Amtrak puts out RFP for new and rebuilt locomotives.

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 8:50 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

I don't see this problem either. None of the engine manufacturers are married to locomotive manufacturers except perhaps Caterpillar.

I wonder if EMD will offer the F125 again with the experience they made with this locomotive at Metrolink. Looks to me like a fiasco with just 3 engines conditionally accepted as of May 2nd, 2018.

With monocoque body, cab, and truck frames produced by Vossloh, now Stadler, in Spain they seem to be in a tight spot additionally. Buy America was 68%.

But we'll see.
Regards, Volker

 

 

Why wouldn't they offer it? Metrolink is the gunea pig and Amtrak/other commuter lines are seeing what becomes of it. Stadler has a facility in Utah, so could send some prefab bodies there and complete the work to meet the Buy American statue.

With the NEC and branches possible going EMU/DMU and the states with corridor service buying Chargers, there is not a need for a large amount of locomotives by Amtrak now. These locomotives are for the LD trains. Looking at it through that prism of trying to keep costs down, doing a rebuild of Genesis with modern guts and AC traction willallow more LD trains to go down to one unit instead two.

A Siemens top off order just makes too much sense though, their mx support system is already in place. Though a Charger in phase III will not be the most elegant looking creature.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:32 AM

longhorn1969
Why wouldn't they offer it? Metrolink is the gunea pig and Amtrak/other commuter lines are seeing what becomes of it. Stadler has a facility in Utah, so could send some prefab bodies there and complete the work to meet the Buy American statue.

EMD and Metrolink might be able to debug the F125 but at what cost. According to the schedule in the linked status report the first 17 locomotives should have completed in-service testing by April 2017. As of May 2nd 2018 just 5 locomotives are in-service testing and just 15 are on the property. There seems to be a delay of about 1-1/2 years.

I think EMD ends this project with a huge loss. The last time a similar experience with the DM30 led to an absence of the passenger locomotive market till now.

The other question is, is Stadler willing to produce the monocoque, cab, and truck frames for EMD for an Amtrak order. Final assembly was done at EMD's Muncie plant. I think Stadler will be too occupied by producing the Caltrain DMUs until 2020s to build monocoques etc. in Utah.

Buy American can have some weird consequences beside costs. The steel for the F125 monocoque was produced and cut in the USA, shipped to Spain (sometimes airlifted) and built into the body there and shipped back. Small mistakes can have heavy consequences under these circumstances.

longhorn1969
These locomotives are for the LD trains. Looking at it through that prism of trying to keep costs down, doing a rebuild of Genesis with modern guts and AC traction willallow more LD trains to go down to one unit instead two.

You get perhaps 400 hp more into a Genesis when rebuilding it. That wouldn't reduce locomotive numbers on trains I think. Just allow better HEP supply, better acceleration and higher speeds or one more care.

longhorn1969
Though a Charger in phase III will not be the most elegant looking creature.

The people get used of it. When I think of the reactions when the Genesis was introduced....
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 12:21 PM

A rebuild of crashworthiness may not be required, but given the high profile accidents recently, may become a "hot potato" requirement.

It also depends on the percentage new parts yes? If the locomotive has too much new and is no longer a rebuild, then modern stnadards would apply.

Beyond Caterpillar, presumably Wabtec/GE also isn't going to be shopping the FDL/GEVO/T4-GEVO to other integrators. I see no reason why Wabtec wouldn't continue to consider the Cummins. Just as EMD/GM relied on Caterpillar for the GP20D and similar.

 

So the questions that need answers:

How do Amtrak's desire for better emissions, potential worry about safety and price sensitivity interact? Does a rebuilt P42 get the maximum Emissions package that can fit in the body or do they go with the minimum required? DO they modify for crashworthiness?

Or, If they go with new, are they going to put in the infrastructure needed to refill SCR tanks along the route? Or are they going to follow the freight railroads and demand a solution that doesn't require it and as a result have to look at new bogie designs to get the weight down? Or does someone come up with a counter-intuitive solution? Such as multiple smaller units, articulated engine sets etc etc etc.

