Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

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Ryan

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other companies can indeed present their products and bids for the contract
Not anymore. This has already happened over the course of the last two years. That phase of the award process is over and Amtrak has made their selection.
 

jis

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I have questions:
  • Can passengers move freely between a semi-permanently coupled set and whatever is coupled to its end?
  • Do the Siemens cars need to be joined and detached in a shop, or can it be done online with passengers aboard?
The sem-permanently coupled cars may have upto full width gangways, though currently none do. The regularly couple cars may have gangways wide enough for regular wheelchairs. However if there is a strong need to mix in legacy cars with the legacy narrow gangways they might have to figure out a way to mate wider gangways with legacy narrow ones. I don;t know what they plan to do.

The semi permanently couple cars can be joined and detached anywhere, but it take significantly more time as there are many more attachments than just the drawbar, than an AAR or Sharfenberg coupled cars.
 

jis

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If Amtrak chooses Alstom instead of Siemens, than Alstom would have to come up with a bi-mode train that can meet Amtrak's technical specifications.
Amtrak has already chosen Siemens. Unless some really earthshaking event causes the current contract to be nullified there is no possibility of Amtrak now choosing Alstom for this contract.
 
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PVD

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These cars are being designed for corridor service. Why should there be any need to use them on long-distance trains?
Not so much the overnight trains, but some of the long day trains are running mixed AM1 and AM2 or adding or dropping cars for added short hauls, like the AD at Albany. If all the AM1 are gone, either all those trains switch over, the practice ends, or a solution is provided. But in regular (non covid) ops, the mix happens.
 

adamj023

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I was referring to the Alstom being premium because of the Aveila Liberty order which is their high speed and most premium train on the route, not that Alstom could get the contract for the NEC Regional trains. As of now it does seem the Siemens Venture or a modified version is their preferred choice.

It doesn’t have to be earthshaking for them to not use Siemens. Another supplier could be just as good or better and come in with a lower price who wants the contract. Siemens does seem the best so far and has been tested on the NEC as a single test train along with Sprinters and Amfleet. Siemens has the most progress so far. Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo failed on tests for California and they went with Siemens Venture. As of now I agree that Siemens is the best choice but if someone says I can do same project with same or better quality and can come to cheaper price, I could still see another supplier in the running but time is running out as it would be nice to see the supplier finalized this summer and for production to begin. The Siemens venture if chosen would be better than the Amfleet I they will replace.
 
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jis

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Not so much the overnight trains, but some of the long day trains are running mixed AM1 and AM2 or adding or dropping cars for added short hauls, like the AD at Albany. If all the AM1 are gone, either all those trains switch over, the practice ends, or a solution is provided. But in regular (non covid) ops, the mix happens.
It has been explicitly stated that all the Amtrak equipped state supported single level trains will transition over to use these train sets. It has also been stated that the Palmetto will use these train sets. There are apparently no plans to run mixed consists or add/drop cars en route. It is possible that joining/parting train sets, like is done elsewhere in the world is within the realm of possibilities, though nothing has been stated about that explicitly yet.

The good news is that about 22 Amfleet IIs will be released for use on real LD trains as a result of this. Until the Amfleet IIs get replaced by something else of course, and those will clearly be individual cars that can be intermingled with legacy equipment.
 
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adamj023

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The Siemens Venture if chosen makes the NEC Regional a much better way to travel for the masses. The Aveila Liberty seems fine for the time dependent travelers where time savings is needed and who want premium service levels. The Amfleet I’s need to be removed as soon as possible. I agree that Amfleet II are more usable and will be better for long haul fleets till replacements emerge.
 

Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

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IF this was suppose to be posted elsewhere please remove.


"
New Fleet will Improve Safety and Enhance Customer Experience

WASHINGTON – After a competitive procurement launched in January of 2019, Amtrak has identified California-based Siemens Mobility Inc. (Siemens) as the preferred bidder to manufacture a new fleet of 83 Intercity Trainsets (ICTs), which will provide dual power in many instances and modern rail amenities to better serve all Amtrak customers. The ICTs will operate on the Northeast Corridor, Palmetto and various state-supported routes and will replace the current Amfleet I, Metroliner cab and Cascades service fleets. Accompanying the contract to manufacture the trainsets will be a long-term service agreement for technical support, spares and material supply.

“This new state-of-the-art equipment will not only provide Amtrak customers with an enjoyable and efficient travel experience, it will also enable us to improve safety, increase passenger capacity and reduce carbon emissions,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn.

Amtrak has targeted summer 2021 for contract execution and notice to proceed and will spend the time between now and then continuing negotiations with Siemens for this generational procurement.

