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Passenger Trains > A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?


Date: 12/16/09 21:15
A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: 9900

H.R. 2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act, 2010: Title I, Chapter 6 of H.R. 2847 provides $800 million to Amtrak for fleet modernization, including rehabilitation of existing equipment and acquisition of new equipment such as fuel-efficient locomotives. It also strengthens Amtrak’s Buy America requirement to encourage domestic manufacturing and rehabilitation of the equipment.

Amtrak’s equipment is aging; it is a major factor in delays. Some of Amtrak’s vehicles are more than 50 years old. The average life of a passenger rail car, depending on its usage, is 25 to 30 years. The lifespan of a locomotive is 20 to 25 years. Currently, Amtrak has 92 Heritage cars in service (which are 53 to 61 years old), 17 Metroliners (which are 42 years old), 412 Amfleet I cars (which are 32 to 35 years old), 122 Amfleet II cars (which are 28 to 29 years old), 249 Superliner I cars (which are 28 to 30 years old); 184 Superliner II cars (which are 13 to 15 years old), 97 Horizon cars (which are 19 to 20 years old), 50 Viewliners (which are 13 to 14 years old), 29 Talgo cars (which are 10 years old), 120 Acela cars (which are nine to 10 years old), and 41 Surfliners (which are seven to nine years old).

With respect to locomotives, Amtrak has 49 AEM-7 locomotives (which are 21 to 29 years old), 18 P32’s (which are 18 years old), 18 P32DM’s (which are 11 to 14 years old), 21 F59PHI’s (which are 11 years old), 15 HHP-8’s (which are eight to 10 years old), and 207 P42’s (which are eight to 13 years old).

Over the next five years and given adequate resources, Amtrak plans to purchase 396 new single-level vehicles for corridor service, which will replace about 95 percent of the Amfleet I vehicles; purchase 275 new single-level vehicles for long-haul service in an effort to remove all of the Heritage single-level cars and about 95 percent of the Amfleet II vehicles from service; purchase 160 new bi-level vehicles to replace 65 percent of the Superliner I cars; and purchase 100 new electric locomotives to replace the entire electric locomotive fleet. Amtrak also plans to acquire 54 new diesel locomotives, replacing 20 percent of its diesel fleet; and purchase five additional Acela trainsets and 41 new switch engines to replace the entire switcher fleet. Amtrak estimates that the effort requires capital funding of approximately $4.57 billion.

http://transportation.house.gov/Media/file/Main%20Street/HR%202847%20Summary.pdf
*edited in the .pdf link*



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/09 21:16 by 9900.



Date: 12/16/09 22:21
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: NGotwalt

Well I like a lot of that, don't care for the retirement of the Amfleet equipment. Those cars are still in pretty good shape and would be great for starting up corridor service, and I don't like retiring a bunch of Superliner Is as I think a lot of these cars are in pretty good shape as well. If they are getting new Superliners I think they should order as many Superliners III (lets hypothetically call them that) as they have Superliner Is and IIs. Then they could retire all the ones and have a significant capacity increase, though I would still keep the SIs for at least another fifteen years. They need new Motors, I think the AEM-7s are starting to get up there and they see incredibly heavy usage. More diesels won't hurt especially when new cars increase train sizes. I think they should order ten more Acela train sets (at ten cars each) and an additional forty Acela cars to beef up the existing train sets.
Cheers,
Nick



Date: 12/17/09 00:09
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: trainapproaching

I hate the amfleets. The windows are a joke. Hopefully the new cars will have windows as big as the acela or the Peidmont's heritage cars.



Date: 12/17/09 01:40
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: Coach

NGotwalt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well I like a lot of that, don't care for the
> retirement of the Amfleet equipment. Those cars
> are still in pretty good shape and would be great
> for starting up corridor service, and I don't like
> retiring a bunch of Superliner Is as I think a lot
> of these cars are in pretty good shape as well. If
> they are getting new Superliners I think they
> should order as many Superliners III (lets
> hypothetically call them that) as they have
> Superliner Is and IIs. Then they could retire all
> the ones and have a significant capacity increase,
> though I would still keep the SIs for at least
> another fifteen years. They need new Motors, I
> think the AEM-7s are starting to get up there and
> they see incredibly heavy usage. More diesels
> won't hurt especially when new cars increase train
> sizes. I think they should order ten more Acela
> train sets (at ten cars each) and an additional
> forty Acela cars to beef up the existing train
> sets.
> Cheers,
> Nick

Please send any retired SUPERLINER cars to California. We'll rebuild them for use in our 3 corridors and get some more service started. They're still in great shape, and we'll already using some of them. What a deal.



