METRA to Purchase SD70MACs for commuter service.

Dominic Mazoch posted:

I hope they will not become "SDP70F's", and will not become wreck and rail breaker prone.

Again, you don't know what you are talking about! The old Amtrak SDP40F units didn't break any rails, and we only "derailment prone" on really crappy track, when coupled to a poorly maintained VERY light weigh Amtrak baggage car. Besides, the "70 Series" units have the Radial/steerable trucks anyway. 

  Also, will HEP come from the prime mover, or a secondary gen set?

Probably a separate inverter to provide HEP for the train.

 

pittsburghrailfan posted:

I'm a little confused. Presumably Progress/EMD will be retrofitting (probably) ex-BN SD70MACs with HEP generators a la the Alaska Railroad's SD70MACs.

Probably not, as simply adding a separate inverter to provide 480 Volt HEP, as has been done previously.

Why is the rendering of a SD70ACe?

Maybe the METRA folks don't know any better?

 

I’m a little confused by this decision. It’s clear that the idea was to go with cheap power and not spend a ton of money jumping on the Charger bandwagon, but why didn’t they purchase more F59PHRs and F59PHIs, or even more MP36PH-3Cs? Surely that would make more sense and be more efficient. They already have both of those locomotives which have proven themselves in service, so I don’t understand why they would go through all this trouble. I bet Hot Water knows something.

Dominic Mazoch posted:

I hope they will not become "SDP70F's", and will not become wreck and rail breaker prone.  Also, will HEP come from the prime mover, or a secondary gen set?

These SD70MAC-Hs won’t have that problem as the SDP40Fs were top-heavy due to poor weight distribution. There have been many successful 6-axle passenger units.

GenesisFan99 posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

I hope they will not become "SDP70F's", and will not become wreck and rail breaker prone.  Also, will HEP come from the prime mover, or a secondary gen set?

These SD70MAC-Hs won’t have that problem as the SDP40Fs were top-heavy due to poor weight distribution.

Where did you come up with such a ridiculous claim?

There have been many successful 6-axle passenger units.

 

GenesisFan99 posted:

I’m a little confused by this decision. It’s clear that the idea was to go with cheap power and not spend a ton of money jumping on the Charger bandwagon, but why didn’t they purchase more F59PHRs and F59PHIs, or even more MP36PH-3Cs?

Because EMD/Progress rail doesn't make 4 axle units anymore.

Surely that would make more sense and be more efficient. They already have both of those locomotives which have proven themselves in service, so I don’t understand why they would go through all this trouble.

Did you read the part of the press release concerning the trouble free AC traction motors vs. the old DC traction motors?

I bet Hot Water knows something.

 

GenesisFan99 posted:

I’m a little confused by this decision. It’s clear that the idea was to go with cheap power and not spend a ton of money jumping on the Charger bandwagon, but why didn’t they purchase more F59PHRs and F59PHIs, or even more MP36PH-3Cs? Surely that would make more sense and be more efficient. They already have both of those locomotives which have proven themselves in service, so I don’t understand why they would go through all this trouble. I bet Hot Water knows something.

Are F59's still being made?

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

I’m a little confused by this decision. It’s clear that the idea was to go with cheap power and not spend a ton of money jumping on the Charger bandwagon, but why didn’t they purchase more F59PHRs and F59PHIs, or even more MP36PH-3Cs? Surely that would make more sense and be more efficient. They already have both of those locomotives which have proven themselves in service, so I don’t understand why they would go through all this trouble. I bet Hot Water knows something.

Are F59's still being made?

Nope.

Rusty

 

Rusty Traque posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

I’m a little confused by this decision. It’s clear that the idea was to go with cheap power and not spend a ton of money jumping on the Charger bandwagon, but why didn’t they purchase more F59PHRs and F59PHIs, or even more MP36PH-3Cs? Surely that would make more sense and be more efficient. They already have both of those locomotives which have proven themselves in service, so I don’t understand why they would go through all this trouble. I bet Hot Water knows something.

Are F59's still being made?

Rusty

They’re not, but neither are SD70MACs. That’s my point. They could easily have purchased more F59PHRs or F59PHIs to supplement their current fleet instead of buying SD70MACs. I understand the AC traction part, but why go through all the trouble of converting them when they could have just bought more of what they already have? 

Hot Water posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

I hope they will not become "SDP70F's", and will not become wreck and rail breaker prone.  Also, will HEP come from the prime mover, or a secondary gen set?

