Amfleet I replacement Siemens Inter City Trainsets (ICT)

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Found this on pp. 125-126 of Amtrak's FY 2022-2027 Five Year Plans:

Twenty-six (26) catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets,​
consisting of an ALC-42E locomotive and six passenger​
cars, for use on the Downeaster, Vermonter, Pennsylvanian,​
Palmetto, Carolinian and Keystone Service. The passenger car​
closest to the locomotive will be an Auxiliary Power Vehicle​
(APV) containing a pantograph, transformer cabinet and​
supplemental powered truck for use in electrified territory;​
power drawn from the APV will also be fed to the traction​
motors in the locomotive to ensure sufficient acceleration​
when operating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC).​
Fifteen (15) battery-diesel hybrid trainsets with a short​
term option to acquire two more), consisting of an ALC-42E​
locomotive and six passenger cars, for use on the Empire Service,​
Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack, and Maple Leaf. The passenger​
car closest to the locomotive will contain a battery which will​
supply electricity to the locomotive for power when operating​
around New York Penn Station, eliminating the need for third rail​
propulsion.​

"The passenger car closest to the locomotive will contain a battery" seems to imply that the battery will be in a car that also carries passengers. And there is no mention of a "supplemental powered truck" in the battery-diesel description. Seems to me that acceleration just pulling into and out of NYP would not be of enough concern to justify the cost of the additional powered truck.
 

jis

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"The passenger car closest to the locomotive will contain a battery" seems to imply that the battery will be in a car that also carries passengers. And there is no mention of a "supplemental powered truck" in the battery-diesel description. Seems to me that acceleration just pulling into and out of NYP would not be of enough concern to justify the cost of the additional powered truck.
What proportion of the car will be occupied by batteries is also a piece of detail that possibly does not belong in such a high level description, and hence is not mentioned.
 

rickycourtney

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My curiosity is if these batteries will simply be used to push/pull the trainset into NYP, or if they will enable a “hybrid” operation (think like a Prius) and also improve fuel economy.
 

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My curiosity is if these batteries will simply be used to push/pull the trainset into NYP, or if they will enable a “hybrid” operation (think like a Prius) and also improve fuel economy.
The Prius Prime plugin (I own one) notionally uses two separate batteries, one for the hybrid operation and the other for the plugin operation. This is to make sure that hybrid operation does not drain the traction battery. Afterall you would not want to discover that you had no charge left when you needed it in the tunnel because hybrid operation drained everything. I wonder if that complexity is part of the battery-diesel plan.
 

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It occurs to me that assuming Amtrak goes with fixed bidirectional seating as expected, but doesn't expand seat selection to Economy then Business Class could suddenly become alot more popular on the NER. Given that 2:1 BC cars will have a lower passenger capacity maybe it would behoove Amtrak to have a 2nd BC car in NER consists? Or just designate one economy coaches as "Premium Economy" with seat selection?
 

NES28

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I really hope that Amtrak moves toward universal advanced seat selection on reserved trains, as is pretty much consistently true on European trains. The business of making passengers at originating stations stand in line for extended periods to protect their chance of getting a decent seat, reminds of travel in third world countries or the old system on Southwest Airlines.
 
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I really hope that Amtrak moves toward universal advanced seat selection on reserved trains, as is pretty much consistently true on European trains. The business of making passengers at originating stations stand in line for extended periods to protect their chance of getting a decent seat, reminds of travel in third world countries or the old system on Southwest Airlines.
I second this. I recently reserved a trip on Irish Rail and seat selection online is just like on an airline with a pictorial diagram of the seats available.
In the US the hard part would be actually enforcing it given that we have had open seating for so long. On IE they have actual displays at the seat showing that it is reserved. I guess it is probably too late to add something like this to the Siemens coaches.
 

NES28

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This is true in Germany. Perhaps other countries, as well. Press releases have said that the design of the 83 Siemens trains is set to be done in 2023.
 

Willbridge

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This is true in Germany. Perhaps other countries, as well. Press releases have said that the design of the 83 Siemens trains is set to be done in 2023.
There still are a few problems. A German lady was sitting in the seat that showed as mine (unless she was also going to obscure Augustfehn). When she realized that I was an Auslander she hunkered down. I just waited for the conductor and he moved her to the car she belonged in. Right seat number -- wrong car number.
 

jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTES: A large number of posts regarding introduction of Venture Cars in the Midwest have been moved to a p[re-existing thread on that subject. Please post Midwest Venture related posts to the following thread:


And leave this thread for discussing NEC ICTs.

AND BTW, while we are at it, let us also be done with seat reservations and get back to discussing equipment.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 
Last edited:

Mailliw

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Are the ICT revenue cars going to be 2 doors or 4 doors? If they'll be 2 doors could a 2nd, non-accessible, toilet be placed at the door less end?
 

