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New Siemens Charger locomotive.

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The Illinois order is more interesting. The original plan was to replace the motive power for every single corridor out of Chicago and it seemed like enough but with no spares. But this is a very significant additional number, which should not only cover spares and the Moline and Rockford services, but leave extras. I can't think of any more service expansions planned in Illinois which would need more locomotives -- is Illinois planning to lease some of these to Michigan for their proposed service expansions?

 

The order is now up to 66 including 8 for MARC, or 58 without.

 

This is a substantial addition to Amtrak motive power. I think the Dash-8s will probably be removed from service, or they might continue a strange life as very-fuel-hungry switchers. I'm not sure how many Chargers will replace F59PHIs (which will probably be retired) versus how many Chargers will replace P42s in the corridors (allowing more P42s to run in long-distance service). I guess this is basically a question of how many F59PHIs will be retired. F59PHIs are currently used mostly in California and Washington State and both states are ordering lots of Chargers. The F59PHIs might all be retired, in which case the order so far wouldn't actually free up very many P42s. But on the other hand Amtrak still has to run F59PHIs because of North Carolina, so California might keep a bunch around....

The Illinois option order of 12 Chargers was stated in the September status report by the Next Gen equipment pool committee. So that is not new info. But the 12 units are not necessarily going to Illinois corridor services. IL DOT is acting as the buyer for the Midwest joint consortium for the Chargers and Nippon-Sharyo bi-level cars, so the 12 additional locomotives are presumably going to the joint equipment pool. Don't know whether the 3 states in the consortium are paying for part or all the costs for the 12 units or if federal funds are paying for them.

 

As for the F59PHIs, why would Amtrak retire them? The F59s were delivered in 1998, so they are younger than some of the P-42s. I doubt that California or Washington State would keep any F59s around once they have all the new Chargers in service. The states will own the Chargers, so they don;t have to pay Amtrak capital equipment costs. The F59s might end up on the east coast as corridor diesels for the Virginia Regionals, maybe the Vermonter and the Downeaster.

 

The interesting thing is that according to the recently posted Capital Investment Plan for FY2016-FY2020 for state corridors services by the 514 Capital Equipment Subcommittee, 5 out of the 21 F59PHIs are not in a state of good repair and are scheduled for overhauls in FY16 and FY17 to return to service. The states (CA?) are paying for the overhauls, but I wonder if the overhaul plans might change with the order for additional Chargers. BTW, the Capital Investment Plan for FY16-FY20 posted on the subcommittee website has a very detailed breakdown of what the states and Amtrak expect to spend for equipment maintenance and capital charges over the next 5 years.

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Unless my math is wrong, based on the numbers, California (with the option) is only getting 20 Chargers to replace 21 F59PHIs; I presume they're going to continue borrowing Amtrak locomotives for the foreseeable future?

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Unless my math is wrong, based on the numbers, California (with the option) is only getting 20 Chargers to replace 21 F59PHIs; I presume they're going to continue borrowing Amtrak locomotives for the foreseeable future?

The 21 F59PHIs are used in both CA and the Cascades corridor. I think 15 are used in CA. CA got 6 Chargers in the baseline order to expand service, the option order for 14 presumably replaces the 15 California F-59PHis. And not all of those 15 may be in service, if 5 out of 21 total are waiting on overhauls.

 

The breakdown of the baseline order is 21 for the Mid-West Coalition, 5 + 3 options for Washington State, 6 for California. So the Midwest Coalition buying 12 additional Chargers will make for 33 locomotives for the IL, MI. MO corridor services. BTW, we do have a long running thread on what became the Siemens Charger contract: RFP released for 35 Next Gen Locomotives for those looking for more info.

 

Edit: Checked and Washington State is buying 8 Siemens Chargers, so the state is exercising the baseline option for 3 units. (Rail - Amtrak Cascades New Locomotives)

Edited by afigg

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It would seem strange if the F59PHI locomotives get retired--they would only be around 20 years old!

 

These new Chargers are supposed to have a minimum service life of 25 years, and possibly 30 years with good maintenance.

