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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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jis

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Very true - I wasn't sure if it ran far enough to meet the city requirements, not knowing exactly where the boundary is. It does make you wonder why we have P32's though.
It was much easier to build a third rail + diesel dual mode than a 12.5kV catenary AC + diesel dual mode. The locomotives for use on the Empire Corridor are single mission units hence third rail was fine. It was especially easier when the engine did not have to perform too well in the third rail mode and just barely work to transit the tunnel part. The OHE dual modes are much more capable units specially in the electric mode.

Notwithstanding all that, the choice of equipment would be different if you were going to spring for catenary dual mode anyway to handle south of Washington DC and Springgfield Line and the like off electrification extensions of runs from the electrified spine. If you were going to get those anyway, it would not make sense to also get third rail single mission units. That was my point.

The third rail and the catenary extends to about the same point outside the Empire Connection tunnels.

As an aside, remember that until the ALP45DPs came about most did not believe that a diesel + 25kV catenary dual mode was technically possible. I remember spending hours explaining to highly opinionated people who knew little of Physics or Electrical Engineering but were sure that it could not be done, as to what exact piece of technology had just then become available which made it feasible. When the P32s came in that technology was not quite there yet, at least not in a form and weight factor that made them usable in a locomotive. Anyhow, these geniuses thought I had grown two heads or something and never believed a word that I said, and were totally floored when the first ALP45DP arrived and actually worked. Then they spent the next few years arguing fervently about the impossibility of dual mode HV AC catenary EDMUs, until they were proved wrong again. It was at least entertaining to watch.
 

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It was much easier to build a third rail + diesel dual mode than a 12.5kV catenary AC + diesel dual mode. The locomotives for use on the Empire Corridor are single mission units hence third rail was fine. It was especially easier when the engine did not have to perform too well in the third rail mode and just barely work to transit the tunnel part. The OHE dual modes are much more capable units specially in the electric mode.

Notwithstanding all that, the choice of equipment would be different if you were going to spring for catenary dual mode anyway to handle south of Washington DC and Springgfield Line and the like off electrification extensions of runs from the electrified spine. If you were going to get those anyway, it would not make sense to also get third rail single mission units. That was my point.

The third rail and the catenary extends to about the same point outside the Empire Connection tunnels.

As an aside, remember that until the ALP45DPs came about most did not believe that a diesel + 25kV catenary dual mode was technically possible. I remember spending hours explaining to highly opinionated people who knew little of Physics or Electrical Engineering but were sure that it could not be done, as to what exact piece of technology had just then become available which made it feasible. When the P32s came in that technology was not quite there yet, at least not in a form and weight factor that made them usable in a locomotive. Anyhow, these geniuses thought I had grown two heads or something and never believed a word that I said, and were totally floored when the first ALP45DP arrived and actually worked. Then they spent the next few years arguing fervently about the impossibility of dual mode HV AC catenary EDMUs, until they were proved wrong again. It was at least entertaining to watch.
Thanks for all the extra details. I knew how far the catenary went, but thought the third rail went to the junction with the GCT lines (at Croton-Harmon?). My question was how far outside downtown NYC trains were legally required to operate on electric? Would simply to end of the tunnel suffice?

I have been a "student" of the Penn Station reroute for many years through the studies, construction and eventual move of services to the west side connection and have traversed both routes many times. There was even a video shot from the cab of an FL9 when the new route opened, showing most of tunnel. One of my favorite subjects.

If cost were no object, installing catenary all the way to Albany would be ideal.
 

jis

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Thanks for all the extra details. I knew how far the catenary went, but thought the third rail went to the junction with the GCT lines (at Croton-Harmon?). My question was how far outside downtown NYC trains were legally required to operate on electric? Would simply to end of the tunnel suffice?
As far as NY Penn Station is concerned, there is no statutary "legal" requirement. There is a railroad regulation restriction regarding operating within Penn Station and in the river tunnels, which can be excepted by permission of the district supervisor. Trains powered by pure diesel engines have operated in and out of Penn Station on many occasions.

The third rail system used in Penn Station (over-running) is different from that used by MNRR (under-running). They are in general incompatible unless the engine is equipped with special equipment to operate on both, and most engines currently are not equipped thusly.

Empire Service trains basically go diesel mode as soon as they exit the Empire Connection Tunnel. They do not use electric mode on MNRR.
I have been a "student" of the Penn Station reroute for many years through the studies, construction and eventual move of services to the west side connection and have traversed both routes many times. There was even a video shot from the cab of an FL9 when the new route opened, showing most of tunnel. One of my favorite subjects.
The various tunnels between Spuyten Duyvil and CP Empire (just outside the Empire Connection Tunnels) are all adequately vented for diesel operation through them as a standard operating mode without requiring any special dispensation from anyone.

