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RFP released for 35 Next Gen Locomotives

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afigg

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The FRA has announced that the RFPs for the 35 Next Gen diesel locomotives for the CA, IL, MI, MO state corridors has been issued. Press release: Federal Railroad Administration Announces Multistate Request for Proposals for Next-Generation Passenger Rail Locomotives. It has taken a while to get the specs completed and the RFP out. These are being paid for, at least in part, by the $8 billion is HSR stimulus funding which has to be spent by September 30, 2017 so there is a deadline to get the locomotives built and delivered. Not a wide variety of vendors to choose from for US built diesel locos, so the FRA must have some confidence that the deadline can be met.

Text of the press release:

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that U.S. manufacturers are being invited to submit bids to produce high-performance, next-generation diesel-electric locomotives.“When we make smart investments in rail, we are investing in America,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Our Buy America provisions ensure that the major components of these locomotives will be built with American hands and with American produced steel, iron and manufactured goods.”

The Request for Proposals (RFP) to manufacture approximately 35 new diesel-electric locomotives in America comes from a groundbreaking multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardized rail equipment to be used on state corridor routes in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Iowa in the Midwest and Washington, California, and Oregon on the West Coast. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is leading the multi-state locomotive procurement, with first deliveries expected in 2016. The FRA has allocated $808 million to manufacture the next generation of passenger rail equipment including the 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars.

The engines will be built to standardized technical specifications developed by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) Section 305 Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee and will comply with the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards.

The new uniform standards will drive down costs and allow more manufacturers and suppliers to compete, fostering a healthy competition while re-establishing the U.S. domestic supply chain for passenger rail equipment.

The intent to purchase 35 new locomotives comes as intercity passenger rail ridership continues to post and exceed ridership records. Last year, Amtrak carried more than 31.2 million passengers, marking the highest annual ridership total since they started operations in 1971, and the ninth ridership record during the last ten years. The state corridor routes where these new locomotives will be deployed are among those services with the highest ridership growth.

“We’re taking historic steps to build the rail system our economy needs and – more importantly – that Americans deserve, all while creating American jobs,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “The need for new rail equipment has never been greater and the more than 750 railroad suppliers located in the United States are up to the job.”

Selection of the manufacturer will occur in early 2014. Delivery of the locomotives is planned for 2016. A copy of the RFP can be found here.
 
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Guest

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Is there is anywhere one can still buy American produced steel?

The biggies like Bethlehem Steel are long gone. Even the one smaller local steel mill near me, closed just after the President stopped by to showcase it.
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Is there is anywhere one can still buy American produced steel?
The biggies like Bethlehem Steel are long gone. Even the one smaller local steel mill near me, closed just after the President stopped by to showcase it.
What about the USS Gary Works? It is a very dominating and fascinating sight from the trains that pass it. However I do not know if steel is actually still manufactured there.
 

jis

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Is there is anywhere one can still buy American produced steel?
The biggies like Bethlehem Steel are long gone. Even the one smaller local steel mill near me, closed just after the President stopped by to showcase it.
Contrary to popular belief we do produce quite a bit of raw steel in the US. Weekly production of almost 2 million tons...
See http://www.steel.org/About%20AISI/Statistics.aspx
 

xyzzy

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According to Wikipedia, 5.7% of the world's production of steel in 2012 was in the U.S.

Incidentally, the region of the U.S. that produces the most steel is the South. "Production for the week ending August 3, 2013 in thousands of net tons: North East: 208; Great Lakes: 670; Midwest: 229; Southern: 694 and Western: 87." Not all steel plants in the U.S. are old; ThyssenKrupp built a new plant near Mobile, Ala. at a cost of over $4 billion that opened in 2010.
 
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BCL

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Is there is anywhere one can still buy American produced steel?
The biggies like Bethlehem Steel are long gone. Even the one smaller local steel mill near me, closed just after the President stopped by to showcase it.
US Steel is still in business. Kind of a shadow of its former self, but still in business and producing in the US.

