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Old September 7th, 2013, 05:28 AM   #2621
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This guy did a decent job on this.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 12:42 AM   #2622
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image hosted on flickr

Amtrak Test Train No. 863 with New Siemens Locomotive ACS-64 No. 602 arriving at Stamford Station by Camera-junkie, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amtrak's ACS 64 by Charles Hayes, on Flickr
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Old September 10th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #2623
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Nice looking unit.

Does Amtrak have plans to replace the Amfleet cars?
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Old September 11th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #2624
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Nice looking unit.

Does Amtrak have plans to replace the Amfleet cars?
Yes, both single and double Decker cars for fact. Those ones in the picture is too gd old. I ride Amtrak couple time per year and looks like 60s died in there, everything is so old.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #2625
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An opinion piece written by some NTSB official on the state of the USA's (& Canada's ?) relations with positive train control ...
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 12:08 AM   #2626
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A fairly long, but quite interesting read on the state of passenger rail in America:
Life in the rail world from the Biscayne Times.

I think it gives an interesting representation of rail travel in the US, and the problems it faces. Also there is a focus on the 'All Aboard Florida' project with which I'm not to familiar.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 03:36 AM   #2627
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Today's
St. Paul bridge pieces fall, hit train below


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Old November 1st, 2013, 01:10 PM   #2628
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FRA rule changes

Some substantial rule change is coming in 2015

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Beginning in 2015, regulators and manufacturers expect the FRA to allow modern European designs on tracks throughout the country, running side by side with heavy freight at all times of day. There will be no special signaling requirements for trains purchased under the new rules, although a separate requirement for more advancing anti-collision signaling, called positive train control, is set to kick in around the same time.

Crash safety reform has been slowly building at the FRA for more than a decade, and until now modern European designs were only available to agencies that could endure an onerous waiver process, and only if they could keep other trains off the tracks during service hours. Transit agencies could apply to the FRA for an exemption, but they had to submit detailed engineering analyses and could not run freight or so-called “non-compliant passenger trains” — that is, lightweight European and Asian models, more like subway and light rail cars than bulky intercity equipment — at the same time. Railroads in Europe and Asia are not subject to conditions like these.

The rule change is the result of a confluence of factors. The FRA has edged toward reform since at least the early 2000s with its waiver process, and some have suggested that the Obama administration’s push for high-speed rail — true high-speed service, not the “higher-speed” Acela variant — helped move things along.

Even the researcher skeptical of the depth of the new changes noted a generational shift in attitudes at the FRA. “The administration has changed a great deal,” she said. “Some of the people who were diehards opposed to [reform] have retired, and we’re certainly seeing a new generation.”
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Old November 1st, 2013, 02:54 PM   #2629
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Finally, but I bet a few guys at Amtrak aren't happy, because under those new rules they could have acquired much cheaper Vectrons with a nose job, instead of the current custom ACS-64.

I also wonder if we are going to see lightweight locomotives for passenger services or even DMUs/EMUs for long distance services.

Another interesting point from the quote: Despite what is stated the Acela really is a high speed train. It's the infrastructure that limits it's speed, not the train itself.
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Old November 1st, 2013, 03:29 PM   #2630
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True that about the Acela.

So will we now be seeing an end to the hideous tank-trains so typical on North American railways?
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Old November 1st, 2013, 08:06 PM   #2631
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Finally, but I bet a few guys at Amtrak aren't happy, because under those new rules they could have acquired much cheaper Vectrons with a nose job, instead of the current custom ACS-64.

I also wonder if we are going to see lightweight locomotives for passenger services or even DMUs/EMUs for long distance services.

