• Amtrak’s Growing Pains with Siemens Locomotives

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Matt Johnson
 
frequentflyer wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 8:42 am Some of us remember when the Genesis replaced the F40. Oh the wailing from engineers and railfans, "the units load slow", "the Genesis ride horrible", "Genesis are ugly, and "GE will never outlast an EMD". Almost 30 years later of Genesis pulling millions of passengers with outstanding reliability considering the abuse the Genesis endure, we are making the same arguments against Siemens.

The Genesis had teething problems too.
I think a big issue is similar to that of the auto industry, where the increase in computers/electronics and overall complexity is going to require appropriate maintenance and likely limit service life relative to the machinery of old. Nobody is going to make an E8/E9 just as nobody is going to produce a '57 Chevy today.
  by photobug56
 
RandallW wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 8:01 pm
photobug56 wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:20 pm Plus instead of going with known DM's, regardless of known faults, they ordered 23 DM's, and 23 DE's from a company created by politicians (from what I was told).
By "company created by politicians" do you mean EMD and Siemens? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_DE30AC_and_DM30AC (By the time this contract was let, EMD was no longer manufacturing locomotives in the USA, but had been partnering successfully with Siemens on the traction control and HEP on the SD70MAC series locomotives).
Who created Super Steel? Why did MTA LIRR buy non-standard locos?
  by RandallW
 
Super Steel has been around since 1923 (as best I can tell) as a contracted manufacturing firm (they build other company's products). It operated a plant large enough to perform contracts railcar work in Schenectady from 1995-2007. Super Steel built the LIRR locos in the 1990s because at the time neither EMD nor Siemens had the capacity to build them in the USA.

What "standard" locomotives were available for MTA LIRR to purchase in the late 1990s? I'd argue that since the end of the E series production, the only "standard" passenger locomotive on any builder's catalog has been the EMD F40PH, but even that wasn't standard until commuter railroads wanted to buy what Amtrak requested that wasn't standard when Amtrak bought it.

This is the problem that passenger operators have in the USA: the only reason any passenger locomotive since 1971 has become "standard" is that Amtrak bought enough of a single model to make it the standard.
  by rcthompson04
 
RandallW wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 5:33 am This is the problem that passenger operators have in the USA: the only reason any passenger locomotive since 1971 has become "standard" is that Amtrak bought enough of a single model to make it the standard.
Anyone who ventures out on their own to build something unique has problems (Silverliner Vs).
  by west point
 
Siemens is going to have problems support the locos going on. Base that on this over reliance on computers and software. Unless iSiement is using open architecture support becomes more difficult sith the passage of time. Also the electronic hardware and firm ware may no longer be built and / or supported. Siemens may actually change software and electronic parts in later dates. Will that be compatible with earlier units? If so who knows?
  by scratchyX1
 
west point wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:52 am Siemens is going to have problems support the locos going on. Base that on this over reliance on computers and software. Unless iSiement is using open architecture support becomes more difficult sith the passage of time. Also the electronic hardware and firm ware may no longer be built and / or supported. Siemens may actually change software and electronic parts in later dates. Will that be compatible with earlier units? If so who knows?
Exactly, There needs to be an open locomotive IEEE standard, instead of each vendor having their own.
Are there any linux based embedded control systems?
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 1:01 pm Exactly, There needs to be an open locomotive IEEE standard, instead of each vendor having their own.
Are there any linux based embedded control systems?
Yes. For how many... well, you know the old gag of opening a closet and everything avalanches on top of you? It's kinda like that.
  by photobug56
 
RandallW wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 5:33 am What "standard" locomotives were available for MTA LIRR to purchase in the late 1990s? I'd argue that since the end of the E series production, the only "standard" passenger locomotive on any builder's catalog has been the EMD F40PH, but even that wasn't standard until commuter railroads wanted to buy what Amtrak requested that wasn't standard when Amtrak bought it.

Who built the locos in the 1990's for Amtrak and MNCR and for other commuter railroads?
  by CNJGeep
 
photobug56 wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 7:17 pm Why did LIRR end up with 46 troublesome locos that no other railroad would buy?
Because no one else was in the market for locomotives then. Amtrak and Metro North already had the P32s, and NJT was satisfied with the GP40 derivatives they had scores of at the time.
  by photobug56
 
So maybe the right question should be - why did LIRR buy such junk? I get it; few choices. But I remember hearing early on that LIRR knew how bad these locos were.
  by ApproachMedium
 
photobug56 wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 8:02 pm So maybe the right question should be - why did LIRR buy such junk? I get it; few choices. But I remember hearing early on that LIRR knew how bad these locos were.
LIRR was HELL BENT on only buying EMD powered machines. They got what they paid for. They were a huge thorn in the side of SIEMENS and the other two agencies with the dual modes because their managment/engineers DEMANDED an actual air horn valve instead of the electronic button because they did not like how the button worked on the DE/DM engines and insisted that they ran a bunch of hoses to the cab and back to the roof for horns.

Stupid.
  by ApproachMedium
 
You cannot compare the "teething" of the acs 64 and other siemens engines with the GEs. We loved the siemens when i came. It was great. Its gotten worse. The problems with software modifications to account for poor hardware is not working anymore. The HHP-8 was new in early 2000s. They were all retired by 2014 because of the high cost to operate. The oldest Siemens loco is nearing 10 years. They are falling apart already. You cannot compare a locomotive that is entirely managed by computers vs a locomotive that still ran off mechanical functions. Literally every single thing in the siemens passes thru a computer system. The headlights, the horns, every button light switch etc on the dash. It all is connected and all functions are commanded by digital means/software.

This isnt grandads alco with a hard wired headlight switch and resistors for dimming.
  by CSRR573
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 1:25 pm . You cannot compare a locomotive that is entirely managed by computers vs a locomotive that still ran off mechanical functions. Literally every single thing in the siemens passes thru a computer system. The headlights, the horns, every button light switch etc on the dash. It all is connected and all functions are commanded by digital means/software.
Not to mention Siemens HAS NEVER updated their repair manuals for these things. So when we need to diag an electrical or pneumatic issue, were using manuals that are so far behind Mod wise, your better off asking an 8-Ball for answers. Also Siemens never lets us know about a mod until something malfunctions and then we encounter said mod blindfolded
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