The mode change takes place in normal operations between CP Empire and the Empire Connection Tunnel portal. Everything north fo CP Empire is diesel.
If cost were no object, installing catenary all the way to Albany would be ideal.
Yes, specially considering that there already exists equipment capable of operating on MNRR third rail and catenary electrification. At that point there would be little justification in maintaining the third rail system north of Spuyten Duyvil once enough dual electric mode EMUs are acquired.
 

rickycourtney

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As an aside, remember that until the ALP45DPs came about most did not believe that a diesel + 25kV catenary dual mode was technically possible. I remember spending hours explaining to highly opinionated people who knew little of Physics or Electrical Engineering but were sure that it could not be done, as to what exact piece of technology had just then become available which made it feasible. When the P32s came in that technology was not quite there yet, at least not in a form and weight factor that made them usable in a locomotive. Anyhow, these geniuses thought I had grown two heads or something and never believed a word that I said, and were totally floored when the first ALP45DP arrived and actually worked. Then they spent the next few years arguing fervently about the impossibility of dual mode HV AC catenary EDMUs, until they were proved wrong again. It was at least entertaining to watch.
What is the general impression of the ALP45DP units? I guess NJT gave them the biggest compliment you can... they bought a second order.

If Amtrak goes with the Siemens Venture trainsets, dual-mode locomotives could be great on the short-haul corridors that use the NEC. I'm thinking of trains like the Carolinian, the Vermonter, and the Virginia services... basically anything that spends a good portion of its trip under wire.

That would eliminate the (time-consuming?) locomotive changes at Washington, DC or New Haven.
 

jis

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I suspect if Amtrak goes for a dual mode it will most likely be a Siemens Vectron derived one with huge parts commonality with ALC-42s, SC-44s and ACS-64s. I would be very surprised if they consider an ALP45DP, since you have the additional headache of maintaining two diesel motors instead of one, assuming of course that Siemens comes up with a single engine dual mode with adequate power.
 

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I suspect if Amtrak goes for a dual mode it will most likely be a Siemens Vectron derived one with huge parts commonality with ALC-42s, SC-44s and ACS-64s. I would be very surprised if they consider an ALP45DP, since you have the additional headache of maintaining two diesel motors instead of one, assuming of course that Siemens comes up with a single engine dual mode with adequate power.
Yeah, I should have been more clear about that... I was talking about the ALP45DP as a stand-in for a generic dual-power locomotive.

I also agree that a Siemens Vectron derived dual-power locomotive... with the same Cummins QSK95 prime mover from the Charger... and the electric systems from the ACS-64... would be a great option.
 
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PVD

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Not close to what would be required for corridor service. I'm sure Siemens could produce what is needed, but that set of specs -max speed insufficient, fuel load not even close, no HEP sure won't cut it.
 

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Yeah, I would expect that it would be based on the Vectron, but would be closer in specs to the Charger.

Similar to how the ALP-45DP is based on the Bombardier TRAXX, but with different specs for the North American market.
 

jis

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I would imagine that in order to make space to fit all the necessary pieces of equipment, the dual mode would have to be significantly longer than the Charger. At least lengthened by the amount needed to fit an under floors HV transformer in addition to the heftier fuel tank as in the ALC-42. That will then require additional work to figure out the new vibration modes and damp them etc. to get the thing certified for 125mph, and also figure out how to keep it within acceptable axle load.

It becomes easier to do all that if one went Co-Co, but the US is allergic to 100mph or 125mph Co-Co locomotives, apparently because one Co-Co model with what turned out to be an off balance Steam Boiler kept derailing.
 

jiml

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I would imagine that in order to make space to fit all the necessary pieces of equipment, the dual mode would have to be significantly longer than the Charger. At least lengthened by the amount needed to fit an under floors HV transformer in addition to the heftier fuel tank as in the ALC-42. That will then require additional work to figure out the new vibration modes and damp them etc. to get the thing certified for 125mph, and also figure out how to keep it within acceptable axle load.

It becomes easier to do all that if one went Co-Co, but the US is allergic to 100mph or 125mph Co-Co locomotives, apparently because one Co-Co model with what turned out to be an off balance Steam Boiler kept derailing.
If one looks at how the FL9 came to market, it's interesting to watch history repeat itself right down to the longer chassis and change of rear trucks. Not exactly the same situation, but similar requirements.
 

