Amtrak's Smallest Most Powerful Train

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OlympianHiawatha

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,282
An article in this morning's Norman (OK) Transcript indicates the Heartland Flyer will continue daily service between OKC and FTW (Texas and Oklahoma feed most of the expense kitty) but the consist has been reduced to a single Superliner Coach/Cafe and a unit on either end (I have not looked lately, but they are usually P-42s, though from time to time a NPCU has been in the mix). When the power makes up more length than the revenue space, that is a tiny train! And talks of extending the service into Kansas continue, as they have for the past 10 years and likely will for the next 10 years.
 

Woodcut60

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
265
That's indeed a tiny train. I loved the ride on the Heartland Flyer, back in 2015.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
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Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,476
I don't believe they can shorten it without eliminating the cafe. You need to have ADA space available which the cafe uses up on that train.
 

OlympianHiawatha

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,282
Just hit the detector by my house (MP 404.2). 16 axles, which means 2 units, the Coach-Cafe and a Coach; so it remains ADA compliant.
 

rickycourtney

Conductor
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
1,717
So why does Amtrak have two locomotives on the Heartland Flyer? Is it because those locomotives are far away from the closest maintenance base (Chicago?) and they need redundancy?
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
829
That short length is likely similar to all the pics I saw of the Hoosier State, before Indiana stupidly eliminated funding for that in(I believe) mid-2019. For that train it was always random if Amtrak would add random cars to that train that needed servicing, due to their service facility in Beech Grove, IN. Glad Oklahoma still funds the Heartland Flyer, and hopefully will(knock on wood and fingers crossed) NEVER make the same mistake Indiana did, in killing the Hoosier State.

If down the road I ever visit Fort Worth(or Dallas as well), I'd certainly be up for doing a side trip north on the Heartland Flyer to OKC for sure. Would've liked to have attended the Gathering last year, but sadly it didn't work out for me to go.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
933
Perhaps it's simply easier to get out of one engine, walk to the other end and drive it the other way than it is to physically turn the train around to go the other way ???
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,149
Probably more actual locomotives sitting around right now than NPCU's as well.
 

railiner

Conductor
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Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,876
Got me thinking...wonder how much more it would cost to have a 'double ended' (cab at each end) diesel locomotive? Sure would simplify turning of trains...no wyeing, just run around. Probably cost more than it would be worth, or they would have done that. Most long haul trains they would want to wye the whole train to be 'facing' the correct way, so it would only help a very few trains in a few places...
 

rickycourtney

Conductor
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
1,717
Perhaps it's simply easier to get out of one engine, walk to the other end and drive it the other way than it is to physically turn the train around to go the other way ???
Right, I get that... and that's totally true. I meant why don't they use a locomotive and an NPCU.
Probably more actual locomotives sitting around right now than NPCU's as well.
Fair point. That situation will improve as the Siemens Venture trainsets come online over the next few years. Fewer midwest and California trains will need them.

That said, have Texas and Oklahoma looked at buying a Siemens Charger/Venture trainset for this route?
 
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jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,149
Got me thinking...wonder how much more it would cost to have a 'double ended' (cab at each end) diesel locomotive? Sure would simplify turning of trains...no wyeing, just run around. Probably cost more than it would be worth, or they would have done that. Most long haul trains they would want to wye the whole train to be 'facing' the correct way, so it would only help a very few trains in a few places...
It's funny how no one, including Amtrak, seems to have a problem with electric locomotives that work that way and diesel versions exist in the UK and lots of other places.
 

daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
697
Amtrak's Hartford Line service (FKA New Haven-Springfield Shuttle) almost always operates with one Amfleet and an ex-Metroliner cab car. Sometimes it operates with a single Amfleet and two P40 or P42s. So I think that's got you beat 😂
 
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