• Budd Amfleet I Replacement 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 RRspatch
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:53 am
frequentflyer wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:12 am Anderson stated at a recent congressional committee that Amtrak was leaning toward EMU/DMU as Amfleet replacements for the NEC.
That makes so little sense when you consider Amtrak's stated desire to avoid fixed consists, its varied routes from North Carolina to western Pennsylvania to Vermont & Maine which use the NEC as a hub, and its practice of adjusting consists to meet demand (particularly around the Thanksgiving holiday and other peak travel periods).

Not to mention Amtrak's recently acquired fleet of ACS-64 electric locomotives!
Several more comments -

1) Amtrak moved away from the Metroliner EMU's because they were fixed consists of either 4 or 6 cars. These trains were replaced with AEM7's pulling upgraded Amfleet cars re-branded as "Metroliner Service". Of course later on Amtrak when the ACELA route and back to a fixed consist train.

2) Remember that EMU's and DMU's are considered "locomotives" by the FRA and fall under the 92 day rule. A dumb non powered hauled coach needs a full inspection once a year? A six car EMU is really six locomotives and that's a lot of equipment (if we're talking NEC Amfleet replacement) to push through the shops every 92 days.

3) While you can couple two BR class 700's or 800's together what you really have is two separate train sets. What you're looking at is two train crews (conductor and AC), two cafe cars with staff and two first or business class cars with staff. While only one engineer would be needed to run the two coupled sets everything else would be duplicated. Where's the savings?

BTW - have you ever seen two ACELA's coupled together like the TGV or the ICE? I'm pretty sure the reason is the FRA said NO. I suppose it is possible the software on the ACELA's isn't set up for two train sets to run coupled together. It's a shame we can't do what the British, French and Germans do everyday especially with the sold out ACELA runs. This needs to be looked into as well if we're talking about coupling two BR class 800 type trains together.

4) So you go with the BR class 800 which is a bi-mode electric/diesel-electric. Lets say you want to run from Boston to Norfolk. Of course you want to make sure it's fueled in Boston as fueling at the platforms at DC (end of wire) isn't going to be possible. Now I seem to remember all the problems that NJT had getting the NYFD to approve the ALP45DM's through the tunnels and into NYP. Passengers of course don't ride on ALP45DM's nor do they ride on P32AC-DM's. But they will be riding in coaches that have fuel tanks under them. I sure hope someone at Amtrak runs this by the NYFD before this plan get to far down the tracks.

Just have Siemens crank out more Viaggio/Brightline cars or what ever they're called now and be done with it.
  by Matt Johnson
 
One other point: certain trains (overnight to Newport News, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian for example) use a Viewliner baggage car. Don't think you could really just tack one of those onto an Azuma trainset. And presumably whatever they do for the Regionals, the Amfleet II replacements will need to be standalone coaches.
  by frequentflyer
 
RRspatch wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:02 am
Matt Johnson wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:53 am
frequentflyer wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:12 am Anderson stated at a recent congressional committee that Amtrak was leaning toward EMU/DMU as Amfleet replacements for the NEC.
That makes so little sense when you consider Amtrak's stated desire to avoid fixed consists, its varied routes from North Carolina to western Pennsylvania to Vermont & Maine which use the NEC as a hub, and its practice of adjusting consists to meet demand (particularly around the Thanksgiving holiday and other peak travel periods).

Not to mention Amtrak's recently acquired fleet of ACS-64 electric locomotives!
Several more comments -

1) Amtrak moved away from the Metroliner EMU's because they were fixed consists of either 4 or 6 cars. These trains were replaced with AEM7's pulling upgraded Amfleet cars re-branded as "Metroliner Service". Of course later on Amtrak when the ACELA route and back to a fixed consist train.

2) Remember that EMU's and DMU's are considered "locomotives" by the FRA and fall under the 92 day rule. A dumb non powered hauled coach needs a full inspection once a year? A six car EMU is really six locomotives and that's a lot of equipment (if we're talking NEC Amfleet replacement) to push through the shops every 92 days.

3) While you can couple two BR class 700's or 800's together what you really have is two separate train sets. What you're looking at is two train crews (conductor and AC), two cafe cars with staff and two first or business class cars with staff. While only one engineer would be needed to run the two coupled sets everything else would be duplicated. Where's the savings?

BTW - have you ever seen two ACELA's coupled together like the TGV or the ICE? I'm pretty sure the reason is the FRA said NO. I suppose it is possible the software on the ACELA's isn't set up for two train sets to run coupled together. It's a shame we can't do what the British, French and Germans do everyday especially with the sold out ACELA runs. This needs to be looked into as well if we're talking about coupling two BR class 800 type trains together.

