Old 12-20-2012, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default Acela Trainsets on the Way Out

While popular with the public this equipment has had a series of problems starting with it being too wide to fully utilize the tilt system, cracked yaw damper brackets, cracked brake roters and decorative sheet metal along the roof tops of the locomotives coming loose. One can't help thinking Amtrak would have been miles ahead to overhaul existing cars and locomotives or purchase new electric locomotives (such as NJT did) to reduce costs and have more flexiibility.


"AMTRAK is set to issue a request for information in early 2013 to replace its existing 20 Acela Express high-speed trains and procure additional rolling stock to meet the growing demand for its services on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC, New York and Boston."

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php....html?channel=
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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I wonder if it had anything to do with the last round of 165 mph speed trials in September /October. From what I heard, and due to a complete lack of information via Amtrak - seems running the trains at 160 mph as hoped may not actually be easily done as hoped.

It would appear the set got close to topping out while attempting to beat out the old US record holder, the UA Turbo Train from the late 1960's which holds the current record for a production built train set at 170.8 set in 1967. I doubt Amtrak wants to run the sets at maximum speed once the track and catenary upgrades are made.

Not sure what all the talk about replacing is about - likely will supplement, or at least, I would hope, put the current fleet which should have a good 15 years left on them into service elsewhere - like NYC /Harrisburg.

I suppose the IRM could run them on excursion, otherwise, lol.

/Mitch
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Here is a recent announcement (and photograph) of Amtrak's new Siemens-built electric locomotives. Why mention this in an Acela thread? The following might give a clue to the future of that equipment:

Quote:
The locomotives, called Amtrak Cities Sprinters, are based on Siemens' latest European electric locomotive and will replace Amtrak equipment that has been in service for 20 to 30 years and has logged an average of 3.5 million miles.

Simply having the same type of locomotive in operation should cut costs, according to Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm. Amtrak now uses three locomotive models, requiring slightly different maintenance, parts and training.

"Now, we will have one model, one inventory and one training program, and all that will help efficiency," Kulm said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/busines...J9xSVGfTCq0.99
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:54 AM   #4
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I don't follow you...

It will be years before the Acela's are supplemented with the Acela II's, and even longer before the Acela's are entire phased out. And when they are... Amtrak will still have more then one locomotive model on the NEC.

As for the Cities Sprinter - the proposed look was not something that would make one look away but I sure can not say the same for the current look.
Expect I'll have to find something to shoot other then Amtrak when steam is out of season...

Could've...


But instead...



/Mitch
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:58 AM   #5
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Don't disagree with your observation and Kulm's comments seem some what simplistic. However, when he refers to the three existing types of locomotives being replaced I assume he's talking about the standard AEM7's, the AEM7's upgraded to AC and the Bombardier units handling Acela and standard trains.

Too bad they couldn't have hired a designer line Pinifarina:
http://4rail.eu/fin/fin_vr_sr2nr3239...ala_2009_L.jpg

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Old 05-14-2013, 03:48 AM   #6
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A GG1 it ain't. Where's Raymond Loewy when you need him?

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Old 05-14-2013, 04:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J View Post
Don't disagree with your observation and Kulm's comments seem some what simplistic. However, when he refers to the three existing types of locomotives being replaced I assume he's talking about the standard AEM7's, the AEM7's upgraded to AC and the Bombardier units handling Acela and standard trains.

Too bad they couldn't have hired a designer line Pinifarina:
You forgot the HHP-8's.

As for Pinifarina - if they designed that, then it's just as well they were not hired...

/Mitch
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:53 AM   #8
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I have wondered if the awkward appearance common to these sorts of units, as seen in Europe, comes from a desire to a) have double ended unit and b) have a decent aerodynamic connection between the engine and the first car, necessitating a fairly vertical/flat face and thus not much for a designer to work with.

As for the styling of the headlight areas, it's the type of thing that you love it or hate it; so far I hate it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
I don't follow you...

It will be years before the Acela's are supplemented with the Acela II's, and even longer before the Acela's are entire phased out. And when they are... Amtrak will still have more then one locomotive model on the NEC.

As for the Cities Sprinter - the proposed look was not something that would make one look away but I sure can not say the same for the current look.
Expect I'll have to find something to shoot other then Amtrak when steam is out of season...

Could've...


But instead...



/Mitch
Honestly, the finished product isn't that far off from the concept. The corners are a tad sharper, but the biggest difference is in the paint scheme. If they'd just have followed the paint layout from the concept, I think you'd like the finished product better.

The thing that I don't understand is that the new locomotive is described as having "crumple zones" to comply with new FRA regs. Unless I'm missing something, the crumple zone would appear to be the space occupied by the engineer. I wonder how that's going to work out . . .

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:14 PM   #10
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I wonder if Amtrak will go with a RailJet style approach for the Acela replacement.
Image © Juraj Streber - www.jstrains.sk
PhotoID: 408521
Photograph © Juraj Streber - www.jstrains.sk


This would make sense for Amtrak as they would be able to use the same locomotives, and as it is purpose built trains are a waste with the low top speed of the NEC. I don't really see the point of retiring the AEM7's just as I didn't see the point of cancelling the F40PH rebuild program, by doing that they making it much harder to expand services, the AEM7's counterparts are still going strong in Sweden and Austria.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #11
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I don't hate the thing. The E60, AEM7, and HHP8 have all been just motors before it. This is no different.

There's really no reason to go back, but oh if electric motors today were made to look like the Pennsy GG1 or P5a, or Virginan EL-B, or New Haven EP4, or New Haven EP5 Jet, or Milwaukee Road Little Joe, I'd be back east shooting them a heck of a lot more.

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Old 05-27-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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I figured out what it is (at least, in my view) makes the Sprinters look a little bizarre - the headlights!

Original:


Crudely modified:


Photo credit to user "qman" on Trainorders.

-Jacques
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jac_murphy View Post
I figured out what it is (at least, in my view) makes the Sprinters look a little bizarre - the headlights!
-Jacques
Amazing - that does seem to make a world of difference, albeit, a small world at that. Seems Amtrak /Siemens only foray into exuberance was wasted - should've spent the "extra" money elsewhere.

If the AEM-7's were "Toasters", these are "Butter Sticks". At least the E-60's were lean and mean - American looking had lines other then up, down and across.

I may have to get a copy of "diesels for dummies" and learn to shoot freight trains. Or wait out the next Acela which will NOT be in anyway similar to a "RailJet". Likely it will be similar to every other high speed train in Europe, though fortunately, it will have it's appeal. Thank goodness independent design survives with character in Japan.

/Mitch


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Old 05-30-2013, 06:32 PM   #14
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Nice job of getting rid of the "Hello Kitty" headlights. I still vote for the Pinifarina design.
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