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Equipment Order in the works this year (2018)?

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I'd like to advise the blurb Jis (and other posters on various sites) posted was basically a short, recap of a much longer conversation. His hopes, wishes and dreams were spelled out quite clearly, not that I think some of it is actually feasible (but I'm no equipment expert.) It tied in with various themes from state supported services, outlying terminals, run through service and state partnerships to future Amtrak growth, fixed sets, and other business items that may be impacted by such a purchase (after all, it is hard to put a private car on a train with an engine on each end, right?) :ph34r:

 

It would be advisable to actually wait a few more months, see what other things shape up (or get cut back), and wait for the actually RFI to emerge. Between Anderson, Affigatt and Neroden, we'll have that information as soon as it is available.

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Is there a more complete version to be had out there?

(I am hopeful that Anderson (the CEO, not me) will be able to at least push the RFI/RFP process along a little bit more aggressively than we've seen in the past.)

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One thing that struck me in the conversation that Thirdrail mentioned was that he talked very negativity about the Brightline cars specifically, and individual cars with locomotive-hauled trains were not the future of passenger railroads.

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TR7 makes a very important point about state acquired equipment. In the reports from the NGEC meeting, it was indicated that NYS (for MNRR) was interested in a P32-DM replacement, with the possibility of Amtrak joining for the Empire Corridor. If Empire stays locomotive hauled, it lowers the number of potential DMU/DEMU units to be used across the system considerably, which usually raises per unit cost. If someone else is paying for it, even something that may be sub optimal in your eyes, is what you usually agree to. I always remember when I was working in Manhattan some years back with my not so state of the art cellphone in hand, and on every block someone would run up and hand you a flyer and say " I can give you a better phone and save you money too!" answer "I'm sorry, I have the my boss pays for it plan, no one beats that"

Edited by PVD

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One thing that struck me in the conversation that Thirdrail mentioned was that he talked very negativity about the Brightline cars specifically, and individual cars with locomotive-hauled trains were not the future of passenger railroads.

 

Where did Thirdrail mention that?

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One thing that struck me in the conversation that Thirdrail mentioned was that he talked very negativity about the Brightline cars specifically, and individual cars with locomotive-hauled trains were not the future of passenger railroads.

 

Where did Thirdrail mention that?

 

Maybe looshi was at the meeting where Anderson was talking and heard it for him/her self.

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Railroads that manage their trains as a set of individual cars are certainly much harder to manage than one with half a dozen types if fixed consists. That of course has nothing to do with what the cars in the consist look like inside or how they are manufactured. Also notice that managing a system with a small number of types of fixed consist is more like managing an airline, so Anderson may understand better and feel more comfortable with such. Both DEMUs and EMUs in semi-articulated form as found in many places elsewhere fits the bill. And yes, as Thirdrail mentioned, that will pretty much mean the end of towing PVs. The airlines do not tow private gliders around either.

 

Specifically as for Amfleet I replacements, which have mainly to do with the NEC, it would not surprise me if he goes 100% DEMU/EMU for the NEC segment of Amfleet I usage, though he would have a bit of 'splainin to do regarding the ACS-64s. It is entirely possible that the ACS-64s can simply be converted to power heads a-la the Brightline style power heads. I doubt that he specifically cares about concentrated vs. distributed power in each semi-articulated consist.

 

I don't think he will get around to changing much in the State run corridor service, except for States that depend almost completely on Amtrak supplied equipment. And it would be very interesting to see how the Intercity LD network is handled.

 

All wild-assed speculations on my part of course based on third hand information from a meeting that only the Amtrak employees amongst us were at.


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Edited by jis

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BTW Anderson may not be alone. It looks like Indian Railways is also seriously looking at EMUs for long distance intercity service. Of course Anderson does not have the luxury of contemplating EMU's for such due to the inadequate infrastructure in the US. ;)

 

https://www.ndtv.com/business/indian-railways-loco-free-train-sets-to-be-maintained-by-private-player-773800

 

Elsewhere it has been mentioned that these trains would be tried out for both medium distance daytime trains like the Shatabdis, and longer distance overnight trains like the Rajdhanis.

 

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/railways-to-open-financial-bids-for-trainsets-on-dec-21/article7869952.ece

 

The main argument is reducing overall running time taking advantage of the superior acceleration/deceleration performance, among other things. It has been mentioned that they could lop off two or three hours from the 17 hour schedule for a typical run between Mumbai or Kolkata to Delhi (~900 miles) without increasing the maximum speed.