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Are the ICT revenue cars going to be 2 doors or 4 doors? If they'll be 2 doors could a 2nd, non-accessible, toilet be placed at the door less end?
This has been discussed before. The vestibule area is outside the protective cage area (required to meet the Tier III structural requirements) irrespective of whether there is a door or not. So they will probably not place anything there that could require a passenger to spend somewhat extended time there.

I would be very surprised too if the ICT cars are two door ones. I suspect they will be like the Brightline cars, except with traps.
 

frequentflyer

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This is post from TrainOrders by poster Milpost20. Info comes from RailColorNews. A Euro railfan and rail news site.




Siemens and Amtrak have released further details on the order for new trainsets.
The order is confirmed as being for 83 trains. The following is from the
European based site RailColorNews(a pay site) that closely covers developements
with the big European train manufacturers:

Amtrak has released specific numbers about its hybrid InterCity Trainsets (ICT),
conventional trains for the NEC, and state corridors. They will come in 2025-2030,
in four versions:

• 26 sets Type B-1: diesel locomotive + 6 passenger coaches including one driving
trailer; the coach closest to the locomotive will feature a transformer+pantograph
(Auxiliary Power Vehicle/Battery Car) so the train can also run in electric mode.

• 32 sets Type B-2: diesel locomotive + 8 passenger coaches including one driving
trailer; the coach closest to the locomotive will feature a transformer+pantograph
so the train can also run in electric mode.

• 17 sets Type C: diesel locomotive + 6 passenger coaches including one driving trailer;
the coach closest to the locomotive will feature a battery pack so the train will
be able to reach Penn Station in New York without using the third rail(Empire Service).

• 8 sets Type D: diesel locomotive + 6 passenger coaches, including one driving trailer.

The diesel locomotives used for these trains are Siemens Charger locomotives of a new sub-type
called ALP-42E. The trains will be maintained at "trainset level", meaning trains will not be
taken apart for repair/service/overhaul. Each type includes a food service coach and a business
class coach. For the type D trains also, WSDOT Chargers (SC-44) will be used.

Type B-1: Downeaster, Vermonter, Pennsylvanian, Palmetto, Carolinian, Keystone Service;
Type B-2: Northeast Regional including Virginia, Springfield Line through service;
Type C: Empire Service, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express;
Type D: Amtrak Cascades in Washington and Oregon.

Amtrak states that their project team is working with Siemens on the final design elements,
livery, and interior furnishings for the new trainsets. Additional trainset renderings,
branding, and other public announcements for these trainsets will be released as this work
is complete and the project transitions to construction.

By the end of 2025, around 75 class P40DC/P42DC locomotives will be retired, and the whole
class will be replaced within the next decade. The same goes for the P32ACDM dual-mode units.
Between 2027 and 2030 all Amfleet I and ex-Metroliner coaches will be withdrawn and replaced
by the ICTs.

Amtrak will have a surplus of the Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotives once the new fleet is
in service. Therefore, Amtrak will have these locomotives available for resale or lease to
commuter operators or the secondary market in the late 2020s.
 

GDRRiley

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What’s the reason for the Surfline and Capitol Corridor not ordering them?
They are still working with amtrak to see if the 2 can work together and share an order for bi levels. California is committed to low floor at this point
With equipment deliveries slated for 2024-2030 (and nothing is ever on time), they'll have plenty of age on them before they're replaced.
electric locos are good for 35-40 years
Given that our experience with electric locomotives is mostly the GG-1 and the AEM-7, both of which lasted for 30-50 years, I don't think that many of us realize that perhaps stuff should be replaced every 10 - 20 years for optimum performance. The ACS-64s will probably be seeing at least 15 years of service with Amtrak.
the eurosprinter into vectron platform is 25 years old now and they still sell new ones with the old ones still in service.
if we were talking diesel yes, 10-15 years they need major rebuild
 

GDRRiley

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I still hope that within the next few years states will commit to putting wires on lines they own so amtrak can ditch dual modes. While these shouldn't have the same reliability issues other ones have the performance will still be hampered by dragging around a prime mover

Does the FRA publish a list of what class a family of equipment is?
 

33Nicolas

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I’d be curious to see the costs of electrifying


I’d be curious to see the costs of electrifying the routes you mentioned vs. the cost of the dual mode train sets (~7.2 billion). Could we still get train sets but not new locos and have something sort of similar to rail jet in Austria?

I personally think it was unnecessary for them to ditch the ACS64’s so early. Most of them are not even a decade old. Could that money be spent electrifying say, New Haven to Springfield, thus eliminating engine change at NHV? I don’t know much about the line, so I could totally be wrong.
Ditto, I'd love to see or get my hands on the cost to dig in poles and lay catenaries versus buying a complex system of diesel/electric locos with powered cars behind.

Given that our experience with electric locomotives is mostly the GG-1 and the AEM-7, both of which lasted for 30-50 years, I don't think that many of us realize that perhaps stuff should be replaced every 10 - 20 years for optimum performance. The ACS-64s will probably be seeing at least 15 years of service with Amtrak.
An acquaintance of mine bought a few AEM-7. His comnpany is on the west coast. He's been working on electrifying shunters and to offer electricity for the local fleet there. I'm intrigued to know what he's doo with these AEM-7s.