 

 

One further note based on the made in America requirement. The Administratives current tarrifs are also going to impact some of this yes? 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 12:48 PM
Incidentally, Reading through some discussions on the internet, it sounds like Progress sent the support team for Metrolink packing and brought in new staff who have done much better at resolving issues. The bulk off issues appear to be build quality which doesn't reflect well on Progress/EMD. Though they don't appear to be having the same issue with the SD70-T4, so is it possible that it's actually Caterpillar employees doing the integration work for the C175 that are part of the problem. A crossfunctional dysfunction as it were? Other rumors are that once those issues are worked out, the engine is well liked and I haven't heard of any failures from the units that were conditionally certified. So it maybe that Caterpillar takes a bath on this, but comes out with a good product...but no industry good will for that product.
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Posted by longhorn1969 on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:04 PM

YoHo1975
Incidentally, Reading through some discussions on the internet, it sounds like Progress sent the support team for Metrolink packing and brought in new staff who have done much better at resolving issues. The bulk off issues appear to be build quality which doesn't reflect well on Progress/EMD. Though they don't appear to be having the same issue with the SD70-T4, so is it possible that it's actually Caterpillar employees doing the integration work for the C175 that are part of the problem. A crossfunctional dysfunction as it were? Other rumors are that once those issues are worked out, the engine is well liked and I haven't heard of any failures from the units that were conditionally certified. So it maybe that Caterpillar takes a bath on this, but comes out with a good product...but no industry good will for that product.
 

 

So in the end of the matter, the F125 is a good locomotive. Sad to say, Metrolink was the guinea pig.

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:06 PM

YoHo1975

A rebuild of crashworthiness may not be required, but given the high profile accidents recently, may become a "hot potato" requirement.

It also depends on the percentage new parts yes? If the locomotive has too much new and is no longer a rebuild, then modern stnadards would apply.

Beyond Caterpillar, presumably Wabtec/GE also isn't going to be shopping the FDL/GEVO/T4-GEVO to other integrators. I see no reason why Wabtec wouldn't continue to consider the Cummins. Just as EMD/GM relied on Caterpillar for the GP20D and similar.

 

So the questions that need answers:

How do Amtrak's desire for better emissions, potential worry about safety and price sensitivity interact? Does a rebuilt P42 get the maximum Emissions package that can fit in the body or do they go with the minimum required? DO they modify for crashworthiness?

Or, If they go with new, are they going to put in the infrastructure needed to refill SCR tanks along the route? Or are they going to follow the freight railroads and demand a solution that doesn't require it and as a result have to look at new bogie designs to get the weight down? Or does someone come up with a counter-intuitive solution? Such as multiple smaller units, articulated engine sets etc etc etc.

 

 

Interesting, never would have thought of that.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:30 PM

YoHo1975
A rebuild of crashworthiness may not be required, but given the high profile accidents recently, may become a "hot potato" requirement. It also depends on the percentage new parts yes? If the locomotive has too much new and is no longer a rebuild, then modern stnadards would apply.

I looked into the crashworthiness law again. 49 CFR §229.203 (a) requires new and remanufactured locomotive to comply to 49 CFR 229 Subpart D from January 1st 2009:(b) and (c) don't apply here

§ 229.203   Applicability.
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, this subpart applies to all locomotives manufactured or remanufactured on or after January 1, 2009.

But remanufactured is different than I remembered:

$229.5 Definitions

Remanufactured locomotive means a locomotive rebuilt or refurbished from a previously used or refurbished underframe (“deck”), containing fewer than 25% previously used components (measured by dollar value of the components). For calculation purposes, the percentage of previously used components is determined with equivalent value of new parts and is calculated using dollar values from the same year as the new parts used to remanufacture the locomotive.

Looks like I was wrong and the P42 might not need a crashworthiness update.

