Except for filling in a few gaps in my collection, I am done buying trains.

I would make an exception, however, for the Acela.  If either Lionel/MTH/3rd Rail were to offer the Acela, I would pre-order it if it were scale size and did NOT have the fancy features like tilt and opening doors that the first Lionel set had.

Jim

Formerly Historic Frederick County, Maryland.  Now close to Baltimore.  Modeling both the Reading and B&O Railroads.

 

Alastar 'Bear' 3/8/06 - 8/24/15, one heckuva great dog!

For the uninformed: 

The current Acela tilts, has WI-FI, craft beer on draft, and I am not impressed that they will knock off 15 mins on the DC to Boston run...big deal.😜

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Craig, the current Acela only does that time when it's on time, that's less than 75% of the time.

John, 

I am sure, but I was hoping for something much faster.

 

 

 

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Faster would require extensive track work, that ain't happening, at least in my lifetime!

Yeah, it needs track work...now.

I rode the Acela from Baltimore to Providence last summer, it was going really fast North of NYC, moving around a lot, seemed like it was really pushing the envelope, kind of scary, like being on a galloping horse.

 

I think maybe the engineers were thinking about the 150 MPH speeds and aerodynamic efficiency when they were designing it.  It's purpose built, it's not artwork.

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GRJ, I used to commute between Washington & Boston on Amtrak Acela Express, and it was usually right on time.

While the current Acela does tilt, the tracks in New England are too close to permit the full tilting capability to be used, according to reports when it first started running

The traffic and curved trackage in New England are the reasons significantly higher speeds are not possible. There are only two tracks between New Haven and Boston, and they are also occupied by slower Amtrak Regional Trains, MBTA commuter trains out of Boston, Metro-North commuter trains out of New York City, and Shoreline-East trains in Connecticut.

MELGAR

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I think maybe the engineers were thinking about the 150 MPH speeds and aerodynamic efficiency when they were designing it.  It's purpose built, it's not artwork.

If the trainsets are built as above, then they will look better than the current Ugcela!

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

Wonderful...for people who have a employer picking up the "double cost" of the ticket. I'm currently in Boston via the regular train. It was interesting to see, at the Philadelphia station, that the Acela was arriving 20 minutes late. Yes, there is a drawback to the regular train. They are sometimes very full, so you may have to tell a sprawler or a sleeper you need the seat. Not a problem at a major "departure station". I just can't see paying double the cost to save 30 minutes. BTW, we usually fly first class. The benefits are many.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I think maybe the engineers were thinking about the 150 MPH speeds and aerodynamic efficiency when they were designing it.  It's purpose built, it's not artwork.

Doesn't change the fact that it is hideous. I wouldn't cross the street to look at it. It looks like a worm on steroids. The clownish paint scheme doesn't do it any favors either.

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I think maybe the engineers were thinking about the 150 MPH speeds and aerodynamic efficiency when they were designing it.  It's purpose built, it's not artwork.

Well, they can go back to school, because there are much prettier high speed trains running all over the civilized world that are engineered for speeds Amtrak will never see. 

Perhaps they envisioned Nike or Puma advertising wraps completing the sneaker look.  I am going to coin the new nickname for this train, "The Sneaker." It looks like a tennis shoe and will occasionally sneak up to 150 mph on a few miles of track.  

Im glad to see any rail passenger investment we can get.  Hopefully it is reliable out of the box.  True high speed it only pretends to be.  I have experienced China's national high speed rail system, nothing comes close.

Joe Hohmann posted:

Wonderful...for people who have a employer picking up the "double cost" of the ticket. I'm currently in Boston via the regular train. It was interesting to see, at the Philadelphia station, that the Acela was arriving 20 minutes late. Yes, there is a drawback to the regular train. They are sometimes very full, so you may have to tell a sprawler or a sleeper you need the seat. Not a problem at a major "departure station". I just can't see paying double the cost to save 30 minutes. BTW, we usually fly first class. The benefits are many.

You are correct in the sense that most Acela riders use it for work.  I use it on average twice a month to go to NY from Washington.  The scheduled time difference between Acela and normal NE corridor during the week is not significant.  But if using it for work when you need to be on time, my experience with the Acela is excellent.  Moreover, if there are delays they have track priority and will be routed around trains.  Lastly, it is a nicer clientele.  Whether all those things are worth the cost differential is a personal decision.  

VistaDomeScott posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

I think maybe the engineers were thinking about the 150 MPH speeds and aerodynamic efficiency when they were designing it.  It's purpose built, it's not artwork.