Date: 12/17/09 01:41
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: Coach

By the way, what about all the P40 GENESIS locomotives? What's so wrong with them that AMTRAK isn't using them? Never understood that...



Date: 12/17/09 05:16
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: KV1guy

Coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By the way, what about all the P40 GENESIS
> locomotives? What's so wrong with them that
> AMTRAK isn't using them? Never understood that...


Might need to get caught up with the times. Amtrak is rebuilding and using 15 of them.



Date: 12/17/09 05:19
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: Lackawanna484

KV1guy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Coach Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > By the way, what about all the P40 GENESIS
> > locomotives? What's so wrong with them that
> > AMTRAK isn't using them? Never understood
> that...
>
>
> Might need to get caught up with the times.
> Amtrak is rebuilding and using 15 of them.

NJ Transit is leasing several of them, as well, for its ACES service



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/09 05:27 by Lackawanna484.



Date: 12/17/09 05:22
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: passengerfan

After seeing the interior photos of the rebuilt heritage dining cars for the New York -Chicago service I say lets rebuild all of the heritage cars we still have and give them another thirty year service life like the Canadians did and are doing with there cars.
As for the Viewliners those are the cars that should be either stuffed and mounted or retired and scrapped. Everyone is noisy and I have yet to get a good nights sleep on them. We scrapped thr 10-6s about forty years to soon. Those were great cars and far better mattresses than those on the Viewliners.
The Superliner IIs were a big improvement over the Superliner ones I say lets bring all of the Is up to II standards and build additional Superliners. Let's not waste any of the money it's to hard to come by.
Al - in - Stockton



Date: 12/17/09 05:34
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: ts1457

$800 million provided out of $4.57 billion required. It's going to be a long time before we see any new Superliners.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/09 06:52 by ts1457.



Date: 12/17/09 06:47
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: DavidP

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> $800 million provided out of $4.57 billion
> required. It's going to be a long time before we
> see any new Superliners.

And when GE's well-oiled lobbying machine is matched against the meager lobbying capabilities of mostly foreign car builders, what are the chances new locomotives come first?

Dave



Date: 12/17/09 07:54
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: ChS7-321

9900 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
and purchase 100
> new electric locomotives to replace the entire
> electric locomotive fleet.

Huh???? Over the next 5 years?

While the un-rebuilt AEM-7's are starting to show signs of age-related fatigues, the rebuilt models as well as the HHP8's are definitely still good for probably the next decade. However, can't say that the increase in the total electric fleet from 65 to 100 is not a good thing....



Date: 12/17/09 12:01
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: tmurray

17 Metroliners?... that's a good one.
They must have classified the control cabs as Metroliners.
The battleships have held up very well despite the lousy windows on the short haul. They can still take a beating like nothing else on the roster.

My guess is that they're in better shape than those $hi77y acela express cars.


-Tom



Date: 12/17/09 13:20
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: Lackawanna484

ChS7-321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 9900 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> and purchase 100
> > new electric locomotives to replace the entire
> > electric locomotive fleet.
>
> Huh???? Over the next 5 years?
>
> While the un-rebuilt AEM-7's are starting to show
> signs of age-related fatigues, the rebuilt models
> as well as the HHP8's are definitely still good
> for probably the next decade. However, can't say
> that the increase in the total electric fleet from
> 65 to 100 is not a good thing....


The HHP-8 units seem to be performing much better recently. That's an excellent sign. They're about ten years old chronologically, although a few of them have a lot less than that in service time



Date: 12/17/09 14:15
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: UPTRAIN

Let's hope the new freight diesels have independent engines for the HEP Generators...for the love of God, no more GE HDL's pulling the traction motors in addition to the HVAC. Maybe EMD will step up and build something superior to the GE product. The F59PHI's just didn't quite cut it.

Nonetheless, hopefully whatever we end up with for diesel locomotives, they'll look much less...repulsive. (That's about as strong of a word as I can use without offending many people.)

Pump



Date: 12/17/09 14:34
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: DavidP

tmurray Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 17 Metroliners?... that's a good one.
> They must have classified the control cabs as
> Metroliners.
> The battleships have held up very well despite the
> lousy windows on the short haul. They can still
> take a beating like nothing else on the roster.
>
> My guess is that they're in better shape than
> those $hi77y acela express cars.
>
>
> -Tom

What's wrong with the Acela cars? Aside from needing some interior spruce-up - to be expected after a decade in service - I think they've proven quite reliable. In any case though, its difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison consdiering Acela's far more complex active-tilt suspension.

Dave



Date: 12/17/09 15:43
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: Lackawanna484

UPTRAIN Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Let's hope the new freight diesels have
> independent engines for the HEP Generators...for
> the love of God, no more GE HDL's pulling the
> traction motors in addition to the HVAC. Maybe
> EMD will step up and build something superior to
> the GE product. The F59PHI's just didn't quite
> cut it.(snip)

The new NJ Transit diesels seem to be doing very well. maybe Amtrak ought to just tack on an order for a good engine, the P40DC.

naaah, they'll design their own engine. Bet on it....