4) So you go with the BR class 800 which is a bi-mode electric/diesel-electric. Lets say you want to run from Boston to Norfolk. Of course you want to make sure it's fueled in Boston as fueling at the platforms at DC (end of wire) isn't going to be possible. Now I seem to remember all the problems that NJT had getting the NYFD to approve the ALP45DM's through the tunnels and into NYP. Passengers of course don't ride on ALP45DM's nor do they ride on P32AC-DM's. But they will be riding in coaches that have fuel tanks under them. I sure hope someone at Amtrak runs this by the NYFD before this plan get to far down the tracks.

Just have Siemens crank out more Viaggio/Brightline cars or what ever they're called now and be done with it.
Amtrak has been talking about this for over a year, and so has the rumors that Amtrak was looking at EMU/DMUs. I am sure by now Amtrak operations has looked into and figured out SOPs. Look at the last video I posted, Anderson seemed very sure of the EMU like trains. It doesn't matter what happened in the past because the modern equipment of today were not available then.

If a European trainset is good enough for Acela, I would also an EMU/DMU thats been in service for years and proven itself worldwide in harsher condtions would be good enough for a Regional.
  by frequentflyer
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:00 am One other point: certain trains (overnight to Newport News, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian for example) use a Viewliner baggage car. Don't think you could really just tack one of those onto an Azuma trainset. And presumably whatever they do for the Regionals, the Amfleet II replacements will need to be standalone coaches.
Simple, no more checked baggage or tell Siemens or Stadler to make a baggage car in the consist. My money on checked baggage going away.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It’s safe to say that any extensions of Amtrak trains that use the NEC that are continuing south of DC and west of Philadelphia will be locomotive hauled. The DMUs would be great to have on the Piedmonts, NHV-SPG and Greenfield shuttles.
  by frequentflyer
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:17 pm It’s safe to say that any extensions of Amtrak trains that use the NEC that are continuing south of DC and west of Philadelphia will be locomotive hauled. The DMUs would be great to have on the Piedmonts, NHV-SPG and Greenfield shuttles.
Then whats the point of going DMU/EMU then? You are talking about a time consuming locomotive change again in DC. This is a way around it. Don't worry, Amtrak ops will make the DMU thing work.
  by gokeefe
 
I think the reason they are looking at EMU/DMU is because they want better acceleration, elimination of the engine change in DC and improved reliability (reduces operational risks from single engine failure, diesel or electric).

Although they lose consist flexibility they can offset some of that with greater service frequency. Also worth noting that Amtrak's true consist flexibility is limited by platform lengths which rarely support more than a 10 car train.
  by frequentflyer
 
Mr. Anderson also mentioned the new equipment would allow for added stations. Do not think he is referring between NYC-DC.
  by gokeefe
 
Given his recent references to all stops service on the NEC I think that's exactly what he meant. The primary linkage there is the fact that EMUs allow improved acceleration.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Where will all of the Sprinters go? I don’t see all of the Amtrak NEC Regional trains ever being MUs. Last I heard, Amtrak was looking into getting a dual catenary/diesel locomotive to eliminate the engine changes.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I want to mention that when Anderson mentioned modern units, that can be anything. It can be lighterweight trainsets that are pulled by a locomotive. It could be multiple units. Anderson should have mentioned that the Amfleet Is travel on other routes as well. While they help make up the bread and butter of the NEC, they run in the Northeast in general. They even show up in the Midwest as well as in California(not very much these days). Even if Amtrak decides to go the locomotive hauled trainset path in order to handle all of the routes, the locomotive will have very good acceleration. Plenty of railroads in Europe use MUs for their intercity routes but there are many that use locomotive hauled trainsets.
  by mtuandrew
 
One feature of MUs that isn’t the case with full locomotives: even though there are more cars to maintain, they don’t require the same amount of very heavy equipment like 12+ inch diameter cylinder hones and 150 ton overhead cranes. Some of the parts are even off-the-shelf truck components, especially in diesel-hydraulic DMUs. Others are fairly plug-and-play and can be exchanged in a day’s work, like the Stadler MU power unit cars. Might Anderson be thinking about downgrading some Amtrak-owned facilities that will have unnecessary capabilities, or leasing one to a company willing to enter a build-maintain contract on DMU/EMUs? (Looking at you, Wilmington.)

This likely means the end of private cars on most Regionals, though I suppose it’s possible that Amtrak specs MUs with Type H couplers and enough excess power to pull a few trailers.
  by electricron
 
Didn't Anderson suggest having 4 Amtrak products on the NEC?
Acela 2
Fast Regional
Slow Regional (all stops)
Long Distance

Couldn't the existing Sprinters be use on two products, and EMUs be used on the other two?
Obviously, Acela 2 would be a EMU type trains, but couldn't either the fast or slow regional be the other?
Meaning Sprinters would be used on the long distance trains, and the other regional product.
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