Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:28 pm

Neither proposal is financially feasible.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:48 am

gokeefe wrote:Neither proposal is financially feasible.

Exactly. Amtrak wants rid of its unicorn fleet - the A-2s are next, then the Horizons and A-1s and S-1s - so it’ll just be AX-2s, corridor cars, V-IIs, the new LDSL coach whenever they get those bids out, the next-gen diesels & dual-modes, the future S-III, and the ACS-64. Four types of car, three types of road power, and one integrated train set.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby dowlingm » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:36 am

mtuandrew wrote:
gokeefe wrote:Neither proposal is financially feasible.

Exactly. Amtrak wants rid of its unicorn fleet - the A-2s are next, then the Horizons and A-1s and S-1s - so it’ll just be AX-2s, corridor cars, V-IIs, the new LDSL coach whenever they get those bids out, the next-gen diesels & dual-modes, the future S-III, and the ACS-64. Four types of car, three types of road power, and one integrated train set.
Amtrak has wanted these things a long time and by prior fleet plans is behind schedule in getting them. Is it really better to bin the AX-1 rather than allow some NER Amfleets to be cascaded? With a Trump II Administration looming and the Democrats labouring to take back Congress, the alternative is to watch Anderson withdraw services for lack of equipment as attrition takes its toll.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:24 am

The bottom line is that if the Acela trainsets are to stay in service they have to operate regularly. For the moment we are seeing signs that Amtrak may be considering just that.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby east point » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:46 pm

gokeefe wrote:The bottom line is that if the Acela trainsets are to stay in service they have to operate regularly. For the moment we are seeing signs that Amtrak may be considering just that.



A big factor may be passenger demand and how soon the additional north river bores are complete ?
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:16 pm

No need for more tunnels if you're substituting for existing trains. Demand is at close to 100% of available inventory.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby frequentflyer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:08 pm

east point wrote:
gokeefe wrote:The bottom line is that if the Acela trainsets are to stay in service they have to operate regularly. For the moment we are seeing signs that Amtrak may be considering just that.



A big factor may be passenger demand and how soon the additional north river bores are complete ?


The big factor will be how costly will it be to maintain them. If the newer A2s will be cheaper to run and maintain, why keep the A1s? If one wants the regionals to look trendy just order some slower but fast looking EMUs, which will be more economical to operate and maintain.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:26 pm

frequentflyer wrote:If one wants the regionals to look trendy just order some slower but fast looking EMUs, which will be more economical to operate and maintain.


"More economical" is only true if you assume some very low acquisition costs (not necessarily the case at all). A rebuild has a very high probability of being cheaper and also would likely drive down maintenance costs through a whole host of control and monitoring system improvements. I think Amtrak is going to have a really hard time ignoring the MARC HHP-8 rebuild program as a test bed of Bombardier's improved competence, customer service and mechanical creativity. If successful (which it appears to be at the moment) I think it opens the a door to discussion that previously was welded shut. Based on what others have posted some of that may have already taken place.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby east point » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:33 pm

gokeefe wrote:No need for more tunnels if you're substituting for existing trains. Demand is at close to 100% of available inventory.



You miss the point. Projections of travel on the NEC are all over the place. Anywhere from the present 2 - 3 % per year to almost double in 10 - 14 years. The higher growth rates are probably expected if present track work allows the hoped for 160 MPH operation between Newark and Trenton. But we certainly cannot find a good crystal ball. If the higher figures are attainable then at least 3 operative tunnel bores will be needed and then all 4. Food for thought "If" the higher demand happens then 3 operational AX-1s would cover non stop NYP <> PHL hourly clockers with 2 as standby and 1 or 2 in major overhaul. Then the stated 3 bores going on 4 would definitely be needed.

About the AM-2s. Again it all depends on the NEC passenger growth ? Amtrak has stated in the past that it wants to replace AM-2s on LD trains. That is due to the -2s having 60% more mileage than -1s. But again the "IF" NEC growth is great then the - AM-2s might be re assigned to NEC regional which is on average very low milegage per day .


