AEM-7 status

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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby amtrakhogger » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:44 pm

It is nice to know the probabilities of MBTA proposing future electrification, but this seems to be going far off topic since the topic is AEM7 status.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby east point » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:32 pm

Grand that future electrification of MBTA is unlikely. However what happens if MBTA has a large number of diesels fail in the near future ? Putting AEM-7s on Providence trains might allow MBTA to maintain other services ? Highly unlikely but MBTA's diesel reliability is questionable ?
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:44 pm

east point wrote:However what happens if MBTA has a large number of diesels fail in the near future ?

Then Keolis digs up some diesel motive power from some entity with rent-a-wrecks, or cancels trains, or gets its shop personnel the funding they need to repair their existing F40s, GP40s, and HSP46s. Not Amtrak’s problem, and not the AEMs’ problem.

No one needs 40 year old electrics on the Corridor at this point, thanks to the Sprinters and ALPs.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby amtrakhogger » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:10 pm

And again, way off topic since this thread is supposed to be about AEM7 status, and not hypothetical operational situations for MBTA or any other carrier who might happen to run or not run electric trains.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:07 pm

The sidebar into the MBTA was merely an explainer as to why electrics are not grab-and-go, and that is (narrowly) relevant to the topic at hand. You have several budgeting items that have to be enacted, and simply by the way those budgeting gears grind in two different states that have to coordinate efforts it's pretty flatly a 5-year proposition even if the "Go-go-go!" hurry-up orders came tomorrow. As described, not all of those initiatives have to be 100% construction-complete before electrics could be introduced on the MBTA, but all or most of the bucket list would have to be fully-funded and in some ongoing state of progress before it's feasible. And while not all of those initiatives are big-ticket items, there are tricky dependencies rooted in power draw and train storage that require first action and aren't amenable to speeding up the timetable for electric service starts much at all beyond that hard 5-year limit.

That overshoots any timetable where AEM-7AC's that are maintained ready-to-run today would still be viable by the time they'd be pulled out of mothballs for the earliest-feasible service starts, and ends up more closely-fitting the delivery schedules for buying new rolling stock. As well as making more sense with multiple lineside bucket list items having to be coordinated in order to achieve electric service starts to NOT overcomplicate the moving parts on the vehicle side by embarking on a purchase-->storage-->re- prep-for-service maint program chain of events (which also involves decisions on where you're going to safely store the vehicles when you have little available storage, and how you're going to accumulate/store/deploy the parts supply for the re-prep program when all other alike vehicles on the continent have long been scrapped by the time they're tabbed to come out of mothballs).

Toasters aren't a fit, because electric schedules on the T factually are not plug-and-play given the bucket list.

--------------------------------------------------

Last couple bits before moving on. . .

east point wrote:What is the output capacity Sharon substation? What are the present maximum Amtrak loads ? What are its normal western limits ? Is its capacity just for present Amtrak service or the proposed Amtrak hourly service that has been published elsewhere ? Doe CETEC ever have to limit power draw on Sharon ?


There are 4 substations on the NHV-BOS electrification, and the power sections between subs are broken up by switching stations at the halfway point between subs. Each sub was constructed with 2 115 kV transformers adequate for serving long-term AMTK growth on the current tracks. They are:

-- Sharon sub (MP 212). Covers South Station + Southampton Yard to the switching station at Norton, MA (MP 198), serving all stops from South Station through Mansfield.
-- Warwick sub (MP 177). Covers Norton switching station to Richmond, RI (MP 150) switching station, serving all stops Attleboro to Kingston. Attleboro, T.F. Green, and Wickford Jct. currently have un-wired commuter platform tracks. Attleboro's a quick fix, T.F. Green and Wickford need RIDOT to construct matching northbound platform turnouts before they're technically complete as stations, and T.F. Green's current platform track needs a gauntlet installed so the P&W autoracks that won't clear wire under the Coronado Rd. overpass on a wired-up turnout end up swinging away from the wire and run "between" two sets of wire to maintain adequate clearance. (See Google overhead and the way the platform track is spaced over-wide from the 2 mainline tracks and you can plainly see where the Green freight gauntlet is going to be.)
-- New London sub (MP 123.5), covering Richmond switch to Westbrook switch (MP 103). Westerly station sits on New London sub. CDOT is (already has???) upgraded the draw for M8 EMU's on Shore Line East, and will be all set for when they and RIDOT eventually (and all-electrically) touch at Westerly.
-- Branford sub (MP 79), covering Westbrook to New Haven/Mill River phase break at the 25 kV/12.5 kV divide. CDOT also (ongoing?/almost finished?) boosting capacity for M8's on SLE.

