• More power problems inconvience MARC patrons

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by HokieNav
 
dt_rt40 wrote: (of course, readers of this board know that Amtrak de-rated the Kawasakis to only 110 mph -
I have been told that the 110 restriction has been lifted - haven't had a chance to jump on a BWI express with a GPS to verify this for myself.

Going on 2 solid weeks of this with no end in sight. Why can't MARC get some loaner AEM-7's from Amtrak until Amtrak can figure out how to fix 4900-4903?
  by realtype
 
HokieNav wrote: Yeap - they're right behind the 2 HHP-8's. Must be the graveyard for broken locomotives.
lol, i finally saw them today since they moved one of the hhp's (not in service yet since i got the daily email saying 436 will be short a car again).

HokieNav wrote:
dt_rt40 wrote: (of course, readers of this board know that Amtrak de-rated the Kawasakis to only 110 mph -
I have been told that the 110 restriction has been lifted - haven't had a chance to jump on a BWI express with a GPS to verify this for myself.

Going on 2 solid weeks of this with no end in sight. Why can't MARC get some loaner AEM-7's from Amtrak until Amtrak can figure out how to fix 4900-4903?
yeah that makes perfect sense, especially since it was presumably Amtrak that screwed up. In the past they would lend MARC AEM-7's . This situation with power is really unbelievable. MARC has 4 just rebuilt AEM-7's, 6 virtually brand new HHP-8's, and half a fleet of brand new diesels yet are still having problems.

That re-rating of the Kawasakis is the best newsabout MARC I've heard all year!
  by realtype
 
Well, there is some good news. I think all the HHP-8's are back in service now. I saw two sets this morning with HHP-8's (including one that is usually powered by a GP40), and the "graveyard" in Ivy City has 3 Amtrak HHP-8's in it now. I didn't see the AEM-7's though. Also, there seem to be plenty of those Bombardier rehabbed MARC IIB cars around. I sat in two different ones on two different trains this morning on the Camden and Brunswick Lines, and while the LED lighting is cool I've already noticed one downside: the bright lights make it harder to sleep.

The annoying thing about all of this (the delay of the MP's and AEM-7's into service) is that it seems nothing is being done about and the parties involved are just dragging their feet. I mean the MP's are just sitting there in Riverside, and the AEM-7's in Ivy City. They're not in the shop trying to fix whatever problem as quickly as possible. Being a liberal I don't say too many nice things about the private sector, but at least they don't take forever and a year to do things as simple as turning on a light switch and they don't mire everything in bureaucracy like govt. agencies do.
  by HokieNav
 
And, we're back! Got the email today that 2 trains will be a car short because of power issues again.
  by realtype
 
HokieNav wrote:And, we're back! Got the email today that 2 trains will be a car short because of power issues again.
Yep, in addition I passed the 4:15pm train (428) today and it was a car short as well. That's the set that had recently been lenghtened to 7 cars from 6 after MARC got the VRE cars. The problem is that MARC needs to have 4 electrics in service at all times to operate normally, and they only have 6 (5 if the other HHP-8 is still in Wilmington). So it's virtually impossible with all the maintenance and the reliablity of the HHP's. I think Amtrak should just loan MARC some of theirs though.
  by r40slant
 
Marc might get one on a loan but not some. you keep waiting for the AEM7 meatballs pieces of shit to come back and they ain't worth a damn. Since they weren't remanned they will be problem childs. saturday their were 3 outside wilmington shops as i passed by on 160. The HHP's are better then those meatballs. Since i don't work Marc service (hopefully never again) i'm not sure about raiseing the speed on those Kawasakis nowhere have i noticed in writing anything about that. Besides with mostly diesels running it doesn't really matter.
  by realtype
 
r40slant wrote:Marc might get one on a loan but not some. you keep waiting for the AEM7 meatballs pieces of * to come back and they ain't worth a damn. Since they weren't remanned they will be problem childs. saturday their were 3 outside wilmington shops as i passed by on 160. The HHP's are better then those meatballs. Since i don't work Marc service (hopefully never again) i'm not sure about raiseing the speed on those Kawasakis nowhere have i noticed in writing anything about that. Besides with mostly diesels running it doesn't really matter.
Wait, doesn't Amtrak operate the same AEM-7DC's. In fact aren't the Amtrak ones even older. We know you really hate MARC service, but don't you operate the AEM-7's in Amtrak service?
  by r40slant
 
Yes i operate Amtraks AEM7DC motors many of them in pairs and usually with Techs on board at least to Balt or Philly. They are on their last legs and yet it will be at least 3 years before a replacement is finished if not longer. Marc and Amtrak should have gotten their hands on some ALP46's especially MARC service, HHP's are not made for stop and go service.
  by train2
 
Re: the statement HH8s are not designed for stop and go service:

I am not sure I understand a difference between stopping and going every 10 minutes for 2 hours, and stopping and going every 30-45 mins for 4 hours up to NY and 4 hours back to DC. You still stop and go a lot in Passenger service.

What could possibly be the difference to a piece of machinery?
  by realtype
 
r40slant wrote:Yes i operate Amtraks AEM7DC motors many of them in pairs and usually with Techs on board at least to Balt or Philly. They are on their last legs and yet it will be at least 3 years before a replacement is finished if not longer. Marc and Amtrak should have gotten their hands on some ALP46's especially MARC service, HHP's are not made for stop and go service.
Well, I definitely agree with you here, but the state is broke, and even though the feds are warming up to give Amtrak funding a new electric locomotive purchase is really optimistic.

