MARC HHP-8

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Leo_Ames
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by 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. :)

gokeefe
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by 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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STrRedWolf
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by 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.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

gokeefe
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by 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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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:02 am

Its very possible. the NEC subsations are good for 25 miles. Theres one pretty much a lot less than 25 miles between each. There used to be one down on the other side of CP Viriniga but instead of fixing the corroded wires in the tunnels they forced high speed trains to not be able to full throttle out of dc. Till they finally caved and installed one in Ivy City. There should be more than enough capacity down that way. The penn overbuilt their stuff. The Reading, not so much.
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RRspatch
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by RRspatch » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:38 am

ApproachMedium wrote:Its very possible. the NEC subsations are good for 25 miles. Theres one pretty much a lot less than 25 miles between each. There used to be one down on the other side of CP Viriniga but instead of fixing the corroded wires in the tunnels they forced high speed trains to not be able to full throttle out of dc. Till they finally caved and installed one in Ivy City. There should be more than enough capacity down that way. The penn overbuilt their stuff. The Reading, not so much.
The Pennsy electrification was built for both passenger AND freight. Old farts like me remember electric freight trains running on the corridor pulled by GG1's, E33's and E44's. The Tropicana Juice train was the heaviest electric freight train on the corridor and it used three E44's. Back in my tower days I would watch the amp meter on the power board at Landover as a heavy freight train climbed Lanham hill. Conrail dropped electric freight operations in March of 1981. So yes, there's plenty of capacity for what Amtrak and MARC are running on the south end.

As for the power situation on the south-end, yes the substation at Virginia Avenue was decommissioned due to the rebuilding of the Virginia Avenue tunnel and the fact that CSXT wanted the high voltage cables out of the tunnel. Power for Union Station and the Ivy City yards was sent down the freight line from Landover to the sub station at Virginia Avenue. From there underground cables delivered the power to Union Station. To replace this setup Amtrak erected new poles carrying transmission lines between Landover and Union Station (Magruder Branch).

As far as the Reading is concerned, they never had electric freight locomotives. The Readings electrification was solely for EMU's. I believe there was only one substation located at Wayne Junction that fed the entire Reading side system with some noticeable voltage drops towards the ends. I think Septa has added capacity power wise on the "Reading" side what with AEM7's and ACS64's now running through the center city tunnel.
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just a freight train coming your way

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STrRedWolf
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by STrRedWolf » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:08 pm

gokeefe wrote: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.
Which means electrifying a small chunk of CSX lines (Camden/Brunswick MARC lines) which share freight... which may impose height restrictions on those lines that CSX doesn't want and kill double/triple stack ability... Additional power requirements at the odd frequency... Plus you might as well electrify the Howard Street Tunnel and reconnect to the NEC at Bayview, and we all know how problematic that tunnel is... And don't forget what some of the freight they're running on the lines (think "trash trains").

The NEC infrastructure may handle it, but given history of those lines, CSX is going to balk or go wild with demands (like pay for expanding the lines for more actual capacity).
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

MACTRAXX
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:10 pm

RRspatch wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:Its very possible. the NEC subsations are good for 25 miles. Theres one pretty much a lot less than 25 miles between each. There used to be one down on the other side of CP Viriniga but instead of fixing the corroded wires in the tunnels they forced high speed trains to not be able to full throttle out of dc. Till they finally caved and installed one in Ivy City. There should be more than enough capacity down that way. The penn overbuilt their stuff. The Reading, not so much.
The Pennsy electrification was built for both passenger AND freight. Old farts like me remember electric freight trains running on the corridor pulled by GG1's, E33's and E44's. The Tropicana Juice train was the heaviest electric freight train on the corridor and it used three E44's. Back in my tower days I would watch the amp meter on the power board at Landover as a heavy freight train climbed Lanham hill. Conrail dropped electric freight operations in March of 1981. So yes, there's plenty of capacity for what Amtrak and MARC are running on the south end.

As for the power situation on the south-end, yes the substation at Virginia Avenue was decommissioned due to the rebuilding of the Virginia Avenue tunnel and the fact that CSXT wanted the high voltage cables out of the tunnel. Power for Union Station and the Ivy City yards was sent down the freight line from Landover to the sub station at Virginia Avenue. From there underground cables delivered the power to Union Station. To replace this setup Amtrak erected new poles carrying transmission lines between Landover and Union Station (Magruder Branch).

As far as the Reading is concerned, they never had electric freight locomotives. The Readings electrification was solely for EMU's. I believe there was only one substation located at Wayne Junction that fed the entire Reading side system with some noticeable voltage drops towards the ends. I think Septa has added capacity power wise on the "Reading" side what with AEM7's and ACS64's now running through the center city tunnel.
RRD: The Reading "power plant" at Wayne Junction did feed the entire Reading electrification with
high voltage power that was stepped down at substations on the various electrified routes. Those
substations were noticeably smaller then anything that the PRR/PC had - my favorite example was
the small one just south of Doylestown. This is explained in some detail in the book "Electric Trains
to Reading Terminal" by Wes Coates.

