Acela Disposition Discussion

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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby Acela Express » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:15 am

The Acela has done its job here in the NEC. say what you wanna say think what you wanna think feel how you wanna feel. it was set to run at 150 m.p.h and it does it every day since the start with no major fatalities. it was suppose to bring amtrak 3 million new riders it has done that. its quiet smooth and passengers love. Dont trash a piece of equipment that was the first of its kind to be a 21st century train for america and put in a 19-20th century infrastructure.
it's like take a lambo or ferrari and driving it thru manhattan everyday at full speed the same would happen to that car wear and tear. i always said even with the weight issues if this train was running in europe it would be soild for another 20 years. America needs to step the hell up and learn how to run a railroad in 2019 for Godsake.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby ApproachMedium » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:43 am

It barely goes 150mph. And its def not quiet and smooth these things are riding like trash again and yes, passengers sometimes complain to us about it. If the weight issue wasnt such a thing years ago we could have been running something more off the shelf like the x2000 and it would probably still be here today, and continuing on. The originals are still running over there after rebuilds and the original german ICE trains are still operational as well.

Americans and overweight seems to go hand in hand. These metroliner cabs are still around today but their weight continues to plague their suspension systems with their heavy concrete floors and over-ballasting for "fears" that such a high speed train would "fly off the track"
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby WhartonAndNorthern » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:58 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:It barely goes 150mph. And its def not quiet and smooth these things are riding like trash again and yes, passengers sometimes complain to us about it. If the weight issue wasnt such a thing years ago we could have been running something more off the shelf like the x2000 and it would probably still be here today, and continuing on. The originals are still running over there after rebuilds and the original german ICE trains are still operational as well.

Americans and overweight seems to go hand in hand. These metroliner cabs are still around today but their weight continues to plague their suspension systems with their heavy concrete floors and over-ballasting for "fears" that such a high speed train would "fly off the track"


Those who are so quick to demand a re-purposing of the equipment forget the key DEFECTS of the design.

Engineering:
  • The cars were built too wide to properly tilt at most locations.
  • The new FRA crash standards were introduced after design (and maybe construction?) started. Overnight, the equipment had to meet Tier II requirements (1,600,000 lbs buff strength). more than double Tier I and now superseded by Tier III energy management. They're heavier than any regional needs to be. The extra power car (vs. a cab car) was part of that up-armoring.

Logistically, they're tied to 6 car length and three specific maintenance facilities (car barns). Most regionals I see passing through Virginia on the Ashland cam are 8 cars. Not sure what's running north of DC on NEC-only trains. As exciting as a NY-Harrisburg super-express sounds (full speed on the NJ "speedway" and skip all the low platform stations), PA's not going to pay for a Harrisburg maintenance facility just for a few legacy Acela sets. No one (MA or VA) is going to pay for a maintenance facility and conversion of a power car to diesel or gas turbine.

Mechanically and technically, the design was a failure. Marketing-wise and service-wise the design was a success. They're 20 years old: the point where a carrier decides if it's better to rebuild or replace. Amtrak decided to replace and has secured the capital funding to do so. Good bye AX1s!
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby mmi16 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:24 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:It barely goes 150mph. And its def not quiet and smooth these things are riding like trash again and yes, passengers sometimes complain to us about it. If the weight issue wasnt such a thing years ago we could have been running something more off the shelf like the x2000 and it would probably still be here today, and continuing on. The originals are still running over there after rebuilds and the original german ICE trains are still operational as well.

Americans and overweight seems to go hand in hand. These metroliner cabs are still around today but their weight continues to plague their suspension systems with their heavy concrete floors and over-ballasting for "fears" that such a high speed train would "fly off the track"

Lightweight construction had performed so well when incidents have happened in Europe! [/sarcasm]
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby ApproachMedium » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:59 pm

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Logistically, they're tied to 6 car length and three specific maintenance facilities (car barns). Most regionals I see passing through Virginia on the Ashland cam are 8 cars. Not sure what's running north of DC on NEC-only trains. As exciting as a NY-Harrisburg super-express sounds (full speed on the NJ "speedway" and skip all the low platform stations), PA's not going to pay for a Harrisburg maintenance facility just for a few legacy Acela sets. No one (MA or VA) is going to pay for a maintenance facility and conversion of a power car to diesel or gas turbine.