As a kid I remember a prominent steel plant on the ride home in Emeryville, California. Judson Steel used to have this huge building that typically had its door open. I could see sparks flying as molten steel was poured and the steel was rolled. The area is mostly shopping now - I think where the Ikea is now.

http://www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=663
The North Bayfront area and Powell Street Plaza had been redeveloped in the 1980s, but most of the Bayfront area south of Powell Street remained in heavy industrial uses. The old Judson Iron Works plant (now owned by Birmingham Steel and called Barbary Coast Steel), which had been located across the tracks from the end of Park Avenue for over 100 years, closed in 1991 when operations were moved to Seattle.
Now I have talked to some railroad enthusiasts about steel. I was mentioning to someone at this miniature steam railway about the formerly operating steam locomotive (the old Granite Rock Co. No. 10) at the California Railroad Museum not being certified in its 10-year requirement. I was told that the firebox was trashed and they didn't have the funds to rebuild it at the time. The miniature steam railway guy was telling me that the quality of some of the "imported steel" just wasn't good and it didn't necessarily last. I'm not thinking that he was talking about the high quality Japanese or German steel, but likely the cheap imports from China or India.
 

Bob Dylan

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Lots of Mexican and Korean Steel coming in also, but China is the wave of the Future! Even though Steel Jobs paid well not many Americans would want to work in a Steel Mill now a days! Terrible placesto work or live close to! (Gary, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Birmingham in the Old Days when Coal was King would be good examples of why!) ;)
 

jis

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I believe many of the facilities of erstwhile Bethlehem Steel are now operated by Arcelor Mittal Group, which is the largest Steel conglomerate in the world.
 

afigg

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Back to the RFP, I did see something in there talking about an option for a "Long Distance Configuration".
Amtrak had a lot of input to the Next Gen specifications and the RFPs. The winner of this particular contract is likely to win follow-on contracts for P42 replacements. Well, whenever Amtrak can get the money for rolling stock purchases from Congress.
 

BCL

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Back to the RFP, I did see something in there talking about an option for a "Long Distance Configuration".
Amtrak had a lot of input to the Next Gen specifications and the RFPs. The winner of this particular contract is likely to win follow-on contracts for P42 replacements. Well, whenever Amtrak can get the money for rolling stock purchases from Congress.
Is there really that much of a difference other than maybe fuel tanks? I understand that a P42 barely has a bigger tank than maybe the F59PHIs used for regional or commuter routes.
 

SubwayNut

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I believe the F59PHIs can't fit into the tunnels in New York City. Do the specifications require these locomotives to be small enough? I'm thinking about Amtrak piggy-backing a LD order and know they want locomotives that can fit up the NEC
 

BCL

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I believe the F59PHIs can't fit into the tunnels in New York City. Do the specifications require these locomotives to be small enough? I'm thinking about Amtrak piggy-backing a LD order and know they want locomotives that can fit up the NEC
The Genesis is supposedly really short. I know when I see one (or two) pulling Superliners or California Cars, there's something just a little bit odd about it because it's just so much shorter. It's seems a bit unaerodynamic to have that vertical wall there sticking out, although I suppose that's nothing compared to one of these things reversed in push configuration.

Of course they tried doing something about it with the Amtrak Cascades F59PHIs to pull single-level cars. It always looked weird to me though with the baggage car with some sort of fairing.

 

afigg

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Should have skimmed the RFP documents before posting about a possible "LD" version. The RFP document package is on the Illinois DOT website under Multi-State Locomotive Procurement. On the second page of the intro to the RFP, there is a table that states the RFP is for 32 base # of locomotives with options for 50 to 75 similar configuration locomotives and 125 to 150 Long-Distance Configuration locomotives.

Under the table, it states: "The number of “Option Locomotives” shown in the table above are estimates of potential demand only and do not represent guaranteed future orders of option locomotives. Illinois, Washington, and California, as well as other public agencies and other entities, may place option orders for locomotives beyond the Base Order in the configurations listed above."

That is significant because it means that Amtrak will not have to go through a new RFP and bid process to buy P-42 replacements. Once the contract is in place, if I'm interpreting the summary correctly, and Congress in several years gives Amtrak funds to buy some rolling stock, Amtrak will be able to simply exercise part of the option and, say, buy 50 new locomotives in one batch with probably just a little haggling over the details and prices with the vendor. It also appears that if a state such as NC wanted to buy a few new passenger locomotives, they could do so via this contract.

