• 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 Tadman
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:29 am Moderator Note: let’s get back to the Acela I’s potential disposition, because this thread is headed straight to “rebuild the Pacific Extension so we can have a Little Joe pull an Acela across the Rockies” :P
Around 2006 we actually had a guy join the forum and suggest just that. He was irate that the rest of us didn't think 150mph over Donner Pass wasn't ever going to be a reality.
  by EuroStar
 
In my opinion, the best and most attainable second use of the old Acela sets is on the Keystone corridor. I am not saying that it is going to happen, but anyone dreaming of a commuter agency or VIA buying the cars and making all necessary changes to run them needs a meeting with reality.

The pluses for the Keystone are:
1. The sets will stay with Amtrak and Amtrak already knows how to repair/maintain them.
2. Not all 20 set are needed, so there will be a source of parts available for a while from cannibalization.
3. No modifications for diesel or non-tilting is needed.
4. The current Keystone Amfleets can be redeployed elsewhere for capacity expansion.

The minuses are:
1. Need for high level platforms. Maybe they can build "temporary" wooden platforms ala "LIRR Third Track"?

In my opinion, from all possible second uses this is the one that requires the least amount of $$$ to implement (whether by Amtrak or someone else), but even this is likely to face hurdles that will prove insurmountable and yes, the most likely scenario remains that these sets are going to become paperclips ...
  by mcgrath618
 
EuroStar wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:39 am In my opinion, the best and most attainable second use of the old Acela sets is on the Keystone corridor. I am not saying that it is going to happen, but anyone dreaming of a commuter agency or VIA buying the cars and making all necessary changes to run them needs a meeting with reality.

The pluses for the Keystone are:
1. The sets will stay with Amtrak and Amtrak already knows how to repair/maintain them.
2. Not all 20 set are needed, so there will be a source of parts available for a while from cannibalization.
3. No modifications for diesel or non-tilting is needed.
4. The current Keystone Amfleets can be redeployed elsewhere for capacity expansion.

The minuses are:
1. Need for high level platforms. Maybe they can build "temporary" wooden platforms ala "LIRR Third Track"?

In my opinion, from all possible second uses this is the one that requires the least amount of $$$ to implement (whether by Amtrak or someone else), but even this is likely to face hurdles that will prove insurmountable and yes, the most likely scenario remains that these sets are going to become paperclips ...
They’ve been hell bent on making the entire Keystone Corridor high-level. This could work.

I’d love to see the Acelas running down the straight at Ardmore.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Oh my goodness please put that keystone crap to rest!!! It will never ever happen. The state of PA is NOT Going to pay the millions of dollars required to build a Tier 2 train maintenance facility to work on these JUNK old acelas.

Can well just agree that this stuff is best served as scrap metal over being re purposed? For the cost of trying to make these work for other services at this point, new machines could be bought without the need of specialized buildings to maintain and repair the trains.
  by gokeefe
 
Completely agreed. The state sponsor isn't going to pay for this. And by law they would have to.

Furthermore, I also agree that buying new equipment would be cheaper than the cost to operate.

Conclusion: These trainsets are going to be scrapped and a small representative trainset will likely go to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

For the museum set I would say it should be one power car, one first class, one cafe, one coach and the geometry car.

I'm sure there will be some heated discussion over whether or not there should be two power cars.
  by mtuandrew
 
Wherever the HHP-8s go, there’s a chance some of the Acela power cars could go too - as spare parts (whether on their own wheels or disassembled on pallets.)

And if the Amtrak HHP-8s all go to scrap in the next five years, these all will too (minus said representative sample. They’ve been too important to American railroading to dispose of them entirely.)

That geometry car though, I bet it will be the last to go even if it only has a single power car and a FirstClass car.
  by Ridgefielder
 
What about selling them to Mexico, Brazil or some such country? Mexico City, at least, has lines electrified at 25kV 60hz AC.
  by Pensyfan19
 
What about what I said earlier about downgrading the acelas to regional service to provide more trains between DC and Boston and to free up the amfleets for other routed across the country?
  by gokeefe
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:42 pm What about selling them to Mexico, Brazil or some such country? Mexico City, at least, has lines electrified at 25kV 60hz AC.
They cost so much more to operate and the margins are much thinner in those countries. Power to weight ratio simply doesn't work.

Think of it this way ... The NEC between NYP and WAS is such a lucrative travel market that Amtrak could afford to operate an exceptionally inefficient HSR train set and still make plenty of money. How amazing is that???

Unfortunately this also means the trainsets aren't likely to be profitable in Brazil, Mexico or other countries with developing HSR networks.
  by DutchRailnut
 
mexico has no more passenger rail other than metro type around some cities.
and using them for regionals on NEC they do not have enough capacity
  by ApproachMedium
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:30 pm What about what I said earlier about downgrading the acelas to regional service to provide more trains between DC and Boston and to free up the amfleets for other routed across the country?
Because these garbage trains require a lot of work and a lot of money to operate. It would be cheaper to replace them, and the new sets will be taking up the spaces in the HSR buildings in 3 cities so there would not be any room to take care of them without still building a new place to maintain.

As far as any preservation goes, you would absolutely need two power cars if you wanted to save, anything! The problem with the unique coupling system will be presented in any situation, so coupling to only one end would be available if you dont have two power cars. RRMPA would need a long track to store a bunch of the stuff where it could be moved around such a way without the need to turn it on a turntable, or switch the cars around one by one. I really think with how many unique factors involved with these trainsets exist, you will be hard pressed to find any museum organization who will be even interested to have one unless they have a large real estate space to park one on display and not move it around much. The parking brake system also requires main res air to release the parking brakes on every axle to move it around. They can be bypassed manually, but this is a dangerous thing to do and not recommended.
  by MattW
 
If you Google "Acela Coupler" you can see what they look like between cars. I don't see any reason why a museum with particularly handy individuals couldn't build some kind of adapter that lets them be moved around at walking speed. Could they be part of a train? No. Could they be used for an excursion? No.
  by David Benton
 
Although it is broad gauge, India might be interested. At scrap value. They probably have the expertise and lower labor costs to do something with them .
  by rcthompson04
 
I would love for faster service for the Keystone Service, but several issues with it:

1) Is PennDOT going to subsidize the added costs? They don’t even provide a cafe car now. There is no first class. There are 4 Amfleets, 1 Metroliner control car and the ACS-64.

2) If it was, would it be the best use of the money? No. The existing service is not operating at the equipment’s full potential. Every available dime should be spent on maintaining as is then cleaning up the track and interlocking mess between Bryn Mawr, Overbrook and the Zoo.

3) The Keystones actually perform pretty well between 30th Street and NYP. Most trains run closer to Acela times than Northeast Regional times. That will change as tracks are improved in New Jersey, but the current Keystones are a cheaper alternative to the Acela between NYP and 30th Street.

4) Last but not least... the goal should be adding more round trips not fancier round trips. The Keystone works in part because it is relatively cheap. I don’t know how many people would take a more expensive train.
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