RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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frequentflyer

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There always seem to be a lot of interest in Stadler obtaining various Amtrak contracts. I suppose they would be more competent than CAF, but are they some kind of supersensational builder? What's their claim to fame? Or is somebody here a big investor in Stadler?

Stadler is big into DMUs and EMUs have a good reputation with their popular KISS product. At the time CEO Anderson made noises about EMU/DMUs for the NEC and that is Stadler's strong point. So its makes sense that they be in the conversation.
 

Andrew

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Stadler is big into DMUs and EMUs have a good reputation with their popular KISS product. At the time CEO Anderson made noises about EMU/DMUs for the NEC and that is Stadler's strong point. So its makes sense that they be in the conversation.

I wonder if Amtrak should have picked Stadler FLIRTS for new NEC trainsets?
 

frequentflyer

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I wonder if Amtrak should have picked Stadler FLIRTS for new NEC trainsets?

The advantage of Siemens is uniformed fleet with the states which should lead to a cheaper mx contract. Would not surprise me that Amtrak got a better per unit deal than the states since it was on the tail end of their contract and larger in numbers.. Siemens is selling products already in service somewhere in the world, even the dual mode locomotive will have been in service for years in Germany before Amtrak gets their first one. Off the shelf products means lower prices.

Stadler would have made a KISS like train, similar to what they are using in the UK, widened it, and engineered it to meet FRA regs. Most likely higher price than Siemens, and Amtrak was probably more comfortable with Siemens "train sets" concept compared to the mid power car used in Stadler KISS sets.
 

Andrew

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The advantage of Siemens is uniformed fleet with the states which should lead to a cheaper mx contract. Would not surprise me that Amtrak got a better per unit deal than the states since it was on the tail end of their contract and larger in numbers.. Siemens is selling products already in service somewhere in the world, even the dual mode locomotive will have been in service for years in Germany before Amtrak gets their first one. Off the shelf products means lower prices.

Stadler would have made a KISS like train, similar to what they are using in the UK, widened it, and engineered it to meet FRA regs. Most likely higher price than Siemens, and Amtrak was probably more comfortable with Siemens "train sets" concept compared to the mid power car used in Stadler KISS sets.

Very interesting but I thought that the KISS train was double decker and that Amtrak wanted single level trains.
 

tbk

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Stadler would have made a KISS like train, similar to what they are using in the UK, widened it, and engineered it to meet FRA regs. Most likely higher price than Siemens, and Amtrak was probably more comfortable with Siemens "train sets" concept compared to the mid power car used in Stadler KISS sets.

In UK Stadler has a FLIRT variant. The KISS is double deck.
The SMILE (Giruno) is not much different: Articulated throughout but multi-system, 250 km/h, currently used in German/Swiss/Italian international trains. For a dual power version they could insert a genset section as they did in some versions of the FLIRT.

However you build it, a dual power train is complex and has a lot of dead weight that could be used to provide space for more paying passengers. So replacing purely electric trains on purely electric lines by dual power trains still doesn't make much sense to me. It can only be explained by a desire to expand the network without having to electrify more (because new electrification is more costly and involves more lengthy bureaucracy than buying highly sophisticated trains).
 

frequentflyer

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In UK Stadler has a FLIRT variant. The KISS is double deck.
The SMILE (Giruno) is not much different: Articulated throughout but multi-system, 250 km/h, currently used in German/Swiss/Italian international trains. For a dual power version they could insert a genset section as they did in some versions of the FLIRT.

However you build it, a dual power train is complex and has a lot of dead weight that could be used to provide space for more paying passengers. So replacing purely electric trains on purely electric lines by dual power trains still doesn't make much sense to me. It can only be explained by a desire to expand the network without having to electrify more (because new electrification is more costly and involves more lengthy bureaucracy than buying highly sophisticated trains).

Thank you for the correction, it is the FLIRT that Stadler would have most likely used for Amtrak. KISS is what I think Caltrans will be using.
 

jis

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It is pretty obvious from the structure of the trains that Amtrak has ordered that they were not quite ready to go all the way to the FLIRT/KISS architecture yet in spite of all of Anderson's huffing and puffing. They basically chose the Railjet architecture exclusively. They do not lose an entire train set just because a power head failed. They can easily substitute a power head and carry on.
 
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Can anyone explain why the required car floor height is 51" and the platform height is 48"? Since there will be gap fillers I assume the difference is no way related to portable ADA ramp design. Is it weather related (i.e., rain will not enter) or something else? 3 inches seems a little much and a possible tripping hazard. Why not both at 48" or 51"?

Found some more related information from the California HSR project concerning platform design:
So again, why the 51"???
 

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It is pretty obvious from the structure of the trains that Amtrak has ordered that they were not quite ready to go all the way to the FLIRT/KISS architecture yet in spite of all of Anderson's huffing and puffing. They basically chose the Railjet architecture exclusively. They do not lose an entire train set just because a power head failed. They can easily substitute a power head and carry on.

Right, but has Amtrak officially ordered new dual-powered Charger locomotives or just the new Venture coaches?
 

