• Acela Replacement and 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 mtuandrew
 
gokeefe wrote:Neither proposal is financially feasible.
Exactly. Amtrak wants rid of its unicorn fleet - the A-2s are next, then the Horizons and A-1s and S-1s - so it’ll just be AX-2s, corridor cars, V-IIs, the new LDSL coach whenever they get those bids out, the next-gen diesels & dual-modes, the future S-III, and the ACS-64. Four types of car, three types of road power, and one integrated train set.
  by dowlingm
 
mtuandrew wrote:
gokeefe wrote:Neither proposal is financially feasible.
Exactly. Amtrak wants rid of its unicorn fleet - the A-2s are next, then the Horizons and A-1s and S-1s - so it’ll just be AX-2s, corridor cars, V-IIs, the new LDSL coach whenever they get those bids out, the next-gen diesels & dual-modes, the future S-III, and the ACS-64. Four types of car, three types of road power, and one integrated train set.
Amtrak has wanted these things a long time and by prior fleet plans is behind schedule in getting them. Is it really better to bin the AX-1 rather than allow some NER Amfleets to be cascaded? With a Trump II Administration looming and the Democrats labouring to take back Congress, the alternative is to watch Anderson withdraw services for lack of equipment as attrition takes its toll.
  by gokeefe
 
The bottom line is that if the Acela trainsets are to stay in service they have to operate regularly. For the moment we are seeing signs that Amtrak may be considering just that.
  by east point
 
gokeefe wrote:The bottom line is that if the Acela trainsets are to stay in service they have to operate regularly. For the moment we are seeing signs that Amtrak may be considering just that.

A big factor may be passenger demand and how soon the additional north river bores are complete ?
  by gokeefe
 
No need for more tunnels if you're substituting for existing trains. Demand is at close to 100% of available inventory.
  by frequentflyer
 
east point wrote:
gokeefe wrote:The bottom line is that if the Acela trainsets are to stay in service they have to operate regularly. For the moment we are seeing signs that Amtrak may be considering just that.

A big factor may be passenger demand and how soon the additional north river bores are complete ?
The big factor will be how costly will it be to maintain them. If the newer A2s will be cheaper to run and maintain, why keep the A1s? If one wants the regionals to look trendy just order some slower but fast looking EMUs, which will be more economical to operate and maintain.
  by gokeefe
 
frequentflyer wrote:If one wants the regionals to look trendy just order some slower but fast looking EMUs, which will be more economical to operate and maintain.
"More economical" is only true if you assume some very low acquisition costs (not necessarily the case at all). A rebuild has a very high probability of being cheaper and also would likely drive down maintenance costs through a whole host of control and monitoring system improvements. I think Amtrak is going to have a really hard time ignoring the MARC HHP-8 rebuild program as a test bed of Bombardier's improved competence, customer service and mechanical creativity. If successful (which it appears to be at the moment) I think it opens the a door to discussion that previously was welded shut. Based on what others have posted some of that may have already taken place.
  by east point
 
gokeefe wrote:No need for more tunnels if you're substituting for existing trains. Demand is at close to 100% of available inventory.

You miss the point. Projections of travel on the NEC are all over the place. Anywhere from the present 2 - 3 % per year to almost double in 10 - 14 years. The higher growth rates are probably expected if present track work allows the hoped for 160 MPH operation between Newark and Trenton. But we certainly cannot find a good crystal ball. If the higher figures are attainable then at least 3 operative tunnel bores will be needed and then all 4. Food for thought "If" the higher demand happens then 3 operational AX-1s would cover non stop NYP <> PHL hourly clockers with 2 as standby and 1 or 2 in major overhaul. Then the stated 3 bores going on 4 would definitely be needed.

About the AM-2s. Again it all depends on the NEC passenger growth ? Amtrak has stated in the past that it wants to replace AM-2s on LD trains. That is due to the -2s having 60% more mileage than -1s. But again the "IF" NEC growth is great then the - AM-2s might be re assigned to NEC regional which is on average very low milegage per day .