SEPTA discovered that their motors draw as much power as 8 MU cars and because of the limits of
the Reading-side electrification only two push-pull trains could be north of the phase gap between
their two power sources (near the Temple University Station) at any given time. In recent years
there have been upgrades to the RDG side power distribution to allow more locomotive hauled
trains to operate when it is necessary. With SEPTA's new ACS64 motors now currently being placed
into service along with 45-55 new multilevel cars still to come there will be more push-pull trains
scheduled in the future...MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

ApproachMedium
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:06 am

Seeing how CSX is at a complete NO for putting wire in upstate NY, VA down to Richmond ETC i highly doubt you would ever see it on the baltimore washington commuter districts.
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STrRedWolf
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by STrRedWolf » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:34 am

Maaan.... I was on 404 today, being hauled by 4915... and it was throwing ether heavy exhaust or ozone because I and some passengers smelled it at Odenton. I couldn’t find a conductor so I let the Baltimore staff know.

Anyone know for sure if 4915 was rehabbed?
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:54 pm

No, it wasnt. The only ones rehabbed so far is 4910 and 4911 is still in process. 4910, 12, 15 are all in service as far as i know.
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farecard
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by farecard » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:41 pm

STrRedWolf wrote: Additional power requirements at the odd frequency...
Any added sections could be 12.5 KV 60 Hz.
From everything I've read here, the entire zoo of rolling stock is now frequency & voltage agile.
All you need is a phase break.

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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:33 am

You cant JUST put a PB in you need a whole voltage change/phase GAP section. You actually need a length of wire, dead, to go between the two things. If by any chance 60hz touched 25hz you would have a bad time and so would all the passengers on the train.

Finding places to put such sections can be troublesome. A good majority of the substations on the PRR lines are at interlockings, an absolutely horrid place to have any kind of possibility of a train stopping under wire with no power or in process of changeover. Where they put the 60hz changeover heading up the hell gate line, they did it by Gate interlocking which is on a bit of an incline. So if a train was to become stalled in the section, you could drop the pan and roll back towards Harold and get under the 25hz section and try it again. Not all places on the corridor are so fortunate. While the old 25hz system is very out dated and causes some difficulty with new equipment purchases the fact that the entire system from Gate to A (in DC Union) and to Harrisburg is all fully phase synchronized is great. No issues with dead sections, phase breaks, dead trains, rolling here or there. It provides a level of reliability that probably should just be left alone unless somebody wants to fork the money over to start changing things over.

I am also not entirely sure if they can run 60hz off Safe Harbor hydro plant where a lot of the NEC power comes from. Maybe they can now in modern day, but the changeover period and the engineering involved to do all of that would be a pretty massive expense that doesnt need to be spent right now when there are actual things that actually have problems and are causing day to day operations issues. Like the tunnels, all of them. And the bridges. Almost all of them. If we can get new tunnels to baltimore and NY Penn, then maybe we can talk about swapping 25 cycle for 60 cycle. #EDIT: They can make 60 cycle at safe harbor, in 3 phase. They also have a way to convert the 25hz to 60hz for when amtrak and septa arent using it all.
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farecard
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by farecard » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:11 pm

ApproachMedium wrote:You cant JUST put a PB in you need a whole voltage change/phase GAP section. You actually need a length of wire, dead, to go between the two things. If by any chance 60hz touched 25hz you would have a bad time and so would all the passengers on the train.


Well, the passengers would survive but the prime mover would likely become a prime unmover.
And the catenary feeds wouldn't for a while.
Finding places to put such sections can be troublesome. A good majority of the substations on the PRR lines are at interlockings, an absolutely horrid place to have any kind of possibility of a train stopping under wire with no power or in process of changeover. Where they put the 60hz changeover heading up the hell gate line, they did it by Gate interlocking which is on a bit of an incline. So if a train was to become stalled in the section, you could drop the pan and roll back towards Harold and get under the 25hz section and try it again. Not all places on the corridor are so fortunate.
Granted grades are the best locations, but the substation location need not be right at the break location. Nearby is best but...
And how are the frequent breaks on the 60Hz/25kV northern section handled?
While the old 25hz system is very out dated and causes some difficulty with new equipment purchases the fact that the entire system from Gate to A (in DC Union) and to Harrisburg is all fully phase synchronized is great.
I think you meant to say "older than what is seen in most museums OR the Frankenstein movie https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0001223/" I've seen imagery of some of the gear and it terrifies me. The equipment issues include the rotary converters that Amtrak just spent half a gigabuck rebuilding, and the needed 138kV transmission system. (I've also seen the old 30th Street communication test board; it's now in the home of a retiree. He also has a working crossbar PBX and other telco gear. Save that fact for your next SWMBO dispute about all your junque. )
It provides a level of reliability that probably should just be left alone unless somebody wants to fork the money over to start changing things over.
No question it all needs a forklift upgrade. But I would believe it would be more accurate to say "too fragile to touch..."

ApproachMedium
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Re: MARC HHP-8

Post by ApproachMedium » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:05 pm

Frequent breaks on the northern section are handled like the NJ coast line, on sections where the train is moving at a good speed. If you notice most PRR interlockings are either in a bowl or on a crest, so if there was some kind of power distribution issue trains could roll into the powered section. Though with this whole phase sync system, if you start loosing sections the whole thing shuts down so you have bigger problems. And now with these modern electrics and diesels having parking brakes, if the air bleeds off enough the parking brake applies and you cant move until the parking brake is released, which requires air. That can be a problem.
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