"
I guess these new cars will be used for non-overnight trains on the east coast, since the Pennsylvanian and Palmetto trains primarily use Amfleet 2s, while the overnight trains will keep their Amfleet 2s until Amtrak can replace those?
 

rickycourtney

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I’d imagine we’ll see the same low level plug doors with traps that are on the new Midwest venture cars. Since the NEC doesn’t really need the automatic gap filler it makes sense to stick with traps on every door for added flexibility. Unless the low level plug doors won’t fit in a high platform...
Trap doors complicate operations at low-platform stations. Conductors need to walk the train to open the traps.

My vision would be that one end of the car would have a low-platform door with automatic doors/steps and on the other end would have a high-platform door.

With that layout... you'd have high and low-platform doors right next to each other on opposite cars, giving both options.

Maybe some of those high-platform doors could have wheelchair lifts to board passengers at low-platform stations without using the slow crank-operated lifts.

It doesn’t have to be earthshaking for them to not use Siemens. Another supplier could be just as good or better and come in with a lower price who wants the contract. Siemens does seem the best so far and has been tested on the NEC as a single test train along with Sprinters and Amfleet. Siemens has the most progress so far. Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo failed on tests for California and they went with Siemens Venture. As of now I agree that Siemens is the best choice but if someone says I can do same project with same or better quality and can come to cheaper price, I could still see another supplier in the running but time is running out as it would be nice to see the supplier finalized this summer and for production to begin. The Siemens venture if chosen would be better than the Amfleet I they will replace.
I responded to you in the other thread... but you misunderstand how this works. That whole process of companies offering to do the "same project with same or better quality and can come to cheaper price" has already happened and the winner was Siemens.

What will happen between now and this Summer is that Amtrak and Siemens will be hammering out things like design features, various requirements, and negotiate terms and conditions that are fair and assign risks to the party in the best position to control them.

This was one of the big learnings from the original Acela order... unless both parties have a very clearly defined vision of how the final train will look and operate... you end up with a bunch of change orders that add time and cost to the project. The Amtrak inspector general has a good nerdy read comparing the problematic Acela order with the much smoother Surfliner car order.

Now -- why call them the "preferred bidder" and not the "winner?" The ink isn't dry on the contract.

Say that Siemens refuses to add a "must-have" feature for Amtrak, or Amtrak demands a contract with terms and conditions that Siemens feels are unfair. Talks could break down and could be called off. That's why they're the "preferred bidder."

That said, Siemens and Amtrak have reached several contracts in the last few years. The chances of the contract talks breaking down seem very, very low.

I have questions:
  • Can passengers move freely between a semi-permanently coupled set and whatever is coupled to its end?
  • Do the Siemens cars need to be joined and detached in a shop, or can it be done online with passengers aboard?
My understanding is the Midwest sets have traditional gangway/diaphragm at the ends so that the semi-permanently coupled married pairs can be coupled to other Venture/Amfleet/Horizon cars. California has gone with a completely closed system... a cab car on one end of the set and a blank end on the other (with a provision to add a gangway in the future).

I get the impression that the Siemens cars can be joined and detached anywhere if necessary, but it would be easier in a shop. It's not something you'd want to do online with passengers aboard -- unless it was an emergency and a car needed to be set out.
 
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Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

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It says dual power, not dual-mode, for what it's worth. I think this still could end up being a charger on one end and a ACS64 on the other.
How bottlenecked is First Street Tunnel and the lower level of DC’s Union Station? If they are bottlenecked, I’m curious as to how Amtrak/VRE/MARC will manage increased Virginia Amtrak service, the SEHSR, increased VRE service, and potential MARC service into Virginia.
 

jis

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How bottlenecked is First Street Tunnel and the lower level of DC’s Union Station? If they are bottlenecked, I’m curious as to how Amtrak/VRE/MARC will manage increased Virginia Amtrak service, the SEHSR, increased VRE service, and potential MARC service into Virginia.
A pair of tracks should be able to easily handle 12tph each way easily. (the two tracks between Newark NJ and New York Penn Station handle upto 24tph each way. That would be 144 trains each way in a 12 hour operating day. That should be more than plenty to serve all the needs of every potential user of the Capitol Hill tunnels.

Assuming that the second Long Bridge is built as planned with two through tracks for passenger trains stretching all the way to Fredericksburg, all that remains to be carried beyond Fredericksburg on joint trackage with CSX would the Virgnia Regionals to RVR plus a few LDs, which should not be any problem.

As for Union Station the plan is to have 6 platform tracks at the lower level, which should be more than adequate to handle the planned traffic too.
 

Andrew

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A pair of tracks should be able to easily handle 12tph each way easily. (the two tracks between Newark NJ and New York Penn Station handle upto 24tph each way. That would be 144 trains each way in a 12 hour operating day. That should be more than plenty to serve all the needs of every potential user of the Capitol Hill tunnels.

