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Do both Locomotives operate on Brightline/Virgin Trains USA and similar trainsets?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Pacific Northwest
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Do both Locomotives operate on Brightline/Virgin Trains USA and similar trainsets?
Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, May 24, 2019 5:25 AM

I was watching a video on YouTube which included some Brighline trains. If you are not already aware these are a brand of private passenger service operating on the FEC in Florida. (Brightline is in the process of being rebranded to Virgin Trains USA, but at the moment they still say Brightline, so that is what I will call them).

Anyway as you are likely aware Brightlines run with two locomotives bracketing four coaches. Now I was wondering if the locos are M.U.ed somehow through the cars so they both are in operation, or if they aren’t M.U.ed and only one runs at a time. I know in local freights that use a loco on each end they are not M.U.ed and only one is used at a time. Is that how the Brightlines work?

Also are there any other passenger trains past or present that run like this, I would be curious to find out.

Oh, and before anyone says to go over to the Trains forums, I know they may know more, I just felt like putting this on the MR forums. If I don’t get good reply see I may go over there later.

Also F.Y.I. I am just curious, I have no intention of modeling Brightline, I don’t think there even is a model of one (if there is though, feel free to say so below).

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, May 24, 2019 6:46 AM

IN England where this was pioneered e.g. with the HST sets this is called 'top and tail'.  For high speed or max acceleration both engines run.  In some Amtrak configurations the 'second' engine is being used for the same reason a 'cabbage and its prime mover might be idling in isolation or even turned off when the other end  leading.  Some comparisons with DPU on freight will show the value (or potential disadvantage) of power at both ends instead of two leading.

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  • From: Pacific Northwest
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, May 24, 2019 7:46 AM

Thanks for your reply over mod, so both engines run, very interesting!

Overmod

 In some Amtrak configurations the 'second' engine is being used for the same reason a 'cabbage and its prime mover might be idling in isolation or even turned off when the other end  leading.

Cabbages have their prime movers removed and replaced with a baggage compartment. As far as I am aware cabbages are only used in push-pull service were the cabbage only serves as a cab and the engine in the other end alway provides power.

I just thought of another question, are the locos on either side of a Broghtline trainset connected by M.U. cables or remote control (like DPUs).

Also is there any similarity between the way the Brightlines run and the way Amtrak’s Acelas run?

Thanks again for all answers past and future!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 24, 2019 10:52 AM

Zip it!

.

NDA

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, May 24, 2019 11:07 AM

Sorry for the confusion - phone typing mangled the post.

"Cabbage" is a portmanteau of 'cab' and 'baggage' that specifically refers to those de-engined locomotives with access doors cut in the sides.  I was referring to operating a functional locomotive in place of one, for example in those services where Amtrak runs 'pull-pull' service for convenience reasons (I believe Amtrak 501 in the Dupont wreck was being operated that way).  There, whichever locomotive is leading pulls the whole consist including the one that is trailing.  I believe this is the way either the diesel or the electric on the ACE Atlantic City Express pulled the whole train depending on where on the route it was, with the train being directed so the appropriate power was leading on electrified vs. regular sections.

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  • From: Pacific Northwest
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Friday, May 24, 2019 11:46 AM

Thanks for the confirmation. I didn’t know Amtrak did this! Especially on 501 (a Cascades train). The regular cabbage must have had an issue. I’m assuming it's only when there isn’t a cabbage available?

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
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Posted by OldEngineman on Friday, May 24, 2019 10:36 PM

Do the Brightline trains actually have a locomotive on both ends, or is one end a cab car with a "locomotive's face"?

On Amtrak (at least several years' back) the Vermonter often ran New Haven to St. Albans with an engine on each end. This was because the train reversed direction moving from the B&A at Palmer (MA) to the NEC (former Central Vermont) to head north.

Other times they would use a cab control car (former Metroliner), but these were in short supply, and in winter weather the weight and heft of an actual locomotive was preferred leading the train, due to snow/ice accumulation at crossings, etc.

The coaches in-between had the 27-point MU jumper cable connections "wired through" from end to end. You'd need this with a cab car in any case.

When the electric motor was cut off at New Haven (northbound), and engines added to each end, they were generally both "live". So the train moved with one engine pulling and the rear end pushing. At Palmer, the engineer would set the engine he came in on to trail, then walk to the other end, and set that one up to lead, and off they'd go...

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:49 AM

OldEngineman

Do the Brightline trains actually have a locomotive on both ends, or is one end a cab car with a "locomotive's face"?

Brightline has a Siemens SC44 at both ends

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
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  • From: Morristown, NJ
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Posted by nealknows on Sunday, May 26, 2019 5:19 PM

I can confirm that motive power is on both ends. Rode the line the end of March from West Palm Beach to Miami, then took the rain back an hour or so later. We rode in the cars where they served you complimentary drinks and snacks. 

There were four of us and we had a table so they served us just as if you were at a restaurant. Very cool. Took lots of pics. When they eventually open the line to Orlando, I'll do that excursion as well!

Neal

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