Metra locomotives: rebuild or get new, Tier 4 ones?

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Metra locomotives: rebuild or get new, Tier 4 ones?
Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 5:29 PM
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:48 PM

METRA electrification ? ?  Despite the ovious problems dealing with freight RRs there are other problems. The modern 25 kV auto transformer CAT installation is the preferred method of CAT installation. Cannot remember other CHI train stations but CHI union station which does not appear that CAT would have enough clearances to the ceiling of the station for the bi-level cars. ( superliners and commuter ).   Have often wondered if the superliner heights were dictated by the CHI US clearances.

If CHI US can increase these clearances could we  expect a SL-4 or -5 to be the taller typpe that Colorado rail car built ?  Of course there might be other stations with clearance problems  but maybe finally at least one route at a time  could have plate "H" clearances.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:12 PM

Right now Metra doesn't have the funds to have a car fleet large enough to always cover daily requirements.

Shiny new things are fun but keeping the system running each day is a higher priority.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:12 AM

Improving vertical clearances in Chicago Union Station is virtually impossible.  The station tracks are for the most part beneath buildings that were built on air rights so the roof can't be raised.  The tracks themselves are only a few feet above the level of the South Branch of the Chicago River so they can't be lowered without causing potential flooding issues.

The linked article suggests that Tier 4 locomotives are the only way to go and implies that Metra is wasting money with secondhand F59PHI's.  Metra doesn't have the funding to buy new Tier 4 power and Metrolink is still waiting for the F125's to be debugged so there aren't too many options available other than well-maintained secondhanders.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:02 PM

Metra is still running F40's as primary power on most trains.  Some of those engines are 40 years old not one of them is a -2 model of the F40 meaning they all when powering a train have to run nonstop in Notch 8 to provide HEP for the trains.  The few MP36's they have are almost 20 years old already and need overhauling themselves.  It wouldn't shock me if some of the F40's in thier fleet have over 4 million miles.  

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Posted by kevink on Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:16 PM

It's long past time for Metra to upgrade it's locomotive fleet to something, anything, that doesn't leave the platforms at CUS choked with exhaust. 

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:06 PM

blue streak 1

METRA electrification ? ?  Despite the ovious problems dealing with freight RRs there are other problems. The modern 25 kV auto transformer CAT installation is the preferred method of CAT installation. Cannot remember other CHI train stations but CHI union station which does not appear that CAT would have enough clearances to the ceiling of the station for the bi-level cars. ( superliners and commuter ).   Have often wondered if the superliner heights were dictated by the CHI US clearances.

If CHI US can increase these clearances could we  expect a SL-4 or -5 to be the taller typpe that Colorado rail car built ?  Of course there might be other stations with clearance problems  but maybe finally at least one route at a time  could have plate "H" clearances. 

Unless you have all of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's $$$$,  Ain't gonna happen.

The utility relocation and bridge clearance/ stray current protection fun would choke off any practical chance of electrification happening. The shiny new toys without prime movers are a really small drop in the cash bucket by comparison.

(The AAR Mechanical Plates still have to fit inside the existing state and AREMA CH-28 clearance envelope out in the real world. Once you exceed 21 feet in height or 8 feet laterally from centerline, you start losing places where you can operate, especially in the NE.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by D.Carleton on Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:47 PM

Shadow the Cats owner

Some of those engines are 40 years old not one of them is a -2 model of the F40 meaning they all when powering a train have to run nonstop in Notch 8 to provide HEP for the trains.

"-2" and "HEP" are mutually exclusive.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:46 PM

The F40PH-2 has a seperate HEP Genset in the back of the engine.  The standard F40PH uses the 645 series prime mover to create the HEP.  However in order to create the HEP needed for the train the 645 has to run at full throttle all the time.

 

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Posted by M636C on Friday, June 22, 2018 2:48 AM

Shadow the Cats owner

The F40PH-2 has a seperate HEP Genset in the back of the engine.  The standard F40PH uses the 645 series prime mover to create the HEP.  However in order to create the HEP needed for the train the 645 has to run at full throttle all the time.

All EMD F40PH, whether "-2" or not as built use the prime mover for HEP.

Morrison Knudsen built a version of the F40PH called the F40PH-2C which had a longer frame and a separate CAT genset in the locomotive rear.

VIA and Caltrans have rebuilt their original F40PH with separate gensets, and Caltrans have MK F40PH-2C units too.

But the designation "-2" does not indicate whether the locomotive has a separate genset.

Also, the original F40PH does not run at "full throttle" but it does run at 900 rpm continuously, but the amount of fuel injected varies according to the power demand.

Peter

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, June 22, 2018 7:00 AM

M636C
 All EMD F40PH, whether "-2" or not as built use the prime mover for HEP.

Morrison Knudsen built a version of the F40PH called the F40PH-2C which had a longer frame and a separate CAT genset in the locomotive rear.

Peter

 
Close but not quite.  EMD built the first batch of F40PH-2C's (MBTA 1050-1075) before MK/MPI started building them.
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Posted by RailEagle on Friday, June 22, 2018 9:08 AM

Well Metra has already ordered about 15 F59PHis from Amtrak. Also in the press release they said that ordering new locomotives would take too long and require more maintenance. 

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:25 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
M636C
 All EMD F40PH, whether "-2" or not as built use the prime mover for HEP.

Morrison Knudsen built a version of the F40PH called the F40PH-2C which had a longer frame and a separate CAT genset in the locomotive rear.

Peter

 

 

 
Close but not quite.  EMD built the first batch of F40PH-2C's (MBTA 1050-1075) before MK/MPI started building them.
 

You are of course correct.

It all comes from me not getting to Boston...

The last time I tried the flight was cancelled due to bad weather....

