Keystone discussion

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Oreius

OBS Chief
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Jun 5, 2012
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I was waiting for my Keystone to Philadelphia this morning. I saw #605 pull into Elizabethtown. It had the usual 5 coaches, but also had a cafe car on the rear plus an additional electric engine on the back. What’s this about? Are they thinking of adding food service on the Keystones? 605 terminates in Harrisburg.
 

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AmtrakBlue

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Just speculating, but maybe they were short of cab cars so added a second engine in the rear. As for the cafe, does the Keystone usually have wifi? If so maybe the cafe was to provide WiFi for the train?
Sounds about right. Same thing happened on 121/122 this past Sunday. Cab car, which normally provides the wifi was apparently not working, though it was in the consist, so it had engines on either end and a cafe car.
 

Acela150

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Just speculating, but maybe they were short of cab cars so added a second engine in the rear. As for the cafe, does the Keystone usually have wifi? If so maybe the cafe was to provide WiFi for the train?

Bingo... The cab cars are on their very last legs right now. We've been running at least 3 sets with double motors for a few weeks. When their are not cab cars available a cafe is put on the train for the wifi. Ironically this set has had the cafe for about 3 weeks and the wifi hasn't worked that entire time.
 

MARC Rider

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Bingo... The cab cars are on their very last legs right now. We've been running at least 3 sets with double motors for a few weeks. When their are not cab cars available a cafe is put on the train for the wifi. Ironically this set has had the cafe for about 3 weeks and the wifi hasn't worked that entire time.
Aren't the cab cars unpowered Metroliner EMUs from 1969? No wonder they're on their last legs.
 

rs9

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Perhaps this is a positive sign that Amtrak is slowly realizing a bit more slack and availability of its rolling stock?
 
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I’ve noticed lately some Keystones are running with a cafe car (understandably without actual food service) - always on trains that don’t have a metroliner cab in the consist. What’s the point of this?
 
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Not sure if they are still available for lease, but even if they were, unless it was for a long enough term, and permission to add the wi-fi base equipt was secured, you would still need to haul the cafe. There have been stories circulating about modifying some HHP-8 to use as control cabs, but you do lose the seating that way.
 
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Acela150

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Not sure if they are still available for lease, but even if they were, unless it was for a long enough term, and permission to add the wi-fi base equipt was secured, you would still need to haul the cafe. There have been stories circulating about modifying some HHP-8 to use as control cabs, but you do lose the seating that way.
The HHP’s are definitely being converted. One of them was in Sunnyside the other day.
 

Oreius

OBS Chief
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On Black Friday, I was watching a couple Keystones at Lancaster, PA. One of the train sets has only 4 cars (including the cab car). Is there any reason for this? I’m assuming it’s equipment shortages.

On a side note, I like the “Charging Station” inside the station. A simple wall mounted power strip plugged into your basic power strip used at home. But, hey “it does the job!”
 

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