Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:32 pm

JeffK wrote:
chuchubob wrote:I caught it Monday passing through North Broad and returning back toward Wayne Junction.

Nice photos - thanks Bob!

(I just wish the designers hadn't fallen into the "slant eyes" meme that afflicts so many other vehicles. Space aliens, anyone? )


Bob: Thanks again for the pictures - they are appreciated.

JK: Not sure if you remember this cartoon from the 1960s: "Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse" in which the two
main characters drove the "Catmobile" - The ACS64 front end reminds me and some other members of the Forums
(ThirdRail7 comes to mind) of this cartoon vehicle. These cartoons can be found on YouTube.

I think that "Catmobile" is a good nickname for the ACS64 noting the resemblance... :wink:

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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby South Jersey Budd » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:15 pm

A friend from SEPTA told me tomorrow is supposed to be Elwyn and Norristown. Thursday is Doylestown and Warminster.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby chuchubob » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:39 pm

Again through North Broad Tuesday morning.
An hour later AMTK 664 approached North Philly station and moved onto the Chestnut Hill West branch.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby KAWASAKI-FAN100 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:19 pm

Taken earlier today at CHE and CHW

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

and a video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Wv4UN ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby tgolanos » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:07 am

Very cool shots, guys. It's interesting to see Amtrak equipment running on the Reading-side of the system. Would this be a first?
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:57 am

tgolanos wrote:Very cool shots, guys. It's interesting to see Amtrak equipment running on the Reading-side of the system. Would this be a first?


TG: No. Back when the push-pull equipment and AEM7s were first being tested in 1987 they were run on the short
branches such as CHE and CHW and were found to be not practical for use on routes with stations close together.

These runs were on peak hour in service trains and it was noticeable that AEM7s had slower acceleration then MU
cars do and in the short stretches between stations struggled to keep schedule. It was found that these push-pull
trains were better used on longer runs with more distance between stations as they are used today.

These test runs are rare and I would not be surprised if this is the first time in many years that P-P trains have run
on both branches - perhaps since those 1987 testing periods. It is rare anyway seeing them on RDG branches that
are outside of the two trainsets assigned to RDG side peak hour trains remembering the limitations of the power
supply that limits their use to two AEM7s (or ALP44) units as any one time. AEM7s draw as much power as 8 MU
cars - and the ALP44 similarly. I would not be surprised if ACS64 units consume power in a similar manner.

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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby glennk419 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:55 am

I believe the Sprinter ran on the Warminster branch overnight. I heard them through Roslyn around 3:40 this morning. Now that I was wide awake, it also sounded like they may have reversed at Jenkintown as I heard horns for the Rydal Road crossing around 20 minutes later.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby scotty269 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:43 am

They ran on the WT line on Saturday afternoon. The crew stopped between Red Lion Rd xing and Bethayres for several minutes before proceeding.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby zebrasepta » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:41 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:
tgolanos wrote:Very cool shots, guys. It's interesting to see Amtrak equipment running on the Reading-side of the system. Would this be a first?


TG: No. Back when the push-pull equipment and AEM7s were first being tested in 1987 they were run on the short
branches such as CHE and CHW and were found to be not practical for use on routes with stations close together.

These runs were on peak hour in service trains and it was noticeable that AEM7s had slower acceleration then MU
cars do and in the short stretches between stations struggled to keep schedule. It was found that these push-pull
trains were better used on longer runs with more distance between stations as they are used today.

These test runs are rare and I would not be surprised if this is the first time in many years that P-P trains have run
on both branches - perhaps since those 1987 testing periods. It is rare anyway seeing them on RDG branches that
are outside of the two trainsets assigned to RDG side peak hour trains remembering the limitations of the power
supply that limits their use to two AEM7s (or ALP44) units as any one time. AEM7s draw as much power as 8 MU
cars - and the ALP44 similarly. I would not be surprised if ACS64 units consume power in a similar manner.

MACTRAXX

I'm pretty sure SEPTA is going to put some of the push-pull sets back on some RDG lines like the Lansdale/Doylestown and the Warminster Lines since they ordered 13 ACS-64s with 5 options
and have a total of 55 multilevels they're going to order (11 cabs, 34 coaches, 10 Mandatory options shown here: http://www.septa.org/business/bid/100k/ ... -AJAC.html) and I'm pretty sure they have worked on the substations too for those lines
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby ekt8750 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:47 pm

Don't forget the Sprinters will be equipped with regenerative braking which will return power back to the grid every time the brakes are applied so they won't drain the system as much as the Toasters did.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby glennk419 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:41 pm

zebrasepta wrote: and I'm pretty sure they have worked on the substations too for those lines


The current power work planned or underway on the Reading side also includes a third static converter for Wayne junction which theoretically adds 50% more capacity.
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:08 pm

Everyone:

Good to note that SEPTA plans on increasing RDG side power capacity to allow more push-pull train service.
Regenerative braking will only help the ACS64 motors to perform better in service then the AEM7s that they are
eventually going to replace.

When push-pull trains were assigned to the Lansdale-Doylestown Line in the past SEPTA ran into two significant
problems with their use on weekday express services such as the North Penn Limited:

First - The push-pull trains had problems keeping the schedule. The trains ran late often enough to generate many
commuter complaints getting MU equipment reassigned to the runs each time.

Second - Neighbors of the Doylestown Yard complained about the AEM7 noise when the push-pull trainset was in
storage overnight enough for SEPTA to try options such as dropping the pantograph each night or deadheading the
train back to Lansdale or further south for the overnight forcing a early morning deadhead move. Making matters
even more complicated was the limited power capacity of the small Doylestown substation.

I will add that during the 1993 Railworks construction when SEPTA ran a through diesel train to 30th Street Station
that trainset ran deadhead to Doylestown early in the morning and the afternoon run terminated at Lansdale just so
the equipment would not have to be stored in the Doylestown Yard and incur the wrath of the neighbors there.
The afternoon train ran back to Fern Rock in service and then overnighted at Roberts Yard for maintenance.
For the record the Railworks 1993 construction period was for the months of May through August that year.

West Trenton and Warminster turned out to be better lines to use push-pull trainsets on since the yard facilities
on both routes are not near any close-by residential areas like the Doylestown Yard (and for that matter Lansdale
Yard to some extent) is to keep any added train noise (and resulting complaints) away from neighbors.

Hopefully the ACS64 units are quieter then the AEM7s are (I haven't been around them enough to take notice)
and that they will be a positive addition to the SEPTA fleet allowing replacement of the aging group of eight
locomotives (seven AEM7s and one ALP44 for those that do not know) that are currently in push-pull service.

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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby bdawe » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:18 pm

I have to ask - why does SEPTA bother with push-pull service? Why not just run more EMUs? Having electric locomotives and unpowered coaches seems like an unnecessary complication
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby ChrisU » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:51 pm

Anybody know what their plan is for tomorrow?
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Re: Amtrak ACS-64 664 on SEPTA

Postby South Jersey Budd » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:49 am

Supposed to be the Thorndale line today.
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