• 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 frequentflyer
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:01 pm 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?
Why? The equipment will be over 20 years old. It’s OK that the original Acela will end up as soda cans.
  by Matt Johnson
 
frequentflyer wrote: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:04 pm Why? The equipment will be over 20 years old. It’s OK that the original Acela will end up as soda cans.
Why? I guess my main answer is that even today when I ride aboard them my impression is, whoa, these are way nicer than the Amfleets that just keep going forever! Seems odd in a way to scrap 20 year old cars that still look and feel modern and ride quite nicely when older equipment soldiers on.

I have no knowledge of the fatigue life on the cars, and will leave such engineering assessment to the professionals. I also don't know how valuable the shell is (but at, say, CAF Viewliner II production rates, 100 stainless steel cars represents quite a few years of production!) But I'll be curious to see what happens either way.

I do hope that if they don't have any operational life left, at least a couple of coaches (if not a full set) find their way to Strasburg, PA for preservation.
  by mtuandrew
 
They’ll most likely end up as paper clips, yes, but how many people would have guessed that the Trans-Europ Express sets would have spent their elder years in northern Ontario? Or that there would be GE U-boats in Estonia? Or last-generation Chinese steam in Iowa? Or even that there would be ninety-year-old doodlebugs still working the mainlines for Sperry?

Weird things happen in railroading.
  by east point
 
I believe that we should not anticipate the implementation of Acela-2s vs retirement of -1s. Remember the problems that sidelined the -1s. I would hope that the -1s are kept on property for at least 3 years after first -2s enter into service to ensure no gremlin is going to sideline the -2s .

Another thought. If they were still around before retirement they would certainly add to capacity during rush seasons especially Thanksgiving.

EDIT: That might free up a couple Amfleet-1 train sets assigned to regionals that could temporarily be assigned to east coast LD trains. Sacristy call them Acela lite
  by Pensyfan19
 
Since Alstom took over Bombardier, would they take care of or refurbish the acela 1s and hhp8s? Marc has already been refurbishing their hhp8s with Bombardier and they are similar in design with the acela 1. Also, it would be best to probably downgrade the acela 1s to regional service, thus freeing up a few amfleets and acs-64s.
  by Backshophoss
 
Amtrak's Hippo's and Acela I's NO LONGER have any form of support from BBD,hence the parts from the Hippo's being "borrowed"
MARC's Hippo rehab is an experiment by Alstrom.
  by Matt Johnson
 
I guess one question I have is this: is the value of the structural shell essentially negligible relative to the components that go in it, or is a properly engineered stainless steel shell of enough value to warrant building something new around it? I'll just be curious to see what ultimately happens to the Acela fleet.
  by ThirdRail7
 
According to the Amtrak IG, it is extremely unlikely you will see the current sets in Amtrak service after they start hitting the 20 year mark. If some other entity wishes to utilize them, they will be responsible for FRA mandated work, which will be expensive and lack parts. It doesn't look good for the "legacy" fleet.

Behold:

TRAIN OPERATIONS:
Acela 21 Program Continues to Face Significant Risk of
Delays, Warranting More Contingency Planning

https://amtrakoig.gov/sites/default/fil ... TED%29.pdf

The company also
acknowledges that it could face significant additional costs because several legacy
trainsets will be due for FRA-required overhauls in the near-term. Company officials
also told us that (1) obtaining spare parts for the legacy trainsets may be difficult
because Alstom no longer manufactures them, and (2) if delays go beyond a year, the
company would need to assess the financial viability of continuing to operate the aging
legacy equipment.

The company, however, has not developed a full range of contingency plans to weigh
the costs and benefits of other potential scenarios. For example, instead of extending
leases on the older equipment, the company could temporarily reduce Acela service on
select, lower-demand Acela trains, or use different rolling stock in a particular time slot
in the Acela schedule. One program official said that the company may be able to cut
less popular Acela trains from the schedule without significant impacts on customers or
its brand. Such options would have an impact on revenue but may be less costly than

.
Each time a new set enters service, they will retire a legacy set. They will "probably" retire them oldest to newest to avoid the 20 year overhaul.
  by Backshophoss
 
They will be stored at Bear until the "surplus sale",may or may not be used as a surge fleet for the Holiday season.
  by ThirdRail7
 
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:40 pm They will be stored at Bear until the "surplus sale",may or may not be used as a surge fleet for the Holiday season.
I seriously doubt they plan to do an expensive overhaul on a set just to use it a few days a year....particularly if they are considering limiting service to avoid the costs of the overhaul if the new fleet doesn't show up.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:21 pm Amtrak's Hippo's and Acela I's NO LONGER have any form of support from BBD,hence the parts from the Hippo's being "borrowed"
MARC's Hippo rehab is an experiment by Alstrom.
Incorrect Alstom has zero involvement in this process. the software changes etc are being done by a 3rd party.

Anybody who thinks these current acelas are nicer than amfleets or in really good shape i guess hasnt ridden one in a while. The ceilings leak water from the light fixtures when it rains hard for too long. The plastic panels have had it. Theres constant problems. They get worse by the day. The faster this stuff can go the better. Its too heavy and its ripping itself apart.
  by Tadman
 
I spoke to the company that supplied the tilt mechanism for the Acela 1. We do a lot of work with them on non-railroad projects and I've spent a lot of time with those guys. The chief engineer there is a quite a guy, utterly brilliant and very funny. He is very proud of his tilt work with Amtrak. He is also of the opinion it would be hard to use the cars without the tilt mechanism. That said, as far as I am aware, the tilt mechanism is still supported for spare parts. It was his conjecture that CAHSR would be the new home for the Acela 1, but that discussion happened before CAHSR was curtailed.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Why is it hard to not use the tilt on Acela? It hasn't been used on Metro North between Shore Line Jct and New Rochelle since it started running, AFAIK.
  by Backshophoss
 
Track spacing between CP Shell and the Division Post is tighter than the rest of the NEC.
Fear of a sideswipe when the cars tilt.
Believe some Tilt mode running is now allowed on MN trackage.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Metro north is full of myths. Since about 2015 they have been running tilt on metro north. Its not a problem.

What the guy is saying about using the cars without the tilt system is that even with it disabled, it has to be serviced and the cars can still fall off center. Its a complicated system. Removing it would require a car body and bolster redesign to remove those components and make it work like a regular passenger car. And ill tell you from experience, its no fun riding one of those trains even at lower speeds without the tilt working. The heavy cars lend well to the tilt feature.
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