Assuming that the second Long Bridge is built as planned with two through tracks for passenger trains stretching all the way to Fredericksburg, all that remains to be carried beyond Fredericksburg on joint trackage with CSX would the Virgnia Regionals to RVR plus a few LDs, which should not be any problem.

As for Union Station the plan is to have 6 platform tracks at the lower level, which should be more than adequate to handle the planned traffic too.
Also, the new Venture coaches will have wider doors thus reducing station dwell time in busy terminals, such as WAS and NYC.
 

adamj023

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The Amtrak ALC-42 Siemens Chargers are diesel-electric. No need for a Charger and a Sprinter on a train set under regular conditions. The Amtrak ALC-42 which is Amtrak’s Charger model are for longer haul routes which go through Electric and Diesel territory. NEC trains are electrified and use the existing Sprinter. The Silver Meteor passes through NYP and also uses Diesel tracks on CSX. Silver Meteor will be one of the the ALC-42 routes. Trains that start in the Northeast corridor and go longer distance will use the ALC-42. Also saves time and personnel needed to switch trains.
 
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Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

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The Amtrak ALC-42 Siemens Chargers are diesel-electric. No need for a Charger and a Sprinter on a train set under regular conditions. The Amtrak ALC-42 which is Amtrak’s Charger model are for longer haul routes which go through Electric and Diesel territory. NEC trains are electrified and use the existing Sprinter. The Silver Meteor passes through NYP and also uses Diesel tracks on CSX. Silver Meteor will be one of the the ALC-42 routes. Trains that start in the Northeast corridor and go longer distance will use the ALC-42. Also saves time and personnel needed to switch trains.
So, are you saying that the Silver Service/Palmetto, Crescent, Cardinal, Carolinian, and Northeast Regional trains that originate/terminate south of DC will use the ALC-42 Chargers for their entire journey, even on the NEC?
 

districtRich

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The Amtrak ALC-42 Siemens Chargers are diesel-electric. No need for a Charger and a Sprinter on a train set under regular conditions. The Amtrak ALC-42 which is Amtrak’s Charger model are for longer haul routes which go through Electric and Diesel territory. NEC trains are electrified and use the existing Sprinter. The Silver Meteor passes through NYP and also uses Diesel tracks on CSX. Silver Meteor will be one of the the ALC-42 routes. Trains that start in the Northeast corridor and go longer distance will use the ALC-42. Also saves time and personnel needed to switch trains.
Diesel-electric doesn't mean dual power. It's a diesel engine that creates electricity which is used to drive the traction motor. It doesn't mean it can get power from overhead catenary. An engine change is still currently required for the trains that leave the catenary.
 

Andrew

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Diesel-electric doesn't mean dual power. It's a diesel engine that creates electricity which is used to drive the traction motor. It doesn't mean it can get power from overhead catenary. An engine change is still currently required for the trains that leave the catenary.
But for Regional trains, Amtrak want to eliminate the engine change (just like how NJ Transit trains can operate without an engine change on certain trains that operate from Manhattan to Bay Head).
 

adamj023

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Hmm... Is Amtrak ALC-42 being used on the NEC long haul trains or the Diesel only long haul trains?

Maybe I got confused with the diesel electric wording because it may just be the traction motors. If so, then the ALC-42 will go to Diesel only routes and the Sprinters and P42 will remain in use. They could couple them together as other P42 will be phased out and there will be a lot more P42 available till a dual mode replacement is available.

Empire builder has the dual mode locomotives now. Amtrak still has a long way to go to replace their oldest equipment.
 

PVD

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I've never heard of a dual mode on the Empire Builder (Chicago to/from West Coast) . Is it possible you are referring to Empire Service in NY which uses P32-DM Genesis dual modes, along with a few other trains departing NYP and heading up the West Side of Manhattan?
 

adamj023

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Yeah likely Empire Service. Knew it was one of the Empire trains. Mixed up the two.
 

districtRich

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But for Regional trains, Amtrak want to eliminate the engine change (just like how NJ Transit trains can operate without an engine change on certain trains that operate from Manhattan to Bay Head).
Correct, that's the goal but it's not what the Chargers are used for. They are diesel engines that power electric traction motors. I think he assumed diesel-electric meant it could use a diesel engine or draw power from the catenary so wouldn't need an engine change. Diesel-electric gets energy from the diesel only and has nothing to do with the NEC catenary. I think the engines that run off diesel and/or catenary are generally referred to as dual power or dual mode
 

PVD

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I saw it right away because (pre-covid) I ride those trains pretty frequently for my hockey meeting across NY, or a trip West through Chicago using the Lake Shore.
 
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