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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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EMU/DMUs, if Amtrak goes that route will be on another RFP. This purely about the Amfleet and Amtrak getting accustomed to the new Siemens car which will no doubt be the defacto car of Amtrak in the future for LDTs and Corridor. The maintenance and inventory savings should be immense when completed compared to the hodgepodge of equipment Amtrak have to maintain today.

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Wow, thought this thread would get more posts with the exciting news new equipment will soon be ordered.

 

IMO, since the new equipment will be Siemens coaches here is a video to get an idea of what to expect interior wise. The Siemens Vs coaches are sold around the world and used on the vaunted European railroad network. Should be good enough for Amtrak and cheaper to operate too.

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On 1/20/2019 at 7:00 AM, NSC1109 said:

I can tell you that Amfleets are commonly utilized on almost every corridor train out of Chicago, save for possibly the Hiawatha. A good chunk of them are lettered “Illinois HSR”. Occasionally an NER café will show up on a Wolverine. 

in my experience, Hiawatha trainsets are typically a mix of 1-2 Amfleets and 4-5 Horizons.

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Noticed the Siemens coaches have built-in fold-down bridges for the platform gaps.  The gaps look fairly wide; are the Siemens coaches a little narrower than the standard American coaches, or does the Brightline have wide gaps?  Or is it just an illusion?

This is interesting to me because both of my local MBTA commuter rail stations have low-level platforms, which don't meet ADA standards, and they are threatening to close them rather than perform necessary upgrades.  But high-level platforms don't work because both stations are built on curves, and the gaps would have to be too wide.  The current stations are very convenient walking distance to two large neighborhoods, but the proposed solution is to build a new station on a straight stretch of track halfway between them, which isn't convenient to anyone, no parking, too far for most people to walk from either neighborhood, etc.  (A very problematic "solution".)

High-level platforms with wide gaps and built-in fold-down bridges on the cars would (I think) solve the accessibility problem.  The only issue would be getting the T to update its equipment, which they would probably be willing to do in about 40 years when the systems that have bought these cars second-hand from Amtrak decide to sell them off because maintenance is too expensive.  (I remember when I was commuting daily in the earl/mid 1970's when the T bought a whole bunch of "new" cars, about 30 years old, from the LIRR, which were much better than their existing cars.)

Bitter much?  Not me...

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28 minutes ago, John Santos said:

Noticed the Siemens coaches have built-in fold-down bridges for the platform gaps.  The gaps look fairly wide; are the Siemens coaches a little narrower than the standard American coaches, or does the Brightline have wide gaps?  Or is it just an illusion?

Read from there down. :)

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1 hour ago, John Santos said:

Noticed the Siemens coaches have built-in fold-down bridges for the platform gaps.  The gaps look fairly wide; are the Siemens coaches a little narrower than the standard American coaches, or does the Brightline have wide gaps?  Or is it just an illusion? 

Complete guess on my part, but I am thinking:

1. They're a freight company, so they might want a wider ROW just in case

2. They're a private company, so they can't spit in the face of ADA like the public sector does. 

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The press release is worded confusingly, but taken as a whole seems to imply DMU/EMU or whatever the hell they're called. Being from Michigan I am not familiar with any of that stuff. But I can affirm that Amfleet I's (never Amfleet II's) are used daily on virtually every Wolverine and Blue Water. As someone else said, usually 1-2 per train, sometimes more. On the Blue Water, the cafe is almost always Amfleet. I'm not sure what the press release writer was smoking if he/she thinks the Michigan services are "adjacent" to the NEC." More likely, they didn't even think of Michigan when writing it. Hopefully the RFP writer(s) did. We're just country branchlines out here.

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The press release writer correctly stated “Amfleet I cars are used primarily on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and adjacent State Corridor routes” (emphasis mine).

The only people smoking anything seem to be the people reading and misunderstanding. 

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37 minutes ago, Burns651 said:

The press release is worded confusingly, but taken as a whole seems to imply DMU/EMU or whatever the hell they're called. Being from Michigan I am not familiar with any of that stuff. But I can affirm that Amfleet I's (never Amfleet II's) are used daily on virtually every Wolverine and Blue Water. As someone else said, usually 1-2 per train, sometimes more. On the Blue Water, the cafe is almost always Amfleet. I'm not sure what the press release writer was smoking if he/she thinks the Michigan services are "adjacent" to the NEC." More likely, they didn't even think of Michigan when writing it. Hopefully the RFP writer(s) did. We're just country branchlines out here.

Curious, how are you coming to the conclusion it may be DMU/EMUs? The word "trainsets"?

 

"The new railcars and trainsets will include all necessary equipment for Positive Train Control technology and meet recently updated federal Tier I safety standards for equipment operating at speeds of up to 125 MPH.  Also, the new equipment will adhere to all accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. "

I take "trainsets" to mean the semi permanent nature of the Siemen Vs cars. With a California like cab car on one end.