Another interesting point from the quote: Despite what is stated the Acela really is a high speed train. It's the infrastructure that limits it's speed, not the train itself.
It's not a total loss. We could still see the effects of this change seep over into a new long distance diesel procurement.
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Old November 3rd, 2013, 05:38 PM   #2632
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So, now they can buy european DMU's for commuter rail, instead MPI MPXpress locomotives and bi-level cars
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Old November 4th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #2633
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No, they still can't. Because of the 'Buy American' laws they can buy UIC-compliant trains in the future, but because local production facilities exist for any significant order quantity they must be produced locally (At least that's how I understand these laws to work).

However there is nothing in the way for foreign manaufacturers to open a plant somewhere in the US and start building those trains locally. The only thing you need is a significant order to get the ball rolling.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #2634
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No, they still can't. Because of the 'Buy American' laws they can buy UIC-compliant trains in the future, but because local production facilities exist for any significant order quantity they must be produced locally (At least that's how I understand these laws to work).

However there is nothing in the way for foreign manaufacturers to open a plant somewhere in the US and start building those trains locally. The only thing you need is a significant order to get the ball rolling.
CAF , Kawasaki , Bombardier , Rotem , Nippon , just name a few...so they're here already... Stradler is looking to open a Plant....
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Old November 6th, 2013, 11:11 PM   #2635
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I feel late to the game in asking this but are passenger locomotives in the U.S. heavy just to be heavy for FRA requirements? The ACS-64 at 217,000 lb (98 t) is a lot of weight to run down the tracks. If so is weight added to the body to meet this weight requirement?
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Old November 7th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #2636
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It's not so much a weight requirement, it's a safety requirement that can only be met by strengthening the car body causing it to get heavy. In case of a locomotive weight isn't necesarily bad (more weight = potentially more traction), but the combination of weight and speed causes more wear.

The ACS-64 is actually a bad example. Compared to a European Vectron it is only 10t heavier. Compare a NA diesel loco with it's European counterpart: In NA they weigh in at around 30t to 32t per axle, in Europe at 22,5t per axle, sometimes even lighter.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #2637
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Quote:
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It's not so much a weight requirement, it's a safety requirement that can only be met by strengthening the car body causing it to get heavy. In case of a locomotive weight isn't necesarily bad (more weight = potentially more traction), but the combination of weight and speed causes more wear.

The ACS-64 is actually a bad example. Compared to a European Vectron it is only 10t heavier. Compare a NA diesel loco with it's European counterpart: In NA they weigh in at around 30t to 32t per axle, in Europe at 22,5t per axle, sometimes even lighter.


Well, sort of. Here in the Pacific Northwest, our Amtrak Cascades service runs a powerless locomotive as the end car. But they added a 20-ton block of concrete inside of it to add enough mass to meet the FRA regulations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtrak_Cascades
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Old November 10th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #2638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
It's not so much a weight requirement, it's a safety requirement that can only be met by strengthening the car body causing it to get heavy. In case of a locomotive weight isn't necesarily bad (more weight = potentially more traction), but the combination of weight and speed causes more wear.

The ACS-64 is actually a bad example. Compared to a European Vectron it is only 10t heavier. Compare a NA diesel loco with it's European counterpart: In NA they weigh in at around 30t to 32t per axle, in Europe at 22,5t per axle, sometimes even lighter.
Except for the engines I would have thought non powered rail cars should be made to be lightest as possible. Lighter cars should save tons of money on the diesel or electric bill for train companies. Do we really need strengthened cars for safety?
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Old November 11th, 2013, 08:59 PM   #2639
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You shouldn't make it to light though. Let me give you an example: A Dutch 3 car ICMm EMU set weighs 144 tons and has a Bo'Bo' + 2'2' + 2'2' wheel arrangement. There have been several accidents where the front carriage derailed when the driving trailer was in front, whereas with the motor carriage in front it ususally stayed on the track. They have made some changes adding a front spoiler to solve this.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 01:53 AM   #2640
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The old Amtrak Cascade is a good example of a huge loco with relatively light passenger cars, complete with Jacob's boogie too. The new one obviously is a much more balanced trainset.




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