New Amfleet I replacement Siemens Inter City Trainsets (ICT)

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Ryan

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Would the money be better spent on protecting the electrical system, though? For example on ROW maintenance to cut back trees that might fall on the tracks in a hurricane or ice storm? Or protecting the towers that hold up the wires from adjacent roads by installing jersey barriers or concrete bolsters on the road side of them?
Not really.
 
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Would the money be better spent on protecting the electrical system, though? For example on ROW maintenance to cut back trees that might fall on the tracks in a hurricane or ice storm? Or protecting the towers that hold up the wires from adjacent roads by installing jersey barriers or concrete bolsters on the road side of them?

Last time Metra Electric had damage to the catenary it was caused by a derailing freight train (during a polar vortex when service had been temporarily discontinued due to the wires were too brittle for service luckily). So add moving freight faaar away.
 

jis

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Experience in Russia, China and Northern and Alpine Europe suggests that the concerns about damage to catenary by snow and ice is vastly over-rated. There are many other things that in reality cause service disruptions before catenary failure comes into play. A catenary system properly designed for the environment that it operates in can be remarkably resilient to weather related failures.
 
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Experience in Russia, China and Northern and Alpine Europe suggests that the concerns about damage to catenary by snow and ice is vastly over-rated. There are many other things that in reality cause service disruptions before catenary failure comes into play. A catenary system properly designed for the environment that it operates in can be remarkably resilient to weather related failures.
Agreed - having lived in artic/sub-arctic areas with electric trains (and electric everything else except cars and a few older oil heating systems) it was a total non-issue.

Why it's an issue with Metra (other than money and aging infrastructure) I don't know - one would have thought that the system was engineered for our climate, which is sub-tropical in summer and can be sub-arctic in winter. In this case it was the masts being knocked down (I think just one, but the wire came down and tangled) by the derailment. I give Metra kudos for getting it back up quickly in brutal conditions.
 

MisterUptempo

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Now that the presentations for last week's NGEC Annual Meetings are available (h/t to jrud and jis for finding them), I wanted to post a couple of images from this presentation, which discusses Amtrak fleet acquisitions.

On page 8, the new Amtrak trainsets are mentioned, along with a photo that might be a preview of new livery, which shows deep blue shells, with two-tone grey below the belt line, separated with a yellow racing stripe, yellow doors, and grey roofs.

Whether this is the livery Amtrak has decided upon or whether it's just some concept Siemens threw together, who knows? But it's out there for everyone to see. So, let the critiques begin!
QJcW91I.jpg


On that same page, there is this illustration which shows how the 6 and 8 car sets will be assembled, as well as the location of wheelchair lifts and ADA seating locations. The livery concept in the photo above is carried over into the trainset illustration-
xt8AZFZ.jpg
 
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Mailliw

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The food service cars should be in the middle of the trainsets. If Amtrak doesn't want BC passengers to have to walk much then they should just have the attendants provide at seat service.
 
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Now that the presentations for last week's NGEC Annual Meetings are available (h/t to jrud and jis for finding them), I wanted to post a couple of images from this presentation, which discusses Amtrak fleet acquisitions.

On page 8, the new Amtrak trainsets are mentioned, along with a photo that might be a preview of new livery, which shows deep blue with two-tone grey below the belt line, separated with a yellow racing stripe and yellow doors.

Whether this is the livery Amtrak has decided upon or whether it's just some concept Siemens threw together, who knows? But it's out there for everyone to see. So, let the critiques begin!
QJcW91I.jpg


On that same page, there is this illustration which shows how the 6 and 8 car sets will be assembled, as well as the location of wheelchair lifts and ADA seating locations. The livery concept in the photo above is carried over into the trainset illustration-
xt8AZFZ.jpg
Boy, Siemens will need a whole other plant just fulfill all these North American orders in a timely manner.

Honestly, I think these look great.
I would love to be travelling on one of these along the NEC is 5-10 years (probably more like 10 if we're being honest with ourselves). Indeed, these cant come soon enough.

I'm sure many a problem will have to be ironed out as these move through the various phases of design and implementation. They will certainly supplement the new Acelas nicely though.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Those steps look exposed to the weather and not very well protected. Ok for Southern California, not good for Chicago.