The food service cars should be in the middle of the trainsets. If Amtrak doesn't want BC passengers to have to walk much then they should just have the attendants provide at seat service.
I think they don't want coach folks to walk through business cars.

Now that the presentations for last week's NGEC Annual Meetings are available (h/t to jrud and jis for finding them), I wanted to post a couple of images from this presentation, which discusses Amtrak fleet acquisitions.

On page 8, the new Amtrak trainsets are mentioned, along with a photo that might be a preview of new livery, which shows deep blue shells, with two-tone grey below the belt line, separated with a yellow racing stripe, yellow doors, and grey roofs.

Whether this is the livery Amtrak has decided upon or whether it's just some concept Siemens threw together, who knows? But it's out there for everyone to see. So, let the critiques begin!
QJcW91I.jpg


On that same page, there is this illustration which shows how the 6 and 8 car sets will be assembled, as well as the location of wheelchair lifts and ADA seating locations. The livery concept in the photo above is carried over into the trainset illustration-
xt8AZFZ.jpg
Something France had to do in the 80s was to lift up platforms for easier access to cars. It's pretty interesting to see we have to climb with our suitcases to access a car. I understand the exorbitant amount of money it would take to do that and that AMTRAK likes to only have a few access in the train letting people stand in line. But, higher platforms would help a lot.

A technical question that I’m sure some of the more knowledgeable people might be able to answer.

Why not make NE regionals run faster? Is 125 a significant milestone? Why not make new train sets capable of faster speeds like 135? Would this significantly upset the balance of frequencies on the NEC? Maybe it stops to frequently to make higher speeds worth it.

I’m sure there’s a good reason.
If I recall well, when the French SNCF went from 160 kph to 200 kph, they ran into delayed reactions and longer braking lengths. They automated some signaling but felt that anything over 200 kph/ 125 mph needed a complete overhaul of signaling in cab and on the tracks. In other words, lights were not deemed safe enough to give the information needed for a train conductor to react in time, hence the digitalization around the TGV and other high-speed train systems.
 

Dutchrailnut

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curretly 125 is max for convention style trains as per FRA rules , special High Speed trainsets can go higher . but can not have for example low level boarding due to breaks in side sills . and can not have occupied (other than crew) lead vehicle .
 

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curretly 125 is max for convention style trains as per FRA rules , special High Speed trainsets can go higher . but can not have for example low level boarding due to breaks in side sills . and can not have occupied (other than crew) lead vehicle .
You are talkingTier II standards. Tier III allows break in side sill as long as it is not in the safety cage. Read the new rules. Nobody will ever build another Tier II compliant equipment since it really does not allow much CEM.
 

GDRRiley

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Ditto, I'd love to see or get my hands on the cost to dig in poles and lay catenaries versus buying a complex system of diesel/electric locos with powered cars behind.
the cost per track mile on an expensive project in the US is about 5m a mile, the UK gets that down under 2m a mile and mainland europe gets that even lower
Something France had to do in the 80s was to lift up platforms for easier access to cars. It's pretty interesting to see we have to climb with our suitcases to access a car. I understand the exorbitant amount of money it would take to do that and that AMTRAK likes to only have a few access in the train letting people stand in line. But, higher platforms would help a lot.
putting platfroms at the correct height on the east coast just needs to happen, I know stracnet doesn't like them without a bypass but thats easy enough to accommodate
You are talkingTier II standards. Tier III allows break in side sill as long as it is not in the safety cage. Read the new rules. Nobody will ever build another Tier II compliant equipment since it really does not allow much CEM.
yep T2 is dead, is it wavers that allow the new Acela to do 160mph even though its T3?

really the whole NER+ Acela fleet should have been Pendinlinos with better acceleration had FRA let euro stock and more of the line was under wires.
 

jis

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Acela Is are T2. There was no T3 when those were built. Experience with them finally convinced FRA of the error of their ways leading to the T3 spec.

Acela 21s are T3 and in some sense any operation above 125 mph is by special specific dispensation irrespective of whether it is 150 or 160.
 

GDRRiley

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I was asking about wavers because normally T3 can only break 125mph on track only shared with other T3 equipment.
 

33Nicolas

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I mean, dual-mode equipment is very common. Siemens makes a lot of them for the global market.
The only sorta "new" things here are...
Placing the equipment in another car. (But there are lots of multiple units trainset that do something similar.)
Relying on battery packs. (There are several types of trains and trams with this technology.)
I've been talking to Rail Propulsion Systems for a few years. The answer to your question is kinda, maybe, depending on how much testing and real-life use this system has seen.


RPS has been working on electrifying diesel locomotives and also slapping on EV spent batteries on a car behind. It works well for shunters and they are testing it for commuter trains and next longer distances.
 
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