• Amtrak HHP-8 Discussion: Use, Reliability, Disposition

  • 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
 
Delaware would most likely lease or buy cars to pull behind the SEPTA ACS-64s. They will have 10, and i doubt they even have cars to run behind 10 of them right now.

CDOT is so far up the MBTAs booty, that very likely whatever CDOT leases next will come from the horses behind up there.

MBTA and electrics, idk if i really ever see anything like this happening soon. So much infrastructure upgrades would need to be done that are not there. See the CDOT situation with the M8s. They dont run any on SLE because amtrak has still yet to complete the needed catenary expansions along the shore line to handle the cars going into stations or some nonsense. Most likely because amtraks ET forces are being used up on the NJ High speed project.

PennDOT doesnt need locomotives. They need cars. If they want to run more trains to Pittsburgh, they are going to need to buy cars and maybe stop using Amtraks stuff. See the Brightline trainset. This has been looked in to with electric and diesel on each end as a "high speed rail" alternative for full state of PA service. Buying the old acela trainsets at the end of the lease terms would require building at least one additional HSR building in philly or harrisburg to maintain the sets.

All of these railroads/states that have been mentioned here are not going to buy HHP-8s or lease them. Why? If any of them wanted electric locomotives there was 20 AEM-7AC units that were up for grabs and nobody took any of them but 4. Two that are getting sent off to California and two already went to colorado. You have an already well known reliable locomotive platform, why would you want to go after something thats been nothing but problems for the last 20 years? They may have changed the unreliable power electronics modules out in HHP-8s but the problem is they are still a poorly designed body with very high maintance trucks. MARC can get away with this, because they really dont go fast or far enough with HHPs to have to really deal with the issues associated with the truck maintenance. As far as the end of the lease goes, the bank will likely put them up for sale for whatever the buyout was for amtrak, which will be too high, and lead them to being scrapped quickly. The bank will go off the history of them trying to lease/sell the AEM-7ACs and I doubt will go as far as putting out the advertisements for the resale of them. Unless Bombardier has some kind of reason to go right to the bank and take them back, I dont see them going too far.

Amtrak could be leasing them out RIGHT NOW. But here they sit, and sit they will.
  by east point
 
As well we do not know if Amtrak's lease does not allow for sub leasing ?
  by STrRedWolf
 
east point wrote:As well we do not know if Amtrak's lease does not allow for sub leasing ?
If they could, I doubt they would, given the problems they had.

Let's face it. These are destined for parts and scrap.
  by gokeefe
 
ApproachMedium wrote:All of these railroads/states that have been mentioned here are not going to buy HHP-8s or lease them. Why? If any of them wanted electric locomotives there was 20 AEM-7AC units that were up for grabs and nobody took any of them but 4. Two that are getting sent off to California and two already went to colorado. You have an already well known reliable locomotive platform, why would you want to go after something thats been nothing but problems for the last 20 years? They may have changed the unreliable power electronics modules out in HHP-8s but the problem is they are still a poorly designed body with very high maintance trucks. MARC can get away with this, because they really dont go fast or far enough with HHPs to have to really deal with the issues associated with the truck maintenance.
I'm not convinced that the AEM-7 sale was on the same terms as the potential rebuild and acquisition of the Amtrak HHP-8s. At the time no one knew that the HHP-8s could be rebuilt. There is also the question (at least in my mind) of how many more miles the frames could take. We also don't know the price comparisons.

PennDOT is paying a lot of money right now to use Amtrak power. I agree that they want more cars but the funding formulas potentially make buying and running agency owned HHP-8s cheaper than leasing Amtrak ACS-64s. This is an identical calculation for MARC and their answer was a rebuild program.

AM, can you clarify regarding infrastructure issues especially in MA? It's unclear to me if this is a power issue or if you're saying it's a track capacity problem.
  by BandA
 
Quick summary of the infrastructure problems in MA for BOS-PVD. (Credit goes to others for sourcing this info):
Electric substations need to be upgraded for more trains. Cement pads were put in place, but more transformers need to be added
Something about additional station tracks needing to be wired.
If you want the option of using the Fairmont Line aka Dorchester Branch aka Midland that would have to be wired up
Amtrak owns catenery & supposedly charges very high rates for the electricity.
Amtrak's Boston maintenance facility & yard is over capacity. Using MBTA's Boston Engine Terminal would require a diesel locomotive to tow the HHP8
  by gokeefe
 
That is very helpful. Does the MBTA even have a servicing facility on the South Side? Never thought about this but it would seem the answer is "no". BET doesn't sound crazy at all to me given the fact that diesel power routinely moves back and forth. It's certainly closer than Wilmington.

