Turboliner information wanted!

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

Turboliner information wanted!

Postby lensovet » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:13 am

hello everyone, if you could contribute more historical information on the turboliner (facts only, PLEASE...no personal attacks, opinions, evaluations of the services, just what exactly the trains were, how they ran, etc) to this wikipedia article, i would very much appreciate your help. thanks!
User avatar
lensovet
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Postby hsr_fan » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:21 am

One error I can immediately point out in that article is the claim that the Turboliners were based on the gas turbine TGV prototype. The French Turboliners, of which a few were imported by Amtrak, actually pre-date the TGV 001 and are what the Rohr units were based on.
hsr_fan
 

Postby lensovet » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:21 am

would you be so kind as to fix this Wikipedia error? Just click the edit link at the top of the page!
User avatar
lensovet
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Postby hsr_fan » Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:51 pm

Sure, I'd be happy to when I have some time.
hsr_fan
 

More Amtrak Turboliner facts - RTG

Postby dhaffner » Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:04 pm

The RTG trainsets preceeded the RTL (Rohr) sets. The RTG sets began arriving in Chicago in late 1973. The construction of Amtak's Brighton Park Turbo Facility began around that time, at 37th and Sacramento.

The story on the purchase of the first two sets was that the Ford Motor Company bought them and donated them to Amtrak. The last four sets were enhanced, with better interiors and automatic vestibule doors. The first two sets were eventually brought up to that standard.

There were six sets of RTG equipment. The power cars, one on each end, were numbered between 58 and 69. The sets also had coaches(2 per set) and bar/grill cars(1 per set).

The trainsets operated between Chicago and the following cities at various times: St. Louis, Port Huron, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Toledo (via Detroit).

During the energy crisis of the late 70's, several modifications were performed, such as the addition of a higher horsepower and more efficient main engine, so the sets could run with only one of the two main engines operating to save fuel.

The alternator that supplied head end power to the coaches was driven by a smaller turbo engine (the "Astazou") and the output was 380V/50 hertz. The later RTL equipment supplied the American standard 480 volts/60 hertz to components also found in the Amfleet cars.

The RTG sets also had the European coupling system (buffers and turnbuckles) as opposed to the later RTL equipment which had American style-couplers.

This information is to the best of my recollection accurate. I worked on this equipment from 1975 until 1981.

The facility was closed in 1981 and the equipment mothballed in Beech Grove, Indiana.
dhaffner
 

Postby hsr_fan » Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:57 pm

Interesting, I didn't know much about the original French Turboliners. To add to that history, three of the French trainsets were acquired by New York and rebuilt to more or less match the Rohr units, with a similar nose and of course, third rail capability for operation into NYC. However, all of the French built units were retired after one caught fire in New York.
hsr_fan
 

Postby lensovet » Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:20 pm

thanks for that info! if you look i've updated the page with it, let me know how it is.
just a clarification – the st. louis which had service was the one in Missouri, correct?
thanks again.
Paul Borokhov

Last RRPicArch addition – NJ Railfan.

NJT RailCalifornia commuter (mod)
User avatar
lensovet
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: More Amtrak Turboliner facts - RTG

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:28 pm

dhaffner wrote:The story on the purchase of the first two sets was that the Ford Motor Company bought them and donated them to Amtrak.

I'm sorry, Mr. Haffner, but I must question the veracity of your quoted statement.

I was in the Chicago area railroad industry during 1973 when the "off the shelf' ANF Turbos were delivered and was unaware of any such transaction. I think I "was in a position' to know having regular "line of duty" interface with Amtrak personnel during that period.

I have further checked with a highly informed retired Amtrak manager with whom "I go back a long way', i.e. college, and he too is unaware of any such Ford Motor donation. Furthermore, since Ford has not been in either the locomotive or railcar business, I cannot see what economic objective they would have from making such a donation.

But if you have substantive documentation to establish such a transaction occurred, I for one as well as I'm sure many others, will be all eyes. But failing that, I am not prepared to accept your statement as anything other than unsubstantiated hearsay.
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 13793
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

RTG TURBOLINERS

Postby oldtimer » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:52 pm

I believe that Mr. Haffner may have mistakenly repeatd a "railroad story" about the RTG tuboliner train sets that operated out of the Brighton Park shop in Chicago. All six RTG trainsets were purchased from Amtrak by Ford Motor Credit and leased back to Amtrak. This I know as a fact as all of the trainsets were taken to Glenn Yard on the old GM&O in Forest View IL. as to avoid a city of Chicago tax on the transaction. I was there.
oldtimer
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 10:52 pm
Location: ridin' the rails

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:39 am

While I am not prepared to affirm or refute Mr Oldtimer's report, I am prepared to accept that Ford Motor Credit entered into a financing transaction with Amtrak for the noted Turbo equipment.

Another interesting but off topic point is "I learned somewhere along the way' (and I think anyone knows you don't learn the following in a railfan bull session) that Amtrak and the Norfolk & Western entered into some kind of agreement (presumably a lease) for the A-II's that enabled someone to have benefit for a now-long repealed IRC provision called the Investment Tax Credit. The cars represented "qualified property' but in order for any tax benefit to be realized there had to be tax liability against which to offset. Amtrak obviously never has or never will have such, but the N&W did. Ergo; a lease transaction.
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 13793
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

As the "story" goes...

Postby dhaffner » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:06 pm

When I mentioned Ford and the purchase of the Turboliner sets (RTG) I used the word "story" with it. I didn't mean to imply that as a fact!

Why would Ford be interested in doing something like that? There was this little GM plant in LaGrange......think about it!

Anyway, that all happened before my career started at Brighton Park. I was there from 1975 until they shut the doors.

I believe the writer who mentioned three of the RTG sets were brought up to RTL standards was basically correct, although I cannot vouch for the number. I do recall the "meltdown" incident he mentioned.

The RTG Turbotrains were a good, quick fix for Amtrak at the time.
dhaffner
 

Re: Turboliner information wanted!

Postby RDG484 » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:58 am

lensovet wrote:hello everyone, if you could contribute more historical information on the turboliner (facts only, PLEASE...no personal attacks, opinions, evaluations of the services, just what exactly the trains were, how they ran, etc) to this wikipedia article, i would very much appreciate your help. thanks!


I rode an RTL turbo several times and I must say the ride is quite smooth and the windows are gigantic and therefore much much better than Amfleet I. I was told by someone else who rode RTG's that their ride was also was as smooth as glass.

To clarify about the RTG's couplers, side buffers and manual couplers were retained only on the intermediate units, while the outer ends had AAR knuckle couplers.
RDG484
 


Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests