Acela Speeds

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, gprimr1, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman

Post Reply
RDL 879
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: NY or Boston? GO PENN CENTRAL!

Post by RDL 879 » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:46 pm

Much as I love the old PRR catenary--which allowed the Pennsylvania Railroad to truly claim the title of Standard Railroad of the World-- I'd like to see it replaced, thus assuring the future of electric operation. Obviously, Amtrak doesn't have the funds to do this, but maybe when the states take over the Corridor, they'll jump right on it (yeah right :( )

Conversion to 25 kV 60-hz power would also be a sensible move, and I have heard of plans where voltage would be at 12.5 kV in the tunnels. Of course then the question of who pays to upgrade the SEPTA and NJT fleets to operate on 25 kV raises its ugly head, and would the SEPTA and NJT off -Corridor routes (NJ Coast Line, Media Branch, etc) be upgraded as well?
Lousy light? Trains not running? So show me where it says, "Railfanning is Fun."

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:17 pm

Of course then the question of who pays to upgrade the SEPTA and NJT fleets to operate on 25 kV raises its ugly head, and would the SEPTA and NJT off -Corridor routes (NJ Coast Line, Media Branch, etc) be upgraded as well?
NJT already has lines that use 25kV (former Lackawanna, part of former NY & Long Branch) and while their electric motors (ALP-44 and ALP-46) can switch from voltage to voltage on the fly, the Arrow MUs can't (they need to have transformer taps manually changed in the shop).

Converting the NEC to 25kV 60Hz would be a big issue for SEPTA, who themselves have a lot of former Reading and former PRR lines and branches at the elder voltage.

Jishnu
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:48 pm
Location: At the Space Coast 20 miles from Kennedy Space Center

Post by Jishnu » Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:56 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:I can ask, but I think parts of the M&E are in fact constant tension.

AFAIK there is no constant tension (CT) catenary anywhere on the M&E. Of course would love to know if I am wrong, and also would love to know where the CT catenary is, if there is any.

Surprisingly, when NJT decided to extend electrification on the Montclai-Boonton line they chose to do so using non constant tension catenary!

BTW, there is about a two mile stretch of CT catenary on the NEC between Princeton Jct and Hamilton on track 3. The design looks very simlar to that used in the UK on the WCML (West Coast Main Line). It is just before you get to Hamilton while travelling towards Trenton.

hsr_fan

Post by hsr_fan » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:44 pm

Jishnu wrote:BTW, there is about a two mile stretch of CT catenary on the NEC between Princeton Jct and Hamilton on track 3. The design looks very simlar to that used in the UK on the WCML (West Coast Main Line). It is just before you get to Hamilton while travelling towards Trenton.


That's right, I spotted the pulleys and weights there once after learning about that. I wonder how hard it would be to slowly start adding more of that along the high speed stretches of the NEC.

Nasadowsk
Posts: 3982
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:45 pm

Post by Nasadowsk » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:17 pm

<i>NJT already has lines that use 25kV (former Lackawanna, part of former NY & Long Branch) and while their electric motors (ALP-44 and ALP-46) can switch from voltage to voltage on the fly, the Arrow MUs can't (they need to have transformer taps manually changed in the shop).</i>

The M&E is 27.5kv. Only the coast line is 25kv. Besides flipping the tap switch, the Arrows need their CTs swapped too for some reason.

'Changing taps' on the Arrow doesn't rquire much - just flip the switch on the transformer. had NJT opted for the motor/control logic on the rebuild, they would have had change on the fly ability.

<i>Converting the NEC to 25kV 60Hz would be a big issue for SEPTA, who themselves have a lot of former Reading and former PRR lines and branches at the elder voltage.</i>

Why? The SL IVs have tap switches and a portion of them have tap changers and changeover equipment. The SL Vs are spec'd to have 25kv ability. In any case, most, if not all, of Septa's current fleet will run on 12.5kv 60hz, with little or no modification. All the SL IVs will, the II/III cars were designed for it too, but they need to be de rated somewhat on 60hz for some reason. Big whoop, 10 years from now they'll all be razor blades. It'll realistically take that long to move the system to all 60hz anyway.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:21 pm

The M&E is 27.5kv
As they like to say on Subchat, PROFF?
Why?
Insofar as SEPTA, Money.

prr60
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:04 pm
Location: Southern NJ

Post by prr60 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:20 pm

Amtrak 25hz operation will be around for a long time. They just sunk over $200 million into the Richmond (Philadelphia) Solid-state Frequency Converter and they are unlikely to walk away from that investment any time soon.

Nasadowsk
Posts: 3982
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:45 pm

Post by Nasadowsk » Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:32 pm

<i>As they like to say on Subchat, PROFF?</i>

I've talked to the guy at NJT who was involved with the engineering on the repowering project. If you're desperate, I'll get a schematic and scan it in. FWIW, the system is supposed to be conceptually much like the New Haven line, but with the voltages doubled....

Yes, I know it's weird, but the Hoboken side is *not* exactly 25kv (and realize that 25kv as proposed by GE in the 60's was 23kv anyway). The coast line *is* 25kv - the transformers at Red Bank were dual winding and output either 12.5 or 25kv. It was recently changed to 25kv though they never changed the panel meters at least not at Long Branch. The system was designed from day one to be 25kv, all the equipment was spec'd for 25kv.

