RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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jis

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That's pretty much the British pattern with MU trainsets.
Indeed! Even up in the remote West Highland Line at Crianlarich the train splits into two one going to Oban and the other to Fort William/Mallaig. No one has to jump off the train to do the splitting/joining, thanks to the Scharfenberg or similar coupler. It is all done with a simple push of a button.
 

jiml

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Indeed! Even up in the remote West Highland Line at Crianlarich the train splits into two one going to Oban and the other to Fort William/Mallaig. No one has to jump off the train to do the splitting/joining, thanks to the Scharfenberg or similar coupler. It is all done with a simple push of a button.
Exactly! All over - the trains leave London (or Manchester occasionally) paired and split enroute. It doesn't seem to be limited to a particular make or model either. They do it with Hitachis, Stadlers and Bombardiers of all types - diesel, electric, both. Where I can see this being a problem for Amtrak is that each section will have a cafe (when food service is offered) and that's double the staff.
 

Steve4031

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Exactly! All over - the trains leave London (or Manchester occasionally) paired and split enroute. It doesn't seem to be limited to a particular make or model either. They do it with Hitachis, Stadlers and Bombardiers of all types - diesel, electric, both. Where I can see this being a problem for Amtrak is that each section will have a cafe (when food service is offered) and that's double the staff.
This would be the case in France with two TGV trains operating together. There is no way to pass between the two trains. Not sure how it would work with these trains. But if ridership is higher because there is more options, than it would not be a problem to have two snack cars.
 

west point

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Rode a French TGV that was 2 train sets. Had to switch train set at split location due to over sales. Food service car fully staffed on both train sets.
 

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I'm not a fan of any sort of DMU/EMU or non conventional train. I still think the RailJet is the far superior high speed train for Amtrak to buy. It's semi permanently coupled meaning you can add cars for higher demand. As well as still change the locomotive. What would make more sense for those Virginia trains would be to get a few duel mode locomotives.
 

jis

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What would make more sense for those Virginia trains would be to get a few duel mode locomotives.
What kind of Pistols will the "duel" modes carry? 🤪

Speaking of fast attach/detach, when I traveled to Akita by Shinkansen, the train started from Tokyo Central with two sets coupled together. At Morioka, the rear unit got dropped off, and the front unit continued on to Akita. The separation took less than a minute.

On the way back, the Akita section crawled up to the Morioka section and tapped onto it, again less than a minute, and then after the brief station stop, o0ff they went at full speed to Tokyo.
 

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Speaking of fast attach/detach, when I traveled to Akita by Shinkansen, the train started from Tokyo Central with two sets coupled together. At Morioka, the rear unit got dropped off, and the front unit continued on to Akita. The separation took less than a minute.

On the way back, the Akita section crawled up to the Morioka section and tapped onto it, again less than a minute, and then after the brief station stop, o0ff they went at full speed to Tokyo.
I witnessed a similar situation on the TGV.

The high-speed lines are congested... so two trains heading in similar directions are coupled together to use one track "slot."

Two westbound trains from Strasbourg pulled into Champagne-Ardenne station coupled together. Right after the doors closed... the train to Paris pulled away from the other immediately. About 60 seconds later (enough time to properly space the trains out) the train to Lyon/Disneyland Paris departed.

Now, in fairness, the process is made much easier because the European passenger railroads use scharfenberg couplers that connect brake and electric lines automatically. Switching to something similar could drastically improve locomotive change times... but Amtrak would lose the ability to call a freight locomotive to the rescue... which they seem to do once a day. :)
 
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Mailliw

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Regardless of the advantages MUs have I predict Amtrak will stick with locomotive hauled coaches.
 

jiml

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VIA runs (pre-Covid) trains that are nicknamed "J-trains", consisting of a train to Ottawa and a train to Montreal coupled out of Toronto to Brockville, ON, where they are separated to continue to their destinations. Very practical. Food service on both throughout the trip.

 

Gemuser

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Now, in fairness, the process is made much easier because the European passenger railroads use scharfenberg couplers that connect brake and electric lines automatically. Switching to something similar could drastically improve locomotive change times... but Amtrak would lose the ability to call a freight locomotive to the rescue... which they seem to do once a day. :)
This is not really a problem. Just equip every unit with a transation coupler that allows the unit to couple to a standard coupler.

Gemuser
 

Mailliw

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OBB Railjet uses Siemens Viaggio coaches and they can still couple 2 trainsets together for part of the route.
 

Andrew

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If Amtrak does, in fact, choose Stadler FLIRT trains for the new Amfleets, would one power-packed vehicle carry enough diesel fuel to be able to travel off the NEC?
 

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If Amtrak does, in fact, choose Stadler FLIRT trains for the new Amfleets, would one power-packed vehicle carry enough diesel fuel to be able to travel off the NEC?
The short answer is yes. They would be suitable for the short runs into Virginia, etc., off the NEC. They've also recently introduced a hybrid model, which runs somewhat like a hybrid car, with diesel engines charging batteries for use in areas where diesel might be restricted. There is also now a hydrogen model, recently sold to a commuter agency in California.


Whether Amtrak would actually consider any of them has been debated here several times.
 

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While Stadler's current offerings run heavely to EMU/DMU trains they have a section on their web site that says they will build any "cumstomised' train carrage you want. Obversiously the kicker here is the price, custom anything tends to be more expensive.

