Amtrak Siemens Charger locomotive (SC44, ALC42, ALC42E)

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Although I’ll sometimes get snarky with some of the anti Charger ranting out there (such as it’s time to scrap them and rebuild the P42s and other old engines, it’s time to use them on warm routes only and rebuild P42s for the western routes, and other silly suggestions) posted by some of the railfans out there I kind of give the employees a bit of a pass on complaining about them as they often have to endure the bumps in the road with this kind of change I’m sure often times with little to no management support and I’m sure that can get annoying so I can’t really blame them for complaining when it gets frustrating. And certainly Siemens needs to be made aware of problems that do continue to happen and have their feet held to the fire to make any needed modifications. Have no love for Siemens or have any Siemens stock but not really having access to the internal information on specific issues and the back and forth between Amtrak and Siemens and what is being done to complain in an intelligent manner I choose not to join the anti Charger club.
 
Although I’ll sometimes get snarky with some of the anti Charger ranting out there (such as it’s time to scrap them and rebuild the P42s and other old engines, it’s time to use them on warm routes only and rebuild P42s for the western routes, and other silly suggestions) posted by some of the railfans out there I kind of give the employees a bit of a pass on complaining about them as they often have to endure the bumps in the road with this kind of change I’m sure often times with little to no management support and I’m sure that can get annoying so I can’t really blame them for complaining when it gets frustrating. And certainly Siemens needs to be made aware of problems that do continue to happen and have their feet held to the fire to make any needed modifications. Have no love for Siemens or have any Siemens stock but not really having access to the internal information on specific issues and the back and forth between Amtrak and Siemens and what is being done to complain in an intelligent manner I choose not to join the anti Charger club.

Realize that Amtrak ordered the Chargers for a reason. If it made more sense to rebuild the Genesis, they would've gone in that direction. It's the same reason why Amtrak didn't rebuild the F40s (outside of NPCU conversions) over two and half decades ago, most of the engines were worn out from heavy use. The same situation has taken place for the Genesis.

There is going to be that someone that'll bring this up, so let me end it right there. Amtrak is not a commuter railroad and has far more long distance/intercity routes then Via Rail does. So the equipment wear Amtrak does on equipment is a lot.

As for how Siemens equipment can handle the cold, I read that the Finnish railway has Vectron locomotives which is what the Chargers are based off of (albeit the diesel variation) that are capable of operating in temperatures that are as low as -40°C. I don't think we see temperatures that cold very often in the US, unless you live in Alaska. So I think the Siemens locomotives and passenger cars will be okay, once Amtrak and Siemens have worked out the issues.
 
Here is one possible way things cold go that would be a disaster. Amtrak unfortunately has had a history of each new piece of equipment after Amfleets of that equipment being put out of service for some length of time. Now what happens to Amtrak if all Chargers get sidelined. No P-42s to take over due the P-42s not getting proper maintenance now?.
 
Here is one possible way things cold go that would be a disaster. Amtrak unfortunately has had a history of each new piece of equipment after Amfleets of that equipment being put out of service for some length of time. Now what happens to Amtrak if all Chargers get sidelined. No P-42s to take over due the P-42s not getting proper maintenance now?.
Amtrak would likely pull trains with freight units and rush build HEP cars if it was going to be a while.
 
This is a case of unnecessary catastrophising based on a false premise IMHO. The only case requiring full withdrawal of equipment I can think of is the Acelas. What other equipment had to be fully withdrawn after substantial deployment? I can’t think of any. There is relatively low likelihood of all Chargers getting sidelined.
 
I'm so glad to see that the Day 1 livery (#301) is starting to make a comeback...and leading too! This is my favorite charger.

It was on #29 last night (10/19) from DC and is headed back towards DC on tonight (10/20)'s #30 (as seen below from the Chesterton, IN railcam). I know that it has been in PA for quite a while, but glad to see it back in use.

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I'm hoping that it stays active and leading for a while.
 
The ALC-42s made their first run on both Silver service trains in the last couple days in the trailing position and also are running regularly on the Palmetto now. Leading on the Silvers and Palmetto is possible now as a few months back they finally got certified for ATC. I think the only route now they cannot still lead on is the Lake Shore Limited as they have not yet been certified for ACSES. ACSES is required on the Lake Shore Limited from Albany/Rensselaer to Hoffmans as well as on the MBTA Worcester line from Worcester to Boston South Station.
 