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I might have missed it somewhere, are the plans to have a dual mode locomotive on each end, or a single locomotive on one end and a cab car on the other? With HEP etc would a single dual mode locomotive have enough power and acceleration and range (diesel mode) to efficiently operate in both diesel and electric configuration?

My limited understanding of dual modes are they usually sacrifice a significant amount of power via a smaller prime mover or such trying to be a “jack of all trades”.
 

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I might have missed it somewhere, are the plans to have a dual mode locomotive on each end, or a single locomotive on one end and a cab car on the other?
Single locomotive at one end, cab car at the other end.
With HEP etc would a single dual mode locomotive have enough power and acceleration and range (diesel mode) to efficiently operate in both diesel and electric configuration?
It will have more than enough power to operate a seven car train. NJT operates 8-9 multi-level car trains with a single dual mode ALP45 regularly.
My limited understanding of dual modes are they usually sacrifice a significant amount of power via a smaller prime mover or such trying to be a “jack of all trades”.
Dual modes these days usually have 3,600HP or more in diesel mode, close to 3,000HP at rail with HEP load for 7-8 car train. This is for the what is now the previous generation as found in the NJT ALP45DPs. These are a decade later so are likely to have better performance.
 
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Andrew

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Single locomotive at one end, cab car at the other end.

It will have more than enough power to operate a seven car train. NJT operates 8-9 multi-level car trains with a single dual mode ALP45 regularly.

Dual modes these days usually have 3,600HP or more in diesel mode, close to 3,000HP at rail with HEP load for 7-8 car train. This is for the what is now the previous generation as fund in the NJT ALP45DPs. These are a decade later so are likely to have better performance.

Will all new NEC trainsets have 7 cars?
 

Andrew

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Single locomotive at one end, cab car at the other end.

It will have more than enough power to operate a seven car train. NJT operates 8-9 multi-level car trains with a single dual mode ALP45 regularly.

Dual modes these days usually have 3,600HP or more in diesel mode, close to 3,000HP at rail with HEP load for 7-8 car train. This is for the what is now the previous generation as found in the NJT ALP45DPs. These are a decade later so are likely to have better performance.
Will all new NEC trainsets have 7 cars?

I wonder if Anderson was still running Amtrak if they would have chosen Stadler trains for the NEC instead of Venture Coaches made by Siemens.

It is my understanding that Anderson liked Stadler a lot as a manufacturer.

Also, could a dual-mode Charger locomotive have the same horsepower in electric mode as a Sprinter?
 

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It seems like the Charger bogies are not much different from those of the ACS64. So they could also install the more powerful traction motors. By the concept leaked so far it looks like the transformer will go into the next car, perhaps part of the power electronics too (what's needed for regenerative braking). You just need to split up the electronics at the right point to have an easy power connection and use the locomotive's inverters in diesel mode as well. Since a charger is single cab there is a bit more space in the body as well.
 

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It seems like the Charger bogies are not much different from those of the ACS64. So they could also install the more powerful traction motors. By the concept leaked so far it looks like the transformer will go into the next car, perhaps part of the power electronics too (what's needed for regenerative braking). You just need to split up the electronics at the right point to have an easy power connection and use the locomotive's inverters in diesel mode as well. Since a charger is single cab there is a bit more space in the body as well.
We can imagine all sorts of fun stuff, but there is no power equipment that will go in the adjacent car because the adjacent car is connected to the power head by a standard Type H coupler and standard trainline control, brake lines and HEP cables and nothing else. Essentially the articulated sets can be powered by almost any existing or future locomotives with standard connectors. If a power head fails it would be substitutable by another power head or locomotive pretty seamlessly. What we are getting is an exact American version of the Austrian RailJet. Nothing fancier or more complicated than that.

Oh and yes the Charger and Sprinters share a lot of common electronics and electrical parts including most of the truck.
 
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Mailliw

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I found this video on YouTube. It gives a preliminary trainset breakdown breakdown by route, but only by regular car vs cab car (no info on cafe cars). There's a chart near the end.
 

jis

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I found this video on YouTube. It gives a preliminary trainset breakdown breakdown by route, but only by regular car vs cab car (no info on cafe cars). There's a chart near the end.
Good stuff! Very few surprises. The consists and numbers are consistent with a single slide copy I had posted in this thread a while back. The biggest surprise is the complete replacement of of the ACS64s. I wonder who is going to buy that many ACS64s, what with most electric operators moving towards EMUs. I suppose MBTA might be a target, as well as MARC. Who knows? Maybe Siemens can palm some off somewhere in Europe.
 
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Good stuff! Very few surprises. The consists and numbers are consistent with a single slide copy I had posted in this thread a while back. The biggest surprise is the complete replacement of of the ACS64s. I wonder who is going to buy that many ACS64s, what with most electric operators moving towards EMUs. I suppose MBTA might be a target, as well as MARC. Who knows? Maybe Siemens can palm some off somewhere in Europe.

