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Passenger Trains > Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370


Date: 03/30/21 21:25
Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: sethamtrak

370 left Chicago on-time before the charger 4631 went to sh*t near the engine shops. 2hrs and 15 minutes later they were on the move again after adding the 4610 to the point. Not entirely sure what caused the total failure of the 4631. At least the engine died on Amtrak property and not in the middle of nowhere Michigan waiting on a CSX rescue engine. 4610 and 4631 both continued to Grand Rapids. I assume it was quicker to tack the 4610 on than set out the 4631. For those wondering it was 65 and sunny most of the day, no snow to blame today. 




Date: 03/30/21 21:33
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: IC_2024

The constant failures of Chargers out of Chicago -- in the Springtime 65 temps, no less-- sure points to the diesel shop there and more than likely, very little to no training to the mechanical employees and the loco engineers who run them, as well.
Yes, these engines can have problems and I've experienced them personally, but not to the degree reported on here.   They are quite complicated and problematic, but more training in maintenance and trouble-shooting are in order.   Chargers definiltey not finding a "Sweet Home" in Chicago...   But, at least they could get one to work, here!



Date: 03/30/21 21:48
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: DevalDragon

You mention the "constant failure of Chargers" but not the P42s.

The last Charger failure I found on Trainorders was on March 7:
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,5210973

In the meantime, there have been 2 P42 failures - on March 12 and March 15:
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,5214393
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,5215921

I'm not trying to say the Chargers are perfect. Then again, no locomotive is.



Date: 03/30/21 22:37
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: sethamtrak

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You mention the "constant failure of Chargers" but
> not the P42s.
>
> The last Charger failure I found on Trainorders
> was on March 7:
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,
> 5210973
>
> In the meantime, there have been 2 P42 failures -
> on March 12 and March 15:
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,
> 5214393
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,
> 5215921
>
> I'm not trying to say the Chargers are perfect.
> Then again, no locomotive is.

The chargers have been doing ok lately on their reduced schedules but where were you this winter? If the Hiawathas were running with cabbages like normal, there would've been a ton of dead trains weekly on the C&M. Like I said, I'm not sure what killed this charger but it's sad they can't even make it past the Lumber street grade crossing. It seems like super cold and super hot weather is not conducive for the SC44's. 

364 on Saturday was stopped on the Chicago Line for nearly three hours without HEP for the passengers after their Charger had issues. One passenger complained on Twitter that she was sitting in the dark on the train and wanted her money back. 

Not to worry, all. The ALC42 will be a "heaven sent" for the long distance trains reliability......



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/21 22:42 by sethamtrak.



Date: 03/30/21 23:18
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: IC_2024

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You mention the "constant failure of Chargers" but
> not the P42s.
>
> The last Charger failure I found on Trainorders
> was on March 7:
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,
> 5210973
>
> In the meantime, there have been 2 P42 failures -
> on March 12 and March 15:
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,
> 5214393
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,
> 5215921
>
> I'm not trying to say the Chargers are perfect.
> Then again, no locomotive is.

I wasn't picking on the Charger, but wondering why they seem to have quite a few breakdowns, esp out of Chicago.   That was all...  Believe you me, I've run almost all the P-42's on the roster over the years, and they're all TIRED.   They get run to death out here, and yes, they break down quite a bit, too...   Get ENGLEWOOD or GENE POON on here... The "state of good repair"--  NRPC has always been the red-haired stepchild in this dept.... After 35 years, I'm quite familiar w/ it for sure.



Date: 03/31/21 04:21
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: Englewood

There was an Asst. General Supt. in Chicago in the late 1980's
who started out on the railroad at, if I recall correctly, the 
NYC roundhouse in St. Thomas, Ontario.  He wished Amtrak 
would buy something like a GP9. He said you could fix most
anything that went wrong on those with a wrench.

Exaggeration to be sure, but the point was to avoid unnecessary
complication of machinery. Something like the locomotive
version of an AK47 is needed.  Designed to operate reliably
for people with little or no training on maintenance.  Rugged 
and durable. 

Not something loaded down with gimmicks like urea exhaust injection.

My eyes were opened to Chicago maintenance one weekend in the 
mid 1980's when No. 3 stopped short of Corwith with engine problems.
The engineer told me it was the same problem they wrote up on that
unit the DAY BEFORE on their eastbound trip.

On F40's there was a horizontal grab iron sort of thing on the inside front wall of the
cab,  below the windshield on the fireman's side. I suppose it was meant
as an arm rest for someone unfortunate enough to be occupying the "toadstool"
third seat.  It was often pointed out to me how those "arm rests" would be 
covered in grease when the road crew got on.  Grease off the boots of the "maintenance"
workers at the Diesel Shop who would snuggle up in the fireman's seat with their feet on the 
arm rest for a good night's sleep.

