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Old February 13th, 2014, 11:02 AM   #2701
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Now Amtrak needs modern cars that fit its new locos.
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Old February 13th, 2014, 02:34 PM   #2702
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Ya the Amcans are a little old also they really shake at high-speed
here's hoping they get the money for new coaches
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Old February 14th, 2014, 07:56 PM   #2703
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Vaguely ties in with post #2677, this map shows where Amtrak runs in the US (both via train and bus/coach)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmodo.com
If you're in the unenviable position of having to traverse the country by bus or train, you better make sure this map is on your phone.

Put together by the American Intercity Bus Riders Association (www.aibra.org), it shows you all the bus and Amtrak routes that span the United States.

Gizmodo.com link
.pdf map
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 06:58 AM   #2704
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Finally, I get the chance to catch ACS-64 600 myself at Newark Liberty International Airport Station. Here she is in all of her glory:
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 09:31 PM   #2705
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Why does it have to ring all the time while entering the station? For me it would be horribly anoying.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 09:38 PM   #2706
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Welcome to the USA. Where trains have to ring bells in stations and blow the horn on every crossing.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 01:54 AM   #2707
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Welcome to the USA. Where trains have to ring bells in stations and blow the horn on every crossing.
Unless you're in a quiet zone.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 04:43 AM   #2708
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I can understand that ringing the bell is a nice touch on the Disneyland Railroad but seeing the Acela ringing the bell is just awkward, it gives people a feeling that the US railway misses the 1800s.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 06:44 PM   #2709
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From Global Rail News:

Quote:
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/0...-ptc-deadline/

Amtrak on course to meet PTC deadline
11 MAR, 2014

Amtrak has said it expects to meet a deadline set by the US government to install Positive Train Control (PTC) on all passenger railways by 2015.

Announcing its 2014 capital investment programme, Amtrak said it would continue its “aggressive” installation of PTC systems, with another 1,200 miles of track to benefit from the new traffic management system by the end of the year.

In 2008, the Rail Safety Improvement Act made it mandatory for all passenger railways to have some kind of PTC system in place by the end of 2015.

PTC uses GPS systems to monitor a train’s position on the network. By doing so it can automatically intervene to avoid collisions with other trains, slow vehicles travelling at excessive speeds and stop trains from entering closed sections of track or travelling through a switch which is in the wrong position.

Amtrak, chief executive Joe Boardman, said: “With limited federal capital funding we are doing the work that needs to be done to keep the railroad operating and taking action where we can to achieve safety, operational and passenger travel improvements.

“However, to truly realise the mobility and economic benefits offered by passenger rail, there must be dedicated federal funding to support a multi-year planning and construction program.”

Amtrak will also continue to upgrade the Northeast Corridor in 2014, completing a 23-mile section between Trenton and New Brunswick.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 06:01 AM   #2710
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Amtrak ACS-64 Action today, 3/11/14:
In order:
600 on Northeast Regional Train 184; Trenton Transit Center, 11:45 am.
601 on Silver Star Train 91; Trenton Transit Center, 12:00 pm.
600 on Northeast Regional Train 129; Metropark, 5:15 pm.

It seems that they have moved 601 to the long distance train set rotations for the time being, as it came up from WAS on the Crescent on 3/10/14 and went back down to WAS on the Silver Star today. Word has it that 602 will be seeing service relatively soon; as soon as the end of this week.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 03:46 PM   #2711
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Today:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/t...finalised.html

Siemens Charger passenger locomotive contract finalised
18 Mar 2014



USA: Siemens announced on March 18 that the states of Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington had formally issued a notice to proceed with production of 32 diesel-electric passenger locomotives suitable for speeds up to 200 km/h.

The procurement is being led on behalf of the five states by Illinois Department of Transportation, which named Siemens preferred bidder to supply around 35 locomotives on December 19 2013. Electro-Motive Diesel appealed against the decision, saying the Siemens proposal would not meet the specification, but this was rejected by IDOT in February. MotivePower also bid for the contract.

The contract with Siemens covers 32 locomotives plus spare parts, taking the total value to $225m. There are options for an additional 75 locomotives for use in ‘regional’ services and 150 for ‘mainline’ applications.

Branded Charger, the locomotives are to be manufactured at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, California, with components ‘procured and manufactured exclusively in the United States’. Deliveries are scheduled between autumn 2016 and mid-2017.

