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Date: 02/20/21 07:29
Saturday Charger Follies
Author: sethamtrak

371 of the 19th died with 4612 and required CSX assistance to Grand Rapids by way of CSXT 735 & 349. 
370 of the 20th cancelled with no alternative transportation to the Windy City.

331 of the 20th shows as departed Chicago on-time but is still at CUS with a dead charger on one end and cabbage on the other.

Given the reliability of the chargers of late, it's actually surprising to me they decided to use a cabbage. With a cabbage and unreliable charger, you can really get stranded. Time to bring out the 500s I suppose. Given the tri-weekly long distance trains, shouldn't there be at least a few extra P42s on hand? I understand that Amtrak has to run the chargers first and when they're all burned up they can use their own power but at what point is enough enough this winter? Is sidelining the chargers an option? I'm surprised the host railroads have not said anything about stranded trains. 



Date: 02/20/21 07:54
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: ronald321

i wish Siemens or Amtrak would explain why these locomotive seen to be failing a lot.

Is snow getting in somewhere?  Is something freezing up?

Anybody care to guess?



Date: 02/20/21 07:58
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: altoonafn

Chicago Mechanical strikes again?



Date: 02/20/21 08:24
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: CP8888

Has Amtrak called in the experts from Seimens?

Posted from Android



Date: 02/20/21 08:35
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: aehouse

CP8888 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has Amtrak called in the experts from Seimens?
>
> Posted from Android

One assumes that all these locmotives are under warranty, and I'm certain Siemens is as eager as Amtrak is to resolve the issues.

Art House



Date: 02/20/21 08:44
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: jst3751

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i wish Siemens or Amtrak would explain why these
> locomotive seen to be failing a lot.
>
> Is snow getting in somewhere?  Is something
> freezing up?
>
> Anybody care to guess?

All the other Siemens Charger Locomotives in use and NOT based in Chicago seem to be working just fine.

With past undeniable problems with Amtrak Chicago Mechanical, one can only be lead to speculate as to the root of the current problems...



Date: 02/20/21 08:44
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: joemvcnj

Were they as much of an issue last winter ? 



Date: 02/20/21 09:03
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: DevalDragon

Last winter was a lot more mild. The weatherman on WGN said that Chicgao has had more snow this year than any other since 1978 - and it's arrived all in the month of February instead of throughout the season.

It would be helpful to know the specific failues instead of "another Charger failure." It would also be helpful to see a roster of all the ITDX Chargers and what their status is.

There is no doubt that thst some of thr problems are with the passenger cars - though any "mechanical issue" probably gets blamed on the Charger locomotive despite us not having the details.



Date: 02/20/21 09:05
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: mp51w

I get the feeling, because the passenger numbers aren't so big, that it's not a huge deal right now. 
That, or it's Amtrak's way of saying to the States, you should have stuck with our high cost formula engines.



Date: 02/20/21 09:07
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: joemvcnj

Imagine if they had pre-Covid Corridor frequencies and all the Cabbages were in use. Suffice it to say, the Chicago Corridor system would have totally collapsed.



Date: 02/20/21 10:01
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: mp51w

There are plenty of idle freight units right now!  They need a back up plan, possibly with some bag cars converted to HEP.



Date: 02/20/21 10:04
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: NYSWSD70M

It would be interesting to see a point by point list of the issues with the Chargers.

All in all, Amtrak seems to have a terrible record when it comes to locomotive procurement.

Successes:

F40PH's
AEM7's
P40/42's

Failures

Almost everything else.

Corrections are welcomed but their track record isn't good.  Granted the Charger comes to Amtrak indirectly but it still reflects badly on them at this point.



Date: 02/20/21 10:06
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: joemvcnj

Dash-8's seem OK
Genesis had computer issues from getgo. I wont shed a tear when they go to Hyman-Michaels. 

Who did acceptance testing and passed the Midwest Chargers for service ?
What was the criteria, besides Pueblo ?  



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/21 10:28 by joemvcnj.



Date: 02/20/21 11:01
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: jst3751

mp51w Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are plenty of idle freight units right
> now!  They need a back up plan, possibly with
> some bag cars converted to HEP.

You seem to not understand the simple fact that Amtrak is a quasi-government entity, relying upon funding, directives and allowances by the federal government. 

You have a suggestion, take it to someone responsible: Congress.



Date: 02/20/21 11:41
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: sethamtrak

Fire alarms. Engine room smoke. Electrical overvoltages. I've heard of fine snow shutting down chargers. No aux generator to power traction motor blowers and radiator fans. No 480/HEP, the engine goes dead. Dyanamic brake system takes on snow which can fry out. Moisture causes shorts. I've heard there are HEP cooling issues s well as moisture leading to the HEP dropping out. I have also heard of "trainline emergencies" and MU/COMM issues where snow is getting into the receptacles from hitting snow banks. 

