Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:39 pm

I left some of the stuff that at least tangentially related to rail vis-a-vis competition. But Tadman is most correct; we're way afield.

Further mentions of self-driving cars will be banished to elonmusk.com
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue May 22, 2018 11:29 am

While we're waiting for Avelia: ProgressiveRailroading.com

Amtrak to rehab Acela Express train interiors

Amtrak last week announced a $4 million plan to update the interiors of the entire Acela Express fleet operating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC).

The 14-month program will rehab the interiors of 20 trainsets, which include 100 Amtrak cars.

Workers will install new cushions and covers for business class and first-class seats, as well as new carpet for the aisle runner. Crews also will perform a deep clean of the interiors, Amtrak officials said in a press release.
...
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Tue May 22, 2018 12:47 pm

Makes one wonder how much longer the Acelas will be around. Seems like something you'd only do for a fleet that's going to be around for at least another 5 years or so.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby ryanov » Tue May 22, 2018 12:58 pm

Seems to me, the last refresh they did was fine; only thing I'd probably change is the arms on those overhead doors.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby 8th Notch » Tue May 22, 2018 10:02 pm

The cars are due for a refresh, some of the seats are in pretty rough condition and the carpets are starting to look extra grimey. The Acela’s are suppose to be the premium train to ride and I would hardly consider them so when comparing against the refreshed Amfleets.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Tadman » Tue May 29, 2018 7:21 am

The last thing they want to do is run them into the ground, to the point 20% of the passengers leave, before the new fleet shows up. If that happens, the first two years of the new fleet will be rebuilding the passenger base, as opposed to hitting the ground running.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Arlington » Tue May 29, 2018 8:49 am

^ +1
It seems like just the right amount of money: not over-investing (it is just superficial) and not underinvesting (this is the crown-jewel service).
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby eolesen » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:46 am

Refreshes are cheaper than spot repairs in an ever declining state of maintenance. Does Amtrak have a regular schedule of upholstery and carpet swaps, or only address individual seats/carpets on an as-needed basis?
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:35 pm

Arlington wrote:^ +1
It seems like just the right amount of money: not over-investing (it is just superficial) and not underinvesting (this is the crown-jewel service).


Some of this may be unspent federal funding that is being reprogramed prior to expiration. That's how the Amfleet Refresh happenned.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby adamj023 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:44 pm

Acela isn’t faster than airplane speeds. Thsy need to coms closer to that to be competiive. The new Acela replacement doesn’t seem that much improved. So much cost and expense for passengers for technology that is far behind other nations.

Pemmsylvania Railroad had some great steam locomotives like the S1 back in the days. Over 100Mph speeds. Mostly steam and some coal as well if I recall. Amtrak really should get some new design teams thst can make best of breed locomotives again made and engineered in the USA.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:06 am

adamj023 wrote:The new Acela replacement doesn’t seem that much improved. So much cost and expense for passengers for technology that is far behind other nations.


The new train is quite frankly a revolutionary design in that it incorporates both articulated trainsets with an active tilting system. This particular combination has not been done anywhere else in the world in high speed operations.

It will also have platform leveling technology that will pneumatically lower or raise the entire train a few inches to precisely match the platform height.

Avelia Liberty is without question in my mind the best that Alstom has to offer and is a configuration that has applications elsewhere.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Traingeek3629 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:06 am

adamj023 wrote:Acela isn’t faster than airplane speeds. Thsy need to coms closer to that to be competiive. The new Acela replacement doesn’t seem that much improved. So much cost and expense for passengers for technology that is far behind other nations.


Given the choice of plane or train from my house to Washington D.C., I would pick train. Flying from NY to WAS is a waste of money, and when you put in the time needed to drive to the airport, get through security, and drive from VA to downtown Washington, the Acela is faster and more comfortable and scenic than the plane.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby adamj023 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:52 am

Back in the old days Ameircan engineers were best of breed for locomotive designs and steam and coal were utilized. Now its all electric based with most from foreign manufacturers. Surely we could be doing much faster, maybe not the speed of light but surely speeds to match or exceed airplane speeds and maybe with a new mechanism instead of electricity.

Japan seems to have fastest test track speeds while China has fastest trains in production service.

Northeastern Corridor trains can’t be beat on cost of tickets for a more direct service while Acela seems pricier than airplane but can be more convenient due to TSA and travel time to airports.

If I was traveling, I would be using the regular trains, perhaps an upgrade to business class depending on price.

Elon Musk got approval for downtown Chicago to the airport for a new tunnel and it will be interesting what technology will be showcased as it will be privately run.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby NorthWest » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:16 am

The speed limiter on the NEC (as it is most places in North American passenger operations) is mostly track and fixed plant, not equipment.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby 35dtmrs92 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:56 am

And to the extent that equipment does limit speeds—yes it also contributes—it is due to the FRA’s crashworthiness rules. Until being somewhat updated, FRA basically required all equipment, including the Acela I fleet, to be heavier than almost anywhere else in the world. There is only so much you can engineer around having to remain rigid in the face of an 800 Kip head-on load to improve agility in operation. The Avelias, built to satisfy the newer crashworthiness rules more in line with European regulations, are supposed to cut a full third off the Acela I weight. That will help especially on the curvier stretches.
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