Edited by jis

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The more slow orders and slow sections and then max track on any route the more distributed power helps reducing schedule times. Extreme example if NYP - WASH was all 160 MPH capable then the only time for slowing and speeding up would be at station stops, But it would be an interesting project for someone to track all the present slows and speed up now on the NYP - WASH route. As well how long each slow location causes extra en route times ?

 

The trade off of distributed power costs vs the power car)s_ is very dynamic. Power cars and ACS-64s weigh more so they also has to consider the extra wear and tear on track and structures from them. EMUs also have higher costs on CAT when more pans per train contact the CAT.

Edited by west point

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There are EMUs that are six cars per unit with one pan. So just because it is an EMU does not mean it will have a large number of pans, and indeed for high speed ones having fewer pans per train has other benefits too.

 

 

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The more slow orders and slow sections and then max track on any route the more distributed power helps reducing schedule times. Extreme example if NYP - WASH was all 160 MPH capable then the only time for slowing and speeding up would be at station stops, But it would be an interesting project for someone to track all the present slows and speed up now on the NYP - WASH route. As well how long each slow location causes extra en route times ?

 

The trade off of distributed power costs vs the power car)s_ is very dynamic. Power cars and ACS-64s weigh more so they also has to consider the extra wear and tear on track and structures from them. EMUs also have higher costs on CAT when more pans per train contact the CAT.

Here's a link to a Google Map someone made based off an Employee Timetable with Acela speed limits overlayed on it. I'm not sure how old it is though.

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Railroads that manage their trains as a set of individual cars are certainly much harder to manage than one with half a dozen types if fixed consists. That of course has nothing to do with what the cars in the consist look like inside or how they are manufactured. Also notice that managing a system with a small number of types of fixed consist is more like managing an airline, so Anderson may understand better and feel more comfortable with such. Both DEMUs and EMUs in semi-articulated form as found in many places elsewhere fits the bill. And yes, as Thirdrail mentioned, that will pretty much mean the end of towing PVs. The airlines do not tow private gliders around either.

 

Specifically as for Amfleet I replacements, which have mainly to do with the NEC, it would not surprise me if he goes 100% DEMU/EMU for the NEC segment of Amfleet I usage, though he would have a bit of 'splainin to do regarding the ACS-64s. It is entirely possible that the ACS-64s can simply be converted to power heads a-la the Brightline style power heads. I doubt that he specifically cares about concentrated vs. distributed power in each semi-articulated consist.

 

I don't think he will get around to changing much in the State run corridor service, except for States that depend almost completely on Amtrak supplied equipment. And it would be very interesting to see how the Intercity LD network is handled.

 

All wild-assed speculations on my part of course based on third hand information from a meeting that only the Amtrak employees amongst us were at.

 

 

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Interesting, looks like Anderson is trying to shake up the status quo.

 

1. Is it cheaper to run a charger Charger and four or five Brightline like cars or a DMU of four or five cars? It seems that airline Anderson has done the math.

 

2.That would make any engine order much smaller than the previous Genesis order in units needed.

 

3. Truth be told, DMU could probably operate a lot of state supported trains cheaper than the Charger/ car combination.

 

4.Interesting, look at who makes DMUs.....N/S https://m.railjournal.com/index.php/rolling-stock/north-american-dmus-to-have-cummins-tier-4-engines.html

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I doubt very much that Anderson has had the time to actually do a full analysis. He has certainly been reading some more modern railroad related publications and British practices. But it is not at all obvious that it is cheaper to use DMUs instead of cars pulled by engine for long trains.

 

Almost every rail equipment manufacturer has DMU and DEMU on offer. Nothing special about N/S except that they happen to have supplied the ones used by SMART.

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Let me ask a technical question that I figure a few folks can answer. Would a change/waiver in (present) regulation be required to allow high voltage from the cat to be trainline distributed, so as to avoid the multiple pan operation that some people have mentioned in EMU set-ups?

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I'm interested to see how he would get more service out of the host railroads, and Congress will want its say if he starts removing service in favor of different service.

