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Passenger Trains > First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack


Date: 11/20/12 08:27
First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: march_hare

Just looked out the window and saw the northbouund Adirondack crossing the Hudson River, with a grungy Genesis unit leading the string of VIA equipment. Sharp looking train, except for the power.

Also just booked tickets for a roundtrip to Plattsburgh next Monday/Tuesday



Date: 11/20/12 09:35
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: joemvcnj

Well that settles one mystery with me, and probably a first ever occurrence when you think back about the International: an Amtrak loco can haul VIA Rail cars given the HEP cabling jumpers, short-looping, or whatever.

Also surprising to see it does not show as a D-R on the Status map once north of ALB.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/12 09:36 by joemvcnj.



Date: 11/20/12 10:41
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: CREngineer

there is no difference between amtrak and via HEP cabling on the equipment, the difference is when taking ground power. there is where you need the conversion cable. something with the "ground" side of the ground power is what i was told.



Date: 11/20/12 10:51
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: joemvcnj

So when the Adirondack takes station power in Montreal Central, the Canadian Border NB, the US Border SB, is it done differently for Amtrak verses VIA equipment ?



Date: 11/20/12 10:58
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: CREngineer

the only place the train is placed on ground power is central station and the MMC yard. cables are same connections. i will ask our HEP expert to get a clear answer. I know when i saw the cars the other night, they were directly plugged into the 822's 480vac. i asked the same question and was told it is all the same. we can mix via and amtrak cars all day long, but when we plug into stationary ground power is where the issue develops. thats why the cars that operated thru service years ago were kept separate and not intermixed.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/12 10:58 by CREngineer.



Date: 11/20/12 11:25
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: joemvcnj

They switch back and forth between engine and ground power while they sit at the border for an hour or two.



Date: 11/20/12 11:57
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: NebraskaZephyr

While almost all Narth American HEP systems use 480V AC and the same plug/socket hardware (I beleive GO Transit uses a different voltage, maybe 575V??), they don't all place the three phases of the 480 on the same pins in the cabling and sockets.

Chicago Metra's HEP is based on the old C&NW standards and the phasing does not match the standard for Amtrak. When the RTA (predecessor to Metra) took over the Milwuakee Road and Rock Island suburban equipment, they had to re-wire the plugs on the RI equipment (which were set up to Amtrak's standard). The ends of the cars so modified were stenciled "RTA WIRED" above the HEP connections.

Don't know if this info adds anything to the discussion, but it is what it is. Maybe one of your EE-types can shed some light on this.

NZ



Date: 11/20/12 13:09
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: CREngineer

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They switch back and forth between engine and
> ground power while they sit at the border for an
> hour or two.



actually no, what they do is switch between normal and standby mode which places the diesel on a lower idle and prevents traction from being developed. ground power is never used nor is it available at these locations



Date: 11/20/12 14:56
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: Jishnu

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They switch back and forth between engine and
> ground power while they sit at the border for an
> hour or two.

No. They just change the HEP mode of the engine to have the engine operate at a lower rpm to deliver power while stationary.



Date: 11/20/12 14:59
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: joemvcnj

OK,. They turn off the HEP while they switch modes just as though they were in a major station.



Date: 11/20/12 15:02
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: joemvcnj

GO transit is around 560v. When they were loaned to LA's Metrolink, I believe they stuck a transformer in each car to upgrade the 480v supply to 560.

The "GO carts" that also got rebuilt with Superliner interiors for the ONR got 480v, or so says the stencil on the cars. I don't know about the ones that went to AMT.



Date: 11/20/12 15:27
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: Ray_Murphy

Here's an interesting reference I found:

http://www.gntrains.com/Documents/ViaHEP.pdf

In Montreal, I don't think the Amtrak locomotives are uncoupled from the trainsets, nor are the electrical connections connected to station power. #69 arrives at Central Station, and backs out to the MMC a half-hour or so later for turning and overnight storage. In the morning, the soon-to-be #68 backs in an hour or so before departure.

Ray



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/12 15:28 by Ray_Murphy.



Date: 11/20/12 15:35
Re: First run of VIA equipment on the Adirondack
Author: CREngineer

correct, the locomotives are not uncoupled, but the ground power is plugged in to minimize the exhaust and to keep the hvac operating while in the station. same goes in the yard, it allows the engine to idle and save fuel as well.

Ray_Murphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here's an interesting reference I found:
>
> http://www.gntrains.com/Documents/ViaHEP.pdf
>
> In Montreal, I don't think the Amtrak locomotives
> are uncoupled from the trainsets, nor are the
> electrical connections connected to station power.
> #69 arrives at Central Station, and backs out to
> the MMC a half-hour or so later for turning and
> overnight storage. In the morning, the soon-to-be
> #68 backs in an hour or so before departure.
>
> Ray



Date: 11/20/12 15:43
The Test for the Future?
Author: jp1822

Well, I find this all interesting at best. For years, many of us (I would presume to say) had the notion that VIA Rail equipment - regardless of what equipment it was - was not compatible to run with Amtak equipment or even on routes that Amtrak operated on. And perhaps a waiver is in place to allow current operations - I don't know.

But it appears that the HEP issue CAN be overcome. Many of us who have traveled in Canada and on the VIA overnight long distance trainsets know that they have retention toilet tanks installed. This overcomes Amtrak's excuse for not installing them on what Amtrak would call Heritage equipment when they had a chance to do so. Instead the Amtrak Heritage equipment was retired, sold (VIA was one buyer!), scrapped, or used as crew dorms.

And although I may have beaten a dead horse here, again I am going to say that Amtrak can NOT keep up with single level long distance overnight demand, especially with its sleepers. So while VIA continues to curtail its long distance services, sidelining equipment that Amtrak could use for its long distance overnight services, I think Boardman should start working out a plan with VIA on how they can work together with their equipment pool.

Without a doubt, riders are drawn to the VIA equipment for its nostalgic appeal, wider windows, and domes.

I would think that the Lake Shore Limited may be the perfect candidate for taking on VIA's long distance equipment - with the dome dropped in Albany and some sort of modification (if it is needed) to the coaches and sleepers to get it through third rail territory. Otherwise, perhaps the Cardinal, running with a dome car, but truncated in Washington DC with a cross platform change to a NEC train is a better solution to what is presently offered.

Bottom line - Amtrak and VIA need to work together to see what they can do for long term solutions given the fact that VIA has extra equipment Amtrak could benefit from.



Date: 11/21/12 06:48
Re: The Test for the Future?
Author: tq-07fan

How long is Amtrak expected to be using the VIA equipment on the Adirondack?

Jim



Date: 11/21/12 06:59
Re: The Test for the Future?
Author: Lackawanna484

tq-07fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How long is Amtrak expected to be using the VIA
> equipment on the Adirondack?
>
> Jim


The earlier thread said two weeks, don't know if that's still the case



Date: 11/21/12 14:42
Re: The Test for the Future?
Author: DavidP

tq-07fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How long is Amtrak expected to be using the VIA
> equipment on the Adirondack?
>
> Jim

It sounds like its only there to free up ten or so Amfleet cars for NEC service during the Thanksgiving weekend. The NJT equipment Amtrak has relied on for past holidays is unavailable due to storm damage. The earlier plan of loaning equipment to NJT and backfilling with VIA cars doesn't seemed to have happened.

Dave



Date: 11/22/12 05:42
Re: The Test for the Future?
Author: joemvcnj

Actually it freed up only 4 coaches and 1 dinette. They still need one set to run NYPS-ALB.



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