On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Tadman, mtuandrew

David Benton
Posts: 8900
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by David Benton »

You would think they would check at sunnyside
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.

ApproachMedium
Posts: 6016
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium »

David Benton wrote:You would think they would check at sunnyside
It is. Usually checked on overnights when they can have a chance to have a good once over the cars and there is more time. The loopers though dont always have this luxury esp if its during the day when the sun heats the car well and you cant notice if floor heat is not active. "If it aint broke dont fix it"
No good deed goes unpunished.

David Benton
Posts: 8900
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by David Benton »

its not about fixing things that arent broke , its about making sure the car is set up correctly for the next days duty . if it came form florida , its got at least one overnite stay before its next duty . plenty of time to check a cirucit breaker .
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.

ApproachMedium
Posts: 6016
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium »

David Benton wrote:its not about fixing things that arent broke , its about making sure the car is set up correctly for the next days duty . if it came form florida , its got at least one overnite stay before its next duty . plenty of time to check a cirucit breaker .

Sounds simple I know. I wont get in to the details, it is on the list of things to do and check before it leaves but occasionally it happens. USUALLY they leave SSYD in the proper order, but we cant control what happens to cars on their way back from other facilities that turn the breakers off. And with the rotation of cars being drilled from train to train for shops, ready cars, to the car shops and back there is a lot that can get lost in translation. When they shop a car a half hour to the end of your shift and it has to get swapped but the train is already a half hour late, now what do you do? Its not an easy job trust me. The people that do this job work hard, they really put a lot in to it but some things just end up out of their control.

My solution is they should have a way in the electrical cabnet itself to be able to toggle floor heat control on and off. If there was a way to do that, the breakers under the car would not need to be touched and we can all be happy.
No good deed goes unpunished.

User avatar
Tadman
Posts: 9966
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am
Location: CHI/NOL

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Tadman »

the loopers don't always have that luxury
Image

Loopers, you know, caddies, jocks... Galunga galunga...

Why am I online right now??? Need to go find a three-leg stool to sit on.
Dig the new rr.net Instagram account: @railroad_dot_net

25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by 25Hz »

The floor/side heated up properly an hour or so out of Albany. Before that not only was it not warming the air, but it was not moving it either. Anyways, it's a moot point, someone has likely fixed the issue by now. Would an axle generator work if HEP was dead but train still moving? Is this practical on current Amtrak fleet? I need sleep.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

ApproachMedium
Posts: 6016
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium »

25Hz wrote:The floor/side heated up properly an hour or so out of Albany. Before that not only was it not warming the air, but it was not moving it either. Anyways, it's a moot point, someone has likely fixed the issue by now. Would an axle generator work if HEP was dead but train still moving? Is this practical on current Amtrak fleet? I need sleep.
Floor heat takes about an hour to warm up on a cold car. An ice cold car in the yard can take two to three hours. Its not practical for axle generators. Were long done with all of that junk thank you!
No good deed goes unpunished.

25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by 25Hz »

So basically the 2 options are strategically placed cars with RDC/SPV2000 style setup for electricity vs motive, or equipping future locomotives with both an inverter hooked to prime mover and seperate HEP generator. I could see both working rather well.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22425
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by DutchRailnut »

both are unfeasable and things will not change
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

ApproachMedium
Posts: 6016
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium »

DutchRailnut wrote:both are unfeasable and things will not change

I agree. Like I said, we have enough stuff to keep maintained as it is. They are not about to invest in MORE things to go wrong and need maintenance just for the two times a year that a train gets stranded in the hot/cold.

And what did they do years ago in the days before HEP, and the days when there were cars some with AC some without? We lived. I think we will still live.
No good deed goes unpunished.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22425
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by DutchRailnut »

right no heat was to common a problem in steam heat days, as for second locomotive yup solution for both propulsion and HEP but who will pay the extra $500 000 or more in operation cost per train..
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

TomNelligan
Posts: 3346
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by TomNelligan »

And what did they do years ago in the days before HEP, and the days when there were cars some with AC some without? We lived.
We lived because the non-air conditioned coaches had windows that could be opened in warm weather. They might have been hotter than an air conditioned car in the summer, but nothing like the interior of a HEP-less, totally sealed Amcoach full of passengers after a couple hours under a hot sun. The latter can present a heatstroke threat for kids and some of us who are definitely no longer kids.

Dick H
Posts: 3565
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Dover, NH

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by Dick H »

Amtrak is in the midst of "purging" many adminstrative positions.
It's unfortunate that when they had now "supposedly extra" officials",
that some office was not assigned to do some "emergency planning"
for unforseen breakdowns, when the only current alternative seems
to be let the passengers freeze or bake, depending on the season.

They should have a plan on paper (computer) for about every 30 miles
or so of trackage, listing all emergency services, availabilty of buses,
even if school buses, schools or other public buildings for emergency
shelter, fast food or other food establishements, etc., and verified
locations, telephone numbers and contact information.

Once such a date base was established, a semi-annual or annual
review and update could be done. For example, Amtrak has been
known to hire bus companies in an emergency, whose drivers don't
even know where the station or location is. No excuse on that one.
A map can be sent either via the net or even fax to the bus operator.

Amtrak does not need any more news stories about dozens to hundreds
of passengers stuck on a train with no heat or a/c, inoperable bathrooms
and little or no food. Amtrak can and should do better.

25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by 25Hz »

I agree. You could modify 20 bags or cafes or diners or some combination of such to handle some HEP capacity, only fuel them at the peak of hot & cold weather. And how about cabbages? They all ready are set up to supply HEP if the right equipment was mounted in or under. You could do lots of things that would eventually lead to good press and warm fuzzy feelings about train travel. Instead of the nightmare on rails, you get a train load of pax that yes were delayed/stuck, but the toilets flushed, the doors worked, lights and HVAC working. I think it'd be worth it. In the grand scheme of things it wouldn't cost that much, and you only use the capabilities when the weather is forecast to run outside of certain parameters.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

ApproachMedium
Posts: 6016
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: From here to There

Re: On-Board Generators for Passenger Cars?

Post by ApproachMedium »

25Hz wrote:I agree. You could modify 20 bags or cafes or diners or some combination of such to handle some HEP capacity, only fuel them at the peak of hot & cold weather. And how about cabbages? They all ready are set up to supply HEP if the right equipment was mounted in or under. You could do lots of things that would eventually lead to good press and warm fuzzy feelings about train travel. Instead of the nightmare on rails, you get a train load of pax that yes were delayed/stuck, but the toilets flushed, the doors worked, lights and HVAC working. I think it'd be worth it. In the grand scheme of things it wouldn't cost that much, and you only use the capabilities when the weather is forecast to run outside of certain parameters.

I could see this being done to a cabbage like they did with the 40th anniversary train. It already has a fuel tank, and does not carry passengers. The diner though if you can find a place to put a generator big enough and a fuel tank with enough storage to power the diners refrigeration systems then Ill get you a job in the engineering department. And if you mean the new viewdiner, forget it. There isnt an ounce of room under that car for another thing thanks to the large HVAC package units. The cafe cars would be more logical than the bags since EVERY train except the harrisburgs has a cafe. Just like the wifi placement a generator in the cafe would be good, but you could only get one under there with enough ponys to power maybe the cafe and one or two other coaches.
No good deed goes unpunished.

Return to “Amtrak”