New Siemens Inter City Trainsets (ICT)

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west point

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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

Yes for the NEC. However, Albany, Springfield, PHL, will take a long trip to wye the train set. And Richmond??? Newport News, & Norfolk? Leave other regions to others.
 

Cal

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However, Albany, Springfield, PHL, will take a long trip to wye the train set. And Richmond??? Newport News, & Norfolk?
If one of the cabs aren't functional then it would be the same as if one of the current cab cars isn't functional.
 

Mailliw

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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.
Why do the Downeaster and Keystone Service need dual power trainsets? The former doesn't run in electric territory and the latter always does.
 
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Why do the Downeaster and Keystone Service need dual power trainsets? The former doesn't run in electric territory and the latter always does.
Agree. The only situation where the Downeaster would need dual power is if the north south link was built and these units would be at the end of their useful life by the time that happened (if it ever happens)

Unless they wanted commonality with the NEC fleet to make it easier to swap out equipment then I suppose that makes sense
 

Trogdor

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Unless they wanted commonality with the NEC fleet to make it easier to swap out equipment then I suppose that makes sense

I think this is the idea. Presumably the ability to rotate equipment across different routes with minimal additional effort is worth it. Otherwise, they'd have a set of equipment basically isolated on the Downeaster, for example. This makes it a lot more costly when doing maintenance, because you either need an extra set or two of spare equipment just for that route, or you need to deadhead equipment from wherever anyway, and then send it back. By making them all dual-powered, you get the interchangeability which allows for a common set of spares shared by multiple routes in the same general region.
 
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jis

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People into operations logistics tend to try to minimize fleet fragmentation so as to give maximum deployment flexibility. Unless there is an extremely pressing service reason fleets should not be fragmented. OTOH armchair planners often avoid the whole fleet management issue and want to have as fragmented a fleet as possible with specialized cars galore and special liveries galore. The tension between the two shall forever remain ;)

The decision to have a limited number (three) of fleets for the Regionals in the entire Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region, except the Empire Service, is clearly driven by fleet efficiency managers.
 
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Mailliw

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So does this mean Keystone Service is getting Business Class and food service too or will those cars just be closed off?
 
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So does this mean Keystone Service is getting Business Class and food service too or will those cars just be closed off?
One would surmise that will be a decision by the PA state folks as to what they are willing to pay for. In NY on Empire Service, we have BC, but unless the train goes past Albany, the Cafe is unstaffed.
 

jis

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One would surmise that will be a decision by the PA state folks as to what they are willing to pay for. In NY on Empire Service, we have BC, but unless the train goes past Albany, the Cafe is unstaffed.
If Amtrak is going to charge for an ICT set with a BC car in it I would find it hard to see PA saying yeah but we will not use it.

Currently they save a bit of money by not having a BC car and Amtrak probably does not have enough BC cars to give to them anyway. With fixed consist that will go away. Originally the Keystone sets were supposed to be 4 car + cab car with no BC and food service car, but apparently that is gone in the latest on consist configuration of the ICTs.
 

daybeers

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If Amtrak is going to charge for an ICT set with a BC car in it I would find it hard to see PA saying yeah but we will not use it.
I wouldn't put it past them judging by the ridiculous fares they charge for the Keystone and Pennsylvanian and the fact that they're excluded from every sale.
 

jis

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I wouldn't put it past them judging by the ridiculous fares they charge for the Keystone and Pennsylvanian and the fact that they're excluded from every sale.
Hey, VIA used to sell the BC space in the Maple Leaf in Canada for a $1 premium over Coach, or some such. :D
 

Mailliw

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If Amtrak is going to charge for an ICT set with a BC car in it I would find it hard to see PA saying yeah but we will not use it.

Currently they save a bit of money by not having a BC car and Amtrak probably does not have enough BC cars to give to them anyway. With fixed consist that will go away. Originally the Keystone sets were supposed to be 4 car + cab car with no BC and food service car, but apparently that is gone in the latest on consist configuration of the ICTs.
Yeah, I guess PennDOT can still sell BC seats for a higher fare even without an attendant or free soft drinks. I just assumed they use similar configurations as the Piedmont or San Joaquins, but with electric locomotives. Another issue is that the Adirondack, Carolinian, etc; they run once daily and get turned at their termini. They also occasionally pull private cars. Then there's the issue of fixed bidirectional seating on what are practically long distance trains.
 

rickycourtney

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I would also guess that the battery-diesel dual-mode trainsets will be pricey. Otherwise, it would make sense to buy those trainsets for the Downeaster.