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Did we ever break down how many locomotives are needed for the existing Midwest corridor services? I looked through the other thread that afigg linked to and didn't see anything - perhaps it was in a thread about the bilevel cars?

 

Would this be accurate for the current number of trainsets used?

 

2 CHI-CDL

1 CHI-GRR

2 CHI-MKE*

3 CHI-PNT

1 CHI-PTH

2 CHI-QCY

4 CHI-STL

2 KCY-STL

 

17 trainsets

 

I would imagine the CHI-PNT and CHI-STL trainsets will use 2 locomotives, one on each end, as they see or will see the longest stretches of 110mph running. So that is now accounting for 24 locomotives. Perhaps a second loco for the CHI-PTH trainset as it too runs at 110mph? So 25?

 

Now, the Hiawatha. There have been rumors and rumblings that WI might join in the bilevel car order but so far there's been nothing announced. So, I'm assuming for now that it will continue to run with Amfleet/Horizon equipment. But perhaps it will receive new locomotives. Will the cabbages be replaced by a second locomotive, instead of some sort of cab car? Just idle thoughts for now, but that could account for up to 27 locomotives, if my math and guesses are correct.

 

Anyway, please correct anything here that I've missed or misstated.

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The Illinois order is more interesting. The original plan was to replace the motive power for every single corridor out of Chicago and it seemed like enough but with no spares. But this is a very significant additional number, which should not only cover spares and the Moline and Rockford services, but leave extras. I can't think of any more service expansions planned in Illinois which would need more locomotives -- is Illinois planning to lease some of these to Michigan for their proposed service expansions?

 

The order is now up to 66 including 8 for MARC, or 58 without.

 

This is a substantial addition to Amtrak motive power. I think the Dash-8s will probably be removed from service, or they might continue a strange life as very-fuel-hungry switchers. I'm not sure how many Chargers will replace F59PHIs (which will probably be retired) versus how many Chargers will replace P42s in the corridors (allowing more P42s to run in long-distance service). I guess this is basically a question of how many F59PHIs will be retired. F59PHIs are currently used mostly in California and Washington State and both states are ordering lots of Chargers. The F59PHIs might all be retired, in which case the order so far wouldn't actually free up very many P42s. But on the other hand Amtrak still has to run F59PHIs because of North Carolina, so California might keep a bunch around....

The Illinois option order of 12 Chargers was stated in the September status report by the Next Gen equipment pool committee. So that is not new info. But the 12 units are not necessarily going to Illinois corridor services. IL DOT is acting as the buyer for the Midwest joint consortium for the Chargers and Nippon-Sharyo bi-level cars, so the 12 additional locomotives are presumably going to the joint equipment pool. Don't know whether the 3 states in the consortium are paying for part or all the costs for the 12 units or if federal funds are paying for them.

 

As for the F59PHIs, why would Amtrak retire them? The F59s were delivered in 1998, so they are younger than some of the P-42s. I doubt that California or Washington State would keep any F59s around once they have all the new Chargers in service. The states will own the Chargers, so they don;t have to pay Amtrak capital equipment costs. The F59s might end up on the east coast as corridor diesels for the Virginia Regionals, maybe the Vermonter and the Downeaster.

 

The interesting thing is that according to the recently posted Capital Investment Plan for FY2016-FY2020 for state corridors services by the 514 Capital Equipment Subcommittee, 5 out of the 21 F59PHIs are not in a state of good repair and are scheduled for overhauls in FY16 and FY17 to return to service. The states (CA?) are paying for the overhauls, but I wonder if the overhaul plans might change with the order for additional Chargers. BTW, the Capital Investment Plan for FY16-FY20 posted on the subcommittee website has a very detailed breakdown of what the states and Amtrak expect to spend for equipment maintenance and capital charges over the next 5 years.

 

 

I'm not certain about the California F59PHIs*, but some of the Cascades F59PHIs are owned by WADOT, not Amtrak so WA would have to sell them to Amtrak in order for them to show up somewhere else. My guess is that they'll be sold off to other agencies.

 

*I think all the California ones are owned by CA, but someone else will have to verify that.

