Amtrak Siemens Charger locomotive (SC44, ALC42, ALC42E)

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jis

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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.
That is in line with what I had guessed would be the case. Without that architecture it is very difficult to cleanly engineer what they have proposed to deliver. Incidentally that is also similar to the architecture used in Traxx and engines like the NJT ALP45DP.
 

jrud

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That is in line with what I had guessed would be the case. Without that architecture it is very difficult to cleanly engineer what they have proposed to deliver. Incidentally that is also similar to the architecture used in Traxx and engines like the NJT ALP45DP.
I was skimming the later sections of the presentation and noticed a few zero emission proposals. These included fairly well defined catenary/battery and 3rd rail/battery Chargers plus a more vaguely defined hydrogen fuel cell locomotive.
 
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jrud

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This proposal was unusual as rather than a hydrogen fuel cell multiple unit, like most of the existing trains I can think of in Europe and Japan, it looked like a Charger locomotive.
 

PeeweeTM

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Technical question for the ALC42E. Electric powered engines usually don't have notches; diesel powered engines do. Which is the setup for the dual power?
Modern diesels don't need notches; it's just that for compatibility with all the old units in multiple traction in de USA notches are still needed.
In Europe I don't know modern diesels with notches, but they cannot run multiple with older types.

Old electric engines had notches. In the 30 to 60 range I'd guess. Either to run through the resistors on DC or change tabs on the transformator on AC that I know of.

Oh, and if you want to be very precise, modern diesels do have notches, but that has to do with "stuff" (electronics, software etc, I dont know) so you still have limited notches. As in 254 or 255 for example on a BR203, if I counted correctly.
 

CSXfoamer1997

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"In August 2019, the FRA awarded NCDOT up to $76.9 million to purchase 13 new coaches, allowing the replacement of some older cars and an expansion to four daily round trips. On May 22, 2020, Senator Thom Tillis announced that NCDOT will receive an $80 million dollar grant to order 13 additional new railcars (for an overall total of 26 new railcars) and 6 new locomotives to replace the remainder of the current fleet."

Is there a possibility of the NCDOT making a purchase of Chargers and Ventures for the Piedmont?
 

west point

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Is there a possibility of the NCDOT making a purchase of Chargers and Ventures for the Piedmont?

Too many possibilities of changing political winds to know. There may be some idea once the november election results are known . That may be way in the future past November what with the many election result challenges being probable.





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jrud

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Yes you are reading it correctly. That is what the ICTs on the NEC will be powered by.
Just to add a few details. A Charger ALC-42E can be attached directly to a special coach with a pantograph and traction motors (an Auxiliary Power Vehicle - APV). When operating under catenary on electric power only, traction motors on the APV are working in addition to the traction motors on the Charger. BTW, there is also a battery version of the APV that doesn’t have traction motors.
 

Touchdowntom9

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Just to add a few details. A Charger ALC-42E can be attached directly to a special coach with a pantograph and traction motors (an Auxiliary Power Vehicle - APV). When operating under catenary on electric power only, traction motors on the APV are working in addition to the traction motors on the Charger. BTW, there is also a battery version of the APV that doesn’t have traction motors.
Will these be used across the NEC or strictly on the empire route for Amtrak?
 

jis

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Will these be used across the NEC or strictly on the empire route for Amtrak?
The battery ones I understand will be for Empire Corridor. The panto ones will be used all over extended NEC, i.e. NEC plus Virginia plus a few additional medium distance trains that operate as extension of NEC service thus eliminating the loco change for them in Washington DC, Philly etc.
 

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I don’t know if this was mentioned elsewhere, but the German language presentation I discussed earlier appears to show top speeds for various electric versions on a graph. Too my best ability to read the graph:

- Electric only - catenary =124 mph
- Electric only - 3rd rail = 79 mph
- Electric only - battery = 59 mph

The 3rd rail speed is using a resistance curve from MN. The other two use an Amtrak supplied curve.
 

jis

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Battery power is intended for use only in the Penn Station tunnels, i.e. from somewhere between CP Empire and A interlocking on the west to F interlocking in the east in Sunnyside.

The HV portions is entirely contained in the Pantograph Car. The power connection between the Charger main unit and the Pantograph Car is at the DC Link level.

Incidentally, the MNRR 3rd rail dual mode, which becomes available a year before the ALC-42E is called M42-DMC. It looks really sleek. I think those MNRR trains will look sharp. Now if they would get a bunch of cab cars with a matching cab profile for the other end of the train!
 