There is an ingrained corporate culture that will NEVER be changed.
PennCentral Lives!!!!!!!!

How long would the AT&SF shop foreman at 21st St. yard keep his job
if he put the Super Chief out with bad order power?  What would have
been the reaction at HQ on Michigan Ave. ?

At Amtrak all that mattered was the Morning Report.  Not what was on the
Morning Report, just its existence in the approved format. If there was no 
report it would mean that no trains had operated.  Surely a hold over from PC
days when nothing could be done to save the railroad so effort was concentrated
on something that could be controlled, the Morning Report.





 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/21 04:33 by Englewood.



Date: 03/31/21 04:50
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: joemvcnj

Are all the P42's of about equal mileage and equally worn out ?
Some have said the ones in the lower 100 series have been assigned close to Albany and New Haven, and so have lower mileage and less wear and tear. Then there's the "Michigan ones" that probably don't get far from Chicago.  



Date: 03/31/21 05:17
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: MNR225

Not sure if this observation is related, but Hiawatha Service #339 was 47 minutes late at Sturtevant last night (03-30-21) for its 90 minute run from Chicago to Milwaukee.  The Amtrak Advisory indicated the delay was due to mechanical problems in Chicago.  




Date: 03/31/21 06:21
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: joemvcnj

As with the Turboliners, maybe they need a travelling technician to nurse, monitor, and baby-sit these sickly children on every trip.



Date: 03/31/21 11:34
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: twropr

The 4631 fiasco began after train 371 left Holland, MI - the train made it about 4 miles when the HEP died.  #371 got into Chicago 1 hr 17 min LT with no HEP.
Amazinghly they sent the same equipment out on the 370 that Seth started this thread with.
Andy



Date: 03/31/21 11:58
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: Train29

Why didn't they buy proven technology instead of something that they can't seem to maintain or keep on the road. It can't just be state of good repair. They re practically new.



Date: 03/31/21 12:35
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: TomG

Train29 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why didn't they buy proven technology instead of
> something that they can't seem to maintain or keep
> on the road. It can't just be state of good
> repair. They re practically new.

Well from what I just read, cause they dont make GP9s anymore.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/21 12:36 by TomG.



Date: 03/31/21 13:38
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: PRR1361

Of course they are far more commplicated that a GP-9.Thank the US government for providing the Tier 4 mandate. Wonder why the freights are converting "old" GE's (and a few EMD's) from AC to DC, as opposed to byuying new units? Not hard to figure out.



Date: 03/31/21 15:37
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: DevalDragon

Train29 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why didn't they buy proven technology instead of
> something that they can't seem to maintain or keep
> on the road. It can't just be state of good
> repair. They re practically new.


What type of locomotive are you suggesting they should have purchased?



Date: 03/31/21 17:16
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: radar

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Train29 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Why didn't they buy proven technology instead
> of
> > something that they can't seem to maintain or
> keep
> > on the road. It can't just be state of good
> > repair. They re practically new.
>
>
> What type of locomotive are you suggesting they
> should have purchased?

Alco, of course (ducking).



Date: 03/31/21 19:17
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: Sp1110

Amtrak should have asked EMD to build them a F Unit with a 710 engine and HEP.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/31/21 19:34
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: ExSPCondr

Sp1110 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak should have asked EMD to build them a F
> Unit with a 710 engine and HEP.
>
Gee, thats a good suggestion, I wonder why Amtrak didn't think of it?

Couldn't have been because the 710 engine can't be made Tier 4 compliant could it?
G



Date: 03/31/21 20:25
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: IC_2024

ExSPCondr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sp1110 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Amtrak should have asked EMD to build them a F
> > Unit with a 710 engine and HEP.
> >
> Gee, thats a good suggestion, I wonder why Amtrak
> didn't think of it?
>
> Couldn't have been because the 710 engine can't be
> made Tier 4 compliant could it?
> G

Just add cow piss — it’ll be fine ...
Bahahahahha



Date: 04/01/21 11:08
Re: Charger saves Charger on AMTK 370
Author: ts1457

IC_2024 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just add cow piss — it’ll be fine ...
> Bahahahahha

The Marine version of the 710 is Tier 4 compliant, but ProgressRail is no longer mentioning the locomotive version as being so. I don't know if the stuff for the marine version creates a clearance problem.

ProgressRail | Marine & Stationary Engines



Date: 04/02/21 15:58
Re: Charger saves Charger on Amtrak 370
Author: EMD99

Yes, Progress Rail made(s) a 710 engine tier 4 compliant for marine use. I know the head engineer for that project that was rehired as a consultant to get it to work. 
Cat pushed their engine design in the F125 loco. A 20 cylinder model. Remember Cat(Progress Rail) lost the bid for Amtrak high speed rail power to Siemens.
Bottom line, if no one does any maintenance on power, they will all break down no matter which model. But yes the older designed models were way less complicated.
 



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