So just don't make any hard statements of what will happen. Our group certainly does not know and no one else does. However there will be one limiting factor for AM-2 NEC assignments which is lack of storage space for idle times that will have to be mitigated. VRE is doing something in WASH by building its own storage and maintenance across from Ivy City.
Last edited by east point on Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:54 pm

We’ve established that the new tunnels are needed for reliability first, throughput second. There won’t even be four tunnels available full-time until the original tubes are fully rebuilt, so the only gains will be from better reliability and signaling until well into the AX-2’s career.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby east point » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:56 pm

mtuandrew wrote:We’ve established that the new tunnels are needed for reliability first, throughput second. There won’t even be four tunnels available full-time until the original tubes are fully rebuilt, so the only gains will be from better reliability and signaling until well into the AX-2’s career.


Absolutely however if Amtrak can refurbish one bore at a time and PM the second on weekends then thru put can increase by ~ 50% ?
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:10 pm

east point wrote:If the higher figures are attainable then at least 3 operative tunnel bores will be needed and then all 4. Food for thought "If" the higher demand happens then 3 operational AX-1s would cover non stop NYP <> PHL hourly clockers with 2 as standby and 1 or 2 in major overhaul. Then the stated 3 bores going on 4 would definitely be needed.


Take a page from JR Central/West's book and tag the brand new AX-2 sets for the premier clocker nonstop services between NYP<->PHL<->DC and NYP<->BOS and limited-stop expresses along those same routes while keeping the older AX-1s to run something similar to the Kodama service that mirrors the current Acela schedule or even the old Metroliner timetables, bridging the gap between the newer expresses and the northeast regional service.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:16 pm

east point wrote:So just don't make any hard statements of what will happen.


At this point it appears that at least WAS-NYP Amtrak will sellout all inventory that they make available in premium service.

The sellout history is so long and consistent that there is good reason to believe that demand permanently outstrips Amtrak's ability to build infrastructure.

In short they could use all available train slots (Amtrak only) on Acela and still not meet demand.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby nova08 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:43 am

east point wrote:
gokeefe wrote:No need for more tunnels if you're substituting for existing trains. Demand is at close to 100% of available inventory.



You miss the point. Projections of travel on the NEC are all over the place. Anywhere from the present 2 - 3 % per year to almost double in 10 - 14 years. The higher growth rates are probably expected if present track work allows the hoped for 160 MPH operation between Newark and Trenton. But we certainly cannot find a good crystal ball. If the higher figures are attainable then at least 3 operative tunnel bores will be needed and then all 4. Food for thought "If" the higher demand happens then 3 operational AX-1s would cover non stop NYP <> PHL hourly clockers with 2 as standby and 1 or 2 in major overhaul. Then the stated 3 bores going on 4 would definitely be needed.

About the AM-2s. Again it all depends on the NEC passenger growth ? Amtrak has stated in the past that it wants to replace AM-2s on LD trains. That is due to the -2s having 60% more mileage than -1s. But again the "IF" NEC growth is great then the - AM-2s might be re assigned to NEC regional which is on average very low milegage per day .


So just don't make any hard statements of what will happen. Our group certainly does not know and no one else does. However there will be one limiting factor for AM-2 NEC assignments which is lack of storage space for idle times that will have to be mitigated. VRE is doing something in WASH by building its own storage and maintenance across from Ivy City.

The 160mph corridor is only from Trenton to New Brunswick.

Clockers no longer exist. The Keystone's essentially took their place. And as mentioned the lack of high level platforms on the Keystone line really make the AX-1's a nonstarter there.
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Re: Acela Replacement and Disposition Discussion

Postby east point » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:02 pm

nova08 wrote:[


The 160mph corridor is only from Trenton to New Brunswick.

Clockers no longer exist. The Keystone's essentially took their place. And as mentioned the lack of high level platforms on the Keystone line really make the AX-1's a nonstarter there.


Yes the present 160 MPH corridor is as you state. However we do not know how much additional if any Amtrak will install constant tension north of New Brunswick /? The more that is done the more possible that may become 160 as well. However making all track north of Trenton to some location may only take place with major rehab of the under sub grades ? The Amtrak order of new undercutters may signal a way to get a smooth 160 MPH track ?

Yes there are no more clockers ! Again however once there is at least 3 reliable cross Hudson tubes and the Penn south there could be a resumption of clockers non stop NYP <> PHL. Never say never ! Amtrak may not again make the mistake of giving eventual new slots to NJT as it did for mid town direct when Amtrak gave up clockers to NJT who then did not run them .?
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