As for the LD configuration, in Attachment EE, Appendix E states the difference is larger fuel capacity and 1000 kW HEP:

Long Distance Optional Locomotives:• Technical Specification Sections 1.3, 1.4.5.1 and 17.2 increased to 2,200 Gallon minimum usable fuel capacity;
• Technical Specification Sections 1.4.5.1 and 10.2 increased to 1000Kw minimum Head End Power output and transmission capacity (Systems for intelligent power load management within the train consist and temporary load-shed concepts during acceleration may be proposed by the Locomotive Builder as an approach to manage horsepower between tractive and HEP requirements and will be considered by the evaluators);
• Common three color carbody paint scheme (with Black or silver under frame and trucks) and with graphics/logo variations by agency; and
• Assume Point of Delivery at Amtrak yard Chicago, IL.
 

afigg

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I believe the F59PHIs can't fit into the tunnels in New York City. Do the specifications require these locomotives to be small enough? I'm thinking about Amtrak piggy-backing a LD order and know they want locomotives that can fit up the NEC
The PRIIA specification for the Next Generation Diesel passenger locomotive states that it shall be "Compliant with Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 (latest version)". Which appears to be the clearance diagram for national compatibility including the NEC and Hudson & East River tunnels.
 

battalion51

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If you think about the drag "issue" though, it can't be that bad. Every western long distance train is going to experience that since you have the transition from the baggage car to the trans-dorm (except few one or two trains that don't run with a full baggage car). The low profile locomotive though is the way to go versus the F59PHI profile. I don't know that you could get a F59 in to places like New Haven, Philly, or Boston. That's definitely a major issue to consider. The other issue to consider is training for Engineers and Mechanical forces. Having one set of parts, knowledge, and expertise is definitely preferential. Its bad enough having two separate long distance car fleets, much less having two separate diesel fleets.
 

BCL

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If you think about the drag "issue" though, it can't be that bad. Every western long distance train is going to experience that since you have the transition from the baggage car to the trans-dorm (except few one or two trains that don't run with a full baggage car). The low profile locomotive though is the way to go versus the F59PHI profile. I don't know that you could get a F59 in to places like New Haven, Philly, or Boston. That's definitely a major issue to consider. The other issue to consider is training for Engineers and Mechanical forces. Having one set of parts, knowledge, and expertise is definitely preferential. Its bad enough having two separate long distance car fleets, much less having two separate diesel fleets.
I don't know if it's that big a deal. I've seen the Amtrak Oakland maintenance yard, and they already service at least three types of locomotives. They of course have the Genesis models (including some P40s), the F59PHIs for Amtrak California, and occasionally some Dash-8s.

On the East Coast they have maintenance yards that service both diesels and electrics. Amtrak has switchers that aren't the same as their passenger fleet. I think these are professional mechanics who learn how to fix almost anything.
 

sportbiker

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Long Distance Optional Locomotives:

• Technical Specification Sections 1.3, 1.4.5.1 and 17.2 increased to 2,200 Gallon minimum usable fuel capacity;

• Technical Specification Sections 1.4.5.1 and 10.2 increased to 1000Kw minimum Head End Power output and transmission capacity (Systems for intelligent power load management within the train consist and temporary load-shed concepts during acceleration may be proposed by the Locomotive Builder as an approach to manage horsepower between tractive and HEP requirements and will be considered by the evaluators);

• Common three color carbody paint scheme (with Black or silver under frame and trucks) and with graphics/logo variations by agency; and

• Assume Point of Delivery at Amtrak yard Chicago, IL.
I would have expected the gearing to be different between corridor and long distance, namely, quick acceleration vs. efficient cruisng speed.
 

George Harris

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Long Distance Optional Locomotives:

• Technical Specification Sections 1.3, 1.4.5.1 and 17.2 increased to 2,200 Gallon minimum usable fuel capacity;

• Technical Specification Sections 1.4.5.1 and 10.2 increased to 1000Kw minimum Head End Power output and transmission capacity (Systems for intelligent power load management within the train consist and temporary load-shed concepts during acceleration may be proposed by the Locomotive Builder as an approach to manage horsepower between tractive and HEP requirements and will be considered by the evaluators);

• Common three color carbody paint scheme (with Black or silver under frame and trucks) and with graphics/logo variations by agency; and

• Assume Point of Delivery at Amtrak yard Chicago, IL.
I would have expected the gearing to be different between corridor and long distance, namely, quick acceleration vs. efficient cruisng speed.
Gearing is deteremined primarily by desired maximum speed.
 
