Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak locomotives’

Charger Locomotives Undergoing Operations Testing

February 16, 2017

The new Charger locomotives to be used by Amtrak corridor trains are undergoing national certification testing in Washington State.

Amtrak logoThe Washington Department of Transportation said the Siemens SC-44 units are being tested on Cascade service through the end of this month.

The Chargers are expected to begin regular service later this year pulling trains in Washington, California, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.

The departments of transportation of those states collaborated to develop the 4,400 horsepower locomotives, which are being assembled in Sacramento, California.

P42DC Named for ex-Amtrak Head Boardman

September 29, 2016

Amtrak has named P42DC No. 42 after its former president, Joseph Boardman.

Amtrak logoPainted in a livery honoring the nation’s veterans, No. 42 will carry an inscription below its cab reading: “Amtrak Honors: Joseph H. Boardman, President and CEO 2008-2016, US Air Force Vietnam Veteran.”

The locomotive was officially named for Boardman earlier this week during a ceremony held at Washington Union Station that was attended by more than 100 invited guests, including Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz; BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose; Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Sarah Feinberg; former FRA boss Joe Szabo; union officials; and dozens of Amtrak employees and managers.

Also attending and speaking were U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Amtrak Board of Directors Chairman Tony Coscia and board member Tom Carper, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, and Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ed Hamberger.

Current Amtrak President and CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman was absent because he was on a previously-planned family vacation.

Boardman: We Need New Diesels

June 4, 2016

Amtrak needs new diesel locomotives, but its president, Joseph Boardman, said the carrier doesn’t have the money to pay for them.

Amtrak logo “Yes, we need new diesels. We need to do something different,” Boardman said.

Boardman rejected paying for new locomotive with loans financed with “profits” from the Northeast Corridor as the ACS-64 electric locomotives were, but fully paid for as state procurement contracts for diesel locomotives are being financed.

The Amtrak head said Congress won’t appropriate the money to buy the locomotives “until the public understands that this nation’s infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.”

At Last, I ‘Landed’ Amtrak P42DC No. 156

May 23, 2016
Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Until early this month, I had seen Amtrak P42DC just once. That occurred as I was leaving Chicago Union Station aboard the eastbound Capitol Limited and I got a glimpse of the 156 sitting in the coach yard south of the depot.

My memory is that it went out later that night on the point of the eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

I’m one to think that Amtrak’s Phase I livery was its best. In particular, I liked how it looked on the SDP40F locomotives, but the E and F units looked nice in the “pointless arrow” scheme, too.

The Phase I livery did not look so good on GG1 electric motors, but I never saw any of those other than in photographs.

No. 156 has been all over the country, but our paths have never crossed. I’ve seen scores of photographs of it, including some made in Cleveland.

Some guys I know in the Akron Railroad Club have caught No. 156 more than once. I, though, never even had as much as a near miss with the 156.

I didn’t know that it would be in Toledo for this year’s National Train Day event until Friday afternoon before the event when I saw a posting about it on Facebook. Needless to say, that had me quite excited.

My friend Adam and I arrived in Toledo just after 8 a.m. and there was, at long last, the 156.

Yes, I took a lot of photographs of it. To be sure, it was just sitting there, providing hotel power for an Amtrak display train.

But that didn’t matter. It’s nose was open and it looked like it was pulling a train.

Now that I finally have it, the next challenge is to catch it actually leading a train on the road. That might take some time and a little bit of luck as well.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Of course I made a roster shot of Amtrak 156.

Of course I made a roster shot of Amtrak 156.

The nose needs a little touch-up painting to cover some scratches and dings from life on the road.

The nose needs a little touch-up painting to cover some scratches and dings from life on the road.

The passenger side of the platform with the display train.

The passenger side of the platform with the display train.

If the fuel outlet is where the edge of the "pointless arrow" is supposed to go, no problem. Just paint over it.

If the fuel outlet is where the edge of the “pointless arrow” is supposed to go, no problem. Just paint over it.

Lake Shore Limited Locomotive Order Revoked

May 11, 2016

Although the Lake Shore Limited continues to operate with just one P42DC locomotive on many days, an earlier Amtrak order to isolate a second unit if it has one has been rescinded.

Amtrak Lake Shore LimitedThe order, which had been effective on April 14, had directed crews to isolate trailing units on Nos. 48 and 49 between Chicago and Buffalo, New York, unless operating conditions required it to provide traction.

The order was originally given in an effort to conserve fuel use.

NS 9-1-1, Amtrak 156, Ann Arbor Heritage Unit Shine Under Friday Night Lights at Toledo C.U.T.

May 9, 2016
amt156ntd01

Amtrak’s Phase I heritage locomotive was on the point of a four car display train that mimicked the consist of the Lake Shore Limited.

Here is a selection of the night photos from Toledo’s National Train Day festival that were made on Friday night.

The engineer is Engineer Steve, one of the main driving forces behind the National Train Day in Toledo and the one who set up the equipment. Lighting was provided by David Patch, a transportation reporter with The Blade of Toledo.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Norfolk Southern's  first responders tribute unit looks spiffy. Behind it is Ann Arbor GP38 No. 3879.

