC tilt mechanism was used for quite a number of years but ultimately deemed not worth it.
  by mtuandrew
 
Over in the Acela Avelia Liberty thread, Matt Johnson has this to say:
Matt Johnson wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:34 pm While it's intended to be a fairly fast transition, for some period of time in 2021 and 2022 at least there will be two generations of Acela running simultaneously. I'm curious to see if they run different schedules. I'll also be curious to see if there's any second act for the Acela 1 rolling stock, either with Amtrak or adapted for some other carrier like VIA Rail. The coaches are still nicer than most rolling stock in the US even after 20 years of use! 100 coaches (or 80 coaches, 20 cafe cars) is a fairly sizable fleet. I took a brief joyride last year and captured a few clips for posterity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohJKouUnM3s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBwfTWCudd8
It’s ironic: this equipment may finally be entirely under one family (post-merger Alstom, rather than split between Alstom and Bombardier) that plays well with Amtrak. No more excuses of “Amtrak won’t order from/do business with BBD.” I’m not saying these cars will find homes in the general Amtrak system after they’re replaced by the Avelia, but they will at least have potential manufacturer advice at hand.

Also ironic: if there’s a way to install on-car platform extenders, these cars would work very well behind diesel power on Brightline.
  by Matt Johnson
 
So, what's the market like for 100 stainless steel 87 ft long not quite conventional coaches? Nice cars, but too specialized for a second act? The geometry car shows the drawbar connection and collision posts. It'd take a lot of modification to use them as anything other than a fixed integrated set. But as Andrew mentions above, could they be modified for some Brightline-style operational model with diesel power?
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