N

Nathanael

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Is there is anywhere one can still buy American produced steel?
I believe the electric arc furnace "minimills", which mainly use *scrap* steel as feedstock count as "American produced steel" if they're located in the US. (Please nobody tell me that the Buy America rules look back to where the steel was *originally* produced.) Nucor, which owns a large number of them, is one of the world's biggest steel producers. There are actually a lot of minimills in the US.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucor
 
N

Nathanael

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I believe the F59PHIs can't fit into the tunnels in New York City. Do the specifications require these locomotives to be small enough? I'm thinking about Amtrak piggy-backing a LD order and know they want locomotives that can fit up the NEC
The PRIIA specification for the Next Generation Diesel passenger locomotive states that it shall be "Compliant with Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 (latest version)". Which appears to be the clearance diagram for national compatibility including the NEC and Hudson & East River tunnels.
I belive A-05-1355 is the unrestricted clearance diagram which includes the North River Tunnels (Hudson), East River Tunnels, B&P Tunnel in Baltimore, Union Tunnel in Baltimore, and Park Avenue Tunnel in New York City.

I think the D- prefix means that it's the larger Superliner clearance. Someone who actually has access to the drawings can correct me if I'm wrong. This is an educated guess.

(I'm not sure what the B- and C- clearance diagrams are good for.)
 

afigg

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The PRIIA specification for the Next Generation Diesel passenger locomotive states that it shall be "Compliant with Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 (latest version)". Which appears to be the clearance diagram for national compatibility including the NEC and Hudson & East River tunnels.
I belive A-05-1355 is the unrestricted clearance diagram which includes the North River Tunnels (Hudson), East River Tunnels, B&P Tunnel in Baltimore, Union Tunnel in Baltimore, and Park Avenue Tunnel in New York City.
I think the D- prefix means that it's the larger Superliner clearance. Someone who actually has access to the drawings can correct me if I'm wrong. This is an educated guess.

(I'm not sure what the B- and C- clearance diagrams are good for.)
Googling Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 turns up a copy of the diagram with a static height of 14'8". This is the clearance for the NEC and Hudson river tunnels. Think about it, the goal of the Next-Gen diesel locomotive specification and order is to create a standard intercity passenger diesel locomotive for nationwide use for the states, Amtrak, and other possible operators (All Aboard Florida would be a likely candidate). A standard passenger locomotive that does not work in some of the busiest corridors in the east is a problem. The passenger cars have single and bi-level types because there are benefits to using bi-levels in the Midwest and West.
 

Anderson

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The PRIIA specification for the Next Generation Diesel passenger locomotive states that it shall be "Compliant with Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 (latest version)". Which appears to be the clearance diagram for national compatibility including the NEC and Hudson & East River tunnels.
I belive A-05-1355 is the unrestricted clearance diagram which includes the North River Tunnels (Hudson), East River Tunnels, B&P Tunnel in Baltimore, Union Tunnel in Baltimore, and Park Avenue Tunnel in New York City.
I think the D- prefix means that it's the larger Superliner clearance. Someone who actually has access to the drawings can correct me if I'm wrong. This is an educated guess.

(I'm not sure what the B- and C- clearance diagrams are good for.)
Googling Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 turns up a copy of the diagram with a static height of 14'8". This is the clearance for the NEC and Hudson river tunnels. Think about it, the goal of the Next-Gen diesel locomotive specification and order is to create a standard intercity passenger diesel locomotive for nationwide use for the states, Amtrak, and other possible operators (All Aboard Florida would be a likely candidate). A standard passenger locomotive that does not work in some of the busiest corridors in the east is a problem. The passenger cars have single and bi-level types because there are benefits to using bi-levels in the Midwest and West.
Well, at the very least some of those tunnels are a non-issue since you can't run much in the way of diesel into NYP unless something else is hauling it. That basically scratches operation PHL-NHV, and more often than not does so WAS-BOS as a whole. Now, if they're dual-mode engines that's another story...

My best guess is that they'll go with the EMD-F125. Metrolink already ordered a rack of them, so the line is set to start up. Adding 35 engines to that order (presumably with a few options) wouldn't likely shock EMD's system, and it would save on the cost of starting up a line fresh.
 
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