Norfolk Southern’s
first responders tribute unit looks spiffy. Behind it is Ann Arbor GP38 No. 3879.

Watco brought out its Ann Arbor heritage locomotive, a GP38.

Watco brought out its Ann Arbor heritage locomotive, a GP38.

Engineer Steve poses at the controls of SD60E No. 9-1-1 on display at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Engineer Steve poses at the controls of SD60E No. 9-1-1 on display at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Engineer Steve climbs aboard Amtrak P42DC No. 156 as he "goes to work."

Engineer Steve climbs aboard Amtrak P42DC No. 156 as he “goes to work.”

NS 9-1-1 and the photographers that captured it under the lights.

NS 9-1-1 and the photographers that captured it under the lights.

 

Railroading as it Once Was: Saluting 45 Years of Amtrak With a Look Back at an SDP40F Pairing

May 5, 2016

Amtrak in Florida

Earlier this week Amtrak observed its 45th anniversary but on May 1, 1971, the SDP40F locomotive and Phase I livery were still two years down the road and not even on the drawing board.

The SDP40F story is not one of the happiest in the Amtrak memory closet. The passenger carrier’s first built new diesel locomotives were once a common sight throughout the system.

They were initially assigned to long-distance routes, but could be seen at times pulling corridor trains.

Then the six-axle units were implicated in a series of derailments in the middle 1970s and some railroads banned the units from their property.

An investigation was inconclusive as to whether the SDP40F had one or more design flaws that made it derailment prone.

Some SDP40Fs were in service for a mere four years before being traded in to EMD for new F40PH units and then being cut up by a scrapper.

In the photograph above, it is August 1977 and a thunderstorm looms over Clearwater, Florida, as a pair of SDP40Fs pull the southbound Champion over a wood trestle on the Seaboard Coast Line.

In two minutes the Champion will be in the Clearwater station.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

1st Charger Locomotive Ready for Testing

April 2, 2016

Siemen announced that its first Charger passenger locomotive has left the factory and will now undergo testing.

The Chargers are designed to operate at speeds of up to 125 mph and will be used on various Amtrak corridor services in the Midwest and West.

SiemensThe first Charger will be delivered for use in Washington state.

The locomotives have a Cummins QSK95, a 16-cylinder, 95-liter-displacement engine rated at 4,400 horsepower that meets EPA Tier IV emissions standards.

Siemens is building 69 Chargers for the Departments of Transportation in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington state and Maryland.

Brightline, the privately owned and operated express passenger rail service to be offered by Florida East Coast Industries subsidiary All Aboard Florida, has also ordered Charger locomotives

The Chargers are being assembled in Sacramento, California.

1st Engine Placed in Charger Carbody

February 20, 2016

Siemens recently installed the first engine and traction alternator into the carbody of a locomotive intended for use pulling Amtrak trains on Midwest and West Coast corridor routes.

The 21-ton Cummins QSK95 diesel engine was placed in a Charger locomotive at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, California.

Amtrak logoSiemens is manufacturing 69 Chargers for the Departments of Transportation in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington and Maryland, and for Brightline, the privately owned and operated express passenger rail service to be offered by Florida East Coast Industries subsidiary All Aboard Florida.

Siemens also is manufacturing at its Sacramento plant passengers coaches for Brightline.

Built in Seymour, Indiana, the Cummins QSK95, is a 16-cylinder, 95-liter-displacement engine rated at 4,400 horsepower.

Siemens described the engine as “engineered with modern technologies and design features that ensure the highest performance, lowest fuel consumption, cleanest emissions, and lowest total cost of ownership of any locomotive engine.”

The Charger locomotives are EPA Tier IV emission compliant and can operate at up to 125 mph.

 

Railroading as it Once Was: Tired But Proud E Units Continued Pulling the Broadway Limited

February 19, 2016

Amtrak Broadway Ltd in chicago

In April 1974, Amtrak began receiving its second order of EMD SDP40F locomotives. Some of the new units were assigned to the Chicago-New York Broadway Limited.

After the six-axle locomotives were implicated in a series of derailments, some railroads banned their use. Conrail didn’t come out with a hard ban, but told Amtrak it would rather the SDP40Fs not be used on Conrail tracks.

In spring 1977, the Broadway Limited was assigned E units. By then many of those locomotives were long in the tooth. Some were repainted into the Phase II livery that had been applied to new P30CH and F40PH locomotives.

But those remaining in the Phase I livery continued in service looking quite ratty.

In the photograph above, it is June 1979 in Chicago. Photographer Roger Durfee is standing on the Roosevelt Road bridge.

E units are still the primary motive power for Nos. 40 and 41. Two of the three E units assigned to the Broadway Limited desperately need a paint job.

But despite their appearance, these veterans will have no trouble maintaining track speed over the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline between Chicago and Pittsburgh that passed through Crestline, Mansfield, Wooster, Massillon, Canton and Alliance.

E8A No. 445 is in its second number on the Amtrak roster and the fourth of its lifetime. Built in January 1950 as Atlantic Coast Line No. 546, it was later renumbered Seaboard Coast Line No. 578.

It originally carried Amtrak roster number 236. Rebuilt in July 1974, it was retired from the Amtrak roster in July 1981.

Photograph by Roger Durfee