Sumitomo/Siemens Contract for 137 Cars (former bi-levels)

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DSS&A

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The just announced Federal State of Good Repair funding includes money for Wisconsin to buy more passenger equipment for the Hiawatha Service. Based on the description in the attached announcement, 3 cab-coaches and six coaches will be purchased. It would be logical that the Seimens order would be modified and slightly expanded for these 9 new cars. Here is the description. I have observed the Hiawatha that departs Chicago at 5:08pm to have 7 passenger cars on many days this summer.

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/fra-announces-more-than-272mm-in-grants-for-rail-projects/?RAchannel=news
 

NSC1109

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The just announced Federal State of Good Repair funding includes money for Wisconsin to buy more passenger equipment for the Hiawatha Service. Based on the description in the attached announcement, 3 cab-coaches and six coaches will be purchased. It would be logical that the Seimens order would be modified and slightly expanded for these 9 new cars. Here is the description. I have observed the Hiawatha that departs Chicago at 5:08pm to have 7 passenger cars on many days this summer.

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/fra-announces-more-than-272mm-in-grants-for-rail-projects/?RAchannel=news
I thought the new Midwest equipment order included cars for the Hiawatha. They’re using the Chargers....why would they need a separate fleet?
 

PVD

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Add capacity. Replace the Cabbages and add cars to each set, or create an additional set. Not sure which. Unless they come up with a coach/bag concept, this could impact checked baggage and bicycle handling. Maybe someone here sees something I'm missing...
 

MikefromCrete

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Wisconsin did not participate in the Midwest purchase of cars and locomotive, since the state had already purchased the two Talgo sets. Scott Walker's rejection of the Talgo sets means the state has no equipment to contribute to the Hiawatha pool. The three cab cars and six coaches will fill that deficit.
 

PVD

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Thanks, clears that up a bit. Do they intend to procure power also, or continue to lease?
 

west point

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6 coaches and 3 cab cars. Maybe make up a train with 5 coaches and 2 cab cars. ? Maybe a car or 2 from the present equipment pool and add other cars to the other train. That may be a present plan until a third train is needed for the 10 RTs proposed. Where to get the others unless keep the present train sets whole and make another 3rd train 5 coaches and 2 cab cars ? its too early to really speculate ?
 

jis

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6 coaches and 3 cab cars. Maybe make up a train with 5 coaches and 2 cab cars. ? Maybe a car or 2 from the present equipment pool and add other cars to the other train. That may be a present plan until a third train is needed for the 10 RTs proposed. Where to get the others unless keep the present train sets whole and make another 3rd train 5 coaches and 2 cab cars ? its too early to really speculate ?
Why would a train need two cab cars? Would it not have a locomotive with a cab in it to power the train?
 

DSS&A

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Hi,
I understand that the current Hiawatha Service uses two train-sets daily. The trains consist of 1 Charger, 6 coaches and one Cabbage (ex. F40PH). One of the train-sets has run with a 7th cafe- coach on many days.

As a part of the Wisconsin/Illinois project to get up to 10 Hiawatha roundtrips, Wisconsin is also negotiating with the CP to add one more 8th Hiawatha rountrip (without the Illinois improvements) in the near-term. This involves at least adding a second mainline platform at the Milwaukee Mitchell Field airport station and a new mainline route for freight trains through Muskego Yard to bypass the Amtrak station.

Adding at least one more Hiawatha round trip will require a third train-set, thus the need for 6 coaches in the funding plan. The three cab-coaches are to provide one for the new third train-set and to replace the two cabbages on the existing train-sets.

Here is some overall information of future Amtrak service:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wisbusiness.com/2019/milwaukee-to-chicago-rail-plans-facing-opposition/amp/
 

jis

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MikefromCrete

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No doubt coaches from the Midwest pool will also end up on the Hiawathas as part of Illinois' contribution to the service.
 

DSS&A

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Here is a 7-car Hiawatha from earlier this year. While this in a consist with all Horizon equipment, it is also common to see at least one Amfleet car in the consist (either a coach or cafe car). A Cabbage is at the other end of the consist.
 

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jis

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Maybe the cab cars will be speced with baggage compartment behind the driving cab, to provide space for baggage and bikes? Replace Cabbage with a classic Combine?
 

NSC1109

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Maybe the cab cars will be speced with baggage compartment behind the driving cab, to provide space for baggage and bikes? Replace Cabbage with a classic Combine?
If they’re going to be Siemens cars, then it is possible, as I believe the CalTrans version did have bag space. However, if they’re the Talgos, I’m not sure what it would be.

Personally I think it would be foolish to bring the Talgos into the Hiawatha pool now. Amtrak is just beginning to transition to a whole new standardized fleet for corridor trains in the Midwest. Adding a second equipment type would mean additional training in at least two divisions (T&E and MX, potentially OBS) as well as acquiring parts and potentially retrofitting the shops to handle the equipment.

I believe it would be better to transfers both Talgo sets to the Cascades, as they already run that equipment type and they have the need to replace older trainsets. Let Wisconsin tap some of the options from the Midwest order and keep the fleet standardized to control costs and simplify operations.
 

jis

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Apparently a semi-permanently coupled pair of Siemens single level cars eventually destined for Caltrans is getting released from Siemens plant in Sacramento today for their journey to Pubelo for testing. This according to a post on trainorders earlier today.
 

Steve4031

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This may have been asked and answered elsewhere. Will these cars have automatic doors so all doors can open at intermediate stops? Would certainly cut down to on dwell time if conductors can learn to scan tickets onboard.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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This may have been asked and answered elsewhere. Will these cars have automatic doors so all doors can open at intermediate stops? Would certainly cut down to on dwell time if conductors can learn to scan tickets onboard.
They wouldn't be of much use in the Midwest and California as the platforms are almost all low-level.
 

seat38a

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This may have been asked and answered elsewhere. Will these cars have automatic doors so all doors can open at intermediate stops? Would certainly cut down to on dwell time if conductors can learn to scan tickets onboard.
Conductors already scan tickets onboard and issue seat checks for California trains.
 

Steve4031

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I’ve seen conductors scan tickets on the platform at Bloomington and Springfield a few times.
 
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