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Agent

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AMTK 309, which went west a week ago in service on Amtrak #5(27), came back today as the third unit on #6(01). I couldn't tell if it was still running or deadheading.

MVI_4041_Moment(2).jpg
 

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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?
its inbetween. 2 locos are 520,000lbs vs 600,000 for 4 superliners or 450,000lbs for 3
the real test for a pair will be on the auto Train
"In August 2019, the FRA awarded NCDOT up to $76.9 million to purchase 13 new coaches, allowing the replacement of some older cars and an expansion to four daily round trips. On May 22, 2020, Senator Thom Tillis announced that NCDOT will receive an $80 million dollar grant to order 13 additional new railcars (for an overall total of 26 new railcars) and 6 new locomotives to replace the remainder of the current fleet."

Is there a possibility of the NCDOT making a purchase of Chargers and Ventures for the Piedmont?
Thats the only cars and locos that make sense. now 26 cars and 6 locos ends up being a bit weird.
5 5car sets with a spare loco and car? if they go that way hopefully they get cab cars and semi fixed sets between coaches.
Too many possibilities of changing political winds to know. There may be some idea once the november election results are known . That may be way in the future past November what with the many election result challenges being probable.
Unless they wanted to change the loco thats the only high floor coach in production right now. I doubt they get F125 given the mess they've been and MP54AC seem unlikely


Hopefully as amtrak isn't trying to squeeze a dual mode into a normal loco these end up more reliable then the dual modes we've seen before. Still feels wrong to buy dual modes instead of pushing wires farther as there is quite a few routes that would be easy to get wire on.
 

Touchdowntom9

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its inbetween. 2 locos are 520,000lbs vs 600,000 for 4 superliners or 450,000lbs for 3
the real test for a pair will be on the auto Train

Thats the only cars and locos that make sense. now 26 cars and 6 locos ends up being a bit weird.
5 5car sets with a spare loco and car? if they go that way hopefully they get cab cars and semi fixed sets between coaches.

Unless they wanted to change the loco thats the only high floor coach in production right now. I doubt they get F125 given the mess they've been and MP54AC seem unlikely


Hopefully as amtrak isn't trying to squeeze a dual mode into a normal loco these end up more reliable then the dual modes we've seen before. Still feels wrong to buy dual modes instead of pushing wires farther as there is quite a few routes that would be easy to get wire on.
I understand your point, but I think if you only have so many dollars to spend, putting them to use for other capital projects across the US and further down the NEC into areas like Virginia would see a bigger ROI for Amtrak than pushing the wires further, since they would still need a ton of diesel locos even if the wires went further.
 

GDRRiley

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I understand your point, but I think if you only have so many dollars to spend, putting them to use for other capital projects across the US and further down the NEC into areas like Virginia would see a bigger ROI for Amtrak than pushing the wires further, since they would still need a ton of diesel locos even if the wires went further.
Electrify routes won't be expensive if we got a rolling program running and the crews went from line to line doing it. 5M per mile for a double tracked line is total doable here. Almost all the cost is in training people and the engineering side, materials represent just 7% of the cost right now in the UK.

while we don't know pricing I'd suspect each dual mode is going to end up being millions more and we know it will take away 16-20 seats.
 

west point

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Almost all the cost is in training people and the engineering side, materials represent just 7% of the cost right now in the UK.

Engineering is a very big cost. First you have to locate all utilities so you do not pot hole into any utility. Then you have to eliminate any overhead utiity The present best practice is to have any overhead utilities burried under ROW inserted into casings.. Remember the NEC got shut down when a car hit a utility pole and 7400 V lines fell on the CAT.

Then you have the costs of substations and high voltage service to substations.

I hope that the Siemens ALC-42Es prove out. If they do just needed locations can have CAT installed. Testing them on the Vermonter and HAR < PGH service can really proved their capabilities.
 

GDRRiley

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Engineering is a very big cost. First you have to locate all utilities so you do not pot hole into any utility. Then you have to eliminate any overhead utiity The present best practice is to have any overhead utilities burried under ROW inserted into casings.. Remember the NEC got shut down when a car hit a utility pole and 7400 V lines fell on the CAT.
you don't need to eliminate all overhead utility stuff, is it better to sure but there are cases where burrying whatever is there is far more expensive than just accepting the risk
Then you have the costs of substations and high voltage service to substations.
substations especially 25kv 50/60hz really aren't that expensive as they are a standard used for lots of equipment. HV service to them is 100% location based which is why in some ways I quite like the PRR style of just bring the HV lines with you above the OCS.
 
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