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Passenger Trains > New North American Speed Record


Date: 05/22/20 11:55
New North American Speed Record
Author: amtrakbill

It was reported today by Alstom that the new Amtrak train sent to Pueblo for testing hit a new North American speed record of 165MPH

https://www.alstom.com/media



Date: 05/22/20 12:22
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: rbenko

I thought the TurboTrain held the speed record, way back in 1967.  According to Wikipedia (hardly a rock-solid source) it hit 170.8 MPH in New Jersey.

From the link you provided, I don't see any claims about breaking a speed record - maybe I missed it.



Date: 05/22/20 13:26
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: GoodTimeCharlie

Let's make this even more fun ...

According to YouTube, this NYC monstrosity was even faster ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saG-QQSiG4I

Gee-zoo - on jointed rail none the less !   


Here's an interview with the engineer ...  very interesting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBBQL5x3-34



Charlie



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/20 13:30 by GoodTimeCharlie.



Date: 05/22/20 13:37
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: SAAP

amtrakbill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It was reported today by Alstom that the new Amtrak train sent to Pueblo for testing hit a new North American speed record of 165MPH
>
> https://www.alstom.com/media

Acela already beat that during a test several years ago. Search for "Amtrak Acela 165-170MPH Test Train at Princeton JCT" on the popular video-sharing site.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/20 13:38 by SAAP.



Date: 05/22/20 13:52
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: RRBaron

Wake me up when the North American rail speed record is double that...like France's TGV 357 MPH (not KPH) record. I ask the motorice (engineer) why he didn't go the extra speed to round it out to 360MPH? He said he had run out of track and about to cross into Germany!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/20 16:18 by RRBaron.



Date: 05/22/20 16:46
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: ronald321

RRBaron -- right you are!

Earlier this week, when I asked if Positive Train Control will permit dropping the 79MPH limit on Passenger train speeds -- some answers I got were ---

OMG, no way, no how! -- we would have to re-time crossings gates - or re-space signals.

With this kind of thinking - we will remain hopelessly behind the rest of the world.



Date: 05/22/20 18:21
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: Erie-Lackawanna

True high speed rail operates on dedicated rights of way (not shared with freight trains and slower passenger services) that are constructed using government (read taxpayer) money. These rights of way have no grade crossings and utilize a signal system designed for such service. 

None of the above exists in North America, and there is ZERO appetite for the federal government to take on the responsibility (at taxpayer expense) to construct such rights of way. 

While I, too, lament the state of passenger rail in the great U. S. of A., I recognize that we are different here, and I grudgingly acknowledge that none of my tax dollars will ever be spent on high speed rail construction. 

Crying because people tell you "we'd have to re-time grade crossings and re-space signals" is a disingenuous oversimplification at best, and it belies a complete lack of understanding of what PTC is for. PTC was not intended to give us TGV services, it was intended to make sure the existing third-rate services we have don't kill people unnecessarily. 

Jim



Date: 05/22/20 20:41
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: thehighwayman

As a former journalist and PR guy ... I would suggest the company PR guy who put out the release made the claim without doing any fact-checking.
Not an unusual situation.

 

Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON



Date: 05/23/20 05:53
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: ronald321

To - Erie-Lakawanna

Your arguments state well-known facts.  They also explain why the U.S dose not lead the world in everything,

Here's another over-simplified truth for you.  In the U,S. (even trainfans) think only in terms of costs - no credence is given to the benefits of spending.

We should be ashamed that we find it so hard to run  100MPH trains.  



Date: 05/23/20 06:14
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: Erie-Lackawanna

And I agree completely. My point is that PTC was not intended to be and should not be thought of as the solution to getting HSR in the United States. They are two separate technologies and have nothing to do with each other. 

Jim



Date: 05/23/20 06:14
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: goneon66

look at our debt of 25 TRILLION and increasing.  this country has NO problem spending money.

it sure seems that we do NOT want to spend money on passenger trains, especially hsr............

66



Date: 05/23/20 07:31
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: cchan006

RRBaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I ask the motorice (engineer)
> why he didn't go the extra speed to round it out
> to 360MPH? He said he had run out of track and
> about to cross into Germany!

Hehe. Of course, that's a tall tale, especially when people using metric (km/h) don't think MPH. Official record is 574.8 km/h. Why, oh why they didn't "push" for that extra 0.2 km/h?

This is for the "serious" folks on TO who can't do humor or sarcasm. :-)



Date: 05/23/20 07:56
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: jaybest

In 1900, The Plant System (Atlantic Coast Line Railroad) 4-6-0 #111 hit 120 mph between Screven, GA and the Satilla River, MP 69 to MP 74, on what is today CSX's Jesup Subdivision between Savannah and Waycross, GA.  The track was probably 85# jointed rail.  No signals.

In 1939, Atlantic Coast Line introduced The Champion, it's first diesel streamliner.  On much of the mainline between Richmond, VA and Jacksonville, FL, the Champion, along with its steam powered  sister passenger trains, were allowed up to 90 mph prior to WWII.  Mostly 85# to 100# jointed rail, mostly semaphores and automatic block signals.  

Spring 1955 until winter 1957 - ACL allowed 100 mph for roller bearing equipped passenger trains, 90 mph for non-roller bearing cars.  131# pristine jointed rail, mostly automatic block searchlight signals, mostly double track.  Automatic Train Stop.  