Someone that knows charger particulars can add more to the basic issues that I have laid out above. ^

NYSWSD70M Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It would be interesting to see a point by point
> list of the issues with the Chargers.
>
> All in all, Amtrak seems to have a terrible record
> when it comes to locomotive procurement.
>
> Successes:
>
> F40PH's
> AEM7's
> P40/42's
>
> Failures
>
> Almost everything else.
>
> Corrections are welcomed but their track record
> isn't good.  Granted the Charger comes to Amtrak
> indirectly but it still reflects badly on them at
> this point.



Date: 02/20/21 12:07
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: hsr_fan

I don't recall the Rohr Turboliners having this many problems!



Date: 02/20/21 12:29
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: joemvcnj

hsr_fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't recall the Rohr Turboliners having this many problems!

Where you around during the early 1977 blizzards in western NY ? (I got off a 6 hour late steam-heated westbound Lake Shore Ltd that had zero mechanical problems) The Rohr fleet not only collapsed, but one was stranded in Buffalo Central Terminal for 2 weeks after ingesting snow and could not be moved. 

A year later, on a cold but sunny day, my Turbo to Buffalo was terminated at Harmon with mechanical problems. They short-turned one at Croton-Harmon (placing its passengers on an MTA MU of 1100's which Empire Conrail crews were qualified on, not Budd M-1's). Its snack bar had no functioning microwave nor coffee maker - nothing to be had hot. Danishes and a cold clammy sandwich was it for the day.

I wished those Rohr contraptions sent to RR Hell from then on.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/21 12:30 by joemvcnj.



Date: 02/20/21 13:02
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: Northeaster

Probably around 2008, about this time in the winter, we were aboard Amtrak's Maple Leaf from Syracuse heading to Toronto, CN, and had just gotten out of Depew and were crossing the yards around the old Buffalo station at a good clip when we died and actually coasted into Exchange Street Station. All the power was out and the engineer and conductor got into a cab and left us in the dark and cold. Finally, a crewman told us that our engine, a P42, I believe had "swallowed snow" and was dead and the engineer had gone back to retrieve a now restored P42(it had suffered the same fate as our engine several days earlier) which the eastbound Lake Shore had dropped off in Buffalo/Depew. At that time, there was a second track at Exchange Street and after about 2 hours, the replacement engine passed around us and connected to our head end. When we got to the border, the VIA crew were amazed that we had been simply feft without heat for those hours and promptly opened the lounge car with free food and hot drinks for all. Never had that problem after that in many winter trips on any of the long distance Amtrak trains and certainly not during our great Canadian trips with sleet, snow and extreme cold on most trips.



Date: 02/20/21 13:15
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: The-late-EMD

NYSWSD70M Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It would be interesting to see a point by point
> list of the issues with the Chargers.
>
> All in all, Amtrak seems to have a terrible record
> when it comes to locomotive procurement.
>
> Successes:
>
> F40PH's
> AEM7's
> P40/42's
>
> Failures
>
> Almost everything else.
>
> Corrections are welcomed but their track record
> isn't good.  Granted the Charger comes to Amtrak
> indirectly but it still reflects badly on them at
> this point.

The F59PHI'S was rough riders but pretty dependable locomotives.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/20/21 13:17
Re: Saturday Charger Follies
Author: KM-ML4000

Siemens dynamic brake resistor is a pile of dung, and the cooling air for the resistor is collected above the rear truck, which of course is stupid! The braking resistor gets iced up and triggers the ground fault protection, which takes down the traction and HEP inverters. Couple this with the poorly sealed under frame junction boxes, you in for a good time anytime you have a major snow event. Siemens has been applying band-aid solutions for over 3 years, and refusing to admit they have made a few design mistakes in the SC44 design. But hey, they have no problems with the VECTRONS in Europe!
In addition to the ground faults, units are having problems with main alternators failing, QSK95s self dustructing, cheap smoke alarms failing, HEP capacitor issues, Traction Inverter capaacitor issues, cooling hose failures, and the list goes on!

I have also mentioned previously, that Amtrak has no performance incentives to ensure the state owned equipment maintained and in service, and gets to charge the States for use of Amtrak equipment when State owned equipment is not available.

Locomotives designed by a committee, built by a locomotive builder who is arrogant and has virtually no experience with the North American market, and maintained by Amtrak all adds up to a real good time when the snow flies!


ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i wish Siemens or Amtrak would explain why these
> locomotive seen to be failing a lot.
>
> Is snow getting in somewhere?  Is something
> freezing up?
>
> Anybody care to guess?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/21 15:32 by KM-ML4000.



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