MARC HHP-8

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby D40LF » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:24 pm

dt_rt40 wrote:Well, in my opinion the SC-44s cannot arrive soon enough and these (hopefully successful) HHP-8 rebuilds cannot be completed soon enough.

We were told of a disabled train on 148 this morning. I say to myself "better not be a sick HHP-8 with a marc train". Turns out it was 517. We pull alongside it, sure enough it was a hideous MP-36...which remember MARC bought less than a decade ago to be 'more reliable' than previous locomotives. In many years of being a MARC rider, my only extreme delayed trains were due to Amtrak AEM-7s and HHP-8 when riding the cross honored regionals, and a MP-36. Never one of the MARC electrics. Yes I know that statistically, they were an improvement. But they still fail at too high a rate.


Are the MP36s really that bad? I haven't heard of any other MPI operators having major issues. If MARC is having problems, is it because of inadequate maintenance, or perhaps they are using MP36s in ways they weren't designed for (like pulling 8 car trains at 100mph)?
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby dt_rt40 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:13 pm

First of all, YIKES! Sorry for typing 148 when I meant 151. I've always confused the numbers of those cross honored regionals, and yes, I was on one.
We were told several times the MARC train was stopped due to being "broken down". The code word for a trespasser tends to be "police activity". I saw no police trackside. Had they hit someone, I would have expected to see that an hour later. Nothing was covering the front of the cab car - l looked - and none of the MARC passengers were agog over such an incident. Are you sure that's what happened?
The Sun article where the MTA touted the sc-44 purchase said the mp-36s had a 85% reliability, whatever that means. The reliability of the electrics was "50 to 60 percent". Neither figure seems like something we'd accept for say, our personal automobile!
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby dt_rt40 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:26 pm

Might as well ask now...I feel like this morning, 523 might have been pulled by a Charger. Anybody know if they are testing yet on revenue trains? Yep, I wasn't going to lose my seat near the cab car to walk back and find out!
It finally occurred to me something felt "odd" around odenton. Decided to take a reading. We hit 110 so it was NOT a mp-36 pushing.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby avgeeky » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:00 am

523 had a HHP-8 on it yesterday, I was too sleepy to check the number. And out of all the equipment MARC has, the diesels are the most reliable. I'm definitely on record here trashing the MP36s, but they are what's keeping MARC running and are really not as bad as this thread suggests. They're fat, a little ugly, and slow, but they are the backbone of the fleet and doing a decent job of it.
Just a guy who rides the train way too often and is kinda good with numbers.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby dt_rt40 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:50 am

Ok. For some reason he or she seemed to driving a little more gingerly than usual. This made me think it was the new locomotive. I hope MARC is going to announce when they are on regular trains.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby avgeeky » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:25 am

Depends on the engineer I think, most of them will push it to 125 especially that little stretch between New Carrollton and DC, but I've had that experience before as well where they don't go above 110. This was in winter as well, so heat orders weren't a thing either.
Just a guy who rides the train way too often and is kinda good with numbers.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:47 am

406’s being pulled by 4913 and the conductor isn’t happy about it. Asked him how it’s working and he said “It’s not.” They’re probably working the hippo with kit gloves until they’re rebuilt.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby Milepost 110 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:16 pm

Now that at least one of the HHP-8 rebuilds has been in service for several months (or so I hear), how are they doing? Does this rebuild significantly improve their reliability?
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:39 pm

So far so good. It's been on MARC 404's equipment and I haven't heard any complaints.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:11 am

Ether 4910 had its first failure or 4912 just got rebuilt. 409 today had 4912 hauling in lead southbound, pano up, while 4910 was on The northbound end pano down.

I’m hoping it’s the latter and not the former.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby TheOneKEA » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:49 am

Every time I see a weekend Penn Line service with a pair of MP36s on the front, I wonder again if the lack of electrification at Martins Yard is the reason why MARC doesn’t use HHP-8s on the weekends. If their reliability improves sufficiently and the reliability of the MP36s declines, will MARC actually do the sensivle thing and start rostering the HHP-8s for weekend service?
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:13 pm

Depends. There's been some breakdowns on the line over the past two weeks up in the Aberdeen/Perryville area. Any word on them or do you need date/times and train numbers?
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby TheOneKEA » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:33 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:Depends. There's been some breakdowns on the line over the past two weeks up in the Aberdeen/Perryville area. Any word on them or do you need date/times and train numbers?


Unfortunately I don’t have any information on recent breakdowns. All I have is the info that was given to me by an MTA spokesperson a while back when I asked why no electric locomotives were rostered for the weekend Penn Line service.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby dt_rt40 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:41 pm

Anybody who knows my posting history would know I am loathe to report a problem with the electrics.
That being said, on Monday I was NB on the new 148 (cross honored regional leaving at 3pm, now something like 196 IIRC) and saw reversed MARC consist - both locos facing south - with an HHP-8 seemingly being towed by the "Jeep". In theory, this could have been a non-revenue move right? Isn't it true they often move locos with a several-car consist for some odd reason...brake reserve capacity or something? Maybe it was one of the non-operational HHP-8s being towed to Ivy City? At any rate, did not get a number on the HHP-8 or notice if the panto was up or down. I barely caught it in fact.
Am annoyed they are not running more Chargers in the Penn line, but realized they might have a somewhat perverse justification for that. If any of the older locos breaks down on the Penn, it's easy to arrange a rescue train. Not as easy on Camden or Brunswick lines! At least they didn't destroy one in the recent Brunswick line flooding LOL. Almost happened!
But MARC doesn't seem panicked because tonight's 4:22 departure was pulled by an HHP-8.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby dt_rt40 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:22 pm

More MARC motive power woes: this afternoon, while riding the much delayed 532 north, I saw a SB MARC consist with a MP-36 AND a charger! As though the MP-36 was being towed. Fairly sure I saw some figures inside so am assuming it was a regular revenue service. Neither train was going very fast, we were about to stop for Odenton, and they might have just stopped for it.

FWIW, 4912 was pulling 430 today.

Odd question: if an HHP-8 or Charger is towing an MP-36, are they allowed to go 125mph?
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