I had mentioned the likelihood of the MBTA acquiring a few ACS-64’s to compliment their possible EMU’s from Stadler.

especially since they’ve purchased a lot of double decker rolling stock recently, it won’t make sense to retire all of it, for the sake of new stuff from Stadler, and the ACS’s will really shine here!

in addition to the MBTA, I’m sure all of the commuter railroads on the NEC may have interest.

personally, I think it’s short sighted of Amtrak to get rid of them, and wonder what factors went in to the decision.
 

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in addition to the MBTA, I’m sure all of the commuter railroads on the NEC may have interest.
I am almost certain that NJTransit will have absolutely no interest. SEPTA might have limited interest but they lean towards EMUs. MARC is the only one that stands out. And MNRR might want a few to run push pulls to Penn Station from the New Haven Line.

I wonder what is the state of negotiations between MNRR and Siemens regarding their dual or triple or quadruple modes.
 

frequentflyer

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Good stuff! Very few surprises. The consists and numbers are consistent with a single slide copy I had posted in this thread a while back. The biggest surprise is the complete replacement of of the ACS64s. I wonder who is going to buy that many ACS64s, what with most electric operators moving towards EMUs. I suppose MBTA might be a target, as well as MARC. Who knows? Maybe Siemens can palm some off somewhere in Europe.

I bet Siemens take a few as trade ins, like EMD did with the SDP40s. The ASC64s are Vectrons in a pretty body. Pretty sure they could be off loaded to someone around the world.
 

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Found some more related information from the California HSR project concerning platform design:
So again, why the 51"???
A better question would be the "why the 48 inches?" 51 inches has been a standard North American car floor height for a long time. I would suspect the answer is history. The 48 inch elevation long predates the ADA requirement in the CFR. There has been the long time thought, for no real reason I can see, that the platform should never be higher than the car floor, and there should be some allowance for spring compression, wheel wear, etc. 51 inches does not mean 51.0000 inches. It can vary up slightly due to car sway or off level standing, and vary down an inch or more due to wheel wear, rail wear, and sway and off level in the other direction. The reality is that if the track is on ballast, over time leveling and lining will usually result in an upward creep in track level due to addition of ballast, or relay with heavier rail. The horizontal gap to train in NEC high platforms is likewise due to history, but that one is essentially uncorrectable due to the need to pass standard width freight cars. Use of Shinkansen width cars would allow this gap to also be made ADA compliant as they are wider than the standard American passenger car. If standard European width cars are used, used, the gap situation would be even worse as they are narrower in width than US cars. My own opinion is that the platform level should be set to match the design car floor elevation and the design horizontal offset should be no more than 1/2 inch or so less than the ADA requirement. If you are concerned about a car sway or offset hitting the platform edge then set a taper on the last few feet of platform end, which should be beyond the last passenger doorway and tell the vehicle maintenance guys to fix your suspension and buff out the scuffs.
 

Andrew

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From watching that YouTube video, it appears that Regional trains will remain 8 cars long, but Empire Service will be lengthened to 6 cars.

Does anyone know if the paint scheme of the Venture coaches is correct? And why wouldn't Keystone trains also be 8 cars long?
 

sttom

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A better question would be the "why the 48 inches?" 51 inches has been a standard North American car floor height for a long time. I would suspect the answer is history. The 48 inch elevation long predates the ADA requirement in the CFR. There has been the long time thought, for no real reason I can see, that the platform should never be higher than the car floor, and there should be some allowance for spring compression, wheel wear, etc. 51 inches does not mean 51.0000 inches. It can vary up slightly due to car sway or off level standing, and vary down an inch or more due to wheel wear, rail wear, and sway and off level in the other direction. The reality is that if the track is on ballast, over time leveling and lining will usually result in an upward creep in track level due to addition of ballast, or relay with heavier rail. The horizontal gap to train in NEC high platforms is likewise due to history, but that one is essentially uncorrectable due to the need to pass standard width freight cars. Use of Shinkansen width cars would allow this gap to also be made ADA compliant as they are wider than the standard American passenger car. If standard European width cars are used, used, the gap situation would be even worse as they are narrower in width than US cars. My own opinion is that the platform level should be set to match the design car floor elevation and the design horizontal offset should be no more than 1/2 inch or so less than the ADA requirement. If you are concerned about a car sway or offset hitting the platform edge then set a taper on the last few feet of platform end, which should be beyond the last passenger doorway and tell the vehicle maintenance guys to fix your suspension and buff out the scuffs.
From what I understand digging through Siemens' technical documents, they make things to a 48 inch floor height and that's what we're getting. This is kind of the problem with buying "off the shelf" equipment is you get discrepancies like this. Nevermind that "off the shelf" is a complete misnomer since no transit vehicle is fully standardized. The shell might be the same, but something about it will always be different between orders and operators. I also remember seeing on another thread here that 48 inches is the new preferred ADA platform height for whatever reason. I had just assumed that it was what the platform height in Penn Station was so the feds were just blindly going off what is on the NEC, the rest of us be damned. I'm a bit surprised that even for the NEC, its a dumb standard.
 
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