 

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I suggest some here find and read the PRII requirements for new passenger equipment , it would clarify some of stuff for them.

 

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Don't forget Amfleets go to Miami and New Orleans and Chicago too.  Not sure if the intent is to still have a fleet of long-distance and short-distance cars.  Major difference of course is the second door.

Edited by cocojacoby

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7 minutes ago, cocojacoby said:

Don't forget Amfleets go to Miami and New Orleans and Chicago too.  Not sure if the intent is to still have a fleet of long-distant and short-distance cars.  Major difference of course is the second door.

The RFP is for AmfleetI's  Those do not go to Miami, New Orleans or Chicago (not from NYP, at least).

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8 hours ago, John Santos said:

Noticed the Siemens coaches have built-in fold-down bridges for the platform gaps.  The gaps look fairly wide; are the Siemens coaches a little narrower than the standard American coaches, or does the Brightline have wide gaps?  Or is it just an illusion?

 
Some info for you:
Standardized coach with flexibility for customer needs, complies with ADA requirements
85’ long, 10’6’’ wide and 14’ high car body made from stainless steel with flat sidewalls &
tapered roof
Modern roof mounted HVAC system and optimized air distribution ensuring passenger comfort
Four wide sliding-plug side doors offering ease of entry & reducing dwell times
Fabricated truck with air spring suspension for substantially improved ride quality & derailment
safety
Semi-permanent coupled gangways ensuring free passage between cars
125 mph service speed
 
Edited by cocojacoby

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Thoughts:
(1) The old fleet strategy plan has been dead for a long time.  Truth be told, the way it wanted to go about handling the replacements (trying to build up multiple suppliers, etc.) was blinkered and unrealistic.
(2) I'm not surprised that the Amfleet Is are getting replaced sooner.  They're arguably more "high profile" for Amtrak in some respects, and collateralizing RRIF loans on them will probably be easier.  It is also a bigger order, so a modestly re-jiggered Amfleet II replacement fleet could get piggybacked onto this over time, and the options could also be distributed to or sold off to states along the corridor or elsewhere.
(3) Also worth noting is that Amfleet Is can and occasionally are added onto LD trains (for example, the Meteor has periodically run with an Amfleet I for short-hop pax at peak times).  Amfleet II equipment also has to interface with Viewliner diners, sleepers, and baggage cars.  The former two are a bigger issue since you need through-access for those cars (whereas bags can, in theory, be unconnected to the core of the train).  That means there will likely be some different needs for the (smaller) Amfleet II replacement order.  Again, Amfleet Is are a more solid place to begin.
(4) As far as the "trainsets" concern, the quote from the press release is "The base order for the new replacements includes 75 trainsets or their railcar equivalents with options to provide equipment for future service growth along the NEC and other state-supported routes."  Emphasis added.  It isn't clear how big they want the sets to be, and I'm not sure how many "sets" are needed at present.  It also doesn't say that the sets or batches of cars will be identical (since, for example, the Keystones have different equipment needs than Regionals).  75 6-car sets would be 450 cars; 750 8-car sets would be 600 cars; and 750 10-car sets would be 750 cars.  The ultimate order could take many forms, and it seems like Amtrak is trying to keep as many doors open as possible for now.

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In addition, a portion of the Am 1 costs are paid for by states. Assuming it is agreed that will continue, that can't hurt when putting a financing plan together.....

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Noticed the Siemens coaches have built-in fold-down bridges for the platform gaps.  The gaps look fairly wide; are the Siemens coaches a little narrower than the standard American coaches, or does the Brightline have wide gaps?  Or is it just an illusion?
This is interesting to me because both of my local MBTA commuter rail stations have low-level platforms, which don't meet ADA standards, and they are threatening to close them rather than perform necessary upgrades.  But high-level platforms don't work because both stations are built on curves, and the gaps would have to be too wide.  The current stations are very convenient walking distance to two large neighborhoods, but the proposed solution is to build a new station on a straight stretch of track halfway between them, which isn't convenient to anyone, no parking, too far for most people to walk from either neighborhood, etc.  (A very problematic "solution".)
High-level platforms with wide gaps and built-in fold-down bridges on the cars would (I think) solve the accessibility problem.  The only issue would be getting the T to update its equipment, which they would probably be willing to do in about 40 years when the systems that have bought these cars second-hand from Amtrak decide to sell them off because maintenance is too expensive.  (I remember when I was commuting daily in the earl/mid 1970's when the T bought a whole bunch of "new" cars, about 30 years old, from the LIRR, which were much better than their existing cars.)
Bitter much?  Not me...
There's no reason they even have to modify the equipment. I don't know if you've ever traveled to/through New London on Amtrak, but that station is on a major curve, and is a weird combination of high/low platforms, some of which is even separated by a street crossing. The gap to the high platform on the water side can be up to a foot, so Amtrak keeps bridge plates in the platforms that the conductors retrieve and place between the door and the platform. When we're done, fold it up, and put it back in the box. The process maybe adds 20 seconds to the stop.