Of Stadler's normal product line the very multi capable FLIRT series would seem to suit at least some of Amtrak's requirement. With a seperate "power" carrage within the train they can offer O/H electric AC 25KV/50/60 Hz, 15k/11kV 16.66 Hz, DC 3,000/1,500V, third rail DC electric from 500 to 1200V [minimum] desiel and multi mode electric/desial. I don't know the maximum power of the desiel engines they can take.

I could see FLIRTS handling the Empire corridor with ease [& even through running with LIRR, if that actually happens as both under & over running third rail shoes could be fitted to the power module] as well as most of the NEC to unelectrified duties.

Slightly off topic: I recently saw a video on the "River Line" in NJ. That certainly look like a straight desiel FLIR, was it?
The short answer is yes. They would be suitable for the short runs into Virginia, etc., off the NEC. They've also recently introduced a hybrid model, which runs somewhat like a hybrid car, with diesel engines charging batteries for use in areas where diesel might be restricted. There is also now a hydrogen model, recently sold to a commuter agency in California.


Whether Amtrak would actually consider any of them has been debated here several times.
Virginia's governor today gave a press conference about expanding Amtrak service into his state. I wonder if operating more trains would encourage Amtrak to operate lighter trainsets instead of heavy, locomotive-hauled trains.
 

jiml

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Virginia's governor today gave a press conference about expanding Amtrak service into his state. I wonder if operating more trains would encourage Amtrak to operate lighter trainsets instead of heavy, locomotive-hauled trains.
The question that remains is whether Amtrak wants two NE fleets in addition to the next-gen Acelas. The FLIRT sets would be fine replacements for Amfleet NE Regional trains operating in the NEC, Keystone corridor and possibly into Virginia. However, I don't see them running in the Empire corridor west of Albany, sharing tracks with freight trains, nor on the Pennsylvanian for that matter. If they're going to pick one style it's going to be "heavy, locomotive-hauled trains". (As has been mentioned before as well, New York will buy what New York wants for the Empire Corridor.)
 

jis

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Yeah, I think they will possibly take the Brightline approach with locomotives top and tail, which has so far served Brightline well in numerous grade crossing altercations. And also they operate mixed with fast freights, mostly intermodals.
 

Andrew

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The question that remains is whether Amtrak wants two NE fleets in addition to the next-gen Acelas. The FLIRT sets would be fine replacements for Amfleet NE Regional trains operating in the NEC, Keystone corridor and possibly into Virginia. However, I don't see them running in the Empire corridor west of Albany, sharing tracks with freight trains, nor on the Pennsylvanian for that matter. If they're going to pick one style it's going to be "heavy, locomotive-hauled trains". (As has been mentioned before as well, New York will buy what New York wants for the Empire Corridor.)
I think Amtrak should consider ordering Venture Coaches for all trains--but order Stadler FLIRTs for the Northeast Regional and New Haven shuttle trains. I just think that Amtrak might be better off operating 3 fleets: the new Acelas, locomotive-hauled trains with venture coaches, and FLIRT trains that come in bi-mode and DMU form.

Yeah, I think they will possibly take the Brightline approach with locomotives top and tail, which has so far served Brightline well in numerous grade crossing altercations. And also they operate mixed with fast freights, mostly intermodals.
Are you implying Amtrak operating Regional trains with both a Sprinter and Charger locomotive? I think that this would increase wear and tear on the tracks.
 

Andrew

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I'm not a fan of any sort of DMU/EMU or non conventional train. I still think the RailJet is the far superior high speed train for Amtrak to buy. It's semi permanently coupled meaning you can add cars for higher demand. As well as still change the locomotive. What would make more sense for those Virginia trains would be to get a few duel mode locomotives.
The question that remains is whether Amtrak wants two NE fleets in addition to the next-gen Acelas. The FLIRT sets would be fine replacements for Amfleet NE Regional trains operating in the NEC, Keystone corridor and possibly into Virginia. However, I don't see them running in the Empire corridor west of Albany, sharing tracks with freight trains, nor on the Pennsylvanian for that matter. If they're going to pick one style it's going to be "heavy, locomotive-hauled trains". (As has been mentioned before as well, New York will buy what New York wants for the Empire Corridor.)
I wonder if Amtrak orders Venture Coach or Stadler trainsets if these new trains would or would not have Cafe Cars? For example, most Regional trains currently have eight coaches which include one Cafe Car. But, perhaps future trainsets would only have seven coaches--without a Cafe Car?
 

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Wasn't Amtrak experimenting with a sort of a self serve food option?

PreCovid the Regionals were 8 cars, yet I remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s there were 10 car consists? Is this Amtrak's way of bumping up yields?
 

jis

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Wasn't Amtrak experimenting with a sort of a self serve food option?

PreCovid the Regionals were 8 cars, yet I remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s there were 10 car consists? Is this Amtrak's way of bumping up yields?
During the Gunn years Regionals were four and five cars, while the rest of the fleet was parked in Wilmington and Bear awaiting funds for POH to put them back in service.

Regionals have seldom in the last thirty or so years, had a consistent ten car consist. There have been exceptional situation like Thanksgiving and such when select ones have had ten cars. The standard Regional consist has been eight cars for quite a while now.

Regionals have always had self serve food service as in the Cafe car. It is not an experiment. It is the standard that has been in place on the NEC for a long time. Acelas have the same except in First Class.
 

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Siemens has an example layout of a half cafe car/half economy coach on their website; I could see Amtrak going with that setup, at least for the NE Regionals. The Avelia Liberty trainsets have take-out only cafe cars w/o seating.
 
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sttom

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What is it with people here wanting to actively make Amtrak worse? Leave that to management.
 
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