• Amtrak Surge Capacity & Reserve Fleet

  • 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 rcthompson04
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:29 am 137 cars isn't enough to go around?...

That's pretty much equal to the entire Amfleet II subfleet or the Viewliner subfleet. Outside the NEC, that's easily one car per corridor train.

I know that some people think single level cars with manual traps are a hindrance to commuter service, but they did just fine on the Budd RDC's operated in Dallas until just a few years ago, and also in the pre-1960's before gallery cars were invented. On a lightly traveled line (there are a couple in the Metra network I can think of) it's simply a matter of announcing only the rear or head XX cars will/won't be available at a particular station. Metra already does that to some degree with off-hour trains.
SEPTA uses manual traps in such a fashion regularly on off-peak trains and occasionally on peak trains if there are crew shortages. The manual trap thing does not seem like big enough of a problem if someone is desperate for cars.
  by Tadman
 
I think Utah does exactly that - there are a few BBD bilevels and a few secondhand comets. I would assume the longer riding passengers get in the comets while the BBD cars handle the dense and shorthaul traffic.

Perhaps that's where the soon to be surplus Horizon fleet is used best - add one extra to each LD train for shorthaul coach traffic. I seem to remember around 1990 seeing quite a few LD trains with 1-2 Horizons, is this what they were used for before being grouped into corridor trains?
  by John_Perkowski
 
1) Horizons were relatively new then.

2) I rather suspect Amtrak will scrap a lot of the old fleet, it’s more worn out than the remaining HW Pullman’s were on A Day.
  by ThirdRail7
 
I don't see the Amfleets remaining in service after they are replaced, especially after the car in Cayce folded in half.

More towards the topic, inspections still apply to cars that are not being used on a daily basis. I believe Bratkinson hit the nail on the head when he stated the current regime wouldn't want to have cars just sitting around, adding costs to the operation.

They chucked stuff that was still being used to avoid overhaul costs or pricey parts. Why pay for parts when you can use a new dining car as an axle car?

Hell, couldn't they have put the HHP-8s and AEM-7s out there for axles? Probably, but that would cost money for maintenance and parts.
  by Tadman
 
ThirdRail7 wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:56 pm
They chucked stuff that was still being used to avoid overhaul costs or pricey parts. Why pay for parts when you can use a new dining car as an axle car?
I partially agree with this and that's why I made that post about the sub-fleets. Stuff like the HST are likely finished. The Horizon cars are part of a much larger fleet numbering in the thousands across the Northeast commuter operators, and are very simple. They have a better, but not sure chance, of sticking around.
  by Station Aficionado
 
The Amfleet I’s are, IIRC, all 40 + years old. They have done great good service, but their time is nearly done. The Amfleet II’s are only about 6 years older than the Horizons. They may stick a little longer. OTOH, if North Carolina has rebuilt even older Heritage cars ...

Did we ever think we’d say “Too bad Claytor didn’t order more Horizons?”
  by electricron
 
ThirdRail7 wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:56 pm I don't see the Amfleets remaining in service after they are replaced, especially after the car in Cayce folded in half.

More towards the topic, inspections still apply to cars that are not being used on a daily basis. I believe Bratkinson hit the nail on the head when he stated the current regime wouldn't want to have cars just sitting around, adding costs to the operation.

They chucked stuff that was still being used to avoid overhaul costs or pricey parts. Why pay for parts when you can use a new dining car as an axle car?
Recently, old "Constitution Liners" were gathered in Savanah for a trip towards Chicago area for Christmas excursion trains. Budd built pre Amfleets that the Amfleets copied. Even older circus train railcars were recently sold at auction. It seems some people wish to buy old railcars for many different reasons - including scrapping.
I'll agree with you that Amtrak will retire them, and will sell them to scrappers. What the scrappers will do with them depends upon who might want them. They could turn up in service somewhere.
  by gokeefe
 
Amtrak may very well require the cars to be scrapped. Many reasons to do this, one of them being preventing state partners from buying and refurbishing them for corridor service. I think they want these cars gone.
  by ThirdRail7
 
I think the FRA wants them gone as well. :wink: Aside from that, the current regime has demonstrated they will sell equipment if they can find a buyer. I doubt they'd scrap them if they could get more from someone that wants to use them.
  by Greg Moore
 
I've said before and will repeat, my suspicion is that Amtrak will do something like:
receive 100 new cars, look at worst 100 Amfleets, dump 50. Net gain... 50 more cars
Next 100 new cars, dump another 50 Amfleets...

Repeat until it has about 600 cars between Amfleets and new cars, and then generally retire the Amfleets until they're all replaced, AND surpassed by new cars.

But eventually, the Amfleets will be gone.
  by east point
 
The Thanksgiving weather this year appears to have potential of chaos at several locations. Surge equipment could certainly be a welcome addition that will not happen. Auto and airline service will be hampered this year's Thanksgiving.
  by mtuandrew
 
east point wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:52 pm The Thanksgiving weather this year appears to have potential of chaos at several locations. Surge equipment could certainly be a welcome addition that will not happen. Auto and airline service will be hampered this year's Thanksgiving.
That raises another point: most major Class 1 systems shut down for particularly inclement weather. In case of major blizzards or rain, Amtrak simply can’t operate past Boston, Albany, Harrisburg, and Washington - and it can only hit those northernmost cities if Metro North stays open too. They can’t even go between Detroit and Chicago on state-owned rails, because Norfolk Southern owns the section west of Porter. Reserve equipment and extra crew is useless if there’s no railroad to run them on.
  by troffey
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:22 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:30 am I thought Via used 460 like Amtrak while GO used 575 which is the Canadian standard. Not totally sure of that. In the past there have been regular inter-operation of the equipment such as the International, which was a real mixed bag of Via and Amtrak equipment.
It’s something about how Canadian cars have a dual-circuit HEP feed while American ones have a single-circuit feed. That could be overcome by sending a Canadian P42 south with a full trainset, but any American trainset going north would need to have the proper engine appliances (specifically a hot plate in the cab, maybe other minor differences.) Also, VIA cars may or may not fit into NYP. None of this is insurmountable and it might not actually be an issue, but these are reasons I’ve read in the past.
A good explanation can be found here:
http://www.gntrains.com/Documents/ViaHEP.pdf

The differences aren't insurmountable, but I can see how limitations in how many cars could be added and where in the consist being more trouble than Amtrak would be interested in.
  by dowlingm
 
Unlike the steel side cars sent to and from Albany during Sandy, LRC coaches surely could fit into NYP (after all, they've operated on the NEC before!) but even if the Siemens trainsets arrive into VIA service when they're supposed to I have my doubts that any usable cars will be available to send south given the degree of difficulty in life-extending them.
https://history.amtrak.com/blogs/blog/the-lrcs
  by electricron
 
dowlingm wrote: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:16 am Unlike the steel side cars sent to and from Albany during Sandy, LRC coaches surely could fit into NYP (after all, they've operated on the NEC before!) but even if the Siemens trainsets arrive into VIA service when they're supposed to I have my doubts that any usable cars will be available to send south given the degree of difficulty in life-extending them.
https://history.amtrak.com/blogs/blog/the-lrcs
Amtrak’s LRC coach train ran on the International between Toronto and CHI. They never ran on the NEC.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... rak_train)
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