Siemens said the Charger will be ‘based technically on the Siemens Eurosprinter, Eurorunner and Vectron locomotive platforms’. They will have Cummins QSK 95 16-cylinder 4 400 hp engines meeting EPA Tier 4 regulations, weigh around 109 tonnes and have a starting tractive effort of 290 kN.

‘For Siemens this order marks our entry into the US diesel-electric locomotive market and strongly underscores our long-term vision for the US passenger rail market’, said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of the Siemens Rail Systems Division.

The Federal Railroad Administration has allocated $808m to fund inter-city fleet renewal services in the five states. As well as the Siemens locomotives, this includes 130 double-deck coaches ordered from Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo in a procurement led by California Department of Transportation
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Old April 21st, 2014, 02:38 AM   #2712
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Easter day railfanning at Westfield Station on the RVL; seems like they still have a PL42AC floating around incase the 45s are shopped or something:
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Old April 21st, 2014, 07:48 PM   #2713
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What are the realistic changes of UP or BNSF electrifying a whole route from Los Angeles to Dallas or Oakland to Chicago? That would allow more modern locos to run even longer trains that would suffer less on grade sectors, reducing the need for helpers and the like (they could put them equally spaced within a long train).
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Old April 21st, 2014, 11:19 PM   #2714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
What are the realistic changes of UP or BNSF electrifying a whole route from Los Angeles to Dallas or Oakland to Chicago? That would allow more modern locos to run even longer trains that would suffer less on grade sectors, reducing the need for helpers and the like (they could put them equally spaced within a long train).
Modernity of train doesn't depend on type of traction... But, sure, electrical traction have some benefits over diesel.
But (surprise-surprise) private railways are not willing to invest in something that would take so long to get return on investment, so unless government subsidies electrification, it's wouldn't be feasible.
And even then, first lines likely to be electrified are those near north-east corridor, I suppose.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 11:56 PM   #2715
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And then in the USA there is also the problem of loading gauge, which would partially be
eaten up by the catenary. This would compromise the usage of double-stack container
trains, and tri-level auto racks, which are key to the line's profitability. So it's probably
never going to happen.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 09:20 AM   #2716
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Why not? A dualstack is about 6.15m high. Put the overhead wire at 7.2m which is used in more places in the USA and you're fine. As I've suggested before: switch to dualmode locomotives and start electrification at the locations where the most power is needed. That will speed up the return on investment.

Can someone confirm or deny this: The main reason actually seems to be some weird law where property tax is based on the height of what you build on that property. Catenary posts are high, so you pay more property tax.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 01:38 PM   #2717
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Why not? A dualstack is about 6.15m high. Put the overhead wire at 7.2m
There are plenty of places where you don't have the space to do that. In the
East, tunnels and overpasses had to be enlarged to let dual stacks go through.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 09:01 PM   #2718
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
And then in the USA there is also the problem of loading gauge, which would partially be
eaten up by the catenary. This would compromise the usage of double-stack container
trains, and tri-level auto racks, which are key to the line's profitability. So it's probably
never going to happen.
Actually, no one electrifies by lowering upper edge of loading gauge. Catenary are placed above existing loading gauge, and if there is not enough place - then track should lowered or ceiling risen, or overhead rail used insteas of catenary, or lowered section of electrical "dead" catenary, that should be passed with lowered pantograph. or low-profile rails installed, or something else.
It all come in price, though.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 12:58 PM   #2719
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAronymous View Post
Welcome to the USA. Where trains have to ring bells in stations and blow the horn on every crossing.
Yes. Also the blinking headlights of the locomotive is an unusual sight in my eyes. Is this something only occuring on North american railways ?
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 01:37 PM   #2720
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It looks like a common practice in all the Americas. Don't forget that there is a large number of unprotected crossings there. Lot of tracks only get used once a day or even less. Separation of tracks by fencing or similar is also very uncommon.

Also here in Europe protected crossings are usually integrated into the signalling. If they malfunction the signals turn red. In the USA this may not be the case and large areas are unsignalled, so there is nothing to integrate. Therefore they choose to treat every crossing as an unprotected one, also because they don't seem to trust a protected crossing to actually work.

Usage of the bell can also be explained. Back in the days steam engines were loud, even while stationary. You couldn't hear a rolling train over that noise. With the current diesels (still no silencers) it is still difficult, so the practice persists.
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