Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak locomotives’

Amtrak Selling Passenger Cars, Locomotives

October 19, 2018

Amtrak has placed for sale 48 pieces of equipment, including locomotives and passenger cars that it has deemed surplus.

The passenger cars for sale include five former Pacific Parlour cars once used on the Coast Starlight, seven Horizon fleet cars, three material handling cars, eight 1700 series baggage cars and two former U.S. Army flat cars.

Locomotives for sale include 12 P40s, eight F40s, and three P42DCs.

Amtrak is soliciting bids for the equipment with the closing date set for Nov. 14.

The equipment is being stored at Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Indiana; Bear Delaware; and Wilmington, Delaware.

The Horizon fleet cars being sold include one club dinette, one full dinette and five coaches.

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Much Longer Lake Shore Limited

August 28, 2018

Since late May Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited has been solely a Chicago-Boston train and on some days it hasn’t operated east of Albany-Renselaer, New York, due to track work on CSX.

The result has been a shorter consists with fewer coaches, sleepers and locomotives. The train has also operated under the 448 and 449 road numbers the length of its journey.

The above photographs were made about a week before the New York section was suspended for the summer of 2018 due to track work in New York City.

Amtrak has said the New York Section will return in early September and, presumably, the Lake Shore Limited will resume its role of being one of Amtrak’s longest trains.

This image was made at North East, Pennsylvania, on the CSX Erie West Subdivision.

Amtrak Seeking Locomotive Proposals

June 2, 2018

Amtrak issued this week a request for proposal for new or rebuilt diesel locomotives.

In a news release, Amtrak said it is looking to acquire 50 to 75 next generation locomotives that have the latest safety features, have more horsepower, and boast the lowest emissions possible.

The RFP, which is posted on the Amtrak website, calls for vendors to rebuild the passenger carrier’s existing P42DC locomotives with AC propulsion or to provide new locomotives built with alternative power and structure options.

Amtrak plans to use the locomotives on its long-distance trains and on some state-funded routes.

The winning vendor will receive a contract with options to rebuild or acquire additional units.

A pre-proposal conference for vendors will be held on June 20 in Philadelphia with proposals due by Aug. 23.

“Our diesel locomotive fleet is nearing the end of life expectancy and we must act now to modernize Amtrak for the future,” Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson said in a statement. “We expect that any new, state-of-the art locomotive will offer improved reliability, a smoother ride, improved safety features and make major contributions towards lowering emissions and we’ll also consider how rebuilding options of the current fleet could achieve these goals.”

Late Day in Jackson

June 1, 2018

It is late afternoon in Jackson, Michigan. Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Cities is making its scheduled stop at the venerable former Michigan Central station en route to Pontiac via Detroit.

To avoid having to turn the motive power in Pontiac, the Lake Cities and other trains on the Chicago-Detroit route at the time operated with a locomotive or cab car on one end.

I don’t recall what No. 353 had on the head end, but on the rear was P42DC No. 34 in the Phase IV livery.

When this image was made on Sept. 12, 2003, the Genesis locomotives had been mainstays on Amtrak corridor and long-distance trains for about a decade.

Some things have changed on the Chicago-Detroit corridor since I made this image. All trains have been renamed Wolverine Service and the trains no longer have locomotives or cab cars on both ends.

The Jackson station no longer has a ticket agent, only a caretaker to open and close the depot at train time.

Yet the P42DC remains the mainstay motive power, at least for now. Amtrak was to begin assigning Charger locomotives to this route, once it gets some positive train control issues worked out.

Still Working, But Not for Amtrak

May 10, 2018

As far as I know Amtrak No. 106 never pulled a passenger train in Amtrak revenue service.

It was assigned to work train and switching duties. No. 106 was built in June 1951 by Alco for the New York Central.

The RS3 would later work for Penn Central before being added to the Amtrak motive power fleet.

Amtrak rebuilt it in July 1981, giving it an EMD engine. It was retired in September 1995, but wound up working at a grain elevator on the Lake Erie shoreline in Huron, Ohio.

It was there that I found it reposing in the sun on May 6, 2007. Now it was known as BDLX 106 with BDL an acronym for Big Dog Lines.

It had developed quite a bit of rust and I’m not sure how often it operated when I found it on a Sunday afternoon.

The elevator that it served has since been razed but the 106 moved on to other duties, being spotted as recently as 2013 in West Virginia.

Chicago Union Station, May 1997

May 5, 2018

It is May 1997 and this is the state of the art of Amtrak rolling stock and equipment as seen at Chicago Union Station.

Partly visible at far left is a Superliner train, perhaps the inbound Southwest Chief from Los Angeles.

In the middle is a Midwest corridor train, perhaps a train to or from Detroit. In this era, trains on that route operated with former Metroliner cab cars facing west.

