• Amtrak EMU Discussion - Metroliners, Current Proposals, etc.

  • 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 25Hz
 
I've been wondering this for some years now... I know the metroliners and most RDC's are defunct, but is there a place for EMU or DMU among amtrak's routes? what would the equipment need to be able to do exactly, and where best would they serve if amtrak did start using them?
  by ThirdRail7
 
Wait a minute! Is this a joke? I thought you were ahead of the curve! You made this post about your visual acuity:

25Hz wrote: And as for being able to tell, well that is very hard to explain hence why i didn't bother. But, sine you're asking i will take the time and try...

I have an extremely high visual acuity, like off the charts. I can dissect images differently than most people, in fact how i "see" the world is different from most people. I've stood (for various reasons) trackside for hours on end, staring at the rails, seeing how they move, looking at the wheels and trucks, seeing how their movement relates to the wear and alignment of the rails, for example unevenly worn or newly installed rail will make the truck do different things as it moves over that spot. I've watched countless videos as well. Both of these add together to create a map in my head of what the rails and ties (the ties often move) should look like. I can recall all most every centimeter of rail/track/tie i've ever looked at, from the abandoned wye here in the middle of town, to the odd derailing switch on the east end of track 5 in trenton, to the LIRR grade crossing in bethpage east of the station, plus countless moments of when i've seen train wheels move over certain sections i've seen without any weight on them. I remember things as if they were video clips as well as stills. I can also manipulate objects in my visual mind to deduce what made marks say from a traffic accident or a tree falling (i call it forensic visualization). I can also recall all most every moment of every movie i've ever seen, including on youtube. I see a still photo of a locomotive on a section of track i've seen before, or looks similar enough to another i've seen to tell that the rail is not being deflected any more than a PL42AC would if it rolled over the same spot (this is interesting to me since they supposedly weigh the same!).

I've used these "abilities" too... In the past i've done photo editing, for example removing a power line that crossed in front of a pole mounted clock that obscured large parts of 2 of the hour numerals and one of the hands. When i was done it looked like there never was any power line and no trace of any alterations. This ironically has also enabled me to tell if a photo has been altered or not at a glance most of the time.

Yet, you start a thread that parallels a topic you participated in: Why doesn't Amtrak use DMUs/EMUs?

I guess this part of seeing the world differently than others!
  by Tadman
 
I have an extremely high visual acuity, like off the charts.
The answer was written in brunswick green on this black square.

Image

PS we have had this discussion like a zillion times... Search is your friend. Thread locked.
  by Tadman
 
I was looking at Peter Lynch's "Penn Central Railroad" book today and thought it would be interesting to discuss the original NEC HSR equipment and today's NEC HSR equipment.

For one, the Acela fleet has Over double the cars, 120 versus 50. They both had serious teething issues but Acela pulled through while Metroliner was basically a failure. On the other hand, Metroliner EMU have had nine lives, while its not hard to see the Acela coaches are probably history when they are retired.

Other thoughts?
  by SouthernRailway
 
Just as the Metroliners provided the model for construction of Amfleet equipment through the '80s, isn't the Acela coach to be somewhat of a model for Amtrak's single-level fleet to replace Amfleet?
  by DutchRailnut
 
More Acela's, but also over twice electrified NEC.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Tadman wrote:For one, the Acela fleet has Over double the cars, 120 versus 50. They both had serious teething issues but Acela pulled through while Metroliner was basically a failure. On the other hand, Metroliner EMU have had nine lives, while its not hard to see the Acela coaches are probably history when they are retired.
61 Metroliner cars were built, 31 coaches, 20 café/bars and 10 parlors. The Metroliners were indeed tested and rated at 160 mph (as this historical plaque at Princeton Junction indicates), but were reduced to 130 and, later 110 and 90 due to track conditions and technical issues.

The Metroliner is basically a late 1960s PRR MP85 EMU (Silverliner, Jersey Arrow) doped up on steroids. But the Silverliner II and IIIs also ran high-speed service on the Keystone Main Line in the 1970s, but without the hype or technical flaws.

Of course, America's first high speed train was the 1931 Brill Bullet, reaching 100 mph. The 1941 North Shore Electroliners hit 90 in regular service (capable of 100 in tests).
  by Matt Johnson
 
I don't know that I'd call the Metroliner EMU a failure. More like a partial success? Granted, they only served in EMU form for, what, 16 or 17 years? (Pretty sure I've seen photos of 'em dated 1986 or 1987. Here's one from 1985.) But 17 years beats the RTL-III by, oh, about 17 years!

Incidentally, I did my internship last summer with a company in Newport News, VA near the Army's Fort Eustis, and I would pass what appeared to be an old Silverliner on the way into work. I recently learned that the car is one of the four Silverliners purchased by the USDOT for high speed testing in preparation for the Metroliner program.

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Last edited by Matt Johnson on Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by TomNelligan
 
The Metroliners were mechanically shaky, but in the context of the mid-1960s they were revolutionary in that they (along with the United Aircraft TurboTrains) represented the first government investment in intercity passenger trains, and new state-of-the-art (for the mid-60s) high speed trains at a time when intercity passenger service in the US was quickly dying off. In those days good news in passenger railroading was hard to come by, and the Metroliners represented it in a big way.