So just don't make any hard statements of what will happen. Our group certainly does not know and no one else does. However there will be one limiting factor for AM-2 NEC assignments which is lack of storage space for idle times that will have to be mitigated. VRE is doing something in WASH by building its own storage and maintenance across from Ivy City.
Last edited by east point on Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by mtuandrew
 
We’ve established that the new tunnels are needed for reliability first, throughput second. There won’t even be four tunnels available full-time until the original tubes are fully rebuilt, so the only gains will be from better reliability and signaling until well into the AX-2’s career.
  by east point
 
mtuandrew wrote:We’ve established that the new tunnels are needed for reliability first, throughput second. There won’t even be four tunnels available full-time until the original tubes are fully rebuilt, so the only gains will be from better reliability and signaling until well into the AX-2’s career.
Absolutely however if Amtrak can refurbish one bore at a time and PM the second on weekends then thru put can increase by ~ 50% ?
  by Bramdeisroberts
 
east point wrote:If the higher figures are attainable then at least 3 operative tunnel bores will be needed and then all 4. Food for thought "If" the higher demand happens then 3 operational AX-1s would cover non stop NYP <> PHL hourly clockers with 2 as standby and 1 or 2 in major overhaul. Then the stated 3 bores going on 4 would definitely be needed.
Take a page from JR Central/West's book and tag the brand new AX-2 sets for the premier clocker nonstop services between NYP<->PHL<->DC and NYP<->BOS and limited-stop expresses along those same routes while keeping the older AX-1s to run something similar to the Kodama service that mirrors the current Acela schedule or even the old Metroliner timetables, bridging the gap between the newer expresses and the northeast regional service.
  by gokeefe
 
east point wrote:So just don't make any hard statements of what will happen.
At this point it appears that at least WAS-NYP Amtrak will sellout all inventory that they make available in premium service.

The sellout history is so long and consistent that there is good reason to believe that demand permanently outstrips Amtrak's ability to build infrastructure.

In short they could use all available train slots (Amtrak only) on Acela and still not meet demand.
  by nova08
 
east point wrote:
gokeefe wrote:No need for more tunnels if you're substituting for existing trains. Demand is at close to 100% of available inventory.

You miss the point. Projections of travel on the NEC are all over the place. Anywhere from the present 2 - 3 % per year to almost double in 10 - 14 years. The higher growth rates are probably expected if present track work allows the hoped for 160 MPH operation between Newark and Trenton. But we certainly cannot find a good crystal ball. If the higher figures are attainable then at least 3 operative tunnel bores will be needed and then all 4. Food for thought "If" the higher demand happens then 3 operational AX-1s would cover non stop NYP <> PHL hourly clockers with 2 as standby and 1 or 2 in major overhaul. Then the stated 3 bores going on 4 would definitely be needed.

About the AM-2s. Again it all depends on the NEC passenger growth ? Amtrak has stated in the past that it wants to replace AM-2s on LD trains. That is due to the -2s having 60% more mileage than -1s. But again the "IF" NEC growth is great then the - AM-2s might be re assigned to NEC regional which is on average very low milegage per day .


So just don't make any hard statements of what will happen. Our group certainly does not know and no one else does. However there will be one limiting factor for AM-2 NEC assignments which is lack of storage space for idle times that will have to be mitigated. VRE is doing something in WASH by building its own storage and maintenance across from Ivy City.
The 160mph corridor is only from Trenton to New Brunswick.

Clockers no longer exist. The Keystone's essentially took their place. And as mentioned the lack of high level platforms on the Keystone line really make the AX-1's a nonstarter there.
  by east point
 
nova08 wrote:[


The 160mph corridor is only from Trenton to New Brunswick.

Clockers no longer exist. The Keystone's essentially took their place. And as mentioned the lack of high level platforms on the Keystone line really make the AX-1's a nonstarter there.
Yes the present 160 MPH corridor is as you state. However we do not know how much additional if any Amtrak will install constant tension north of New Brunswick /? The more that is done the more possible that may become 160 as well. However making all track north of Trenton to some location may only take place with major rehab of the under sub grades ? The Amtrak order of new undercutters may signal a way to get a smooth 160 MPH track ?

Yes there are no more clockers ! Again however once there is at least 3 reliable cross Hudson tubes and the Penn south there could be a resumption of clockers non stop NYP <> PHL. Never say never ! Amtrak may not again make the mistake of giving eventual new slots to NJT as it did for mid town direct when Amtrak gave up clockers to NJT who then did not run them .?
  by andegold
 
Amtrak gave up the Clockers to NJT because 99% of the passengers were NJT passengers. There were only about 4 round trips a day left anyway - hardly a "Clocker" schedule. NJT continued to run them in spirit and still does via the 39XX trains which generally run super express between Princeton Junction and Newark Penn. Unfortunately some stop at the airport and I think all but one stop at Secaucus but they are still able to make the run NYP to PJC in 59 minutes or less with close to 1,500 people on board.That's why NJT's farebox recovery on the NEC is so high.What other series of commuter trains anywhere in the country carries so many people in so few runs?
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