Some good news:
-It looks like all the HHP-8's are back in service again except 1 which is in Ivy City yd
-They moved at least one of the MARC AEM-7's (4902 I think) from the back of the Ivy City yd to the shop area with a couple other Amtrak AEM7's. So maybe they'll try and tinker with them to get them to run.
-It looks like MARC lengthened another MARC consist. There was an 8-car set on the 4:24pm Penn line train (#530) to Balt. yesterday and today. I'm pretty sure that's the same set they use for (#411) in the mornings. This would be the third set MARC has lengthened since the VRE cars arrived.

Some not so good or good news depending on your POV from the MARC Riders' Coucil May meeting minutes on the website:
-"Labor Contracts - The contracts for train conductors are going out for bid. In the event the contract changes to a new company, the employees will be the same, as they will have first claim when filling positions with the new employer."

I'm assuming that if they find a new contractor for conductor duties they'll do that for engineers as well. It has been a recent trend in commuter rail to switch train crew contractors, particularly from Amtrak. Apparently San Diego Coaster, LA Metrolink, and Boston's MBTA have all switched from Amtrak to Herzog/TransitAmerica or Veolia.
  by dt_rt40
 
Some good news:
-It looks like all the HHP-8's are back in service again except 1 which is in Ivy City yd
-They moved at least one of the MARC AEM-7's (4902 I think) from the back of the Ivy City yd to the shop area with a couple other Amtrak AEM7's. So maybe they'll try and tinker with them to get them to run.
-It looks like MARC lengthened another MARC consist. There was an 8-car set on the 4:24pm Penn line train (#530) to Balt. yesterday and today. I'm pretty sure that's the same set they use for (#411) in the mornings. This would be the third set MARC has lengthened since the VRE cars arrived.


interesting...on my monday 6:05pm northbound, there was a strange lurch about 10 minutes before departure. It actually could have been dangerous because we moved a few inches down the platform, I guess nobody sprained an ankle getting on or we would have heard about it now. They can and will change an engine while the train is on the platform, and boarding, if they have to, right? I wondered "oh gosh, here we go ahead" after having been rushed off a 5:20 NB (534 I think) a few weeks ago. But this time the lights didn't start flickering and the trip was normal. So I'm not sure if they were doing a last minute engine change, which would seem to be a bad sign. Has anybody else experienced this?
  by realtype
 
dt_rt40 wrote:interesting...on my monday 6:05pm northbound, there was a strange lurch about 10 minutes before departure. It actually could have been dangerous because we moved a few inches down the platform, I guess nobody sprained an ankle getting on or we would have heard about it now. They can and will change an engine while the train is on the platform, and boarding, if they have to, right? I wondered "oh gosh, here we go ahead" after having been rushed off a 5:20 NB (534 I think) a few weeks ago. But this time the lights didn't start flickering and the trip was normal. So I'm not sure if they were doing a last minute engine change, which would seem to be a bad sign. Has anybody else experienced this?
Actually, it might not have been an engine change, although that is definitely possible especially if it was a diesel. When I'm waiting for my 5:15pm train to depart sometimes, I feel the same strange lurch and the train moves about a foot, but it's from the engineer releasing the brakes (you can hear the deep hiss sometimes). I've always wondered what happened to passengers boarding at that exact moment, but maybe he checks first. I think it depends on the engineer, because when I take the Camden Line that never happens.
  by r40slant
 
All depends on if the train was switch around by yard crews and if so they didn't stretch the slack out. so when the brakes release the train stretches itself out. If on the lower level it is all downhill southbound so it will definately move. I hear through the grapevine that CSX wants to stop provideing crews for the Camden and brunswick side. Interestingly CSX and NS state if amtrak losses the VRE contract they are under no obligation to allow another railroad on their property. Then you have issues with labor and mechanical. Metrolink in LA wants to get rid of connex and try to get amtrak back. We had propaganda paperwork floating around the crew rooms in NYC and DC.
  by realtype
 
r40slant wrote:All depends on if the train was switch around by yard crews and if so they didn't stretch the slack out. so when the brakes release the train stretches itself out. If on the lower level it is all downhill southbound so it will definately move. I hear through the grapevine that CSX wants to stop provideing crews for the Camden and brunswick side. Interestingly CSX and NS state if amtrak losses the VRE contract they are under no obligation to allow another railroad on their property. Then you have issues with labor and mechanical. Metrolink in LA wants to get rid of connex and try to get amtrak back. We had propaganda paperwork floating around the crew rooms in NYC and DC.
Interesting...thanks for the info. I didn't know that VRE was putting the contract out to bid.
realtype wrote:-They moved at least one of the MARC AEM-7's (4902 I think) from the back of the Ivy City yd to the shop area with a couple other Amtrak AEM7's. So maybe they'll try and tinker with them to get them to run.
Looks like my intuition was right for once :P . From a very interesting Baltimore Sun article posted on the "AEM-7 Spotted" thread:

"...According to Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm, the national passenger railroad just recently returned the first of MARC's four AEM-7 electric locomotives to the Maryland Transit Administration after almost three years of being laid up in a repair shop in Wilmington, Del. He said a second locomotive is expected to be returned to the MTA late this week or early next week.

Kulm said Amtrak believes it has found a fix for a vexing electrical problem that has sidelined the locomotives and hope to have the remaining two returned to MARC before the end of the year..."