What you see running in VA comes from Boston and Springfield often so yea, 8 car trains. The only 6 car set anymore is the Vermonter.

The state of PA wants nothing to do with the AX1 sets. They would rather purchase the Siemens cars and engines and do a a-la brightline (if they can get past the entire turnpike funding disaster) but with electric on the other end. The concept was already tested as some know. It also doesn't require any special maintenance facilities and would keep trains within current and future parts repair and overhaul programs for the company.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby David Benton » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:48 pm

mmi16 wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:It barely goes 150mph. And its def not quiet and smooth these things are riding like trash again and yes, passengers sometimes complain to us about it. If the weight issue wasnt such a thing years ago we could have been running something more off the shelf like the x2000 and it would probably still be here today, and continuing on. The originals are still running over there after rebuilds and the original german ICE trains are still operational as well.

Americans and overweight seems to go hand in hand. These metroliner cabs are still around today but their weight continues to plague their suspension systems with their heavy concrete floors and over-ballasting for "fears" that such a high speed train would "fly off the track"

Lightweight construction had performed so well when incidents have happened in Europe! [/sarcasm]

Given the speeds involved, yes they have. Give me crash energy management over sheer weight and rigidity anyday.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby mmi16 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:48 am

David Benton wrote:
mmi16 wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:It barely goes 150mph. And its def not quiet and smooth these things are riding like trash again and yes, passengers sometimes complain to us about it. If the weight issue wasnt such a thing years ago we could have been running something more off the shelf like the x2000 and it would probably still be here today, and continuing on. The originals are still running over there after rebuilds and the original german ICE trains are still operational as well.

Americans and overweight seems to go hand in hand. These metroliner cabs are still around today but their weight continues to plague their suspension systems with their heavy concrete floors and over-ballasting for "fears" that such a high speed train would "fly off the track"

Lightweight construction had performed so well when incidents have happened in Europe! [/sarcasm]

Given the speeds involved, yes they have. Give me crash energy management over sheer weight and rigidity anyday.

The crushed dead of those incidents applaud you.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby WhartonAndNorthern » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:29 am

ApproachMedium wrote:The state of PA wants nothing to do with the AX1 sets. They would rather purchase the Siemens cars and engines and do a a-la brightline (if they can get past the entire turnpike funding disaster) but with electric on the other end. The concept was already tested as some know. It also doesn't require any special maintenance facilities and would keep trains within current and future parts repair and overhaul programs for the company.


Is there anything worth salvaging or scavenging in the power cars? How much commonality is there with the HHP-8? Mostly a moot question since Amtrak's pretty much done with the HHP-8s and without a dual cab, they can't run the power around at DC.

The only AX1 fantasy I'd remotely consider is cutting the number of cars in a few sets and run them as morning super-expresses: limited stops (BOS, NYP, WUS; maybe PHL and BAL). Compete more directly with airline time since much of the time lost is stopping in stations. This hasn't worked previously since those limited stop expresses weren't well patronized (hence the suggestion to shorten the car length). You could run these with a short regional set since you pick up more time savings from limited stop than 135 mph, but know you have a lower class train competing with first class service. Hence my suggestion to keep Acela-class equipment.

I know, I know. That was a foamer's fantasy that would only accomplish two things: keeping the worn out junk in service longer and some expensive "pride" for Amtrak on it's improved running times.


mmi16 wrote:The crushed dead of those incidents applaud you.


You can fully up-armor a jetliner but it won't be able to fly. You always have to accept some risk. I'm an electrical engineer: my biggest objection to most of the FRA rules is that there seems to be no engineering basis for any of the numbers they use. Why does a cab car need to withstand a 800,000 lb crush test? Why isn't 600,000 sufficient? Why shouldn't it be 1,000,000? Why do mid-train cars need to be built to the same standard (they didn't always)? Why do the standards need to double the instant the train goes 126 mph? Why is a Nippon-Sharyo coach unsafe if it crushes at 798,000 and not 800,000?

Likewise, why is a train "unsafe" if it goes 81 mph without cab signals or ATS? I get that some of these rules are written in blood (the blood of passengers and crews). Yes, the cab signal rule is based on a 1946 accident in Naperville, IL. But where do the numbers come from?