YoHo1975
So the questions that need answers:

Interesting questions. I'd expect Amtrak to use the PRIIA No. 305.05 specification, as it called Amtrak Specification No. 982 too. The specification requires just EPA Tier 4. Siemens (SC44 charger), EMD (F125), and MPI/GE (?) had designs compliant with the specification, MPI/GE most likely on basis of the Gevo-T4. 

BTW MPI offered the MP54AC at Metrolink.

YoHo1975
One further note based on the made in America requirement. The Administratives current tarrifs are also going to impact some of this yes?

Currently US tarrifs are on steel and aluminum raw materials only not finished products.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:47 PM

longhorn1969
So in the end of the matter, the F125 is a good locomotive.

I think it is still too early to say.

There was a shake-down period of 1,000 miles without failure required to get conditionally accepted. That was upped to 2,500 miles because of the many failures the first two units had. Only three units reached 2,500 miles without failure so far. That doesn't tell much about the end result but about the possible loss of reputation
Regards, Volker

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 2:06 PM

YoHo1975
The bulk off issues appear to be build quality which doesn't reflect well on Progress/EMD

The build quality is currently the largest issues. Before there were problems with the urea system that led to locomotive break-downs. EMD replaced improperly constructed urea tank and had to modify urea piping. Additionally there were software failures leading to wrong load meter readings.

But delays started earlier with design failures (access ladders, handholds, headlight accessability etc) and issues with suppliers.

Perhaps the project got a hit at EMD when they lost the IDOT Multi-State Procurement though they thought they had a home field advantage.
Regards, Volker.

 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 2:39 PM
I got the impression the SCR pump issue was a build quality issue. I don't think any of the other engines besides the 3 are ready to start shake down. Or at least they weren't a few months back. They're all in the pipeline to get updates and at least one was delivered with freeze damage and another had some unrelated required work. Basically it looks like the entire project is snakebit. When you start out with a few self-inflicted wounds, the other issues that would normally be no big deal become a nightmare add in support staff that pissed off the customer and wasn't getting stuff done.
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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 3:19 PM

YoHo1975
I got the impression the SCR pump issue was a build quality issue.

The SCR pump issue was discusses in Executive Board meeting over a few month. It was partly a design and partly a quality issue. AFAIK changes to the urea system are made on all locomotives.

YoHo1975
I don't think any of the other engines besides the 3 are ready to start shake down.

15 locomotives are on the property, one was send back as you said. Five are in shake down testing as of May 2nd, 2018. It might be a few more now.

I think it is an unlucky organisation having the monocoque body, cab and truck frames design and built in Spain while the precut building material is sent from the USA. Who changes a miscut piece of sheet metal in regard of warrantee and Buy American?
Regards, Volker

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 3:46 PM

YoHo1975
Or, If they go with new, are they going to put in the infrastructure needed to refill SCR tanks along the route?

This is clearly a large part of the item (3) in the Amtrak requisition. 

In my personal opinion, one thing this implies is better refueling/support trucks.  As you probably know, many oil 'delivery' trucks, both straight and articulated, have the tank divided into multiple sections for products of different weight or characteristic.  It should not be difficult to modify the manifolding from such tanks, and reline tanks and piping where needed, to allow one or more of them to be dedicated to aqueous DEF to be co-delivered to units when they are fueled.

I suspect that delivery of DEF to fixed refueling facilities might also be by truck rather than pipeline, and the capital cost and maintenance of those trucks would have to be factored in.  It will be interesting to see how the DEF dispensing nozzles/hoses and other point-of-service equipment is provided in these cases.

Foot in the door for lower-cost DEF use by Class Is for freight?  I'd certainly expect so, since we have heard from a number of reasonably reliable places that it was the intent of EPA to bring about "mandatory" use of DEF to make the Tier 4 final numbers, and when the engineers were too clever at kludging, it will certainly be the intent of EPA to require it for Tier 5 and so on.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, June 15, 2018 8:42 AM

The Amtrak RFP for new power  is for 75 locomotives with options for another 100.