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The FL-9 would be considered too slow and very underpowered for today's corridor, as well as being 3rd rail not cat.
 

jiml

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The FL-9 would be considered too slow and very underpowered for today's corridor, as well as being 3rd rail not cat.
I wasn't advocating for FL9's, rather stating the criteria that brought them about is similar to what @jis described. They had a locomotive, but it needed dual-mode capability and head-end power. That required a longer locomotive and a 6-wheel rear truck. I found it remarkable that he's suggested that modifying a current locomotive model to meet much the same requirements could require both of the above.
 

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I mean, the specs on the ALP-45DP are very impressive...

It's 72 feet long, weighs 288,000 pounds, tops out at 125 mph in electric mode with 6,700 horsepower, and makes 100 mph in diesel mode with 4,200 horsepower. It comes with a 1,600 or 1,800-gallon fuel tank. Oh, and it's a four-axle unit.

New Jersey Transit told Bombardier that they could make it up to 75 feet long, so they actually had three extra feet to work with.

For comparison, the Charger is 71.5 feet long, weighs 264,556 pounds, tops out at 125 mph with 4,000, 4,200, or 4,400 horsepower. It comes with a 1,800 or 2,200-gallon fuel tank.

So all that to say... it is possible to pack all the necessary equipment into a similar length locomotive.
 

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After reading the last couple of threads, the consensus is that Amtrak will order the same Siemens coaches the midwest and Califfornia ordered in the name of simplicity and go with a dual mode locomotive to handle near NEC duties. So it will be a battle of dual modes locomotives and not EMU/DMU sets. Problem is there is no RFP for such a locomotive. From an operations standpoint it would simplify things a lot if Amtrak could make this work.
 

jis

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I mean, the specs on the ALP-45DP are very impressive...

It's 72 feet long, weighs 288,000 pounds, tops out at 125 mph in electric mode with 6,700 horsepower, and makes 100 mph in diesel mode with 4,200 horsepower. It comes with a 1,600 or 1,800-gallon fuel tank. Oh, and it's a four-axle unit.

New Jersey Transit told Bombardier that they could make it up to 75 feet long, so they actually had three extra feet to work with.

For comparison, the Charger is 71.5 feet long, weighs 264,556 pounds, tops out at 125 mph with 4,000, 4,200, or 4,400 horsepower. It comes with a 1,800 or 2,200-gallon fuel tank.

So all that to say... it is possible to pack all the necessary equipment into a similar length locomotive.
One major problem with the 45s is that they are a huge maintenance headache and they have never achieved any MTBF numbers that anyone considers to be world class. NJT has infinite capital money that they seem not to know what to do with, other than convert some to expense to cover operating shortfalls each year, so they can keep sinking more and more money into them.

Fortunately they are finally eating a little bit of crow and ordering the Multi-level Power Cars to combine with the MLV trailers to form EMU sets. This is a huge reversal from a company which foolishly had forsworn ever using EMUs again and crawled in with all four paws onto the push/pull band wagon, a railroad that on some of their lines have stations less than a mile apart. Part of the problem in this country may be that some transit agencies are their own worst enemies, guided by almost religious beliefs instead of any reasonable engineering analysis to arrive at decisions of what they do.

There is a reason that Montreal has pretty much decided to decommission their 45s after using them for a while as pure diesel units (in practice they are not very reliable diesel units either), and no one else has ever ordered one of those. The only additional order has been from NJT.

After reading the last couple of threads, the consensus is that Amtrak will order the same Siemens coaches the midwest and Califfornia ordered in the name of simplicity and go with a dual mode locomotive to handle near NEC duties. So it will be a battle of dual modes locomotives and not EMU/DMU sets. Problem is there is no RFP for such a locomotive. From an operations standpoint it would simplify things a lot if Amtrak could make this work.
There are potentially three customers of a dual mode of any sort.:

1. MNRR: They need a third rail dual mode. They are not particularly interested in catenary dual modes because Grand Central will never get catenary, and that is what they need to access mainly for their outer zone push/pulls. Those are not hard to build and they have been working diligently on such a thing.

2. LIRR: They would like a dual mode too for their outer zone push/pulls to access NY Penn Station. They can live with third rail dual modes, and will probably just do an add-on order with MNRR, whatever they get.

3. Amtrak: For NY State service, funded by NY State they can live with third rail dual mode, and there is an argument to be made in favor of such since it leaves open the possibility of doing emergency diversions to Grand Central, which becomes impossible with centenary dual mode, unless they happen to be triple mode with both catenary and third rail capabilities. Extra cost, extra complexity, extra weight.