Are they using a heating system to keep the snow and ice from jamming the system?
 

MisterUptempo

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Boy, Siemens will need a whole other plant just fulfill all these North American orders in a timely manner.

Honestly, I think these look great.
I would love to be travelling on one of these along the NEC is 5-10 years (probably more like 10 if we're being honest with ourselves). Indeed, these cant come soon enough.

I'm sure many a problem will have to be ironed out as these move through the various phases of design and implementation. They will certainly supplement the new Acelas nicely though.
As far as timelines are concerned, in the same presentation, it indicates that bi-weekly preliminary and intermediate design reviews commenced in late August, 2021. Preliminary reviews will continue through early May, 2022, intermediate reviews through mid-March, 2023. Final design reviews started mid-October, 2021 and will continue through mid-October, 2023.

Soft mockups scheduled for late Spring, 2022; hard mockups in Summer.
 
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As far as timelines are concerned, in the same presentation, it indicates that bi-weekly preliminary and intermediate design reviews commenced in late August, 2021. Preliminary reviews will continue through early May, 2022, intermediate reviews through mid-March, 2023. Final design reviews started mid-October, 2021 and will continue through mid-October, 2023.

Soft mockups scheduled for late Spring, 2022; hard mockups in Summer.

Yes, that’s what it says doesn't it. 😉

I remember when new Acelas were staged for 2020
 
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A technical question that I’m sure some of the more knowledgeable people might be able to answer.

Why not make NE regionals run faster? Is 125 a significant milestone? Why not make new train sets capable of faster speeds like 135? Would this significantly upset the balance of frequencies on the NEC? Maybe it stops to frequently to make higher speeds worth it.

I’m sure there’s a good reason.
 

NES28

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It's very interesting that it appears that the way that the trainsets are being made "dual mode" is to put the "elictric stuff" (AC transformer, pantograph, and other switchgear) in the end of the business class car next to the diesel which, thus, could be a pretty plain vanilla Charger. Presumably, the battery version for the Empire Corridor might need to have a whole dedicated car so batteries could be included. Apparently, Siemens didn't want to deal with third rail pickup.
 

jis

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Apparently, Siemens didn't want to deal with third rail pickup.
For Amtrak maybe not. But for MNRR they have third rail pickup equipped dual modes on order already.Apparently LIRR will also get a bunch of them via a separate order.
 

west point

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I always thought that the effort to make a loco tri mode was not going to happen because of the high weight of the 25/60 hZ transformer needed for overhead CAT. The idea of a business class power car seems to take care of a lot of those problems.

1, The isolation of an ALC to be the basic loco that can operate anywhere other than in tunnels, NYP, or other stations either with or without a power car has much merit. I can imagine enough battery power to transit cascade tunnel. That begs the question, are the 300 series ALCs already wired for this type of operation or has provision that they can be modified easily? Plus, failure of the CAT power will allow loco to use diesel and battery to continue to at least the next station or farther.
2. The power cars weight and balance can be easily balanced with transformer(s), & rectifiers at one end and batteries at other end opposite side.
3. Power cars might have third rail pickups either installed or quickly placed. I can see if power cars have the pick-ups then NYP trains from north can easily detour to Grand Central Terminal. That is because the Amtrak units will weight the same as the MNRR locos operating on the weight limits of the Park Avenue bridge spans.. That is if the Amtrak locos have the plow cutout to clear MNRR 3rd rails. EDIT Forgot Amtrak locos on the NYP- Albany must have the cutouts. Need to check the front of the 300s.
4. Plus, the power car with CAT can be very handy for layovers and covered stations if clearances are high enough for CAT. If a 25 kV Cat is installed at those locations then the ALC(s) can be shut down reducing emissions and now saving fuel and DEF. Provisions are needed to keep locos warm in very cold weather with those very ventilated ALCs.
5. Future times CAT could be installed for leaving and slowing for faster departures and slowing just at stations. Regeneration then comes into play. That really depends on what the HP ratings of the traction motors are. The ALCs might have same traction motors and gearing as the ACS sprinters. The extra power from using CAT power to leave stations will be needed as the ALC geared max speed is 125 the same as sprinters. That compares to P-42s max speed of 110.
 