The basic Amfleet shell lives on, of course. At the time, the small windows and tubular design led folks to liken the interior to aircraft.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Matt Johnson wrote:I don't know that I'd call the Metroliner EMU a failure. More like a partial success? Granted, they only served in EMU form for, what, 16 or 17 years? (Pretty sure I've seen photos of 'em dated 1986 or 1987. Here's one from 1985.) But 17 years beats the RTL-III by, oh, about 17 years!

Incidentally, I did my internship last summer with a company in Newport News, VA near the Army's Fort Eustis, and I would pass what appeared to be an old Silverliner on the way into work. I recently learned that the car is one of the four Silverliners purchased by the USDOT for high speed testing in preparation for the Metroliner program.
The Metroliners remained on the Keystone service as "Capitoliners" until 1988, although toward the end, they were often towed by AEM7s or E60s.

The Silverliner at Fort Eustis might actually be an original 1958 Pioneer.
  by Jersey_Mike
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: The Metroliners remained on the Keystone service as "Capitoliners" until 1988, although toward the end, they were often towed by AEM7s or E60s.

The Silverliner at Fort Eustis might actually be an original 1958 Pioneer.
It's one of the 4 USDoT High Speed cars. All the Pioneers are accounted for between the RR Museum of PA, a fire and Pueblo.
R36 Combine Coach wrote:The Metroliner is basically a late 1960s PRR MP85 EMU (Silverliner, Jersey Arrow) doped up on steroids. But the Silverliner II and IIIs also ran high-speed service on the Keystone Main Line in the 1970s, but without the hype or technical flaws.
The Silverliner II's and III's never ran in a "high speed" service as each was equipped for 85mph operation. Only the 4 USDoT Budd Silverliners were used for high speed testing. I am not sure what sort of mods they got in terms of larger motors or gearing, but I'm sure if stock Silverliner II's were capable of such speeds a few people on this forum would have had tried it.
TomNelligan wrote:The Metroliners were mechanically shaky, but in the context of the mid-1960s they were revolutionary in that they (along with the United Aircraft TurboTrains) represented the first government investment in intercity passenger trains, and new state-of-the-art (for the mid-60s) high speed trains at a time when intercity passenger service in the US was quickly dying off. In those days good news in passenger railroading was hard to come by, and the Metroliners represented it in a big way.


Like the Silverliners the Metroliners might as well have been from another planet compared with the steam era rolling stock they were designed to replace. The problem with the Metroliners was that they were just a little too ambitious with unnecessary bells and whistles in the propulsion system that makes a stock Silverliner setup on steroids more attractive. For example the Metroliners were fitted with a "dial-a-speed" throttle which had the engineer set a dial to a desired speed and the train would do the rest. Sounds great until you try to implement it with 1960's technology. Ignitron tube rectifiers didn't help reliability any and finally Budd wasn't given the time or money to properly test and prototype the cars.

Someone on the Metroliner test team who gave a presentation I attended said that Budd considered each of the 61 cars to be a prototype with many "hand built" components. Remember Budd was handling the 700+ car Metropolitan order in addition to PATCO's 75 cars at the time. The Metroliners were considered to be a nuisance due to the small order size, technical complexity, a railroad that couldn't care less and government folks trying to pick up the ball. Phil Nasidowski has an original Budd owner's manual and he says it has such confidence inspiring instructions in it as "this will take a long time" and "this is highly complicated and should be done in a quiet area of the shop" in regards to performing diagnostics on the propulsion system.
  by Pensyfan19
 
With talk of Amtrak ordering new multiple units, could it be possible or cheaper for Amtrak to reconvert some of their metroliner cab cars into electric multiple units or convert them into diesel multiple units?

Also, why were the metroliners converted to cab cars in the first place?
  by Backshophoss
 
The Metroliners were built with "old tech"traction power controls by GE and Westinghouse,tried and true suppliers to PRR in the past,but were a bit of a bear to maintain.
Some of the Metroliner were rebuilt with Resistor grids installed on the roof to reduce the heat load to other parts mounted on the underframe,copying the M-2 roof mounted grids.
Some Metroliner were Gutted and turned into coaches for MI services,the rest were converted to Cab Cars to lead Amfleet consists that had mu trainlines added .
Conversion back to EMU's or DMU's IS NOT COST EFFECTIVE!!!
  by Pensyfan19
 
Backshophoss wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 6:32 pm The Metroliners were built with "old tech"traction power controls by GE and Westinghouse,tried and true suppliers to PRR in the past,but were a bit of a bear to maintain.
Some of the Metroliner were rebuilt with Resistor grids installed on the roof to reduce the heat load to other parts mounted on the underframe,copying the M-2 roof mounted grids.
Some Metroliner were Gutted and turned into coaches for MI services,the rest were converted to Cab Cars to lead Amfleet consists that had mu trainlines added .
Conversion back to EMU's or DMU's IS NOT COST EFFECTIVE!!!
Ok. Just wanted to know if doing that would be a cost-effective idea, but I am more excited to be riding on new Siemens Venture coaches than those dark, small-windowed amfleets, even though Amtrak (finally) refurbished the seating about two(?) years ago.
  by rcthompson04
 
Backshophoss wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 6:32 pm Conversion back to EMU's or DMU's IS NOT COST EFFECTIVE!!!
If anyone is going to convert a design over to EMU or DMU I would start with the new Siemens coach design.
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