The progress of the Amtrak procurement can be followed on the AASHTO-High Speed Rail website in the minutes of the section 305 Technical Subcommittee meetings: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Pages/305TechComm.aspx

Both Amtrak for its RFP and Metro North for the Dual Mode RFP agreed to keep the Technical Subcommittee and the Executive Board informed. Here are the minutes of June 14, 2018: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/305%20tech%20sc%20minutes%206-14-18%20draft.doc

Item 6 and 7 (Page 3 of 7) cover the according information.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:10 AM
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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:12 AM

There is a thread specifically about the Amtrak trainsets:
http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/743/p/269444/3072491.aspx#3072491
Regards, Volker

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 1:22 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
The progress of the Amtrak procurement can be followed on the AASHTO-High Speed Rail website in the minutes of the section 305 Technical Subcommittee meetings: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Pages/305TechComm.aspx

There are a few bits of information in the minutes of the Technical Subcommitee's latest meeting: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/305%20tech%20sc%20minutes%208-9%20-18%20draft.doc

Excerpt:

7. Update:  Amtrak Equipment Procurement - Charlie King:
 Charlie King provided an update/overview of the RFP and RFI for Amtrak equipment:
The RFP for Power and the RFI for passenger rail cars process continues.
As for the RFP for Power, Charlie provided an overview of some of the areas where the Amtrak specification differs from that of PRIIA:
Among those differences cited were:
Amtrak’s addresses third rail pick up, catenary and dual cab, and multiple access.  Amtrak calls for speeds up to 125 mph whereas PRIIA is at 110.  The fuel tank for Amtrak will be 2200 – PRIIA 18-2200.  Amtrak calls for a service life of 30 years vs 25 for PRIIA.
A few more bits of information are in the minutes of the Executive Board's latest meeting: http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/305%20Exec%20Brd%20minutes%20%20-8-14-18%20DRAFT.doc
Excerpt:

8. Amtrak Equipment Procurements Update – Charlie King, Amtrak:

Charlie King provided a high-level overview of the RFP that is on the streets for power and cited some of the differences between the PRIIA specification and that of Amtrak.  Amtrak began with the PRIIA spec as its baseline and added some items based on its needs.

 

Some of those differences/changes include: Amtrak speed is 110mph vs PRIIA “up to” 125mph;

1000 KW HEP system vs PRIIA’s 600 KW
Amtrak is calling for a 2,200-gallon fuel tank – to PRIIA’s call for 1,800 to 2,200 gallons;
and the maximum length for Amtrak is 85 feet vs 72 feet called for in the PRIIA spec. 
There are other items such as those pertaining to advanced analytics and safety options especially in areas where there will be no PTC, and other safety measures will be required. 

 

There is a discrepancy regarding speed in the two minutes.  In the PRIIA specification I found a sustained 110 mph in diesel-mode and 80 mph in 3rd rail mode a required. It is from january 2015, so there might be a newer somewhere.

Seems Amtrak is looking for jack of all trades locomotives. All this with for only 75 plus optional 100 locomotives. It is not a good idea regarding prices.

If Amtrak needs diesels, why not buy the Siemens SC-44 Charger out of the existing options.
For straight electrics by the Siemens ACS-64. That saves new design and certification costs. If they really need straight electrics how far have they planned ahead when procuring the ACS-64. Septa learn how expensive it can get for late comers.

Might get interesting.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, August 16, 2018 1:37 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
If Amtrak needs diesels, why not buy the Siemens SC-44 Charger out of the existing options.

Might have something to do with the last 32 copies costing $225 million.   I'll let you do the math on that to get the per copy price but I am pretty sure that even for a 125 mph locomotive that falls under the category of "overpriced".

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:23 AM

CMStPnP
Might have something to do with the last 32 copies costing $225 million. I'll let you do the math on that to get the per copy price but I am pretty sure that even for a 125 mph locomotive that falls under the category of "overpriced".