The NEC Infrastructure Improvements Master Plan does not require any capacity expansion in 25 kV territory for future AMTK-only needs. All of the NEC IIMP bucket list of mid-term service increases got provisioned by the initial electrification. Only exception is needed upgrades to the terminal district power boosters at the South Station/Southampton that will augment the main draw from Sharon sub to feed all of the extra wired terminal tracks that'll come with the expanded South Station and expansion of Southampton for increased AMTK schedules at the bigger station. That's why the terminal booster project is inseparable from the SSX project; AMTK can technically add that terminal augmentation whenever they want, but the plan for SSX needs to be locked/loaded for them to actually know the full extent of what they have to install there. The only other triggers for AMTK-specific lineside power increases are stuff way beyond-scope of the NEC IIMP, like NEC FUTURE and any SuperDuperHSR visions therein...simply because you're going to have so many more miles of contiguous tri- and quad-track segments flooded with intercity trains in that universe. But there's plenty of empty acreage on each sub site for that, so if NEC FUTURE's time ever comes the layout of the NHV-BOS electrification won't ever need to change to accommodate those power draw increases.

Since AMTK has been the only user of the NHV-BOS electrification for 2 decades, the subs were only built with their capacity in mind...not commuter capacity that was beyond-scope for AMTK's electrification design team in the mid-90's. Therefore, CDOT and RIDOT/MBTA have to cut Amtrak checks to install capacity at these subs up to their commuter schedule needs if they want to run electrics. I don't know right down to the kWH and transformer part number what that entails, because it's probably something less than an outright doubling and would be expected that the T/CDOT would gradually add capacity on their own dime later on as schedules increase through the years. But it's a major up-front expense. Sharon would need to be planned for a maximal boost, because if they intend to electrify a couple other pieces of low-hanging fruit like the Fairmount Line and the first segment of Worcester Line to Riverside those inside- Route 128 urban rail services would chain directly off of Sharon sub and the terminal district. It's only when you start talking electrifying further out like Framingham/Worcester, etc. that each line would start getting broken out onto its own subs. RIDOT, since its intrastate service isn't going to be too densely-scheduled and doesn't have to feed much of a terminal district beyond Pawtucket layover and the eventual mid-line layover at Davisville, probably doesn't need to fund beyond the minimum expansion for Warwick sub. Significant expense, but not as significant as Sharon sub expansion.


Sounds like the first project to solve BOS South Hampton is to require MBTA to get their own yard ?


Yes...and there's a lot happening behind the scenes on this one. See the T subforum, "Widett" topics down lower on the front page for breakdown of all the moving parts there. It's very complicated, very political with the City, and a fast-changing priority. Current picture is very muddy, but stuff is being actively hashed-out so there may be some 'Vision Thing' clarity coming on this issue in the new year to watch out for.

east point wrote:Grand that future electrification of MBTA is unlikely. However what happens if MBTA has a large number of diesels fail in the near future ? Putting AEM-7s on Providence trains might allow MBTA to maintain other services ? Highly unlikely but MBTA's diesel reliability is questionable ?


A problem that can only be solved by renting other diesels. It doesn't matter if you throw a bunch of active AEM-7's on the property; if Southampton is already clogged full of 6/7/8-car rush hour sets for Worcester and Franklin that can't fit on the T-only layups, then the place to stage any electric-hauled commuter consists doesn't meaningfully exist. To run Providence electrics at all requires blocking more of Amtrak's paths through the yard, harming the turnaround time on Regionals and Acelas (total nonstarter). Or, breaking up the crowd-swallower 5:00pm commuter sets into sardine-can shorter sets that can be stored at the shorty Widett layups so Southampton is reserved for electrics-only...which ends up a punishment worse than death for the Worcester riders who already have bar none the most pants-on-head messed up service on the system.