Date: 12/17/09 19:50
A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: jp1822

NJT's PL42's have their operational glitched at times like all diesels, but I will say that these engines can haull @$$ on the NEC on the North Jersey Coast Line, Bay Head to Hoboken routes (when they express between Rahway and the Elizabeth S curve on the Northeast Corridor). I would hope that Amtrak goes with a proven design such as this, let alone NJT's hopeful ALP46a's that should be rated for 125 mph (perhaps even re-gearing for higher speeds as needed when infrastructure is updated!).

In terms of the equipment in general, Amtrak is always stuck on "retirement" of old in order to buy "new." That's fine, but buy the new equipment and keep the old equipment in reserve perhaps. There are plenty of bi-level (i.e. Superliner) and single level trains that are running at capacity now and could easily use another coach or two to the existing consist, as well as perhaps replacement of the "older" coaches. But let's not repeat what I still would consider the pre-mature retirement of the ex-ATSF Hi-Level cars. These cars could have easily fit in for various charter services etc. that Amtrak now runs with a mixture of Amfleets and Horizon cars.

The Acela Express train sets are MUCH better on the interior since they upgraded to leather seats. Not sure if the project is complete, but it appears that all "First Class" Acela Express train sets (or at least those that I've been on) have been upgraded. And I did see a few Acela Express "Business Class" coaches with leather seating.

As mentioned, California could greatly benefit from Superliner (bi-level) coaches if some Superliners are retired etc. But I think Amtrak is a little ways off from developing its "next generation" single level corridor cars. They have to get these cars upgraded to meet 21st Century amenities AND overcome the shortcomings the Amfleet I's and II's have - larger windows like Acela Express train sets would be a good step in the right direction!



Date: 12/17/09 21:53
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: Jaanfo

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> KV1guy Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Coach Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > By the way, what about all the P40 GENESIS
> > > locomotives? What's so wrong with them that
> > > AMTRAK isn't using them? Never understood
> > that...
> >
> >
> > Might need to get caught up with the times.
> > Amtrak is rebuilding and using 15 of them.
>
> NJ Transit is leasing several of them, as well,
> for its ACES service

NJT and I believe ConnDOT have purchased their P40s, they are no longer on lease.



jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As mentioned, California could greatly benefit
> from Superliner (bi-level) coaches if some
> Superliners are retired etc.

I disagree, the Superliners are not a good fit for the service. They're good in a crunch as with now, and are beneficial to have on tap during peak travel seasons such as Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and (For the Surfliners) Del Mar. However if new equipment is being procurred it would be a lot better to purchase more California cars and replace the Superliners currently in regular California Service with them, and just have Superliners ready to be deployed in the event they're needed.


jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But I think Amtrak is
> a little ways off from developing its "next
> generation" single level corridor cars. They have
> to get these cars upgraded to meet 21st Century
> amenities AND overcome the shortcomings the
> Amfleet I's and II's have - larger windows like
> Acela Express train sets would be a good step in
> the right direction!

I've always thought that having something similar to the Acela Cars but with standard couplers, traps, and without the Tilt mechanism would make a great regional car. As those who have ridden the corridor can concur I'm sure, the height of the cars, interior paint, and size of the windows make the cars feel very open and airy compared to the Amfleets, makes a much more comfortable riding experience. I wouldn't want an exact copy, keep the Acelas original, but personally the basics of the design are spot on for a modern regional experience.



Date: 12/18/09 13:16
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: tmurray

I've ridden in at least one that rained inside (while it was raining outside), with the tilt off, they creak and clunk. The noise of the pumps for the active tilt when on sounds like they're struggling. On a tour of Wilmington a short while back I asked about such things and was told "if you only knew the half of it.."
For the amount of money the ride costs, and the age of the equipment, that doesn't seem like a good investment. They're seemingly holding up like the viewliners. At leas the viewliners have steel exteriors <g>


-Tom



DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> What's wrong with the Acela cars? Aside from
> needing some interior spruce-up - to be expected
> after a decade in service - I think they've proven
> quite reliable. In any case though, its difficult
> to make an apples-to-apples comparison consdiering
> Acela's far more complex active-tilt suspension.
>
> Dave



Date: 12/18/09 17:13
Re: A glimpse into Amtrak's equipment plans?
Author: ProAmtrak

Still not holdin' my breath! Until a big news from Poon or Mundo shows up that they are gonna order new cars, the Grove, Bear, and Wilmington, keep pluggin' guys!



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