Acela Disposition Discussion

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Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:08 am

This topic is for discussion of the disposition of the Amtrak Acela train sets operated on the Northeast Corridor (Amtrak NEC). For previous discussion, visit here: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=150817

For discussion of the replacement Avelia Liberty trains, visit here: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=168906
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:40 am

At this point in time it's unknown if there will be an Acela II Track Geometry Car built by Alstrom, it would make sense to maintain a short
Acela I consist(Power car, coach, Track geo car, coach, power car),along with 2 sets to handle Sports team charters along the NEC.
Keep 1 other Power car as a spare,and after weather proofing a couple of MHC's to store spare parts from the scrapped Acela I's.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:34 am

You could, but that’s a lot of parts to keep for one miniature and two regular trainsets. Could Amtrak get away with just Corridor Clipper at 125, then attaching a more minimal instrument pack to one of the Avelia coaches for higher speeds?

I’m guessing some AX-1s will stay around a while after the Avelias enter service, at least until Amtrak begins taking delivery of the extra option cars.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby jp1822 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:05 pm

Could two Acela trainsets be put together and substitute for peak period Regionals? Wouldn’t need the second cafe car though.....maybe convert it (at long last) to coach seating (the whole car). First Class becomes business class, and sell out with two of them. Perhaps even still offer sit down meal service.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby jp1822 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:47 pm

Since AMtrak is so far behind on replacing single level passenger cars of any type - Amfleet 1, Amfleet 2, Horizons etc. - can Amtrak afford to “dispose” of Acela equipment? The logical answer is now, but the question of how or where to place these coaches for service is another issue. The intention is that if they replace other “single level train sets” on a 1:1 basis (relative), then Amtrak can re-purpose the “other” trainsets. It would hopefully mirror something like how Acela Express equipment originally bumped off the Metroliner equipment (Amfleet equipment). For example, two Metroliner train sets were re-purposed for the Adirondack when two Acela Express trainsets came online.

But the Acela Express trainsets - that would now be bumped - have limited running territory. If staying in electric service territory (maintaining the AE power cars), then they either bump of an NEC Regional train operating perhaps on the half hour slot (sugggestion would be to marry two sets of AE equipment though per above), Or operating as is and replacing Keystone trains. However, some “deal” would have to be worked out so that the Commonwealth of PA is not overly burdened with Acela Express costs. AE trainsets would be perfect here - bidirectional service ready to go! Cafe cars potentially stored or turned into coach cars (as had been planned). Or minimizing the cafe area and leaving closed for potential re-use or re-purposing “one day.” The FIrst Class car just operates as a business class car - perhaps one day with expansion. Re-purposing the AE trainsets in this way frees up at least five Amfleets per Keystone train and the aging cab cars. But PA should not be burdened with the incremental cost of this equipment as the equipment that is being surrendered over is going to provide Amtrak with coaches to operate more universally elsewhere.

Most stations on the Keystone route have, or are planned to get, high level platforms in the next few years. With the delivery of the new AE train sets still in the future, there’s time for this construction to potentially happen. The bi-directional ease is a big selling point. BUT, its all about working out a deal on the cost of equipment. I know this has been brought up before, but I really think it needs close examination in terms of pros and cons and if it could be negotiated. Won’t be the first time that the Keystone Corridor received “cast-offs” from the NEC (Metroliners became Capitoliners). AW train sets even tested on the Keystone route.

Otherwise, can sets be combined and utilized to sub as currently Regionals that are running.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby frequentflyer » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:14 am

Why keep a fleet that will be a mx headache. BBD is not going to continue support. One cannot abuse the Acela like you can with five Amfleets and a Sprinter.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby east point » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:53 pm

We cannot predict what will happen to them 5 years in the future. There are too many factors that can have effects on whether to keep them or not. Management at that point in time, ridership demand ( major effect ), fleet size, accounting of NEC operations, congressional support for infrastructure improvements, enroute time improvements, loss of other equipment, etc.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby David Benton » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:52 pm

I like JP,s idea,but what extra costs?. Acela fully paid for, extra loco required anyway. I would think the only question is whether the remaining high level platforms can be built in time.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby jp1822 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:57 am

Extra costs in terms of - difference between operating Keystone Amfleet equipment (current) versus Acela Express equipment.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby eolesen » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:43 pm

Dumb question, but couldn't the trainsets still be used with a Sprinter or even a Charger at each end?

Are there other notes on the network where a couple trainsets might be able to be deployed in a higher frequency market e.g. CHI-MKE?
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby dowlingm » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:11 am

frequentflyer wrote:Why keep a fleet that will be a mx headache. BBD is not going to continue support. One cannot abuse the Acela like you can with five Amfleets and a Sprinter.
do you have explicit knowledge of whether BBD will continue support? Look at what they are doing with MARC's HHP-8s.

For me I would think Keystone Acela a good idea if something could be worked out with PA and BBD, but there would have to be a sense that the fatigue life of the sets would be long enough to bother doing so.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby electricron » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:18 pm

?????????Fatigue life?????????
Acela train sets are less than 20 years in age, Amfleets are more than 40 years old.
Acela enter service on December 11, 2000 — Amfleet I entered service 1975-1977.
There should easily be another 20 years of life remaining in the Acela stainless steel bodies — how long the electronics will last is debatable, but electronics can be replaced.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby dowlingm » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:58 pm

The Acelas are heavy Tier 2 vehicles, have tilt, have been hauled around at well north of 125. While you might well be right that any major issues with couplers and frames have been found by now, for PA to take them on by the time Avelia is fully able to replace them will require them to have enough life to be more than a fleeting solution.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby frequentflyer » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:18 pm

dowlingm wrote:
frequentflyer wrote:Why keep a fleet that will be a mx headache. BBD is not going to continue support. One cannot abuse the Acela like you can with five Amfleets and a Sprinter.
do you have explicit knowledge of whether BBD will continue support? Look at what they are doing with MARC's HHP-8s.

For me I would think Keystone Acela a good idea if something could be worked out with PA and BBD, but there would have to be a sense that the fatigue life of the sets would be long enough to bother doing so.


Explicit knowledge? No. Just what I see in the news (lawsuits and accusations) and Amtrak's actions (no orders from BBD for new locomotives or train sets). Electron posted that the Acela car bodies should last another 20 years, maybe, but the fact remains Amtrak chose to go in another direction and have stated the Acela Is will be retired. Can't find the Amtrak PR stating so but its in this Forbes article.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonrabin ... f7c7001625

Now I am sure that Amtrak management and Ops has sat around the table and had discussions that are similar what is being discussed in this thread, and more importantly have run the numbers to see if it makes sense to move the Acelas to PA or use them as Regionals. Again, Amtrak's actions are telling, they want to RETIRE the trains and be done with them and apparently BBD.

I have loved my rides on the Acela, its nice ride,and its America's first, "high speed train" (at least to the public and media). It looks fast and cool.................But apparently its too expensive or mx intensive even for even lowly regional work.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:11 pm

dowlingm wrote:For me I would think Keystone Acela a good idea if something could be worked out with PA and BBD, but there would have to be a sense that the fatigue life of the sets would be long enough to bother doing so.
The Metroliners spent their later years (1981-1988) in self-propelled service on Harrisburg Line after retired from the NEC, so this has happened before.

Or could an LRC style treatment follow by removing the Acela cars from the trainsets and using them as standard locomotive hauled coaches?
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