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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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Eric S

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How do you know what New York wants?

And who is keeping Siemens so busy that they may find it difficult to build new coaches for Amtrak?

I'm thinking that perhaps Amtrak could ask Alstom to build new Amfleets that closely resemble their Avelias...
Siemens currently has orders for coaches from Brightline, Amtrak California/Midwest, and VIA Rail, right? Any others?
 

PVD

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I'm not sure how he reached his conclusions, but it has been reported in more than one place that NYS has explored a new purchase of DM power. That sort of says "we want loco hauled coaches" Whether or not Siemens has the capacity (or desire) to deliver on a specific timeline is an unknown, keep in mind they have the order for the 75 LD Chargers to fill. An unknown is time to deliver requirements, whether or not contracts will allow (and to what degree) farming out various parts of an order, and whether or not a company thinks it will make enough money to take on a project to go after it at favorable. If a company has to put on a second shift, or work ot, or expand a plant, it might not be worth it. Siemens has done well in the US market, it's not like they would be inclined to take a project at slim or no margins to establish a market presence.
 

sttom

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How do you know what New York wants?

And who is keeping Siemens so busy that they may find it difficult to build new coaches for Amtrak?

I'm thinking that perhaps Amtrak could ask Alstom to build new Amfleets that closely resemble their Avelias...
The New York thing was from a press release a couple years ago that I am having trouble finding again. I'll link it if I ever track it down again.

Siemens currently has the California and Midwest orders, followed by Via's, Brightline is also getting more cars and they have at last count 200 pending Charger orders. And god knows how many LRVs. San Francisco's order hasn't been fully delivered and there are probably more on order still.

Alstom doesn't have any individual rail cars in their line up. Which means they may not want to make them. Just because something makes money doesn't mean a company would want to take the job. Companies have their own internal strategy and Alstom's seems to be an EMU only strategy.
 

NSC1109

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How do you know what New York wants?

And who is keeping Siemens so busy that they may find it difficult to build new coaches for Amtrak?

I'm thinking that perhaps Amtrak could ask Alstom to build new Amfleets that closely resemble their Avelias...
Siemens is building cars for the California order, the IDOT order, and I’m not sure if they’re totally done with Brightline yet.
 

jiml

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In the case of one state - use NY for an example, it all depends on their priorities. While they may prefer a traditionally-configured train, are they willing to wait 5 years to get them? If the need and the funds are available sooner and a DMU is available in 2 years, who knows what could happen?
 

daybeers

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Connecticut is in the bid process for new cars as well, and I'd be very surprised if Siemens didn't bid.
 

jis

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Siemens is building cars for the California order, the IDOT order, and I’m not sure if they’re totally done with Brightline yet.
The California and IDOT orders are actually the same order, since it is being handled as such by the states.

Brightline's first tranche has been fully delivered, and I am not sure that they have actually placed a second tranche order yet. They have a whole pile of options to exercise at some point.

VIA has certainly placed a significant order for their new corridor trains.
Exactly, and the VIA $1 billion CAD order is for 32 trainsets. That could take awhile.
That's about 200 cars starting delivery in 2021, and possibly delivering through 2023. Service using first of the those sets start in 2022. VIA does have an option for 12 more sets.

I guess one can expect Brightline to place the balance of the order sometime this year. That would be 6x4=24 cars to top off the current consist, plus 4 consists of 10 cars = 40 cars, if they place the entire balance in a single order, which rumor has it that they might not.

Any serious hypothetical Amtrak order placed in early 2021 would probably start delivering in large numbers starting early 2023 and would probably deliver through 2027
 
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rickycourtney

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Keep in mind Amtrak is ordering more than 75 trainsets (roughly 600+ cars) and an order that large would keep any manufacturer busy for 4 to 5 years.

That means that even manufacturers who don't have a current product that meets the standard have the proper financial motivation to make either a clean-sheet design or modify an existing design from overseas.

The edge that Siemens, and to a lesser extent Alstom, has is that they don't have to "bake" that design/testing/factory prep costs into these cars, as they've already passed that cost onto other customers.
 

rickycourtney

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It's kind of small potatoes compared to the other orders already mentioned, but there's an order for a handful of chargers for the coaster service in Sad Diego as well.


Also, did the ACE order get fully delivered already?
That article is over a year old and the Chargers for Coaster are already being delivered... as are the units for ACE. Not sure how many for each are on their property.

 

Mailliw

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Since Northeast Regional goes off the grid; BMUs would probably be preferable, but locomotive pulled coaches would be easier to implement. Also if/when electrification ever happens in Virginia Amtrak only needs to replace the locomotives. Keystone Service would be ideal for EMUs and of course Amtrak really should've gone with EMUs for Acela 2.0.
 

jis

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BMUs would be borderline impractical for running all the way to Roanoke and Richmond. DEMUs would work, something like the Hitachi Class 8xxs in the UK.
 

Andrew

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BMUs would be borderline impractical for running all the way to Roanoke and Richmond. DEMUs would work, something like the Hitachi Class 8xxs in the UK.
If Amtrak orders the Hitachi class 800s, and EMUs for the Keystone corridor, what would happen to the Sprinter locomotives?
 