The ALC-42s made their first run on both Silver service trains in the last couple days in the trailing position and also are running regularly on the Palmetto now. Leading on the Silvers and Palmetto is possible now as a few months back they finally got certified for ATC. I think the only route now they cannot still lead on is the Lake Shore Limited as they have not yet been certified for ACSES. ACSES is required on the Lake Shore Limited from Albany/Rensselaer to Hoffmans as well as on the MBTA Worcester line from Worcester to Boston South Station.

Two other routes that the chargers are not on are the Pennsylvanian and the Cardinal. Hoping they make their introduction on these services in the near future. I'm assuming they're not on these routes yet due to the amount of chargers available to juggle on these routes?
 
Two other routes that the chargers are not on are the Pennsylvanian and the Cardinal. Hoping they make their introduction on these services in the near future. I'm assuming they're not on these routes yet due to the amount of chargers available to juggle on these routes?
I think they went on the Cardinal recently. The Pennsylvanian it’s a bit more unclear. The Pennsylvanian is slated to get the Siemens intercity trainsets eventually so it’s unclear whether it or any of the other state supported routes currently using P42s will see the diesel only ALCs between now and then. The Heartland Flyer should eventually get them. The Palmetto which is slated to get the trainsets has had ALCs running on it so it’s possible some of these state supported services in the east could see them too.
 
The Palmetto which is slated to get the trainsets has had ALCs running on it so it’s possible some of these state supported services in the east could see them too.
The Palmetto is an odd duck. It is a National Network train and it is the only National Network train that is slated to get an Airo consist. It shares consist with the Pennsylvanian, and of course as you have mentioned, it has an ALC allocation now. It is hard to use the Palmetto to try to guess what will happen to any other train I think.
 
I think they went on the Cardinal recently. The Pennsylvanian it’s a bit more unclear. The Pennsylvanian is slated to get the Siemens intercity trainsets eventually so it’s unclear whether it or any of the other state supported routes currently using P42s will see the diesel only ALCs between now and then. The Heartland Flyer should eventually get them. The Palmetto which is slated to get the trainsets has had ALCs running on it so it’s possible some of these state supported services in the east could see them too.
Yes, a Charger was on 50 this week
 
This past Saturday, I drove to Pittsburgh and got to finally see my favorite charger #301 (Day 1 livery) in person and leading as well. As a railfan, this was definitely a highlight of my hobby. This was on #30 headed towards DC.

301_me1.jpg

IMG_1857.jpeg

I've always seen it on railcams on different routes, but never in person.
 
This past Saturday, I drove to Pittsburgh and got to finally see my favorite charger #301 (Day 1 livery) in person and leading as well. As a railfan, this was definitely a highlight of my hobby. This was on #30 headed towards DC.

View attachment 34003

View attachment 34004

I've always seen it on railcams on different routes, but never in person.
I have an N scale model layout and the lead locos on my Amtrak are #300 & #301. Pulling Capitol Ltd 30 with baggage car, dorm sleeper, regular sleeper, diner, cafe lounge and 2 coaches. Wish that consist would come back to 29 & 30
 
I have an N scale model layout and the lead locos on my Amtrak are #300 & #301. Pulling Capitol Ltd 30 with baggage car, dorm sleeper, regular sleeper, diner, cafe lounge and 2 coaches. Wish that consist would come back to 29 & 30
I guess the silver lining of Amtrak's short consists is that you can now model them without the kind of expense you had in the old days with trains of 12 cars or more.
 
The ALC-42s made their first run on both Silver service trains in the last couple days in the trailing position and also are running regularly on the Palmetto now. Leading on the Silvers and Palmetto is possible now as a few months back they finally got certified for ATC. I think the only route now they cannot still lead on is the Lake Shore Limited as they have not yet been certified for ACSES. ACSES is required on the Lake Shore Limited from Albany/Rensselaer to Hoffmans as well as on the MBTA Worcester line from Worcester to Boston South Station.
Which routes are the P42s still running on? Some Silvers and the LSL?

I know the ALC-42s have been having issues too, but how are they performing compared to the P42s?

Will the P42s be sent to scrap, sold, or moved to other routes? I'm guessing a mix of all three.
 
Which routes are the P42s still running on? Some Silvers and the LSL?

I know the ALC-42s have been having issues too, but how are they performing compared to the P42s?

Will the P42s be sent to scrap, sold, or moved to other routes? I'm guessing a mix of all three.
I know the Pennsylvanian, Cardinal, Crescent, LSL, as well as Valley Flyers are still using P42s. Some Northeast Regional trains use them as well. These are just a few routes off of the top of my head that I can think of that still use P42s.

I know the Cardinal and Crescent still have them, but sometimes mixed in with chargers.
 
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