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Acela II RFP information announcement


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#881 Acela150

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:42 PM

The relevant definition of prototype from Merriam-Webster:

 

"a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction (such as an airplane) "

 

Remember, this design brings together a few technical components that have not been married together in this way in the past. So it will need to go through a certain amount of debugging and such. And of course it will most likely be used to complete the safety case for certification for operation at target speeds and to establish that it can meet the RFP requirements adequately too, before line production is started.

 

Don't know enough about the pros and cons of self steering trucks to make much of any intelligent statement except to observe the old dictum that was taught to us at Bell Labs over and over again: A component that is not in the system will never fail and will have zero maintenance cost, so think hard before adding a component about whether its addition is justified for fulfilling the requirements specified in the requirements spec.

 

Makes plenty of sense to me. I would imagine this is due to the heavy standards set by the FRA?

 

I think that one thing that should happen is that should it be set up as it would be in revenue service, is that Amtrak should put it on display at several key stations, DC, Philly, Boston, try to fit NYP in if possible. That way customers can provide feedback on what they would like to see changed or vise versa. 


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#882 jis

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:53 PM

These will be Tier III, so not much of the traditional FRA standard. They will be close to off the shelf European stuff which already meet buff strength requirements close to those required for FRA Tier I anyway. So there is no reason for them to be significantly heavier than European stuff.

TGVs in general do not have independently steering axles anyway.


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Edited by jis, 10 October 2017 - 10:54 PM.


#883 frequentflyer

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:17 PM

http://www.railwayga...t-underway.html

 

So its not a Pendolino, its a TGV power cars, with next gen TGV propulsion, Pendolino tilt mechanism with AGV cars. That's what we call a "mutt" in the USA. But since non of this is experimental should work like a charm.

 

From the article-

 

Amtrak initially favoured a Pendolino derivative’, Sherin explained, but ‘we were able to persuade them otherwise, partly because a move to a multiple-unit fleet would require significant alterations to depot facilities’. The Avelia Liberty is also designed to allow extra intermediate cars to be added without any mechanical or electrical alterations to the train.

 

Whats different from the Pendolino and what modification would it had required for depots? How does one easily add cars to a unit train that shares boogies?


Edited by frequentflyer, 11 October 2017 - 01:21 PM.


#884 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:23 PM

They arent going with distributed power? I think that is a very poor choice. He says as the major understatement alarm goes haywire.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#885 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:05 PM

http://www.railwayga...t-underway.html


From the Railway Gazette article-

They will incorporate Alstom’s Tiltronix anticipatory tilting technology, and a crash energy management system meeting the latest FRA crashworthiness guidelines.

 

Alstom’s Vice-President for Marketing & Strategy in North America Scott Sherin told Railway Gazette that the Avelia Liberty design blended experience from various high speed trains supplied internationally over recent years.

 

‘The trailers are based on the AGV bodyshell used in Italy and the tilt equipment is derived from our Pendolino family, while we expect the compact power car design to be selected for SNCF’s next generation of TGVs’, he said. By opting for power cars with unpowered intermediate trailers, Alstom has continued the arrangement used for the existing fleet of 20 Acela Express trains supplied by a consortium of Alstom and Bombardier in 1998-2001.

Could Railway Gazette be subtly offering an opinion in this news article, by pointing out that the power car-trailers on order follow a somewhat stale precedent?



#886 DSS&A

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:41 AM

http://www.railwayga...t-underway.html
 
 
From the article-
 
Amtrak initially favoured a Pendolino derivative, Sherin explained, but we were able to persuade them otherwise, partly because a move to a multiple-unit fleet would require significant alterations to depot facilities. The Avelia Liberty is also designed to allow extra intermediate cars to be added without any mechanical or electrical alterations to the train.
 
Whats different from the Pendolino and what modification would it had required for depots? How does one easily add cars to a unit train that shares boogies?

In Europe, the railroad phrase "depot" is used to describe what railroaders in the USA call "maintenance building and shop facilities" and not "train stations".

Edited by DSS&A, 12 October 2017 - 06:43 AM.


#887 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:52 AM

I caught that part. I just distinctly remember a lot of the discourse from upper management about the problems of the Acela included its inadequate acceleration on the curved NEC, and need to switch to distributed power as a way to rectify that.

The 40 year old Arrow III cars blow an Acelas doors off out of a station, and they werent even intended to be fast. I see whats before me, and I believe it because idiocy beats sense every bloody time. But I cant stand watching it yet again.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#888 VT Hokie

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:47 AM

While an EMU like the Arrow III is faster off the line, so to speak, the Acela is no slouch when it comes to acceleration.  I imagine these new true TGV derivatives will perform even better.



#889 jis

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:30 AM

We will see how these things perform. What I do know is that TGVs with non-distributed power are quite capable of pinning you to your seat when they accelerate full blast.

 

There is a maintenance and operating cost tradeoff between concentrated power and distributed power. The RFP required proposals for meeting specific operating goals possibly with a requirement for providing maintenance with specific MDBF goals. Alstom decided to propose what it did to meet those requirements. It is hard to question their decision sitting firmly in our arm chairs based on very incomplete knowledge of the various issues involved and how they price out.


Edited by jis, 12 October 2017 - 11:47 AM.


#890 neroden

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:37 AM

Well, going with old-school power cars is decidedly *retro*, but look on the bright side -- it's a less bad decision than attempting to keep running P42s rather than buying modern diesels.  :-P


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#891 A Voice

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:24 PM

It is hard to question their decision sitting firmly in our arm chairs based on very incomplete knowledge of the various issues involved and how they price out.

 

When has that ever stopped us before.....   :unsure:

 

Of course, its a fact they got the carbody shape all wrong.  Budd proved nearly fifty years ago that modern railcars are supposed to be round.   :)

 

Well, going with old-school power cars is decidedly *retro*, but look on the bright side -- it's a less bad decision than attempting to keep running P42s rather than buying modern diesels.  :-P

 

While Jis' wisdom correctly applies here too, we do know there are valid arguments in favor of rebuilding existing locomotives (note that the major freight carriers also have rebuild programs, while sales of new-build freight units are down, for more than one reason).  


Edited by A Voice, 12 October 2017 - 12:25 PM.


#892 jis

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:49 PM

 

It is hard to question their decision sitting firmly in our arm chairs based on very incomplete knowledge of the various issues involved and how they price out.

 
When has that ever stopped us before.....   :unsure:
 
Of course, its a fact they got the carbody shape all wrong.  Budd proved nearly fifty years ago that modern railcars are supposed to be round.   :)

 

That idea that railroad cars must look line airplane fuselages with tiny windows, was the timeless contribution from the Volpe Center and Budd :D that lives on with us. Fortunately nothing new is following that pattern.



#893 west point

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:14 PM

The major difference of power cars and distributed power probably comes with MYBF rates.  How much of a distributed power train can continue operating with multiple failures of traction motors, inverters, control equipment, etc. ?  Really  depends on what reliability specifications for equipment.  Of course some failures will shut a train set down.  Another consideration which may be is the amount of maintenance personnel for each type.  It gets much higher for more cars added in the future ? 



#894 Acela150

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:03 AM

I think the thing that is simply wild to me, is that the prototype set will be here before you know it.. The Sprinters arrival came pretty quickly as well. We'll see how long it'll be at TTCI before it makes its way to the NEC. 


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#895 Andrew

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:03 PM

How long and tall will the locomotives and coaches be?






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