Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:25 am

This is disappointing as so many had such high hopes for the Sprinters.

Is it Amtrak, the US... or do passenger engines the world over suck this much?
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Milepost 110 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:43 pm

A railfan site known as On Track Online has 647 listed as wrecked as of August 2018. Does anyone know what happened to it?

http://on-track-on-line.com/amtkrinf-am ... bers.shtml
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ApproachMedium » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:01 pm

I havnt a clue and id love to know where this came from. Theres two outside wilmington that dont appear to be wrecked i forget the numbers theres one wrapped shoved in the no mans land in wilmington thats the 627 and 601 is in bear
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Wingnut » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:43 pm

I’m the kind who usually reserves judgement. And that’s just what I did with the Sprinters until now.

Lemons! They bought another batch of freaking LEMONS!

Except for the AEM-7, EVERY electric locomotive Amtrak ever bought has been a failure. And now SEPTA is stuck with a fleet of these losers too. Unbelievable.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby amtrakhogger » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:20 pm

Wingnut wrote:I’m the kind who usually reserves judgement. And that’s just what I did with the Sprinters until now.

Lemons! They bought another batch of freaking LEMONS!

Except for the AEM-7, EVERY electric locomotive Amtrak ever bought has been a failure. And now SEPTA is stuck with a fleet of these losers too. Unbelievable.


Lemons, Eh?

They beat an E60 with no heat or major truck hunting that throws you out of your seat or a DC meatball that can't take a 90 degree day.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Amtrak706 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:23 pm

Wingnut wrote:I’m the kind who usually reserves judgement. And that’s just what I did with the Sprinters until now.

Lemons! They bought another batch of freaking LEMONS!

Except for the AEM-7, EVERY electric locomotive Amtrak ever bought has been a failure. And now SEPTA is stuck with a fleet of these losers too. Unbelievable.

The issues described here sound more like a result of the ridiculously incompetent management we all know exists at Amtrak. Issues with door seals and other minor components are possible to fix with a combination of actually listening to crews and then following a decent engineering process. ApproachMedium or others in the know please let me know if I am wrong, but I have not heard anything about major components on these units regularly failing to the point where they are not able to go out on the road, which in my mind is what would constitute a lemon.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:49 pm

Despite a lot of differences they basically are same locomotive of which European railroads have several hundred, and I sure don't hear as much complaints as is expressed in this forum.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ApproachMedium » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:07 pm

Wingnut wrote:I’m the kind who usually reserves judgement. And that’s just what I did with the Sprinters until now.

Lemons! They bought another batch of freaking LEMONS!

Except for the AEM-7, EVERY electric locomotive Amtrak ever bought has been a failure. And now SEPTA is stuck with a fleet of these losers too. Unbelievable.


The AEM-7 had A LOT of problems esp with dealing with heat but they were solved and they were able to keep trucking. The heat problems that continued were a lack of consistent maintenance in keeping the oil coolers clean of debris and clean air filters.

As far as the ACS64s go yes there hasnt been any major issues really that have repeated. We did have the issue with the gearbox coupler bolts failing because of the incorrect grade bolt, and due to the lack of manual traction motor cutouts it would leave the train stranded. This has since been corrected. Had a few failures of air compressors early on which has also been corrected. As far as the machine room goes they will probably have no major issues there for a long time. But the cabs and other nonsense, wont last another couple years. The 600 cab is already a disaster. I think a few of the low numbers have already gotten replacement seats as the cushions, or lack thereof were blown out already.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby daybeers » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:30 am

ApproachMedium wrote:As far as the ACS64s go yes there hasnt been any major issues really that have repeated. We did have the issue with the gearbox coupler bolts failing because of the incorrect grade bolt, and due to the lack of manual traction motor cutouts it would leave the train stranded. This has since been corrected. Had a few failures of air compressors early on which has also been corrected. As far as the machine room goes they will probably have no major issues there for a long time. But the cabs and other nonsense, wont last another couple years. The 600 cab is already a disaster. I think a few of the low numbers have already gotten replacement seats as the cushions, or lack thereof were blown out already.

Are the issues with the cabs Amtrak's fault, or do the European models have those problems too?
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:33 am

not seen or heard any complaints from Engineers in Europe, so a lot of complaints may be Amtrak maintenance related.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ApproachMedium » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:11 am

DutchRailnut wrote:not seen or heard any complaints from Engineers in Europe, so a lot of complaints may be Amtrak maintenance related.


Big problem with the american cabs is the seats. The seats i dont know where they came from. Maybe a stationary crane somewhere that doesnt move. They have harsh metal edges that you get your pants caught on and rip them, and they like to tear the ends of the control desks, the walls and corners of the doors up. I dont think germany uses this same seat. The seat used in the ALP46 does not have this problem its soft everywhere and doesnt damage anything.

If amtrak did something as simple as clean the cabs, that could help. We americans in general are rough on things and if we had a place to put the reverser, they wouldn't have started cutting up the stickers that they put all over the desktops. The black portion you see with all the labels on it in any cab photo is a big fat sticker. Its junk. European stuff has this too, but they are more gentle on things i guess. And i think they have a place to dump the reverser like NJT does. yes there is a place in the fusee box to put it, but thats too far from the desk and nobody does it so it pretty much never ends up in there.

If they did something as simple as used glue to hold the door gaskets on, we wouldnt have a problem with door gaskets getting torn up. Likely in germany they use glue. In america we probably omitted that to save money. NJTs door gaskets are close to 20 years old and none of them are torn up like amtraks.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby 8th Notch » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:03 pm

Wingnut wrote:I’m the kind who usually reserves judgement. And that’s just what I did with the Sprinters until now.

Lemons! They bought another batch of freaking LEMONS!

Except for the AEM-7, EVERY electric locomotive Amtrak ever bought has been a failure. And now SEPTA is stuck with a fleet of these losers too. Unbelievable.


Actually they are hardly lemons when stacked against the HHP8’s. Aside from some issues that only engineers would notice, the things do run well and hardly break down to the point of requiring a rescue.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:14 pm

I was wondering the same myself. Can't remember hearing of episodes requiring rescue. One might have once said the same thing of the AEM-7s when they became known as "toasters" and before they were rebuilt as "super locos" by Alstom.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby ziggyzack1234 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:35 am

I only think it's proper to call something a lemon if after a few years problems just can't be worked out like the HHP-8. As others have said, even our favorite locomotive the AEM-7 have had issues. Once it's issues were worked out it became one of the greatest locomotives ever built. The ACS-64 has quite a few minor issues but as a locomotive, it runs just fine.

Speaking of the HHP-8, there had to be some reason Amtrak labeled them lemons and dumped them while MARC is trying to make them not lemons (MARC this year ran one for almost a month straight without notable issue).
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 Sprinter Discussion

Postby Wingnut » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:33 pm

Well, thanks for adding a little perspective on the ACS’ troubles vs. other equipment. I appreciate that everything has issues. But when is the point reached that issues go from being manageable to declaring something more trouble than it’s worth? Overall, this thread makes it sound like we’re very close to if not beyond that point.
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