MARC Rider

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If Amtrak orders the Hitachi class 800s, and EMUs for the Keystone corridor, what would happen to the Sprinter locomotives?
Long distance trains that run through the NEC.
Boston-Washington and New York-Washington Northeast Regionals that don't need the diesel capability. (Which are probably most of the Northeast Regionals.)
 

Andrew

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If Amtrak does order DEMU, what would be a better choice: Hitachi Class 800s or Stadler?
 

jiml

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If Amtrak does order DEMU, what would be a better choice: Hitachi Class 800s or Stadler?
The Stadler FLIRT series seem to be solid trains based on European reviews. At least one US transit authority has them and there's a YouTube video about them somewhere. They have an odd arrangement where the power car is in the middle of the train with a walk-through hallway. Some people don't like this. The 800's - especially the British Azuma series - suffered some teething pains when first delivered (as pointed out previously by @jis) and they've received considerable criticism for uncomfortable seating. That could probably be fixed to Amtrak's or specific state's specifications. The 802 series, primarily operated by Trans-Pennine Express, have been better received. All of the above are available as dual-modes.
 

jis

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The Stadler FLIRT series seem to be solid trains based on European reviews. At least one US transit authority has them and there's a YouTube video about them somewhere. They have an odd arrangement where the power car is in the middle of the train with a walk-through hallway. Some people don't like this. The 800's - especially the British Azuma series - suffered some teething pains when first delivered (as pointed out previously by @jis) and they've received considerable criticism for uncomfortable seating. That could probably be fixed to Amtrak's or specific state's specifications. The 802 series, primarily operated by Trans-Pennine Express, have been better received. All of the above are available as dual-modes.
Truth be told, no one in the US will order a British loading gauge compliant Azuma in the US. The carbody will have to be different, minimally UIC loading gauge. The stuff under the hood can be the same as Azuma, though they may be considered to be a bit under-powered in their current form by most US operators. Azumas actually are generally unable to maintain the schedules that HST125s had no problem maintaining, which initially surprised me. But it is well documented that timetables had to be stretched out a bit to accommodate the actual performance of Azumas. But Hitachis is a capable company who can build something to a specification and deliver it.

I would be quite surprised if Amtrak goes for FLIRTs for the NEC. But anything is possible.

My guess is Amtrak will go for a bunch of trailers bracketed by power heads to and tail if they go the unit train route for the NEC, similar to what the states and Brightline have gone for. This will also allow them to re-purpose their ACS64s effectively.
 

jiml

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Truth be told, no one in the US will order a British loading gauge compliant Azuma in the US. The carbody will have to be different, minimally UIC loading gauge. The stuff under the hood can be the same as Azuma, though they may be considered to be a bit under-powered in their current form by most US operators. Azumas actually are generally unable to maintain the schedules that HST125s had no problem maintaining, which initially surprised me. But it is well documented that timetables had to be stretched out a bit to accommodate the actual performance of Azumas. But Hitachis is a capable company who can build something to a specification and deliver it.

I would be quite surprised if Amtrak goes for FLIRTs for the NEC. But anything is possible.

My guess is Amtrak will go for a bunch of trailers bracketed by power heads to and tail if they go the unit train route for the NEC, similar to what the states and Brightline have gone for. This will also allow them to re-purpose their ACS64s effectively.
You're probably right. I was simply answering the question
If Amtrak does order DEMU, what would be a better choice: Hitachi Class 800s or Stadler?
and attempting to explain the differences.
 
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sttom

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Hitachi also has to consider whether or not expanding beyond the metro/light rail market in the US is even worth their time. If the Sagas of CAF and Nippon Sharyo are anything to go by, expanding into the US or expanding beyond you existing niche might not be worth it. Just because you can do something in theory doesn't mean its worth your time to do so. Considering Hitachi hasn't made anything for the US market outside of metro equipment, it would be a gamble for them to try to go after a contract with Amtrak. A gamble that if it goes bad could damage their future prospects in getting contracts for metro equipment and LRVs. Also this is assuming Amtrak would want to start working with another company that they don't really have a relationship with. Amtrak has worked with Siemens and Alstom in the past which would be a leg up, barring lowest bidder rules or other shenanigans or the competence of Congressional and Amtrak leadership.
 

PVD

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There is the possibility of major incentives to set up a new facility for the WMATA contract. it may be worth it to leverage the facility to keep using it for another project. They have considerable resources to call upon if it is something they desire. All of this is speculation, think Pope Julius and Michelangelo in "The Agony and the Ecstasy" When Will You Make an End?" "When I am Finished" We'll all know soon enough (hopefully}
 

sttom

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I would say Siemens is at the top of the list. Alstom would be a maybe since individual rail cars aren't in their current line up. Maybe after they officially buy out Bombardier since they will have the Horizon/Comet car designs which could be modified to be compliant with the new regulations. Other than that, I would say Stadler is the only other maybe. Assuming CAF doesn't pull some cheap work out of its proverbial backside.
 

jiml

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Alstom... after they officially buy out Bombardier since they will have the Horizon/Comet car designs which could be modified to be compliant with the new regulations.
That was my thought and why I wouldn't rule them out. Off-the-shelf proven design. I remember when the Horizons came out and they've lasted way longer than most thought at the time. Are they speed-restricted?
 
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