The way Amtrak describes these battery-diesel dual-mode trainsets, it sound like they are strictly going to be discharged during operations into Penn Station.

But, it sounds like they have the potential to operate like a hybrid vehicle, potentially offering fuel savings. If thats case, they could be a good choice for the Downeaster.
 

rickycourtney

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Yeah, I guess PennDOT can still sell BC seats for a higher fare even without an attendant or free soft drinks. I just assumed they use similar configurations as the Piedmont or San Joaquins, but with electric locomotives.
I would hope that this equipment ushers in a serious effort from Amtrak to offer a consistent "hard and soft" product when it comes to business class. It doesn't make sense to offer varying levels of extra seat width, extra legroom, free soft drinks, free alcohol, and/or free snacks.

They also occasionally pull private cars.
Amtrak doesn't care. They will be happy to eliminate pulling private cars.

Then there's the issue of fixed bidirectional seating on what are practically long distance trains.
Either 50% of passengers will ride backwards, and they'll get over it -- or Amtrak will install turning seats (which have existed for decades)
 
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I hadn't thought that these new trainsets wouldn't allow that!
All of the private cars I've seen on the NEC are usually being pulled by one of the long-distance trains (Silvers, Crescent, Cardinal). For one thing, I doubt that many (if any) of the private cars are certified to run at 125 mph, which is the top speed of the Northeast Regionals. The LD trains, on the other hand, have Viewliner 1 sleepers, which are limited to 110 mph, which I guess is what the private cars can handle, too.
 

jis

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Another issue is that the Adirondack, Carolinian, etc; they run once daily and get turned at their termini.
I don't think anyone will bemoan the fact that the trains don't need to be turned any more.
They also occasionally pull private cars. Then there's the issue of fixed bidirectional seating on what are practically long distance trains.
I hadn't thought that these new trainsets wouldn't allow that!
Theoretically they could tack them on at the end of the train assuming that the cab car or the powerhead has H couplers on the outward facing end. But most likely they will not do that. Instead they will just figure out a way of letting the Crescent, the Silver Star and such to do the private car thing and allow drop off/pick up at places like Raleigh and Charlotte and Savannah. Going to Canada OTOH will be a challenge. Nothing different from the way things were in the Northwest with Talgos.
 

rickycourtney

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assuming that the cab car or the powerhead has H couplers on the outward facing end.
That’s a safe assumption. I mean without the standard H couplers, how else will freight locomotives be able to bail out Amtrak’s “maintenance” department?

Kidding aside, the Caltrans Venture cab cars are going to have H couplers on the outward facing end, so it’s clearly a thing that’s been considered.
 

west point

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There is another probable advantage for running these common sets on routes such as Downeaster & Keystone. Since we have not seen the operating manuals, this is speculation. Albany trains not in this post but some of the advantages can be apparent.

1. First Operating the ITC with CAT PAN on the NEC. We do not know what HP the AC traction motors will be. I will assume that the motors will be same as the ACS-64s which will give 1600 HP each continuous and short time rating to ~2000+ HP. Now the ACS-64s have very good acceleration with up to 9 cars. Assuming the power car front truck has 2 powered axels that gives 9600 HP continuous and ~12,000 HP for acceleration. That will be better than the ACS-64s. With the many slower sections that acceleration will be well accepted. There may be some wheel slip but have never heard of any on the ACS-64s. HEP will not take any HP away?

I assume the HEP comes off the battery inverter. It can be charged enroute including regenerative braking.

2. Off the wires the trains will have the full HP of the ALCs as battery can power the HEP. Dividing up the ALC traction power on 6 axels allow full HP output at a slower speed vs. just 4 axels. It may even be that battery power can help with acceleration. With PTC programed as it does now slowing will probably be same as present trains.

3. At some locations a short section of slow speed trolly wire can be installed to power train on overnight trains. Loco would need auto start for cold nights in case trolly wire lost power. Locations where the wire could be easily installed will be storage tracks that are not on regular used freight tracks. Maine obviously one location. Richmond river road is another off main. Richmond Main only if the stub tracks are restored. CLT and Raleigh might be locations if NC DOT finally upgrades to this set up.

4. The power car is going to be for business class. My only concern is how the batteries, transformer(s), rectifiers, inverters, etc are going to placed in the car. If all in the front of car then possibly a 3 axel powered truck would be necessary. However seating should be as far as possible from the traction motors and electronics. Maybe batteries in rear of car for weight and balance?
 

jrud

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There is another probable advantage for running these common sets on routes such as Downeaster & Keystone. Since we have not seen the operating manuals, this is speculation. Albany trains not in this post but some of the advantages can be apparent.