The "buff strength" rule is supposed to prevent the FRA's nightmare scenario of a passenger train having a head-on collision with a freight train. Look what happened at Chatsworth. 800,000 lbs buff strength didn't prevent the locomotive telescoping into that Bombardier coach.

The ICE train didn't handle derailing into a bridge abutment very well, but an up-armored Amfleet didn't handle a catenary pylon either. And your car certainly won't handle either of those. Maybe you should drive an Abrams tank.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:00 pm

But an ACS went head to head with a heavy machine and everyone walked away from that. The crash energy management did its job.

Even with the weight, the acela train sets have crash energy management. I believe theres 3 or 4 stages of it. One of those is the non door end of the cars against the power car, which is why if one of those cars is not attached to the power car, or in proper orientation, the top speed is limited to 125mph.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby WhartonAndNorthern » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:06 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:Even with the weight, the acela train sets have crash energy management. I believe theres 3 or 4 stages of it. One of those is the non door end of the cars against the power car, which is why if one of those cars is not attached to the power car, or in proper orientation, the top speed is limited to 125mph.


That answered a question someone asked in the chat on the South Norwalk rail camera (when it was on YouTube), "why do the first and last cars have only one door?"
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:45 pm

I hope they at least turn the Acela cafe cars into roadside diners! :)

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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:01 am

My prediction:

—RRMPA gets a full set
—another museum gets a full set, but I don’t know which
—a third and fourth museum get a power car and passenger car each
—we all get surprised by some unlikely operator grabbing four sets of cars to use behind diesels, non-tilting
—all the rest go to the tin can factory.
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby Tadman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:34 pm

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:You can fully up-armor a jetliner but it won't be able to fly. You always have to accept some risk. I'm an electrical engineer: my biggest objection to most of the FRA rules is that there seems to be no engineering basis for any of the numbers they use. Why does a cab car need to withstand a 800,000 lb crush test? Why isn't 600,000 sufficient? Why shouldn't it be 1,000,000? Why do mid-train cars need to be built to the same standard (they didn't always)? Why do the standards need to double the instant the train goes 126 mph? Why is a Nippon-Sharyo coach unsafe if it crushes at 798,000 and not 800,000?

Likewise, why is a train "unsafe" if it goes 81 mph without cab signals or ATS? I get that some of these rules are written in blood (the blood of passengers and crews). Yes, the cab signal rule is based on a 1946 accident in Naperville, IL. But where do the numbers come from?.


Amen. They’re making it up as they go. If there was some kind of science behind this stuff, the numbers would change over time with the advent of new technology and there would also be some kind of gradation to the standards.

Consider the FAA, which long ago implemented increasingly large ETOPS standards allowing for two-engine planes to operate over deep water. If the FAA acted like the FRA, we'd still have four-engine planes and the navigator would still be shooting star sights out the windows because "we can't trust those newfangled GPS things"....
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby Tadman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:53 pm

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
mmi16 wrote:The crushed dead of those incidents applaud you.


You can fully up-armor a jetliner but it won't be able to fly.


Another truth. There probably isn't 300 crushed or otherwise killed on-train in the 48 years of Amtrak. That 300 number probably includes commuter operators, as well. But we lose twice that many every year to trespassers and motorists at grade crossings and nobody says a word.

Consider this: in 2015, approximately equal numbers of people perished from the Valhalla accident as the North Philly accident. Valhalla is pretty clearly blamed on the lady in the SUV, aside from some idiotic banter about the third rail. Nobody is going to change a thing. Then you have Philly. The witch hunt of the year came out, people dug deep in the engineer's life history, of course the lack of PTC was blamed.

Either accident was equally preventable.

Anyway, nobody wants the Acela, and I have a hard time seeing the museums wanting an entire trainset. 8 cars takes up a lot of property. The better museums have a hard time building barns for their collection.

I also had some vendors with reason to know tell me that CAHSR was interested, and it's pretty obvious that dog won't hunt...
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Re: Acela Disposition Discussion

Postby David Benton » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:10 pm

Tadman wrote:
I also had some vendors with reason to know tell me that CAHSR was interested, and it's pretty obvious that dog won't hunt...

That dog might have its day . They will want to demonstrate the HSR capabilities, even if only over the short stretch . But they would still be better going for a secondhand TGV or ICE or whatever , and demo 186mph or faster.
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