Regional New England Rail (Amtrak & State DOT)

F-Line to Dudley

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forgive my ignorance, but why does the Caltrans engine have the fairing on the rear, why the midwest one doesn't? Is this for aerodynamics when coupled with a different car set that is taller (double deckers)?
Yes...aerodynamics with bi-levels. There are no bi's on corridor routes in the Midwest. On Caltrans a majority of the routes are bi-level.
 

Jahvon09

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Jahvon09

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Question; Why are the new Acela trains only using one of their pantographs to connect with the overhead catenary wire instead of both of them? I thought that the power car in the front pulls while the one in the back pushes the train along. Like with the old Acelas.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Question; Why are the new Acela trains only using one of their pantographs to connect with the overhead catenary wire instead of both of them? I thought that the power car in the front pulls while the one in the back pushes the train. Like with the old Acelas.
Aveilas run rear-pans-up, and there's cabling throughout the set to power up both power cars at once even though only one of them is touching the wire. This is typical to how most HSR trains operate. The rear pan is so that if the pantograph gets snagged on the wire (which is a common problem on HSR lines) the wire falls down well clear of the train.

The Acela I's run front-pans-up all of the time because they have reliability issues powering the whole set through rear-car contact. And they frequently run both pans up because the power cars fleet-wide have so many old-age reliability problems.
 

ceo

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I vaguely recall that running both-pans-up can cause oscillation problems in the wire at certain speeds.
 

Jahvon09

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Doesn't seem to be a problem with the older Acelas. Are the new ones using more power? :unsure:
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Doesn't seem to be a problem with the older Acelas. Are the new ones using more power? :unsure:
It is a problem with the older Acelas. They're not supposed to require 2 pantographs up, but they're so unreliable at sustaining a power draw that 2-pans-up is frequently used as a crutch.

The new ones have no such issue. They can retain an even power draw across the whole set with only the rear pantograph up. It's a much better setup, much less punishing on the overhead and the power cars, much closer to world best practice.
 

Jahvon09

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It is a problem with the older Acelas. They're not supposed to require 2 pantographs up, but they're so unreliable at sustaining a power draw that 2-pans-up is frequently used as a crutch.

The new ones have no such issue. They can retain an even power draw across the whole set with only the rear pantograph up. It's a much better setup, much less punishing on the overhead and the power cars, much closer to world best practice.
Now the older Acelas seem to run a little slower than the new Acelas, which gain up to 165 mph in some areas! That's almost at 170 mph!! :eek:
 

Jahvon09

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That's kind of exactly what they're doing here.
It was said 2 years ago that Amtrak was in the process of procuring new rail cars to replace their decades-old Amfleets & Superliners. This is probably after they are done getting the new Acelas on the tracks for their Boston to Washington service. :)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Now the older Acelas seem to run a little slower than the new Acelas, which gain up to 165 mph in some areas! That's almost at 170 mph!! :eek:
The A1's have a design speed of 170. They've been tested at 170 in non-revenue service. They were supposed to be uprated to 165 in revenue service, but that was postponed until the new fleet because of reliability issues. They're not "slower" per se; they're "too unreliable" to run at full-throttle. The power cars' current collection problems had a little something to do with that. Front-pans-up is generally less forgiving on the hardware than rear-pans-up, and both-pans-up really really beats the snot out of both the overhead and the electronics at speeds >125 MPH. But the A1's tilt mechanisms are such a godawful P.O.S. hodgepodge design that's aging in such dog years they have to run the pantograph setup ass-backwards vs. best-practices to overcompensate for the poor electrical contact. Can't get those things retired fast enough.
 

Jahvon09

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Aveilas run rear-pans-up, and there's cabling throughout the set to power up both power cars at once even though only one of them is touching the wire. This is typical to how most HSR trains operate. The rear pan is so that if the pantograph gets snagged on the wire (which is a common problem on HSR lines) the wire falls down well clear of the train.

The Acela I's run front-pans-up all of the time because they have reliability issues powering the whole set through rear-car contact. And they frequently run both pans up because the power cars fleet-wide have so many old-age reliability problems.
Like an old 747 that can't hold it's own water!! :eek:
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Yes...aerodynamics with bi-levels. There are no bi's on corridor routes in the Midwest. On Caltrans a majority of the routes are bi-level.
Pics to illustrate:

Caltrans Charger hauling bi-level Cali Cars on the Capitol Corridor:

The roof fin is a precise match for the Cali Cars/Surfliner/Superliner car height (16'2"). Had Nippon-Sharyo not effed up the Midwest bi-level order to contract cancellation, the Midwest Chargers probably would've gotten the same fin. With only single-levels to haul, however, it's anti-aerodynamic to have the fin at all in front of the much shorter Ventures/Viewliners/Amfleets/Horizons.


Cap Corridor train hauled by a similar-height Genesis:

Oof. That's enough wind resistance right there to negatively impact acceleration and probably make sitting in the upper level of the first car a seasick experience in high headwinds.


Cap Corridor train hauled by the now-retired F59PHI locos:

Same roof height so it's all pretty aerodynamic. The F59's and Cali cars were procured within a couple years of each other in the early-90's. Reason why you almost never see F59's on the East Coast is that, much like the Superliner form factor, they're simply too tall to fit in a lot of low-clearance spots around here.


Note that the national order of ALC-42 Chargers don't have the roof fins, even though an outright majority of long-distance schedules are Superliner-equipped. This is because the single-level Viewliner baggage cars are by-practice stacked to the front of the train right behind the loco, with the first bi-level car always set much further back in any LD consist configuration. The airflow is better-dispersed by that point 2-3 cars back so the flat face of the first bi-level isn't such a performance impediment. And if you ever needed a roof fin in the first place for that setup, the baggage car right in front of the first bi-level would be the one that needs it not the leading loco.
 
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Jahvon09

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Amtrak IS planning to replace the old Amfleet cars at some point & time, but it hasn't said when.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Amtrak IS planning to replace the old Amfleet cars at some point & time, but it hasn't said when.
Yes...they....have.

AMTK.jpg


That's what we've been talking about for 2 whole pages now.

Why are you spamming this topic with the same feigned ignorance over and over and over again??? Are you expecting that action will result in a different timetable than what has been confirmed over and over and over and over?
 

Arlington

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Note that Amfleet I (and Horizons, that we don’t see on the NEC) are the “Corridor”mainstays and replacing them in the Siemens order means new trains on State Supported (MA, CT, VT, ME) routes

Long Distance fleet is being separately replanned and consists of Amfleet II (1980 era single levels) Viewliners (2015 era single level sleepers) and the ancient and recent western double decker Superliners.
 

Arlington

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Yes I believe it belongs here. Particularly since it really uses segments that we have discussed as part of a New England centric network.

I know that ArchBoston has in fact discussed every single sub element of this plan:
  • HSR (or Amtrak)via LIRR
  • Trans Sound tunnels
  • HSR NHV to SPG (including electrification and a new bridge)
  • HSR Hartford Providence Cutoff
so I wouldn’t expect particularly new answers and you might Google research on the site to know what we’ve already thought
 

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