MARC HHP-8

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby amtrakhogger » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:37 am

No, max speed is 90.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:09 pm

Same here on both MARC 404 and 445 -- Charger was towing/pushing an MP36.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:10 am

I dont think theres any real reason they are dragging the MP36s around with the charger other than marc likes to run double headers. Theres been plenty of trains with the old GP39s trailing recently and i believe i saw one with the gp39 behind the charger. Marc might just be doing this to ensure compatibility.

The big issue with the MARC MP36 is they still have older style bearings on the traction motors that rely on being greased frequently. That limits them i believe to 90mph. There has also been in the past few years quite a few issues with hotboxes on these locos for this reason. I am not sure what other railroads like metra and VRE have done as far as traction motor bearings in their order. There is another type of EMD truck that the F59PHI uses that has roller bearings to eliminate this problem. Only way to tell is get under the loco and look. The MARC units seem to be cheapos. they bought the least featured least modified units, vs VRE and Metra whos are decked out with all the cameras computers and electronics.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby gokeefe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:22 pm

Is there any reason to believe that MARC would consider buying (at low prices) Amtrak's remaining HHP-8's?

Do they even run enough Penn Line trains to support such a fleet? Does MARC have any older diesels that they could dispose of?
Last edited by gokeefe on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:23 pm

IF marc was to put wire into the Martins facility, they could switch to all electric and it would be worth it. That would free up the diesels for other lines and for backup power on the penn line.

Will it happen? Who knows. With the push for greener diesel locos and the high cost of maintaining Tier 4 equipment paying that amtrak electric bill might be worth it.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:47 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:I dont think theres any real reason they are dragging the MP36s around with the charger other than marc likes to run double headers. Theres been plenty of trains with the old GP39s trailing recently and i believe i saw one with the gp39 behind the charger. Marc might just be doing this to ensure compatibility.


I really doubt that. That would of been in the spec for the Chargers, and they tested those Chargers with MARC III cars before the left the testing facility!

The only real reason I can see running the double diesels is to reallocate power, having one engine doing just the push/pull and the other providing HEP. You can hear it as it passes by; both the Charger/MP36 and the GP-39 are running.

gokeefe wrote:Is there any reason to believe that MARC would consider buying (at low prices) Amtrak's remainimg HHP-8's?

Do they even run enough Penn Line trains to support such a fleet? Does MARC have any older diesels that they could dispose of?


There's no reason. MARC's got their hippos that are going through refurb, and that'll take the rest of the decade. Plus, "low prices" may be more than a new Charger by two orders of magnitude.

The only other thing is that they can't run more Penn Line trains without more track capacity, and that means four-tracking WAS to BAL at least! The schedule is *full* with MARC and numerous Amtrak lines.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby gokeefe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:26 pm

I would venture a guess that an HHP-8 would go for under $1,000,000 and thats fully refurbished ... Still too pricey?

Would refurbished or double headed HHP-8s allow for longer consists? They run seven car trains right now ... Perhaps as much as ten cars possible?

I'm just having a hard time believing this wouldn't be a good deal if it means they can reallocate their diesels and gain on fuel efficiency elsewhere.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:22 pm

NJ Transit is running 10 car double decker trains with 1 7100/7600HP 1kW HEP ALP46. They very well can run 10 cars with a single HHP-8, but why they give them 6-7 cars and put 8 cars on a diesel is beyond me.

The AEM-7 ACs were in the contract to be purchased by amtrak for 1.5 Million each. I am not sure what bombardiers contract says, but if they accept return from amtrak and the bank decides to sell to other parties they will sell at "scrap" value of about 20k a locomotive as is. It could be a good deal for MARC, much more over the cost of buying new locos when these could probably be updated for under 500k each.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby gokeefe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:I am not sure what bombardiers contract says, but if they accept return from amtrak and the bank decides to sell to other parties they will sell at "scrap" value of about 20k a locomotive as is. It could be a good deal for MARC, much more over the cost of buying new locos when these could probably be updated for under 500k each.


That's the kind of deal I think is possible in this case. At those prices there is no good reason for a commuter agency to turn down the opportunity, especially if they are already running "heavy" on the NEC. It's also worth remembering that some of the additional costs for propulsion could be covered by an increase to annual FTA grants. It's not as if a state budget would have to cover 100% of the increased reimbursement to Amtrak for power.

I'm assuming that the NEC power distribution grid is strong enough in Maryland to sustain more trains running electric as opposed to diesel power ...
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:05 pm

gokeefe wrote:I would venture a guess that an HHP-8 would go for under $1,000,000 and thats fully refurbished ... Still too pricey?


Still. I think the Chargers were $175,000 each. Someone check my figures!
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby gokeefe » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:44 pm

$6,000,000 per copy ...

Each Buy-American compliant locomotive costs approximately $6 million—funding for the California locomotives came from Federal Recovery Act Funds and California Proposition 1B Infrastructure Bonds.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby Leo_Ames » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:39 am

Used MP15's frequently go for 250k at auction, brand new AC motored GE's and EMD's for freight service start at about 2 million a pop, new environmentally friendly switchers go from anything just below a million dollars to $1.5 million or more, etc. $175,000 hasn't bought new passenger power since the 1930's.

Already by the end of WWII, a new 4-8-4 was more like $250k a piece thanks to inflation (NYC paid $240k each for their 25 S-1b Niagara's in late 1945 for an example), and it has only continued to grow. EMD E units went from around $185k when the E6 was new to nearly $300k by the early 1950's with the E8. And by the F40PH era, Amtrak in 1976 started out paying $544k a piece (Without a trade-in), was paying $950k by 1980, and finally was spending $1.6 million each by the end of that decade when they bought their last.

I'm sure they'd love it if a new diesel electric passenger locomotive was only $175,000 each though. :)
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby gokeefe » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:39 pm

Leo_Ames wrote:I'm sure they'd love it if a new diesel electric passenger locomotive was only $175,000 each though. :)


Well ... You're not the only one who knew the initial number was "a little low" ... But that's ok. I agree $175,000 for a new Tier 4 diesel electric would be "stack 'em high and watch'm fly".

That being said I have to believe that refurbishing an HHP-8 would be significantly less than $6,000,000. Great value out there for MARC if they are willing to take the plunge on a bigger electric fleet. Take the units with good running history and leave the troublemakers with Amtrak.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby STrRedWolf » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:46 pm

gokeefe wrote:That being said I have to believe that refurbishing an HHP-8 would be significantly less than $6,000,000. Great value out there for MARC if they are willing to take the plunge on a bigger electric fleet. Take the units with good running history and leave the troublemakers with Amtrak.


That would be a real big IF, contingent on dedicating passenger cars to the Penn line... which isn't going to happen (or at least within the next few decades). What would trigger it is CSX, Amtrak, and Maryland expanding rail capacity (4 track WAS-NYP, 3 track WAS to Martinsburg & Camden Yards, 2 tracks Point of Rocks to Fredrick and Camden Yards) so that MARC can run more trains on the Brunswick and Camden lines and make a dedicated Fredrick-Baltimore line... but then they'll be buying more diesel anyway.
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Postby gokeefe » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:53 pm

An unanswered question that I keep wondering about with this issue ...

Could the NEC power grid handle all of MARC going electric?

Given the previous history of freight trains with electric power and high volume passenger service with GG-1s it seems likely but I don't honestly know.
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