1. First Operating the ITC with CAT PAN on the NEC. We do not know what HP the AC traction motors will be. I will assume that the motors will be same as the ACS-64s which will give 1600 HP each continuous and short time rating to ~2000+ HP. Now the ACS-64s have very good acceleration with up to 9 cars. Assuming the power car front truck has 2 powered axels that gives 9600 HP continuous and ~12,000 HP for acceleration. That will be better than the ACS-64s. With the many slower sections that acceleration will be well accepted. There may be some wheel slip but have never heard of any on the ACS-64s. HEP will not take any HP away?

I assume the HEP comes off the battery inverter. It can be charged enroute including regenerative braking.

2. Off the wires the trains will have the full HP of the ALCs as battery can power the HEP. Dividing up the ALC traction power on 6 axels allow full HP output at a slower speed vs. just 4 axels. It may even be that battery power can help with acceleration. With PTC programed as it does now slowing will probably be same as present trains.

3. At some locations a short section of slow speed trolly wire can be installed to power train on overnight trains. Loco would need auto start for cold nights in case trolly wire lost power. Locations where the wire could be easily installed will be storage tracks that are not on regular used freight tracks. Maine obviously one location. Richmond river road is another off main. Richmond Main only if the stub tracks are restored. CLT and Raleigh might be locations if NC DOT finally upgrades to this set up.

4. The power car is going to be for business class. My only concern is how the batteries, transformer(s), rectifiers, inverters, etc are going to placed in the car. If all in the front of car then possibly a 3 axel powered truck would be necessary. However seating should be as far as possible from the traction motors and electronics. Maybe batteries in rear of car for weight and balance?
The following discussion is based on a few solid sources, but runs contrary to some widely reported concepts. If you read the NGEC 2022 Annual Meeting presentation on the trainsets, this appears to agree with what they are saying.

The APV/Bus. car is different than the battery car. The APV/Bus. car should have very few, if any, batteries. It has a pantograph to collect electricity from the catenary and send that power to the ALC-42E. The pantograph related machinery should not be large or heavy, leaving space for Business class passengers.

The battery car design is less well defined, but will probably be an entire car of batteries and related electrical equipment due to space and weight requirements. IOW, no passengers in a battery car. The battery cars will not appear for a while and they will be used to create a hybrid diesel-battery trainset with an ALC-42E for trains that do not run under catenary. No pantograph on the battery car.

I have not seen anything that implies a single trainset can have both an APV/Bus. car and a battery car.
 
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jis

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@jrud, Do you know if the APV will have the main HV transformer on/under it? Normally it resides underfloor, and that space in a diesel might be occupied by a fuel tank and such. That is why I was wondering. Although, depending on the size of the fuel tank there could still be enough space under the power head.
 

jrud

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@jrud, Do you know if the APV will have the main HV transformer on/under it? Normally it resides underfloor, and that space in a diesel might be occupied by a fuel tank and such. That is why I was wondering. Although, depending on the size of the fuel tank there could still be enough space under the power head.
Sorry, but please clarify. The APV/Bus car sits right behind the locomotive (ALC-42E) and has a pantograph. There is no reason I can think of for the APV/Bus to have fuel

Is there anything on page eight of this presentation that helps?

 

rickycourtney

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@jrud, Do you know if the APV will have the main HV transformer on/under it? Normally it resides underfloor, and that space in a diesel might be occupied by a fuel tank and such. That is why I was wondering. Although, depending on the size of the fuel tank there could still be enough space under the power head.
From the fleet plan: "The passenger car closest to the locomotive will be an Auxiliary Power Vehicle (APV) containing a pantograph, transformer cabinet and supplemental powered truck for use in electrified territory; power drawn from the APV will also be fed to the traction motors in the locomotive to ensure sufficient acceleration when operating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC)."
assuming that the cab car or the powerhead has H couplers on the outward facing end.
Also on that note -- VIA just did a test related to that -- having a GO Transit locomotive tow one of their Venture/Charger trainsets. Pics in this article: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/via-runs-test-train-of-new-siemens-equipment/
 

rickycourtney

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4. The power car is going to be for business class. My only concern is how the batteries, transformer(s), rectifiers, inverters, etc are going to placed in the car. If all in the front of car then possibly a 3 axel powered truck would be necessary. However seating should be as far as possible from the traction motors and electronics. Maybe batteries in rear of car for weight and balance?
In a little note on the fleet plan document Amtrak says "Order of cars in consist is TBD." So despite the earlier diagram, Amtrak could choose to move business class to a different car (cab car?).
 
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