Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak motive power’

Amtrak to Receive First ACL-42

June 12, 2021

The first Siemens ALC-42 locomotive built for Amtrak is expected to be released today and will head east on the California Zephyr.

Trains magazine quoted unnamed sources as saying Charger No. 300 will be handled by Train 6 departing Emeryville, California, today (June 12) and arriving in Chicago on Monday.

No. 300 is expected to be featured on Tuesday at a media event at the Amtrak Chicago maintenance facility and depart on June 16 for Washington in the motive power consist of the Capitol Limited.

The Trains report said Amtrak expects to receive a handful of Chargers over the next few weeks that will be tested.

Regular deliveries of the locomotive are expected to begin in the second half of this year. Amtrak has ordered 75 ACLC-42 locomotives for use in its national network.

They will replace aging P42DC units that have been the standard motive power on most national network trains since the middle 1990s.

Charger locomotives are already in revenue service for various operators around the country, including on Amtrak corridor routes in the Midwest.

The intercity carrier is expected to complete receiving its ALC-42 locomotives in 2024.

On the Point in Miami

April 6, 2021

Amtrak SDP45 No. 645 is in position to lead the northbound Silver Star out of Miami on Dec. 13, 1979. At Auburndale, Florida, the Miami section will combine with the St. Petersburg, Florida, section of the Star before continuing its journey to New York.

The New York-Miami trains were among the last in the Amtrak long-distance network to be pulled by SDP40F locomotives.

When this image was made many long-distance runners had been turned over to F40PH and P30CH locomotives.

1st 50th Anniversary Unit Out of Shop

March 19, 2021

The first of the special livery locomotives that Amtrak is rolling out to celebrate its 50th anniversary is out of the shop and ready for revenue service.

P42DC No. 46 will feature the blue and silver Phase V livery that has been standard for the past 20 years but with the company’s 50th anniversary livery on its flanks.

The herald contains a large golden “50” and the slogan “Connecting America for 50 Years.”

Amtrak this week released artist renditions of the designs that will grace P42 and new Siemens ALC-42 locomotives being built that will be released this year.

No dates have been announced for when the special tribute locomotives will begin revenue service other than Amtrak saying in a news release that it will be “over the coming months.”

Amtrak also said its is working to design a Phase VII look that will be standard on most of the new Chargers that eventually will replace General Electric-built P42 and P40 locomotives assigned to the national network.

The first new ALC-42 is expected to arrive at Amtrak next month and undergo testing before being assigned to revenue service.

That unit, No. 301 will wear Amtrak’s Day 1 livery, which was a one-time design created by New York advertising agency Lippincott and Margulies.

The livery was applied to Penn Central E8A No. 4316 for a press event on Amtrak’s inauguration day.

It featured a broad blue stripe with white accent slashes on the locomotive nose that was an extension of Amtrak’s “pointless arrow” herald that was applied on the flanks of No. 4316.

The unit ran in revenue service for a year before being repainted into Amtrak’s Phase I livery and being given roster number 322.

Dubbed the Day 1 livery, it will be applied to ALC-42 No. 301 currently being built by Siemens in Sacramento, California.

No. 301 will duplicate No. 4316 complete with a black carbody. It also will carry the 50th anniversary herald.

Amtrak last year had announced that the ALC-42 Chargers would wear a Phase VI livery.

As it turns out, just eight Chargers will have that livery: Nos. 300 and 302 through 308.

The remaining Chargers will have the yet to be revealed Phase VII look.

The Phase VI livery has a largely dark blue carbody with white stripes along the top and bottom of the unit and a largely red nose.

One P42DC is slated to receive a one of a kind scheme known as midnight blue.

The livery is intended to be a tribute to Amtrak employees running trains overnight.

It has a dark blue carbody with white accent stripes and the 50th anniversary herald prominently displayed on the flanks.

Two more P42DC units will receive heritage liveries when they are repainted.

One unit will feature the modified “Dash 8 Phase III” livery that was applied to Amtrak’s P32-8BWH fleet when built by GE.

The Dash 8 scheme was designed by Amtrak’s Blair Slaughter and Cesar Vergara in 1991. All of the P32 fleet has since been repainted.

Another P42 will receive the Phase I livery. Amtrak has a P42, No. 156, in this livery, but it has been sidelined with collision damage.

Amtrak’s Matt Donnelly, the carrier’s lead brand communications specialist, said the Phase III and Phase I liveries will be applied to locomotives as part of their scheduled overhaul at the Beech Grove shops in Indianapolis.

Donnelly said Amtrak decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary with special tribute locomotives rather than events because the COVID-19 pandemic made the latter impractical.

“If you’re planning for a 50th anniversary, you’ve got to look at where you came from to see how far you’ve gone,” he told Trains magazine.

Donnelly said special tribute locomotives would be a good way to get the anniversary message out to all parts of the network.

Amtrak did something similar in 2011 for its 40th anniversary and some of the heritage units created then are still in revenue service today.

Even though the P42s will be replaced by Chargers, Donnelly said the special tribute P42 units should remain in service for several more years.

“A key part of the reason we’ve been able to do this is to take advantage of pre-budgeted life cycle maintenance for locomotives that were already slated to come out of revenue service to go through a programmed overhaul,” Donnelly said. “The P42’s that were going to get repainted anyway will be around at least for the next four or five years.”