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We don't know and won't know for sure until he shares his vision with the public in general. The Amtrak employees he spoke to certainly know way more than us on the outside. And as the CEO of an outfit that would want to bargain with the vendors for the best deal, he is of course never going to say that he prefers a specific one. That would weaken his bargaining position. Remember, he bargained with Boeing and Airbus playing one against the other to get the best deal he could. No reason to believe it will be any different this time around. Same MO different players I would imagine.

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While EMU/DMU trainsets seem to be more efficient, some have said that the traditional engine/separate car trainset is more flexible since you can easily drop and add cars as needed.

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There was a time when a lot of so called through and sectional carriages were shuffled among trains. That is not done any more. Where sections of the same train head to different locations, entire consists are hived off. In general most trains run in pretty much fixed consists. So the flexibility of individual cars has become more or less irrelevant. Removing cars to handle servicing needs or fixing defects is the only remaining issue, and most railroads are choosing to improve overall reliability of equipment by using more sophisticated maintenance methodologies so that they can use the easier to manage fixed consists to provide service. At least that is the trend in the really heavy passenger rail usage countries. I think Anderson is looking at those. I have no idea what will actually happen in the US where of course we all know that even the Laws of Physics are exceptionally different :D

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There was a time when a lot of so called through and sectional carriages were shuffled among trains. That is not done any more. Where sections of the same train head to different locations, entire consists are hived off. In general most trains run in pretty much fixed consists. So the flexibility of individual cars has become more or less irrelevant. Removing cars to handle servicing needs or fixing defects is the only remaining issue, and most railroads are choosing to improve overall reliability of equipment by using more sophisticated maintenance methodologies so that they can use the easier to manage fixed consists to provide service. At least that is the trend in the really heavy passenger rail usage countries. I think Anderson is looking at those. I have no idea what will actually happen in the US where of course we all know that even the Laws of Physics are exceptionally different :D

The preference for multiple units (with driven axles spread out across semi-permanently coupled cars and passenger space in the driving cars) and trainsets (with semi-permanently coupled unpowered cars and locomotive(s)/powercar(s) at the end(s)) varies across Europe. Germany and Austria tend to favor locomotives with trainsets and the UK likes multiple units. But everyone has some of each. In other words, the correct solution depends on a lot of factors and it would be a shame for Amtrak to have decided on a solution already.

 

IDOT’s preference for some married pairs and some individual cars in their CALIDOT order would also appear to have merit. Certainly adds flexibility to the consist.

 

Cat. Skin. Many ways.

 

As a personal note. I lucked into seeing a train with a MARC Charger and an MP36PH-3C a couple times last week at Greenbelt during my DC Metro Rail commute. Boy is the Charger smaller with a gorgeous paint job.

 

 

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https://www.ajot.com/news/amtrak-may-order-modern-lightweight-trainsets#.WsugS8JT_E4.facebook

 

Passengers and rail travel advocates around the country are eagerly awaiting details about new Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson’s plans for our national rail service. Reports from a recent town hall meeting for Amtrak employees offer some clues about Anderson’s priorities for new train equipment. Although this is not yet official, the information indicates that Amtrak is looking at modern, lightweight, unified trainsets.

 

Anderson reportedly pointed to trainsets like the Sonoma-Marin area’s Nippon-Sharyo diesel multiple-units (DMUs, pictured here) and the new TexRail Stadler DMUs as the future of train travel. The new Brightline service in Florida is proving that modern equipment is important to bringing in new riders—and keeping them coming back. It’s good to see Amtrak looking in the same direction.

Edited by jis

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Well if I remember correctly Anderson has capped capacity on trains on the NEC. So no more shrinking and growing with needs. So with that in mind there is another precedent for EMU/DMUs.

 

I might add the Statler Flirts in use in Europe are actually perfectly good trains. And they would probably fit in well on the NEC.

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This will play complete havoc with PV operations though, as Thirdrail has hinted earlier.

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Well if I remember correctly Anderson has capped capacity on trains on the NEC. So no more shrinking and growing with needs. So with that in mind there is another precedent for EMU/DMUs.

 

I might add the Statler Flirts in use in Europe are actually perfectly good trains. And they would probably fit in well on the NEC.

The major head scratcher with FLIRTs is figuring out a good way to handle high platforms. Even the higher floors over the trucks/bogies don’t seem to be nearly high enough. The double decker KISS manages with the middle level at the ends (Caltrain and Russia).

 

 

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