Amtrak Displays New ACL-42 Locomotive

Amtrak displayed its first ALC-42 locomotives on Tuesday, saying it is expected it to go into service in two to three months.

The unit on display in Chicago on Tuesday will be sent to Wilmington, Delaware, for testing before entering revenue service on eastern long distance trains serving Washington, most likely the Crescent, Capitol Limited, and Cardinal.

The initial eight ALC-42 engines will have what Amtrak has termed a “transitional” livery of blue on the carbody ending at a red chevron.

The design is meant to be reminiscent of the Phase I livery that has been reapplied to P42DC No. 161, which was also on display Tuesday at Union Station.

Amtrak’s Devon Parsons, senior manager of equipment engineering, said the ALC-42 units are similar to the Siemens SC-44 chargers that pull corridor service trains in the Midwest and the West.

But the ALC-42 locomotives feature a few feature changes including newer technology for a number of systems.

Other changes include redesigned front end framed windows and a removable nose “to reduce our shop out-of-service from strike damage.”

Whereas the SC-44 units have a 1,800 gallon fuel tank, the ALC-42s come with a 2,200-gallon fuel tank.

Parsons said the ALC-42’s computer program was revised to address wheel slip issues reported on the SC-44 locomotives.

Amtrak has ordered 75 ALC-42 locomotives that will be delivered through 2024 at a rate of about two per month.

The next ALC-42 to be delivered wlll be No. 301, which will have the predominantly black, one-off “Day One” livery that adorned a single E8A unit to mark the inauguration of Amtrak in 1971.

The ALC-42 fleet will replace P42DC locomotives that are now standard on national network trains.

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