 

peter

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The Illinois order is more interesting. The original plan was to replace the motive power for every single corridor out of Chicago and it seemed like enough but with no spares. But this is a very significant additional number, which should not only cover spares and the Moline and Rockford services, but leave extras. I can't think of any more service expansions planned in Illinois which would need more locomotives -- is Illinois planning to lease some of these to Michigan for their proposed service expansions?

 

The order is now up to 66 including 8 for MARC, or 58 without.

 

This is a substantial addition to Amtrak motive power. I think the Dash-8s will probably be removed from service, or they might continue a strange life as very-fuel-hungry switchers. I'm not sure how many Chargers will replace F59PHIs (which will probably be retired) versus how many Chargers will replace P42s in the corridors (allowing more P42s to run in long-distance service). I guess this is basically a question of how many F59PHIs will be retired. F59PHIs are currently used mostly in California and Washington State and both states are ordering lots of Chargers. The F59PHIs might all be retired, in which case the order so far wouldn't actually free up very many P42s. But on the other hand Amtrak still has to run F59PHIs because of North Carolina, so California might keep a bunch around....

The Illinois option order of 12 Chargers was stated in the September status report by the Next Gen equipment pool committee. So that is not new info. But the 12 units are not necessarily going to Illinois corridor services. IL DOT is acting as the buyer for the Midwest joint consortium for the Chargers and Nippon-Sharyo bi-level cars, so the 12 additional locomotives are presumably going to the joint equipment pool. Don't know whether the 3 states in the consortium are paying for part or all the costs for the 12 units or if federal funds are paying for them.

 

As for the F59PHIs, why would Amtrak retire them? The F59s were delivered in 1998, so they are younger than some of the P-42s. I doubt that California or Washington State would keep any F59s around once they have all the new Chargers in service. The states will own the Chargers, so they don;t have to pay Amtrak capital equipment costs. The F59s might end up on the east coast as corridor diesels for the Virginia Regionals, maybe the Vermonter and the Downeaster.

 

The interesting thing is that according to the recently posted Capital Investment Plan for FY2016-FY2020 for state corridors services by the 514 Capital Equipment Subcommittee, 5 out of the 21 F59PHIs are not in a state of good repair and are scheduled for overhauls in FY16 and FY17 to return to service. The states (CA?) are paying for the overhauls, but I wonder if the overhaul plans might change with the order for additional Chargers. BTW, the Capital Investment Plan for FY16-FY20 posted on the subcommittee website has a very detailed breakdown of what the states and Amtrak expect to spend for equipment maintenance and capital charges over the next 5 years.

 

 

I'm not certain about the California F59PHIs*, but some of the Cascades F59PHIs are owned by WADOT, not Amtrak so WA would have to sell them to Amtrak in order for them to show up somewhere else. My guess is that they'll be sold off to other agencies.

 

*I think all the California ones are owned by CA, but someone else will have to verify that.

 

peter

 

 

According to the On-Track-On-Line Roster, 44 F59 locomotives are listed; Of these, eight belong to North Carolina (not all F59PHI) and fifteen to Caltrans. Amtrak shows as having 21 F59PHI units, which should include any units used in Washington state (though state ownership is not described).

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Did we ever break down how many locomotives are needed for the existing Midwest corridor services? I looked through the other thread that afigg linked to and didn't see anything - perhaps it was in a thread about the bilevel cars?

 

Would this be accurate for the current number of trainsets used?

I'm not sure (maybe an insider would know better, hint hint) but I was also coming up with numbers in the range of 17-20, which means that 33 for the Midwest is a lot of extras.

 

I'm pretty sure Amtrak intends to run all the corridor trains with only one locomotive; they're specified to be powerful enough and anything else would be waste.

 

Add 2 for the planned Moline-Chicago service, 1 for the planned Rockford-Chicago service (or 2 for Dubuque), and 2 for planned increases in Chicago-St. Louis frequency, and 33 is still a lot of extras.

Add 1 for planned second Grand Rapids frequency and 3 for additional planned Chicago-Detroit frequencies, and now you're getting into the right range.

Michigan is also talking about Grand Rapids-Lansing-Dearborn, which would add another 1 or 2.

 

So I think Illinois *has* to be buying on behalf of Michigan.

