Amtrak Siemens Charger locomotive (SC44, ALC42, ALC42E)

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Agent

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Found a video recorded yesterday by Railbros Studios taken at Vacaville, California of the light power move with AMTK 313 and 314 after having left the factory. AMTK 301 led the move, which I think makes this the first time a Charger has been used on the move to get new Chargers.

 

Agent

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Well, I think we can see why they waited a bit to send the next two Chargers east on the California Zephyr. Amtrak #6(24) has departed with new ALC-42s 313 and 314 as well as Chargers 301 and 309 pulling the train. This marks the first all-Charger consist for the Zephyr and it's a quartet. There's also an Amfleet in the train behind the baggage car.

Sky Rider caught this #6 at Hercules, California (second train in video).



Adam Ghimenti filmed the train at Sacramento.

 
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I’m on that train right now. It also has an extra sleeper (four total including the transition sleeper). There appear to be some Siemens folks on board.
 

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west point

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Ten cars plus 2 dead heading locos. If Siemens personnel on board maybe testing how well the 2 ALCs are doing with esentially a 12 - 13 car load behind the 2 ALCs. Would 2 locos = weight of three SLs?
 
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Being four hours late was annoying (and they had to repair a busted air hose after leaving Ottumwa) but it was a good trip otherwise. Can confirm Siemens and Amtrak folks were onboard the entire time. Crew was the best I’ve ever had and they didn’t run out of anything except the lemon cake.
 

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daybeers

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Being four hours late was annoying (and they had to repair a busted air hose after leaving Ottumwa) but it was a good trip otherwise. Can confirm Siemens and Amtrak folks were onboard the entire time. Crew was the best I’ve ever had and they didn’t run out of anything except the lemon cake.
Chargers looking sharp in that shot!
 

Agent

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AMTK 309 got turned right around to stay in service on the California Zephyr, although it's trailing a P42 now. As reported elsewhere, one of the locomotives of Amtrak #5(27) had engine trouble. So, the train was an hour and a half late when I caught it coming though Iowa just before dusk. Seems like it was broad daylight at this time just a week ago.

Snapshot 1 (8-27-2022 8-35 PM).png
 

Agent

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Going back to Friday, this video by Bobby Harvey Video Productions starts with some personnel looking over the ALC-42s during the stop at Omaha.



Yesterday, Chicago Line RailfanProductions caught 313 and 314 continuing eastward on the Capitol Limited through Chesterton, Indiana.

 

Touchdowntom9

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I may be missing something so please correct me where I am wrong, but it appears Amtrak is replacing the Sprinters (~6700HP) for trains that have around half of that (4200 or 4400HP). Given how young the Sprinters are, can someone tell me why they are doing this? Wouldn't this result in a train with much less performance as a result? Someone please help me out with what I am missing.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I may be missing something so please correct me where I am wrong, but it appears Amtrak is replacing the Sprinters (~6700HP) for trains that have around half of that (4200 or 4400HP). Given how young the Sprinters are, can someone tell me why they are doing this? Wouldn't this result in a train with much less performance as a result? Someone please help me out with what I am missing.
?? This thread is about the Chargers. The Sprinters (ACS-64) are on the NEC.
 

Touchdowntom9

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?? This thread is about the Chargers. The Sprinters (ACS-64) are on the NEC.
Yes, this thread is about the Chargers, which are being purchased to replace the Sprinters on the NEC (as well as other Amtrak locomotives). I'm asking about the Chargers having only ~4200HP and how effective they will be able to do the job of the Sprinters, which had much more HP.
 
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There has been some talk of a future Siemens design (not these) set up to do dual cat and diesel running on the corridor for the trains that go beyond the wire to avoid the engine change. That is certainly not what these units are destined for.
 

jis

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?? This thread is about the Chargers. The Sprinters (ACS-64) are on the NEC.
I think he is talking about the ALC42Es which are Chargers with a Panto and HV electric gear plus a powered truck on an attached trailer. It is quite possible that in the E-mode they may produce more HP than in the D mode. I am not sure about those details since it has been a bit fuzzy.