The transformers and station tracks are another issue entirely. That explains a lot to me. I didn't realize the Boston electrification had those shortcomings.Too bad the T won't be able to take advantage of this opportunity.
  by east point
 
Our observation of the New Haven - BOS electrification it appears to have been built for easy additional capacity.. Auto transformer locations, phase break locations constructed but presently in bypass, commercial power locations, etc. However there may be a commercial power problem from the new England power grid ? Has there ever been a statement of the available power and the necessity of having excess capacity for the times several trains are off schedule drawing more than regular service ?
  by gokeefe
 
I doubt very much there is any problem from the grid whatsoever. The infrastructure is just so dense ... Hard to imagine there wouldn't be enough power. It's the comparative drop in a bucket.
  by ApproachMedium
 
I second the part about the transformers needed from Boston To PVD. The wire/track capacity is there on the main but the electrical support is not there. It could be added. The logistical issues with storing electric trains on the south side is a problem as well, unless the T wires up some of their yards they use as well. Also BET would need infrastructure added for testing/servicing electric locos.
  by 8th Notch
 
Funny how this topic has been beat to death and banned in the MBTA thread and now here we are again on another thread. The T and the electrics is not happening and not going to happen anytime soon, there aren’t enough benefits for them to even consider it. The only thing even close to an electric that the T is considering is the ALP45 or some other type of dual mode for the Fall River expansion.
  by rcthompson04
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:39 pm HHP-8 “Cannibalization” Generates Lawsuit
For the sake of full disclosure, I am an in-house attorney who specializes in asset finance for a large bank so this combines two of my favorite topics... equipment finance and Amtrak.

It should be relatively easy to prove whether Amtrak broke the lease maintenance conditions or not based on what is alleged, but one complication appears that the non-financial institution leasing companies did not appear to be up on their game monitoring the customer. If you have a $250 million deal you are usually keeping an eye on the lessee and the assets.
  by Jeff Smith
 
<cough> dust <cough> I always love it when I can fold 15 topics together!

For discussion of the MARC Hippos: https://railroad.net/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=153924

Brief, fair-use quote from above linked:
...
“Philip Morris Capital Corp. (PMCC) alleged in New York federal court [Nov. 7] that Amtrak owes $92.9 million for breaching a $250 million contract for a fleet of [equipment] used on the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston, claiming the company took them out of commission and stripped them for parts.

“PMCC and HNB Investment Corp. alleged that … Amtrak leased eight [HHP-8 electric] locomotives and [six Acela Express high-speed trainsets]. Amtrak ultimately claimed the [HHP-8 locomotives were] unreliable, but inspectors found [they] had been ‘cannibalized’ for parts. The complaint alleges that Amtrak has denied any default and has urged guarantor Export Development Canada (EDC) to reject claims made by PMCC and HNB.
...
“The plaintiffs allege that, at some point in 2015, Amtrak deemed the [HHP-8s] unreliable and sought to replace [them], but PMCC and HNB claim they found this out from news reports and reached out for clarification in May 2016.

“According to the complaint, Amtrak made a series of misleading statements, in which the [it] indicated that it had made no decision on the equipment, but PMCC and HNB discovered later that year that Amtrak had retired the [HHP-8s]. Amtrak’s assessment of the [HHP-8s] concluded that it wasn’t economical to repair a part of [their propulsion] system, according to the complaint, but Amtrak failed to perform required maintenance procedures in the years leading up to the claim that [the HHP-8s were] unreliable.
...
“As a result of the request, PMCC and HNB allege they inspected the equipment to ensure that [it was] out of service only to find [it] ‘in a total disassembled state’ and ‘cannibalized for parts.’

“In addition to the disassembled state discovered in June 2017, the inspection confirmed that all eight [HHP8] locomotives were ‘retired’ by early 2015, noting that four were ‘being stored in a[n] unusual condition.’
...
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Charles River, Philip Morris Capital is simply playing the role of General Electric Capital, International Lease Finance, First Union Rail (Citirail), and whoever else is in the transportation equipment leasing business.
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