 

----

 

F59PHI or F59PH are used routinely by Amtrak in three places right now:

-- California: some are owned by California, some not

-- Washington State: *all* will be replaced by Chargers

-- North Carolina: they own theirs

 

Other agencies using F59PHI or F59PH are Metrolink, Coaster, Sounder, TRE, AMT (Montreal), West Coast Express (Vancouver), and GO Transit, which is phasing them out.

 

If any F59PHIs are kept by or for Amtrak, I'd bet they're going to be kept in California, where Metrolink and Coaster use them extensively, or in North Carolina. Does Amtrak really want to keep parts and maintenance expertise in Chicago or Beech Grove or Bear or Hialeah for an oddball fleet of 21 engines which they currently don't service? I think they don't. Amtrak has relatively little EMD equipment now and it seems unlikely that keeping spare parts and maintenance for them is cost-effective for Amtrak; selling them to an agency which still uses lots of them would make more sense. (Amtrak's remaining EMD equipment consists of F59PHIs, ancient switchers from 1947-1976 which are due for replacement anyway, and three GP38-H3.)

 

The thing which has been most confusing me lately is California's plans. I'm assuming they'll retire their two Dash-8s, but I'm not sure what they're planning to do with their F59PHIs. They could replace all of them, replace some of them, or replace none of them. They could sell excess to Metrolink or Coaster.

Edited by neroden

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Did we ever break down how many locomotives are needed for the existing Midwest corridor services? I looked through the other thread that afigg linked to and didn't see anything - perhaps it was in a thread about the bilevel cars?

 

Would this be accurate for the current number of trainsets used?

I'm not sure, but I was also coming up with numbers in the range of 17-20, which means that 33 is a lot of extras.

 

I'm pretty sure Amtrak intends to run all the corridor trains with only one locomotive; they're specified to be powerful enough.

 

 

Ah, yes, forgot that the intention was NOT to run with two locomotives. So, still around 17 trainsets/locomotives for existing services. Perhaps 2 more for Moline, assuming that happens. And maybe another 1 for Rockford if that ever happens. Still, like you said, in the 17-20ish range.

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On page 23 of the Amtrak FY 2016 budget request shows both NC and California owning F-59s but not any for Washington state.

AFAICT, Washington state does not own any of the current locomotives. They do own two Talgo trainsets, as does Oregon, and some of the F59s have been painted in Cascades livery at one time or another, but those locos are often seen in California.

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Thanks to Afigg linking to this:

http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Pages/514-Subcommittee.aspx

 

We now know the planned fate of the F59PHIs. California will continue leasing them, for Surfliner service *only*. (I bet they end up being maintained at the Metrolink shops, though the report doesn't say that.)

 

So, in California, they have 6 Chargers for "expansion" and 15 Chargers to replace all Amtrak-leased units on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin, as well as to replace California's Dash-8s (I seem to recall something about replacing those two oddballs). That sounds plausible. It means they'll have an oversized fleet of F59PHIs for the Surfliner, but perhaps the result will be that the worst will be condemned and used for parts.

 

The odd part of the plan is that Amtrak apparently intends to continue using Dash-8s in long-distance service in 2020. Hmmm.

Edited by neroden

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Thanks to Afigg linking to this:

http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Pages/514-Subcommittee.aspx

 

We now know the planned fate of the F59PHIs. California will continue leasing them, for Surfliner service *only*. (I bet they end up being maintained at the Metrolink shops, though the report doesn't say that.)

 

So, in California, they have 6 Chargers for "expansion" and 15 Chargers to replace all Amtrak-leased units on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin, as well as to replace California's Dash-8s (I seem to recall something about replacing those two oddballs). That sounds plausible. It means they'll have an oversized fleet of F59PHIs for the Surfliner, but perhaps the result will be that the worst will be condemned and used for parts.

 

The odd part of the plan is that Amtrak apparently intends to continue using Dash-8s in long-distance service in 2020. Hmmm.

So if I read that correctly, the Chargers will stay in Northern California, and the Surfliner will just get more F59PHIs?