These SD70MAC-Hs won’t have that problem as the SDP40Fs were top-heavy due to poor weight distribution.

Where did you come up with such a ridiculous claim?

There have been many successful 6-axle passenger units.

 

See attached screenshot.

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Well, whatever that is, I'm unable to read it. But then, if it's on the internet it MUST be true, right? The SDP40F units were NOT "top heavy", as the additional boiler water supply tank was mounted directly on the underframe, inside the carbody. When both the lower fuel & water tank plus the inside the carbody water tank were filled with water, the units total weight was close to 400,000 pounds, thus only certain railroads allowed Amtrak to utilize the carbody mounted water tank (there were supply valves, which were sealed, that would be opened for use on those railroads allowing the extra weight).

The bottom line was, you can't operate a heavy, i.e. over 395,000 pound locomotive, no mater whether freight or passenger, over crappy track, at passenger train speeds.

GenesisFan99 posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

I’m a little confused by this decision. It’s clear that the idea was to go with cheap power and not spend a ton of money jumping on the Charger bandwagon, but why didn’t they purchase more F59PHRs and F59PHIs, or even more MP36PH-3Cs? Surely that would make more sense and be more efficient. They already have both of those locomotives which have proven themselves in service, so I don’t understand why they would go through all this trouble. I bet Hot Water knows something.

Are F59's still being made?

Rusty

They’re not, but neither are SD70MACs. That’s my point. They could easily have purchased more F59PHRs or F59PHIs to supplement their current fleet instead of buying SD70MACs. I understand the AC traction part, but why go through all the trouble of converting them when they could have just bought more of what they already have? 

Like Hotwater mentioned, the AC traction was probably part of it. I also think there aren't that many F59PHIs or F59PHs on the used market right now. Metra bought their F59PHs (GO Transit) and F59PHis (Amtrak California and Cascades) because that was what was available, somewhat reliable, and cheapest at the time. The other operators of F59PH variants (AMT/Exo, Metrolink, Amtrak Piedmont, West Coast Express) are not currently selling their fleets (to my limited knowledge). MotivePower is offering the AC-traction, QSK95 powered MP54AC, but as noted above, new locomotives are expensive, and Metra seems to want EMD 710 engines that allow it to pay some lip service to reducing emissions and replace an aging fleet of F40 variants. I think Progress will use ex-BN SD70MACs because NS just returned several ex-BN executive livery leasers two months ago; I'm sure Progress is offering great financial terms to get rid of what was set to be for them an unproductive asset.

The F125s were supposed to replace the F59s on Metrolink, which have slowly been taken out of service. So it’s very likely that if there aren’t any units for sale now there certainly will be very soon. While I realize they want 710 engines, the 710 in the SD70MAC is not the same as the 710 in the F59PHRs and F59PHIs. 12-710G3C-ECs could be cannibalized and swapped between locomotives, instead of being slightly limited in the parts they can share.

Hot Water posted:

Well, whatever that is, I'm unable to read it. But then, if it's on the internet it MUST be true, right? The SDP40F units were NOT "top heavy", as the additional boiler water supply tank was mounted directly on the underframe, inside the carbody. When both the lower fuel & water tank plus the inside the carbody water tank were filled with water, the units total weight was close to 400,000 pounds, thus only certain railroads allowed Amtrak to utilize the carbody mounted water tank (there were supply valves, which were sealed, that would be opened for use on those railroads allowing the extra weight).

The bottom line was, you can't operate a heavy, i.e. over 395,000 pound locomotive, no mater whether freight or passenger, over crappy track, at passenger train speeds.

According to the NTSB reports I read for SDP40F derailments since the internet isn’t valid info, the track was up to standard at the time so the track wasn’t crappy. I wouldn’t exactly call 40-50 mph “passenger train speeds”.

Just for the record, we never had a track/train dynamics derailment of an SDP40F on Santa Fe, and we ran them long distances, fast. We even bought a group of them from Amtrak and re-fitted them for freight service.  No problems at all.  And I did not get this information from reading railfan magazines.  I was there.

It sounds to me like Metra is going to be getting a good deal on good locomotives.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

Road on SDP40F powered passenger trains.  LONE STAR.  SW LTD./CHIEF.  SAN FRANCISCO ZYPHER over Sherman Hill.  Clocked mile post to mile post.  36 seconds.  100 mph.  But that was on ATSF and original UP.  Good track

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

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