One challenge facing Amtrak in designing a new look for its Charger locomotives is that although stripes have been a part of most of its earlier passenger car and locomotive schemes, the vents, grills, and doors of the Chargers preclude the use of stripes on those units.

Another facet of the 50th anniversary celebration is the offering of 17 merchandise items that are being sold at the Amtrak store at its website. The merchandise includes such things as tee shirts wine glasses, mixing glasses, luggage tags, an anniversary coin, 24-inch wall calendar, an 11-inch wall calendar and a set of 50th anniversary pins.

Amtrak Rolling Out Special Liveries for its 50th Anniversary

March 16, 2021

Amtrak plans to paint at least six locomotive in new and heritage liveries this year as part of its 50th anniversary celebration.

The liveries were shown in a YouTube video that went live today.

No dates were given for rollout of the liveries other than in the coming months.

One of the liveries is recreation of a one of a kind livery Amtrak used to mark its inauguration on May 1, 1971.

That livery, which featured a blue strip with white accenting, was applied to Penn Central E8A No. 4316.

Also represented in the liveries will be a reprise of the Phase I paint scheme, which Amtrak had given to P42DC No. 156 in 2011 to help marks its 40th anniversary.

Other liveries include the current Phase V livery with the 50th anniversary logo applied to its flanks, the new phase VI livery that will be applied to new Charger locomotives being built by Siemens for long-distance service, a revival of a modified Phase III livery applied to P32 locomotives years ago, and a never before seen livery known as midnight blue.

An artist rendition that accompanied the YouTube video showed the liveries applied to P42 locomotives except the Day 1 livery, which is shown applied to a Charger.

The YouTube video features an Amtrak representative talking about the history of the carrier’s liveries and explaining the newest paint schemes.

Waiting to Highball Memphis

February 9, 2021

Amtrak P42DC No. 60 is on the point tonight as the northbound City of New Orleans does its station work in Memphis.

This is a crew change point so a new locomotive engineer will board here to take Train 58 to Carbondale, Illinois, where another engineer will board for the final leg into Chicago.

The station here was built by the Illinois Central and was once known as Grand Central Station.

Amtrak 50th Anniversary Engine Low Key Affair

January 27, 2021

When Amtrak celebrated its 40th anniversary it repainted several locomotives in previous liveries.

Perhaps reflective of it financial issues as a result of plunging ridership and revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is taking a lower key approach to marking its 50th anniversary.

It has applied marking to P42DC No. 46 commemorating the occasion, but they are nothing more than the slogan “connecting America for 50 years.”

The numeral 50 is oversized on the flanks of the locomotive to the left of the Amtrak herald. Otherwise the locomotive retains its blue and silver Phase VI livery.

No. 46 recently passed through Northeast Ohio leading the Capitol Limited. Reportedly, the unit would have led the train that president-elect Joseph Biden had planned to ride to Washington for his Jan. 20 inauguration.

However, those plans were canceled for security reason. Instead No. 46 left the nation’s capital leading Train 29.

Amtrak does plan to introduce a new locomotive livery that will be applied to its new Siemens ALC-42 locomotives that will be assigned to pull national network trains.

Those locomotives are being built in California and are expected to be delivered in phases through 2024.

Silver Meteor Motive Power in late 1979

December 18, 2020

Amtrak SDP40F Nos. 633 and 641 have brought the Silver Meteor into Jacksonville, Florida, from Washington in December 1979. No. 633 will pull ahead and back onto the Miami section, of which I am a passenger. The Washington-Florida run would be the last bastion for the SDP40F in scheduled service.

Heading Out of Big D

December 1, 2020

An Amtrak conductor waits to throw a switch as Amtrak’s Texas Eagle leaves Dallas Union Station.

The conductor will reboard the train after the switch is lined back to it normal position.

The image was made on March 5, 1997. At the time P40 locomotives were fairly new and some F40PH locomotives could still be found in motive power consists.

Amtrak Memories From a July 1993 East Coast Trip

September 29, 2020

In July 1993, the photographer and a friend ventured East from their homes in Northeast Ohio on a photography expedition.

Among their stops were Princeton Junction, New Jersey, on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. They also stopped on their way home at Horseshoe Curve and caught Amtrak’s Broadway Limited.

Much has changed with Amtrak’s motive power since then. In the early 1990s Northeast Corridor trains were still pulled by AEM-7 locomotives and long-distance trains outside the corridor were handled by F40PH locomotives.

In the top photograph the Silver Meteor comes thundering by Princeton Junction, led by a GE E60 electric engine.

Next up the Pennsylvanian makes an appearance hauling a deadheading slumbercoach.

The last image from Princeton Junction shows the Silver Star.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Mission Accomplished

August 15, 2020

I had had my eye on photographing Amtrak’s westbound Cardinal from this bridge carrying U.S. Route 231 over the CSX Monon Subdivision for several weeks.

But a road construction project had reduced traffic over the bridge to one lane.

The work was completed in early August and that gave me an opportunity.

No. 51 had left Crawfordsville, Indiana, on time but lost about 12 minutes in a CSX work zone before it reached my position.