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The Caltrans announcement said that the purchase was for the Surfliner, and I know LOSSAN was interested in replacing them. I've emailed LOSSAN's managing director for confirmation and clarification.

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Caltrans is ordering enough Chargers to supply all of Northern California and *some* of the Surfliner. I don't think they're ordering enough to supply all of Northern California and *all* of the Surfliner, which would indicate that some F59PHIs would remain in service.

 

But I could be wrong.

 

The F59PHIs are really undesirable for Amtrak's national network (horsepower too low) and the substantial parts incompatibilty with everything else Amtrak runs makes it undesirable to spread them around to different maintenance bases. They have no place in Washington State (getting Chargers), Chicago (getting Chargers), New York (needs dual-modes), or Pennsylvania (mostly electric), which means the only places a group of them could be centered to support multiple regional services would be WAS for Virginia services, or California; they're currently not used in WAS, so that seems unlikely. If they stop being used on California services, I'd expect them to be sold (maybe to Metrolink, which is now replacing cab cars with extra locomotives and could therefore use more locomotives).

Edited by neroden

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Caltrans is ordering enough Chargers to supply all of Northern California and *some* of the Surfliner. I don't think they're ordering enough to supply all of Northern California and *all* of the Surfliner, which would indicate that some F59PHIs would remain in service.

I think that the lead time on the Capital Investment Plan has to be taken into account when reading it. The document is dated October 27, but with multiple states submitting their plans and a large subcommittee (22 members) that has to assemble and agree to it, the budget and cost plans & numbers have to be generated months in advance. In fact, on page 9 (and 10), it describes the annual schedule for updates and states "States will submit their Fleet and Service Plan tables to Amtrak by January 15th of each year." Then Amtrak provides draft updates by March 31 and so on.

 

The announcement of the California order of 14 units was made just several days ago. So I think the FY2018 to FY2020 F59 LCPM cost numbers for the Surfliner (Los Angeles) don't reflect the order for the 14 additional Chargers as they can't properly budget for them until the contract is finalized. The state will presumably be paying for F59s through FY019 as the Caltrans press release states "These 14 locomotives are expected to be delivered and put into service between July 2018 and Feb. 2019."

 

So by mid-2019, Amtrak will have 21 F-59PHIs to figure out what to do with.

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Other agencies using F59PHI or F59PH are Metrolink, Coaster, Sounder, TRE, AMT (Montreal), West Coast Express (Vancouver), and GO Transit, which is phasing them out.

 

 

Metra owns 3 F59PHs so they're now on that list as well. I don't know too much about the Metra ones, except one was recently spotted wearing the newer paint scheme. I believe they're ex-Metrolink, possibly ex-GO (conflicting reports) & were owned by a leasing company in Canada.

 

peter

 

Photo

Edited by PerRock

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So by mid-2019, Amtrak will have 21 F-59PHIs to figure out what to do with.

...and, if they're really replacing them completely, California will have 15 F-59PHIs to figure out what to do with. (If they're keeping any F59PHIs, I'd assume they'd keep their own first.) I'm still not clear on exactly what California is planning.

 

Meanwhile, Illinois will have enough Chargers to lease to pretty much anyone in the region (Indiana, for example?)

Edited by neroden

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Here is what the AAF Brightline Chargers will look like.... photo as provided by AAF to Gannet, IRJ and several other press outlets, and published by Gannet in a US News and World Report article and by IRJ and several others:

 

635824147497442492-Brightline-Train-2.pn

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I am more curious about the shape of the nose than the color schemes. This shape differs significantly from the earlier pictures of Chargers that we have seen which appear to resemble the Sprinters a lot more. This nose resembles the Acelas more than the Sprinters.

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I'll have to go digging when I get home (or someone else can) but I remember reading that the AAF chargers are getting a more HSR-style nose then the other Chargers.

 

peter

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I'll have to go digging when I get home (or someone else can) but I remember reading that the AAF chargers are getting a more HSR-style nose then the other Chargers.

 

peter

That is what I recall reading too. So apparently that is quite true. Actually, I think it is more than just the nose. I think the body is shaped to match the Viaggio car shape too, so the whole thing looks like an integrated train set rather than locomotives and random cars put together into a train.

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