Either the AEM-7's get bottled up in the back of the yard too constrained to maneuver in/out of sets when they're most needed, or something else gets bottled up to total non-functioning by the Toasters needing to maneuver. That's just how sticky this T vs. AMTK storage problem currently is, and how not-at-all-quick the feasible fixes are to implement. Any solve you attempt for the storage issue, including just eking out those +1 or +2 extra layups in some found nook and cranny on existing property, overshoots on budgeting+design+build any practical timetable where the Toasters will be available for purchase in operably-maintained state. The stars just don't come close enough to practically align, and in this case that's not a reflection of poor planning or misfit vehicles. Solutions to the problem take time to implement, and every common-sense expedited solution here simply lands a handful of years beyond practical timetable for any halfway plug-and-play re-use of the Toasters.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby STrRedWolf » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:39 pm

There's more credence to those AEM-7's going to California where things are going forward faster. So we can settle on "It's not the MBTA" and leave it at that.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:26 pm

Why would anyone want Ex amtrak AEM-7's with 4 million miles on them when NJT could sell the ALP44's in greater quantities at half the price and 1/4 of mileage ??
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby ApproachMedium » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:10 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Why would anyone want Ex amtrak AEM-7's with 4 million miles on them when NJT could sell the ALP44's in greater quantities at half the price and 1/4 of mileage ??


because NJT ALP44s are junk, they dont run and the ones that did run good are all vandalized and would require a good investment to get back to operating. The ALP44s have to have close to the same mileage on the older dated units. Ive run them and worked on them as a mechanic and they are just as shot.

The ALP44M models were nothing but problems, regardless of being newer they were always a constant headache with that Windows 3.1 computer that ran everything.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:31 am

ApproachMedium wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:Why would anyone want Ex amtrak AEM-7's with 4 million miles on them when NJT could sell the ALP44's in greater quantities at half the price and 1/4 of mileage ??


because NJT ALP44s are junk, they dont run and the ones that did run good are all vandalized and would require a good investment to get back to operating. The ALP44s have to have close to the same mileage on the older dated units. Ive run them and worked on them as a mechanic and they are just as shot.

The ALP44M models were nothing but problems, regardless of being newer they were always a constant headache with that Windows 3.1 computer that ran everything.


Ick. What OS does the control systems on those AEM-7's run on?
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby ApproachMedium » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:16 pm

The fault monitoring system ran on windows 3.1 and dos. The propulsion hardware ran on pure hardware. Stuff like the HEP would work without the computer but the wheel slide excitation control etc was all done by the TRACS computer which was total rubbish. The O and E models had zero computers and zero software , just like the original AEM-7s
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:26 pm

I now wonder what the latest (Siemens/etc) use. Probably Linux (known embeddable) or Minix (it's already in your PC!). Hopefully not Windows.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby ApproachMedium » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:54 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:I now wonder what the latest (Siemens/etc) use. Probably Linux (known embeddable) or Minix (it's already in your PC!). Hopefully not Windows.


HHP-8s/HST were QNX linux. I dont know what they use on the bombardier ALPs but the ACS-64 has some kind of linux, i forget which. the penguin is def on the screen when it boots up and it does tell you the version. The stuff on the ALP44Ms was so simple that old windows was able to do it.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:13 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:The ALP44M models were nothing but problems, regardless of being newer they were always a constant headache with that Windows 3.1 computer that ran everything.
If the microprocessor ALP44s were so bad, why were they ordered for Midtown Direct instead of additional ALP44 "E" units?
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:43 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:
STrRedWolf wrote:I now wonder what the latest (Siemens/etc) use. Probably Linux (known embeddable) or Minix (it's already in your PC!). Hopefully not Windows.


HHP-8s/HST were QNX linux. I dont know what they use on the bombardier ALPs but the ACS-64 has some kind of linux, i forget which. the penguin is def on the screen when it boots up and it does tell you the version. The stuff on the ALP44Ms was so simple that old windows was able to do it.


QNX isn't Linux, but it's a Unix-alike that's built for embedded systems. It was so small you had an OS + browser on a tiny floppy disk (1.44MB). Still good today and still used everywhere. At least there's something *good* on those hippos.

ACS-64 probably has a mix of Linux with the RealTime capabilities added.
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Re: AEM-7 status

Postby ApproachMedium » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:09 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:The ALP44M models were nothing but problems, regardless of being newer they were always a constant headache with that Windows 3.1 computer that ran everything.
If the microprocessor ALP44s were so bad, why were they ordered for Midtown Direct instead of additional ALP44 "E" units?


because thats what was being sold. You dont just go in and say give me a 2003 toyota camery because thats what you like. You get the 2018 because thats whats being produced. And nj transit loves technology, see the failed instances of trying to have full trainline data communications between engine all cars and cab car. Its never worked but they invested a lot into it when they bought the comet ivs and then again with comet vs, and again with multilevels where it finally worked between all the cars but still not the engines.
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