65 have been ordered for the extended NEC with options for ten more as part of the ITC order for replacing the Amfleet Is.
 

west point

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"IF" The ALC-Es meet proposed designs then they may be able to have more acceleration than een a sprinter. But there are a lot of ifs.
1. They have the same truck, traction motors, and gear ratio.
2. The trailing passenger car has a powered truck . What the effective HP will be is unknown at this time.
3. Additional HP of the ALC-E and powered passenger car may end up applying more HP for acceleration than just a Sprinter.
4. How traction power is provided to the passenger car truck will detemine total train HP.
5. when in diesel mode if passenger car trailer can use battery power for acceleration then the total HP for acceleration can allow for quicker time to max track speed.
6. Recharging battery can come when running at track speed not needing full traction power from diesel. Also regeneration braking to charge battery.
7. If train set lays over at a station off cat power a short section of Cat could keep battery fully charged for leaving station after layover. Also could allow diesel to be shut down exccept maybe start up when diesel gets close to freezing. Connection at these station(s) might work with 480 volt HEP connections but amp draw might be higher than desired. Nott having to plug in HEP connections would seem to be quicker . Also engineer not having to go thru procedures to switch the HEP lines speeds up things if llocal CAT is vailable..

EDIT" As we can see there an awful lot of ifs to make this concept to work.
 
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jrud

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I’m sorry that this is complex, but I’m not going to play around with access to copyright presentations.

At Conference Modern Rolling stock there is a report from Austria earlier this year. There is a Zip file of all the presentations in PDF form. One of the presentations (18-Latour) is entitled Siemens Dual Mode Locomotiven. It’s not in English, but includes info on the 3rd rail, diesel-battery and diesel-pantograph Charger locomotives (in addition to non-USA locomotives). The diagram for the pantograph version pretty clearly shows four traction motors on the coach! There is also a very cool graph showing the train resistance versus locomotive “pull” of the different versions in various modes including the resulting top speeds.

There is a list of all the papers with English translated titles at https://www.schienenfahrzeugtagung.at/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Kurzfassungsheft_2022.pdf
 
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TransitTyrant

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"IF" The ALC-Es meet proposed designs then they may be able to have more acceleration than een a sprinter. But there are a lot of ifs.
1. They have the same truck, traction motors, and gear ratio.
2. The trailing passenger car has a powered truck . What the effective HP will be is unknown at this time.
3. Additional HP of the ALC-E and powered passenger car may end up applying more HP for acceleration than just a Sprinter.
4. How traction power is provided to the passenger car truck will detemine total train HP.
5. when in diesel mode if passenger car trailer can use battery power for acceleration then the total HP for acceleration can allow for quicker time to max track speed.
6. Recharging battery can come when running at track speed not needing full traction power from diesel. Also regeneration braking to charge battery.
7. If train set lays over at a station off cat power a short section of Cat could keep battery fully charged for leaving station after layover. Also could allow diesel to be shut down exccept maybe start up when diesel gets close to freezing. Connection at these station(s) might work with 480 volt HEP connections but amp draw might be higher than desired. Nott having to plug in HEP connections would seem to be quicker . Also engineer not having to go thru procedures to switch the HEP lines speeds up things if llocal CAT is vailable..

EDIT" As we can see there an awful lot of ifs to make this concept to
Do we know if the the non electric/diesel version of the trainsets will even have that extra powered truck?
 

jrud

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Thanks @jrud . That is exactly the sort of thing I need to get my teeth into. This will keep me busy for a bit once I get back to the ranch on the first of Sept, since reading German will be a much slower process than reading English 🤷🏻
I hope you enjoy it. The simplified electrical diagrams for the three versions are (thankfully) in English. It has been 5 decades plus since I studied German. So, any English is appreciated.

The diagrams show a standardized “DC Link Connection” with the core diesel-electric equipment on one side and the special 3rd rail, pantograph, and battery electronics on the other.
 
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