NES28

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I had forgotten that MN and LIRR had ordered Chargers adapted for third rail. I wonder why Amtrak didn't order some more of those for Empire Service. Maybe they and/or Siemens were looking for an excuse to test battery power. I haven't seen a rendering of a Siemens battery car yet.
 

rickycourtney

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More details in this new report: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/...g/Amtrak-Service-Asset-Line-Plans-FY22-27.pdf

Here's the breakdown:
There will be 26 six-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets that will include an Auxiliary Power Vehicle (APV). The APV will be the trailer car closest to the locomotive and will include a pantograph, transformers and a powered truck. In electrified territory, the APV will draw power from overhead lines, which will be fed to the powered truck and the traction motors in the locomotive. These trainsets will be used on the Carolinian, Downeaster, Keystone Service, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian and Vermonter.

There will also be 24 eight-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets, similarly configured, for use on Northeast Regional trains including through trains to Virginia and Springfield, Massachusetts. Amtrak has options to purchase up to eight additional eight-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets.

Amtrak will also purchase 15 six-car battery-diesel hybrid trainsets, where the trailer car closest to the locomotive will supply electricity to traction motors in the locomotive when operating around New York Penn Station, eliminating the need for third rail propulsion on the Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express and Maple Leaf. Amtrak has options to purchase up to two additional six-car battery-diesel hybrid trainsets.
 
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More details in this new report: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/...g/Amtrak-Service-Asset-Line-Plans-FY22-27.pdf

Here's the breakdown:
There will be 26 six-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets that will include an Auxiliary Power Vehicle (APV). The APV will be the trailer car closest to the locomotive and will include a pantograph, transformers and a powered truck. In electrified territory, the APV will draw power from overhead lines, which will be fed to the powered truck and the traction motors in the locomotive. These trainsets will be used on the Carolinian, Downeaster, Keystone Service, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian and Vermonter.

There will also be 24 eight-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets, similarly configured, for use on Northeast Regional trains including through trains to Virginia and Springfield, Massachusetts. Amtrak has options to purchase up to eight additional eight-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets.

Amtrak will also purchase 15 six-car battery-diesel hybrid trainsets, where the trailer car closest to the locomotive will supply electricity to traction motors in the locomotive when operating around New York Penn Station, eliminating the need for third rail propulsion on the Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express and Maple Leaf. Amtrak has options to purchase up to two additional six-car battery-diesel hybrid trainsets.

Is this proven technology? Is it used overseas anywhere? This sounds like too many opportunities for problems in the development of something that hasn't been used before. Even technology adapted from Europe such as the Avelia Liberty trainsets and the Siemens Venture coaches have seemingly had nothing but issues.

Is this new technology
 

rickycourtney

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Is this proven technology? Is it used overseas anywhere? This sounds like too many opportunities for problems in the development of something that hasn't been used before. Even technology adapted from Europe such as the Avelia Liberty trainsets and the Siemens Venture coaches have seemingly had nothing but issues.

Is this new technology
I mean, dual-mode equipment is very common. Siemens makes a lot of them for the global market.
The only sorta "new" things here are...
Placing the equipment in another car. (But there are lots of multiple units trainset that do something similar.)
Relying on battery packs. (There are several types of trains and trams with this technology.)
 

frequentflyer

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Is this proven technology? Is it used overseas anywhere? This sounds like too many opportunities for problems in the development of something that hasn't been used before. Even technology adapted from Europe such as the Avelia Liberty trainsets and the Siemens Venture coaches have seemingly had nothing but issues.

Is this new technology
From Amtrak's Five year plan-

Significant reliability improvements are anticipated. The TSSSA will impose stiff penalties on Siemens if the frequency of “bad order” events exceeds specified thresholds. The dual-power and hybrid characteristics of most trainsets create backup propulsion possibilities should catenary or other power problems develop enroute. Finally, many trains which currently only have an engineer’s cab at one end of the consist will gain a second cab on the opposite end; if a fault is discovered in one locomotive cab prior to departure (such as with cab signals or PTC equipment), the train can be turned rather than being taken out of service
 
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