Well, they can go back to school, because there are much prettier high speed trains running all over the civilized world that are engineered for speeds Amtrak will never see. 

Perhaps they envisioned Nike or Puma advertising wraps completing the sneaker look.  I am going to coin the new nickname for this train, "The Sneaker." It looks like a tennis shoe and will occasionally sneak up to 150 mph on a few miles of track.  

Im glad to see any rail passenger investment we can get.  Hopefully it is reliable out of the box.  True high speed it only pretends to be.  I have experienced China's national high speed rail system, nothing comes close.

Never been on China's high speed rail system, but I have taken several trips on Germany's Deutsche Bahn Intercity Express (ICE).   Always on-time, comfortable, clean, and convenient.

Jim

Formerly Historic Frederick County, Maryland.  Now close to Baltimore.  Modeling both the Reading and B&O Railroads.

 

Alastar 'Bear' 3/8/06 - 8/24/15, one heckuva great dog!

Found some additional details on the new Acela... 

https://www.railwayage.com/pas...the-alstom-facility/

Honestly, I kind of like the new look. I am happy that Amtrak is, at least, doing an update. Now, if only we, as a country, would make the investment in high speed trackage!!!

Paul

Techno-Peasant of the First Order

Provisionary Member - Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 TCA 15-70689

LCCA RM-39621

LOTS RM-9326

Alstom is a significant supplier of trainsets, especially in Europe - notably SNCF (think TGV), some rail in the UK and the private Italo company in Italy (among others - those are the three I can recall off the top of my head).  I just returned from Italy and have just finished putting together a post for OGR on riding the Italian high speed trains which I hope to post later today once I sort through my photos.  In doing so, I spent some time digging around on the web trying to get some details on the trainsets themselves.  I confess to being slightly confused about the relationship between the Alstom product they are producing for Amtrak and the two trainsets they've done for Italo.  I thought their Avelia Evo (ETR 675) done for Italo was the twin to the Avelia Liberty being built for Amtrak.  Here's a couple of front-end shots of the ETR 675 taken from the Alstom website:

img_9921img_9954

You can see the profile looks similar at the head end - though the big difference is that the Evo uses distributed power (described in my soon-to-come post) so there is no 'locomotive' per se.  The Amtrak Liberty uses separate power cars - one at each end - apparently due to the differences in the FRA regs compared to the European standards regarding crash protection for the head-end (I'm inferring here a bit...).  However, the Liberty is/will be articulated, using a common bogie between the adjacent cars - the Evo is not - having bogies at each end of each car. 

OTOH, the other trainset Alstom made for Italo, the ETR 575 (dubbed the AGV, apparently because it is a design successor to the TGV) looks like this:

DSC_0081

This 11 car trainset - also distributed power - is articulated and does have the Jacobs bogie design (shared bogie).  Even though this trainset has 11 cars vs 7 for the Evo, it is rated for 400 km/h vs 250 km/h for the Evo...  Neither of the Italian trains tilt. 

Perhaps TMI above - but one hopes that given that Alstom isn't new to this the rollout of the Amtrak Liberty will be fairly painless - its even the same track gauge (at least in Italy) and, I think, the same voltage (25 kV AC - well, ok, 60 Hz vs 50...).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but its really hard not to like anything in Ferrari colors.

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Let's be honest, when people first saw diesel locomotives they probably also insulted how bad they look. Innovation is always first met with insults and dislike, but as long as it progresses our field of tech we will have to learn to live with it.

That being said, I too am not that big of a fan of the design, but it's not that bad, and it is definitely more efficient than one of those freight diesels we see. Plus the cars definitely look more comfortable than our current generation of Amtrak cars.

Dominic - indeed the Alstom Avelia Liberty (aka Acela replacement) has separate power cars (electric locomotives) - the complicating feature of the passenger car set is that they are supposed to be articulated - sharing a bogie between adjacent cars - and with the first and last cars having a 'normal'  bogie next to the power car (which has two bogies).  This means that it isn't easy to add/remove cars from the trainset without having a crane or something to separate the passenger cars within the set.  I suppose one could have two or three coach sets made up that share the inner bogies.  But since Alstom makes the claim that the articulated design is also a safety feature to help prevent the coaches from 'jack-knifing' or individually falling over in an accident, having a break in the articulation would seem to reduce that safety feature.  But, I'm speculating here about how one might add/remove cars (if that is desired).

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