Today on the CSX "A-Line" mainline - 79 mph for passenger trains.  CTC and PTC.  131# to 140# welded rail.  Lots of double track, including some new sections!  Upgrades continue.  

Summary- With the exception of less double track, the A-line is ready to handle a lot more high-speed freight and higher-speed passengers if CSX and Amtrak are willing.  It has the proven potential!

Jay Best
Raleigh, NC




 



Date: 05/23/20 11:31
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: Drknow

Won’t ever happen without millions of Government money thrown at it. How else are the Class Ones gonna extort money out of the taxpayers🤨

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/23/20 11:42
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: justalurker66

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OMG, no way, no how! -- we would have to re-time crossings gates - or re-space signals.
> With this kind of thinking - we will remain hopelessly behind the rest of the world.

Don't tell people it can't be done. Just tell them how much it will cost.

The comments in the PTC thread are fair. It will take more than operable PTC to allow 90 MPH trains. First step would be track geometry. Sure, you can TRY to take a 50 MPH curve at 102 MPH. Results are not usually good.

I am not concerned with signal spacing - as long as the train does not go faster than it would be able to stop it doesn't matter if the signals are spaced every 2-3 miles or there are no intermediates. Moving blocks via PTC (always having a stop point of the tail of the train ahead and a stopping curve based on not passing that point) will help. Passing the final wayside restricting signal would be a problem. PTC could tell you that the tail of the train ahead is about to clear the block two miles away and your stopping distance is 1/2 mile for your weight train - but the rules would need to be rewritten or the signalling changed to cab signal to allow a train to pass restricting at a higher speed.

Crossing signals will have to be adjusted to provide a consistent warning time. Gates completely down with enough time to clear the crossing before the faster train arrives. Every crossing reporting back through PTC and the train to make sure the gates are functioning and down for every train and, if not, to slow the train enough to get the gates down or stop it before the incursion. It can be done - it is just a matter of spending the money.

Long sections of tangent track seem to be good places for 90 MPH plus trains. Grade separated without level crossings helps. It will be up to the FRA to decide what additional protections would be needed. It is bad enough when a line that normally has 50-60 mile freights has an Amtrak pass at 79 MPH. People need to expect it. Gates that normally come down for a freight 1750ft away currently come down for an Amtrak 2300ft away. At 90 the gates would need to be down 2600ft in advance of the train (20 second warning) - longer to allow the gates to lower. Quad gates would need to trigger earlier. People need to be convinced to stop for a train approaching from over a half mile away (even if they can't see it).

All protections could be put in place - it is just a matter of paying for it.

As for the record ... 183.85 MPH set with crossings physically blocked by police in NW Ohio.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/20 11:48 by justalurker66.




Date: 05/23/20 12:04
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: justalurker66

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the U,S. (even trainfans) think only in terms of costs - no credence is given to the benefits of spending.

Cost vs benefit. Traditional ROI. Some countries consider the return on the investment to be worth the cost. In some countries it is worth the cost. In most of America the bean counters would win. The value of a 90 MPH + train is not worth the expense. The expense of creating links that would allow a speed that would make a difference in passenger revenue is much higher.



Date: 05/23/20 21:08
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: Mgoldman

rbenko Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I thought the TurboTrain held the speed record,
> way back in 1967.  According to Wikipedia (hardly
> a rock-solid source) it hit 170.8 MPH in New
> Jersey.
>
> From the link you provided, I don't see any claims
> about breaking a speed record - maybe I missed it.

You are correct.  North American speed record for a
"production" built train set was - AND STILL IS - 170.8
mph set in Princeton Junction, NJ back in 1967.

The NYC jet powered RDC was a promotional stunt.
A very cool stunt, but a stunt, non the less.  The jets
were removed and the RDC was later returned to
routine operation.

The Acela high speed test runs from a few years ago
were designed to test the Acela at speeds up to 170
mph.  The achieved speed had to be 5 mph over
the expected operating speeds to qualify.  As far as
I know - those tests never resulted in speeds that
broke the UA Turbotrain's 170.8 mph record, let
along even toping 165.

After the tests Amtrak was mum.  No official record
of the speed was EVER published nor publicly docu-
mented.

The new Avelia's should reach and better this speed,
but we're still waiting....

/Mitch
 



Date: 05/23/20 21:50
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: ProAmtrak

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RRBaron -- right you are!
>
> Earlier this week, when I asked if Positive Train
> Control will permit dropping the 79MPH limit on
> Passenger train speeds -- some answers I got were
> ---
>
> OMG, no way, no how! -- we would have to re-time
> crossings gates - or re-space signals.
>
> With this kind of thinking - we will remain
> hopelessly behind the rest of the world.

And still hear from die hard Americans the the US is the best country on earth!

Posted from Android



Date: 05/30/20 08:52
Re: New North American Speed Record
Author: MSE

Aren't modern signals time-triggered rather than distance-triggered? That is, aren't they are triggered by the speed of the approaching train? 
-------------------------------------------------------
> ronald321 Wrote:
> > OMG, no way, no how! -- we would have to
> re-time
> > crossings gates - or re-space signals.

 



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