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They have them in boxes at Albany, also. I saw one taken out and used to assist a wheelchair passenger with a large chair a couple of weeks ago. I was on 284 heading home and had stepped off for air...

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On 1/22/2019 at 12:10 PM, John Santos said:

This is interesting to me because both of my local MBTA commuter rail stations have low-level platforms, which don't meet ADA standards, and they are threatening to close them rather than perform necessary upgrades.  But high-level platforms don't work because both stations are built on curves, and the gaps would have to be too wide.  The current stations are very convenient walking distance to two large neighborhoods, but the proposed solution is to build a new station on a straight stretch of track halfway between them, which isn't convenient to anyone, no parking, too far for most people to walk from either neighborhood, etc.  (A very problematic "solution".)

Well actually the MBTA resolved just that problem at the new Yawkey Station next to Fenway Park by building a center platform and having both platforms on the outside of the curve.  Seems like a rather complicated and expensive solution to me especially since the track is absolute straight on the other side of Brookline Avenue where a more traditional station could have been built.

Yawkey.jpg

As far as these Siemens cars go, the gap fillers are a great idea and would allow freights to pass through stations without the need for gauntlet tracks, HOWEVER Brightline still built long expensive bypasses at all of their stations for their freight trains!  Go figure.

Edited by cocojacoby

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4 hours ago, Triley said:
On 1/22/2019 at 12:10 PM, John Santos said:
Noticed the Siemens coaches have built-in fold-down bridges for the platform gaps.  The gaps look fairly wide; are the Siemens coaches a little narrower than the standard American coaches, or does the Brightline have wide gaps?  Or is it just an illusion?
This is interesting to me because both of my local MBTA commuter rail stations have low-level platforms, which don't meet ADA standards, and they are threatening to close them rather than perform necessary upgrades.  But high-level platforms don't work because both stations are built on curves, and the gaps would have to be too wide.  The current stations are very convenient walking distance to two large neighborhoods, but the proposed solution is to build a new station on a straight stretch of track halfway between them, which isn't convenient to anyone, no parking, too far for most people to walk from either neighborhood, etc.  (A very problematic "solution".)
High-level platforms with wide gaps and built-in fold-down bridges on the cars would (I think) solve the accessibility problem.  The only issue would be getting the T to update its equipment, which they would probably be willing to do in about 40 years when the systems that have bought these cars second-hand from Amtrak decide to sell them off because maintenance is too expensive.  (I remember when I was commuting daily in the earl/mid 1970's when the T bought a whole bunch of "new" cars, about 30 years old, from the LIRR, which were much better than their existing cars.)
Bitter much?  Not me...

There's no reason they even have to modify the equipment. I don't know if you've ever traveled to/through New London on Amtrak, but that station is on a major curve, and is a weird combination of high/low platforms, some of which is even separated by a street crossing. The gap to the high platform on the water side can be up to a foot, so Amtrak keeps bridge plates in the platforms that the conductors retrieve and place between the door and the platform. When we're done, fold it up, and put it back in the box. The process maybe adds 20 seconds to the stop.

They added the High Levels at NLC for Acela stop make station stops there. Only 3 make the stop. 2151, 2190, and 2172. 

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The Amfleet I's are obviously older than the Amfleet II's, but the Amfleet II's (being primarily used for Long Distance trains) have had more mileage than the Amfleet I's.

With that, which ones will likely be replaced first? The Amfleet I's or II's? And is there any telling as to what they'll be replaced with?

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27 minutes ago, CSXfoamer1997 said:

The Amfleet I's are obviously older than the Amfleet II's, but the Amfleet II's (being primarily used for Long Distance trains) have had more mileage than the Amfleet I's.

With that, which ones will likely be replaced first? The Amfleet I's or II's? And is there any telling as to what they'll be replaced with?

It may be that some of the AM-2s will be replaced with AM-1s that have low mileage.  The PRIIA  rebuilding of some AM-1s  rebuilt some low mileage AM-1s  After they were put back in service the Average mileage on AM-1s went down.   Now will the AM-1s assigned to LD trains have seating changed?  Who knows?  The extra vestibule on AM-1s may not be significant.  The RFP for the replacements appears to be asking for 2 vestibules.  However the married pair concept that may come about for the replacements may have only a vestibule at each end of the married pair?

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guaranteed the mileage per day is way higher on Amfleet 1, as it is on Amfleet II as each regional train makes at least one round trip per day on full lenght of NEC some even more than that

the RFP is only for NEC and feeder lines.

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