To the right is another Midwest corridor train with a P32-8 wearing the one-of-a-kind livery in which those units were delivered.

Many wags described them as “Pepsi cans” because the scheme resembled a brand look of the beverage that was used at the time.

This livery proved to be fairly short lived and the P32s would later be repainted in the Phase IV livery that Amtrak adopted in 1997.

Amtrak P42 No. 66 Back in the Day

April 12, 2018

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Amtrak painted a handful of P42 locomotives in past liveries.

P42DC No. 66 received the Phase II livery that Amtrak introduced in 1973 on its RTG Turboliners and a year later on its E60 electric locomotives.

But No. 66 is now out of service, having been damaged on Feb. 19, 2016, when it struck a truck near Joliet, Illinois.

P42DC No. 130 has been tapped to carry on the work of displaying the Phase II livery.

In the photograph above, No. 66 is shown in happier days leading the eastbound Lake Shore Limited near North East, Pennsylvania, on July 31, 2011.

This was the first Amtrak train that I photographed with my then-new Canon DSL camera I had just bought.

I didn’t know that No. 66 would be leading train No. 48. It is always nice to get a pleasant surprise in the viewfinder.

Amtrak Wants to Replace Amfleet, P42s

April 12, 2018

Say goodbye to Amtrak Genesis locomotives and Amfleet equipment. Well, maybe some day.

Richard Anderson

Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson told Amtrak employees this week that the passenger carrier hopes to award a contract by the end of this year to replace its fleet of P42DC locomotives and its Amfleet passenger cars.

The P42DC units were built by General Electric and have been the mainstay of long distance and corridor trains since the 1990s.

The original Amfleet cars, used primarily in Eastern corridor service, were built in the 1970s by the Budd Company.

“These are two big programs for us,” Anderson told the employees during a town hall style meeting. “We want to get a [request for proposals] completed and contracts awarded this year. There is no reason why we can’t.”

Anderson indicated that Amtrak is seeking “more modern, lightweight, environmentally sensitive, [Americans with Disabilities Act]-compliant equipment that will give us a completely different product.”

In particular, he indicated that Amtrak might be looking for DMU trainsets such as those that will be used on commuter rail service expected to begin in Fort Worth, Texas, next year and in the Santa Rosa-San Rafael, California, corridor this year.

Anderson described them as models for the modern way of train travel.

“If we want to appeal to a millennial generation in high-density urban markets, we need the same kind of modern unit trains we see operating in Europe and Asia,” he said. “Making these investments now will benefit the next generation of Amtrak.”

On some corridor routes in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, Amtrak has been operating Charger locomotives built by Siemens and purchased by the departments of transportation in the states funding those trains.

The same coalition of states has also contracted with Siemens to build new single-level passenger cars that will begin operating on those routes in the intermediate future.

Siemens also built locomotives and passenger cars being used by the privately operated Brightline intercity rail service that began operations earlier this year in Florida.

Amtrak AEM-7 Going to Illinois Railway Museum

March 2, 2018

A former Amtrak AEM-7 has wound up in the collection of the Illinois Railway Museum’s collection.

The electric motor was ferried this week from Washington to Chicago by the Capitol Limited. It is not known when the unit will make the final 50-mile trip to Union, Illinois, where the museum is located.

The unit, No. 945, is one of 54 built by EMD at its LaGrange assembly plant. It was released from the factory in 1982 and is not one of the 29 AEM-7s converted to AC traction motors in 2000-2002.

No. 945 will need to be rewired to be compatible with the museum’s 600 volt DC overhead system.

That 90s Look at Lewistown

December 26, 2017

I made this image of  Amtrak’s eastbound Broadway Limited at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, in 1992. In my mind, it was’t that long ago. Yet its been 25 years since this photograph was made on color negative film.

Much can change in a quarter century and there is much to be seen here that is gone.

That starts with the Broadway Limited itself, which would made its last trips between Chicago and New York in September 1995.

On the point on this day is GP40TC No. 192, one of eight such units that Amtrak operated in the 1990s. All were built for Toronto’s GO Transit agency and were purchased by Amtrak in October 1988.

The locomotives could be found in service on routes east of the Mississippi River, but have since been retired.

Behind the GP40TC is an F40PH. Most of those have been retired by Amtrak, but a handful have survived as cab cars while others have gained second lives on other railroads.

The consist includes seven material handling cars, which were common on long distance trains in the 1990s. Amtrak had begun earning additional revenue hauling mail and the MHCs were acquired for that purpose. They’ve since been retired and Amtrak no longer carries mail.

Most of the passenger cars in the consist of No. 40 are Heritage Fleet cars, including the baggage car. Most of those have been retired although in late 2017 a handful of Heritage dining cars continue to work in revenue service.