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Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

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Considering that the MP36 locomotives are not that old, what is the purpose for the new SC-44 locomotives in MARC’s fleet?
 

Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
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Jan 14, 2020
Messages
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This older thread might give you a hint as to why they started looking for new/additional power.

MARC Engine Failures
Also, there was a big report from Amtrak back in 2018, I think. It mentioned that DC Union Station engine switches cause lots of congestion on the lower level tracks, as well as other inconveniences for passengers, and that the engine switches could interfere with future planned expansions. One solution mentioned was to operate trains which originate/terminate south of DC under one locomotive entirely, rather than the dual power P42DC/ACS64 combo that we see today. I believe the SC44 Charger would be appropriate, as many non-electrified routes in the West and Midwest (including the 110 mph Michigan service) are starting to use the SC44. I could see Virginia/Springfield Northeast Regionals, Carolinian, Silver Service, Palmetto, Crescent, Cardinal, Vermonter, Pennsylvanian, and any other dual-power Amtrak trains I missed, to operate with the SC44, while all the other trains operate with the ACS64. I think the SC44 even looks a bit like a futuristic P42DC locomotive.
 

Thirdrail7

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One solution mentioned was to operate trains which originate/terminate south of DC under one locomotive entirely, rather than the dual power P42DC/ACS64 combo that we see today. I believe the SC44 Charger would be appropriate, as many non-electrified routes in the West and Midwest (including the 110 mph Michigan service) are starting to use the SC44. I could see Virginia/Springfield Northeast Regionals, Carolinian, Silver Service, Palmetto, Crescent, Cardinal, Vermonter, Pennsylvanian, and any other dual-power Amtrak trains I missed, to operate with the SC44, while all the other trains operate with the ACS64. I t
The SC44 is not an appropriate engine for through service as they do not fit anywhere in the New York Terminal District. They are also are too big for most of the Hell Gate line, so they can not operate between New York and New Haven over the Hell Gate Line.

Additionally, the fuel usage on the SC44 doesn't make it a viable long-distance unit.

This is why Amtrak explored a long-distance variant that would fit throughout the system.
 

Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
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Jan 14, 2020
Messages
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The SC44 is not an appropriate engine for through service as they do not fit anywhere in the New York Terminal District. They are also are too big for most of the Hell Gate line, so they can not operate between New York and New Haven over the Hell Gate Line.

Additionally, the fuel usage on the SC44 doesn't make it a viable long-distance unit.

This is why Amtrak explored a long-distance variant that would fit throughout the system.
Have they decided on a specific unit yet?
 

NeueAmtrakCalifornia

Service Attendant
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Oct 25, 2019
Messages
149
The SC44 is not an appropriate engine for through service as they do not fit anywhere in the New York Terminal District. They are also are too big for most of the Hell Gate line, so they can not operate between New York and New Haven over the Hell Gate Line.

Additionally, the fuel usage on the SC44 doesn't make it a viable long-distance unit.

This is why Amtrak explored a long-distance variant that would fit throughout the system.
The SC44's height is 12 ft 6 in (14 ft 4 in with roof shroud), which is shorter than the ALP-45DP, which is 14 ft 5.5 inches and does run to New York Penn Station. But the SC-44 would be prohibited from running into Penn Station anyways because it's diesel only and Penn Station prohibits diesel-only designs.
As I said several times here, the best solution for throughrunning from DC Union Station south and New Haven north to Springfield without having to change engines is an electro-diesel multiple unit train.
 

Thirdrail7

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But the SC-44 would be prohibited from running into Penn Station anyways because it's diesel only and Penn Station prohibits diesel-only designs.
The SC-44, according to the timetable does not have the clearance to fit in the NYT district and the Hell Gate Line. There is nothing that prohibits diesel-only designs in NYP station as Amtrak routinely operates their own diesel fleet (passenger diesels and work train diesels) within Penn station and the rest of the NYP district. Additionally, NJT operates its MP20s into the NYT on occasion and that isn't a dual-mode . Granted, that is in work train service.

Perhaps there is another reason or it will change, but as of now, the SC-44s aren't allowed east of Bergen Interlocking, west of Pelham Bay (which is 13 miles from the tunnels,) can not enter Sunnyside Yard, may not operate past North Philadelphia train station (in Pennsylvania) on 4 track and even has a restriction (albeit 5 miles) on the 1 track on the Harrisburg Line.
 
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