As has been mentioned in this thread, Amtrak could use a catenary dual mode for its non-electrified service extensions from the electrified NEC spine, within reason. But I suspect Amtrak will have to bear the entire cost for the development of such a beast, since MTA will most likely not bother with it, and NY State may chose not to partake either. On the brighter side, in a rational world it could be a joint project funded by Amtrak, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
 
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joelkfla

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3. Amtrak: For NY State service, funded by NY State they can live with third rail dual mode, and there is an argument to be made in favor of such since it leaves open the possibility of doing emergency diversions to Grand Central, which becomes impossible with centenary dual mode, unless they happen to be triple mode with both catenary and third rail capabilities. Extra cost, extra complexity, extra weight.
I know nothing about this, but I think someone said earlier that the 3rd rail into Penn is not compatible with the 3rd rail into GC. Overrunning as opposed to underrunning, IIRC.
 

jis

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I know nothing about this, but I think someone said earlier that the 3rd rail into Penn is not compatible with the 3rd rail into GC. Overrunning as opposed to underrunning, IIRC.
I said that. But I am not sure what has that got to do with anything. Changing out third rail shoes or even installing a third rail shoe that works for both is quite possible and is not complicated. I don;t think that is a major issue. But you have to plan for it and equip the engines/cars accordingly.
 

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I found this nugget buried in the September 2020 minutes of the Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee...
In April it was agreed that developing a TSSSA (Technical Support and Spares Supply Agreement) template/menu of potential options would be undertaken by the Technical subcommittee.
As expressed by Chairman Hessinger, the intent is to have an “a la carte” menu of options when considering a TSSSA as a part of the procurement process.
Once the DRAFT is prepared, it will be provided to Tammy Krause to get it ready to be included as an NGEC document for Technical subcommittee approval and, ultimately for Executive Board review and approval.
As of 9-17-20 - progress had slowed due to the many changes that have taken place at Amtrak. On 9-17-20, new Technical subcommittee Chair, George Hull told the Technical subcommittee that there were no updates on the progress of this activity at this time as “things are just getting settled here at Amtrak” with all the changes that have occurred.

So we know, by Amtrak's own statements that a TSSSA will be part of this equipment order, and now we know that the part of Amtrak concerned with TSSSA's has been subject to many changes. As background, George Hull is Amtrak's Deputy Chief Mechanical Officer. Provides a little bit of background on why this order seems very delayed.

Later in the minutes, they go on to say that the Intercity Passenger Car procurement remains in the “cone of silence”. (The minutes have said this same thing for months.)
 
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NSC1109

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I found this nugget buried in the September 2020 minutes of the Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee...
In April it was agreed that developing a TSSSA (Technical Support and Spares Supply Agreement) template/menu of potential options would be undertaken by the Technical subcommittee.
As expressed by Chairman Hessinger, the intent is to have an “a la carte” menu of options when considering a TSSSA as a part of the procurement process.
Once the DRAFT is prepared, it will be provided to Tammy Krause to get it ready to be included as an NGEC document for Technical subcommittee approval and, ultimately for Executive Board review and approval.
As of 9-17-20 - progress had slowed due to the many changes that have taken place at Amtrak. On 9-17-20, new Technical subcommittee Chair, George Hull told the Technical subcommittee that there were no updates on the progress of this activity at this time as “things are just getting settled here at Amtrak” with all the changes that have occurred.

So we know, by Amtrak's own statements that a TSSSA will be part of this equipment order, and now we know that the part of Amtrak concerned with TSSSA's has been subject to many changes. As background, George Hull is Amtrak's Deputy Chief Mechanical Officer. Provides a little bit of background on why this order seems very delayed.

Later in the minutes, they go on to say that the Intercity Passenger Car procurement remains in the “cone of silence”. (The minutes have said this same thing for months.)
Cone of Silence is a supply chain thing. The procurement folks are doing their thing, and they are sequestered from speaking to anyone outside their department about the procurement process and who the selectee is. It’s a normal thing.
 

jis

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Cone of Silence is a supply chain thing. The procurement folks are doing their thing, and they are sequestered from speaking to anyone outside their department about the procurement process and who the selectee is. It’s a normal thing.
Indeed! The Cone of Silence will remain in place until an order is placed or the process is otherwise discontinued. Even after that the information released will be subject to agreed upon restrictions in case of an order or the agreement on the handling of residual information in case of discontinuance. Pretty standard stuff. One never gets all the information unless one is deeply involved in the process of negotiations.
 
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rickycourtney

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What was news to me is that “many changes that have taken place at Amtrak” so much so that no progress was made on looking at TSSSA’s and that by September “things are just getting settled at Amtrak.”
 
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