BTW, they only bring in 2 legs of the 230kv 3 phase at Red Bank (A and C phases on the print). Apparently, the uneven loading isn't a major problem afterall, though it was an issue on the Hoboken side (not because of real difference but more due to location). Careful selection of feeders is the trick (they can't be located too close to a turbine based generating station, etc).

As for Septa? Yeah, money is about the only reason now. Otherwise, there's really no point to staying with 25hz....

Jersey_Mike
Posts: 4689
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:39 am
Location: CHARLES aka B&P JCT MP 95.9
Contact:

Post by Jersey_Mike » Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:47 pm

I doubt we will ever see a switch from 12.5Kv on Amtrak. MNRR loves being bland and the cost of changing all the clearances to accomidate 25Kv was still too high for them.

Re: 25Hz, two words why Amtrak will probably stay 25hz for the forseeable future: Safe Harbour. As long as Amtrak is getting a good chunk of their power from those two dedicated turbines it is unlikley they will want to pay the $$ to switch over to 60Hz. I mean what does 60Hz get you anyway? A place on an increasingly unreliable electrical grid? In the great blackout of 2004? Amtrak still had catenary power in NYC. Biologists always say that diversity is a good thing and its a shame we don't have more independant power systems in this country.

Also, look how engineery the Germans are and they haven't switched over from their 16 2/3 Hz system.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22151
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13
Contact:

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:56 pm

MNCR was never approached by Amtrak about 25Kv untill the entire New Haven line was changed to 12.5Kv as requested by Amtrak.
Raising the voltage to 25Kv would be out of question as the clearances are just not there, it would require raising of at least 25 overpasses were currently only about 18" or less total exist above a M series car.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

timz
Posts: 1717
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:04 pm
Location: Oakland CA

Post by timz » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:53 pm

DutchRailnut wrote: Raising the voltage to 25Kv would be out of question as the clearances are just not there, it would require raising of at least 25 overpasses were currently only about 18" or less total exist above a M series car.


Above the pantograph, you mean?

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22151
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13
Contact:

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:59 pm

No total above the car, the catenary alrady is lead thru insulator half pipes to prevent arching to cement during wet days.
The pantograph under bridges is so far down the shoe is only 12 " above the hump on a M2/4/6
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Ken W2KB
Posts: 5745
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:27 pm
Location: Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey & Tiverton, RI USA
Contact:

Post by Ken W2KB » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:22 am

Jersey_Mike wrote:I doubt we will ever see a switch from 12.5Kv on Amtrak. MNRR loves being bland and the cost of changing all the clearances to accomidate 25Kv was still too high for them.

Re: 25Hz, two words why Amtrak will probably stay 25hz for the forseeable future: Safe Harbour. As long as Amtrak is getting a good chunk of their power from those two dedicated turbines it is unlikley they will want to pay the $$ to switch over to 60Hz. I mean what does 60Hz get you anyway? A place on an increasingly unreliable electrical grid? In the great blackout of 2004? Amtrak still had catenary power in NYC. Biologists always say that diversity is a good thing and its a shame we don't have more independant power systems in this country.

Also, look how engineery the Germans are and they haven't switched over from their 16 2/3 Hz system.


Amtrak's power in NYC during the blackout was from the utility grid. All but the very southern end of the NEC is absolutely dependent on the utility grid for power generation and delivery. The 25Hz water wheel generation and Amtrak's transmission system cannot support more than a small percentage of train operation. Note that the grid is not becoming less reliable. It continues to meet the reliability standard of not more than one day (aggregate) of bulk power system outages in 10 years.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

Ken W2KB
Posts: 5745
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:27 pm
Location: Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey & Tiverton, RI USA
Contact:

Post by Ken W2KB » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:27 am

prr60 wrote:Amtrak 25hz operation will be around for a long time. They just sunk over $200 million into the Richmond (Philadelphia) Solid-state Frequency Converter and they are unlikely to walk away from that investment any time soon.


Amtrak had no choice but to build this converter in order to continue to operate. It needed additional and more reliable capability. Note that a conversion to 25kV project is estimated to take about 10 years and a couple of billion dollars. In the unlikely event Congress funds the conversion, Amtrak will jump at the chance. By completion and cutover, the solid state converters would have been used some 15 plus years. They may - I don't know - have the capability of controlling power flows (similar to the phase angle regulator) and thereby have a use even in a 60 Hz world.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

RDL 879
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: NY or Boston? GO PENN CENTRAL!

Post by RDL 879 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:44 pm

Sorry to take this so off-topic, but are you folks sure that the Coast Line extension is 25kV? I remember seeing the yard at Long Branch full of NJT E60's in 1988, and I think I have a slide of a Silverliner approaching the station with "12KV" marked on the front. I don't believe any of the E-60's were ever converted to 25kV, though that was certainly in mind when they were purchased by Amtrak in the mid 70's.
Lousy light? Trains not running? So show me where it says, "Railfanning is Fun."

Post Reply

Return to “Amtrak”