I think some F40PH in Boston were rebuilt to F40PH-2C.... Is that correct?

Peter

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:26 PM

The -2C is longer locomotive wiki says 4 feet longer overall so unless they lengthen the frame they were purpose built. 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Sunday, June 24, 2018 12:05 AM
The Wikipedia article indicates the frames were lengthened. Metra's second order in the late 80s should have been all F40PH-2s...and of course they have the F40PHM-2 "Winnebagos" Those were all built by EMD all with HEP alternator only.
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, June 25, 2018 7:04 AM

Shadow the Cats owner

The -2C is longer locomotive wiki says 4 feet longer overall so unless they lengthen the frame they were purpose built. 

 
The F40PH-2C's built by EMD were built new.  I'm not sure if the MK/MPI versions were new or rebuilt from something else.
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Posted by rdamon on Monday, June 25, 2018 7:52 AM

A new fleet of F40C's would be fun to see.  :)

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, June 25, 2018 8:25 AM

Aren’t there some GO Transit F59s due to be replaced by new MP54AC units over the next couple of years? Might they be acquistion candidates for Metra?

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Monday, June 25, 2018 10:37 AM

RailEagle
Well Metra has already ordered about 15 F59PHis from Amtrak. Also in the press release they said that ordering new locomotives would take too long and require more maintenance.

According to a press release of February 21, 2018 Metra has bought 21 F59PH from Progress Rail for $1.3 million each. The locomotives are on lease to Amtrak with the lease expiring in June 2018.

https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/metra-moves-buy-newer-engines

Quote regarding new/rebuilt locomotives from the same press release/above link:

In late 2017, Metra issued a request for proposals (RFP) to begin to replace its aging fleet of engines with new or remanufactured locomotives. The RFP calls for a base order of at least 12 new or 15 remanufactured locomotives with options for up to 30 additional new locomotives or 27 additional remanufactured locomotives, for a total of up to 42 new or remanufactured locomotives. Metra is asking for proposals for both new and remanufactured engines because it wants to weigh the costs/benefits of both options.

These locomotive would not be available before late 2020 at the earliest while the F59PHs will be available this year.

There was an earlier press release (January 4, 2018) announcing the RFP for rbuilt or new locomotives. Further to the information in Italics above it contains that Metra has a budget of $125 million for locomotive purchases over the next 5 years. https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/metra-buy-locomotives
Regards, Volker

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Monday, June 25, 2018 11:04 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
Shadow the Cats owner

The -2C is longer locomotive wiki says 4 feet longer overall so unless they lengthen the frame they were purpose built. 

 

 

 
The F40PH-2C's built by EMD were built new.  I'm not sure if the MK/MPI versions were new or rebuilt from something else.
 

 

F40PH-2C is an MK/MPI designation, EMD didn't build/rebuild any of them. EMD built Metra F40PH, F40PH-2 and F40PHM-2. All 3 of those versions were built with HEP on the Prime mover. 

 

NJT's F40PH-2CATs were F40PH-2s rebuilt by Conrail at Juniata

The F40PH-2C was exclusively a product of MK/MPI. I think they are also all rebuilds of existing F40s. 

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Posted by HR616 on Monday, June 25, 2018 2:54 PM

kgbw49

Aren’t there some GO Transit F59s due to be replaced by new MP54AC units over the next couple of years? Might they be acquistion candidates for Metra?

 

Potentially. I don't know if GO has made up their mind about the eventual disposition of those units. Metrolink in LA will have a lot of spare F59PHs and some PHIs when their F125s finally enter full service. Those may be in worse shape though, and in need of a major overhaul. 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Monday, June 25, 2018 3:29 PM
I wonder, I'd assume the F40 is equally capable of getting an ECO upgrade as the Caltrans F59PHis got...Does the HEP tapping off the prime mover complicate that? Also, didn't Metra just finish rebuilding the whole fleet a year or 2 ago?
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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, June 25, 2018 4:07 PM

This subject is a bit complicated, but here's how it breaks down:

EMD built 26 'true' F40PH-2Cs for the MBTA, which have longer frames to acommodate the standalone generator. M-K/MPI built 12 clones for MBTA, 5 for Coaster, and 3 for Caltrain and Coaster. ACE bought 3 of updated model F40PH-3. These were all built new and have rear porches.

The rest of the 'F40PH-2C's were converted from F40PH/F40PH-2s by adding a generator to the rear of the locomotive. This eliminates the rear porch.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Monday, June 25, 2018 5:01 PM

YoHo1975
Also, didn't Metra just finish rebuilding the whole fleet a year or 2 ago?

Metra rebuilt 41 F40PH to F40PH-3 in 2016 and 2017, I think. There are still about 35 F40PH-2 and 30 F40PHM-2 left.

YoHo1975
I wonder, I'd assume the F40 is equally capable of getting an ECO upgrade as the Caltrans F59PHis got...

The Caltrans F59PH got a 710 Eco Repower upgrade package for EPA Tier 2. That might work with a F40PH too though it has an 645 engine. MPI built its Tier 2
MPI36PH-3S with EMD 16-645 engines with HEP from the main engine using an inverter.

Metra planned to rebuild its MPI36PH-3S to MPI36PH-3c standard with seperate HEP generator. I don't know how far they got.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by zardoz on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 11:40 AM

Shadow the Cats owner
However in order to create the HEP needed for the train the 645 has to run at full throttle all the time.

Except for when the locomotive is in "stand-by" mode, which has the motor running at about 5th-notch rpm. But in "stand-by" the engine cannot move under its own power. Too bad the locomotive could not be adapted to stay in stand-by RPM's while also be able to develop power for the traction motors. Sure would have made sitting on the locomotive awaiting departure from the downtown terminal much more tolerable (at least before the cabs were air-conditioned).

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