According to the IDOT's Final Offer Evaluating Report the costs for the firm ordered were as follows:

- Siemens $225,509,797
- EMD.......$260,029,988
- MPI........$260,909,748

I haven't found the option price.

I don't think that Amtrak will get better than the option prices in a new RFP.

Overprized? I don't know. The European base for the Charger is the Siemens diesel-electric Vectron which costs less than $5 million.

So the question is why this difference?

There are a few answers:
- A completely new design is necessary for the USA for different standards, especially crashworthiness. The cost are spread to only 32 units. In Europe there are additionally straight electric locomotives which share about 80% of the parts with the diesel. Economy of scale applies other than the USA.

- Buy American costs.
Regards, Volker 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:36 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
According to the IDOT's Final Offer Evaluating Report the costs for the firm ordered were as follows: - Siemens $225,509,797 - EMD.......$260,029,988 - MPI........$260,909,748 I haven't found the option price. I don't think that Amtrak will get better than the option prices in a new RFP. Overprized? I don't know. The European base for the Charger is the Siemens diesel-electric Vectron which costs less than $5 million. So the question is why this difference? There are a few answers: - A completely new design is necessary for the USA for different standards, especially crashworthiness. The cost are spread to only 32 units. In Europe there are additionally straight electric locomotives which share about 80% of the parts with the diesel. Economy of scale applies other than the USA. - Buy American costs. Regards, Volker 

I am pretty confident they can fiind much cheaper if they applied themselves to lowering the costs.    We'll see what happens.     I don't think Amtrak can continue to be sustainable with that kind of price inflation on a locomotive regardless of the order size.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, August 17, 2018 6:55 AM

A short order of just about anything that isn't a straight off-the-shelf design is going to cost appreciably more since the one-time design costs can't be prorated over a longer production run.  Also, there aren't a lot of other potential customers out there for a locomotive with all the bells and whistles that Amtrak is requesting.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Friday, August 17, 2018 10:50 AM

If these engines are not going to be used in and out of Penn Station then they could use a A-1-A axle arrangement bring back the 3 axle Blomberg truck for stablity if they went with EMD.  Then use a 5K HP engine 4 inverters to power the TM's 2 for HEP problem solved with needing a seperate HEP Generator.  Could carry more fuel than requested meet axle loadings and be easier on the tracks.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, August 17, 2018 11:46 AM

The experience is that especially at higher speeds 3-axle trucks are not easier on the tracks. You remember Amtrak's experience with 3-axle HT-C trucks on the SDP40F? AFAIK the Blomberg truck is two axle and not suitable for 125 mph.

BTW Deutsche Bahn (German Railway) eliminated 6-axle high speed locomotives from their roster and don't buy new ones for a reason.

You need to find a 5,000 hp tier 4 certified diesel engine. Amtrak got along quite well with 2,200 gals fuel capacity on their P42.

I don't know the Amtrak specification but the Siemens Charger and the EMD F125 already use inverters for HEP, no separate generator existing.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, August 17, 2018 12:41 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

The experience is that especially at higher speeds 3-axle trucks are not easier on the tracks. You remember Amtrak's experience with 3-axle HT-C trucks on the SDP40F? AFAIK the Blomberg truck is two axle and not suitable for 125 mph.

As used under all the E-units, the Blomberg A1A truck has a excellent track record at speeds of up to 120 mph. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, August 17, 2018 1:20 PM

SD70Dude
As used under all the E-units, the Blomberg A1A truck has a excellent track record at speeds of up to 120 mph.

Thanks for the correction!
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 17, 2018 3:55 PM

SD70Dude
As used under all the E-units, the Blomberg A1A truck has a excellent track record at speeds of up to 120 mph.

And geared DC-traction-motor limited at that speed range, too.

I suspect this point also applies to the two-axle 'Blomberg' truck, which is probably as stable as a two-axle pedestal truck with nose-suspended motors can be.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 17, 2018 3:59 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
You remember Amtrak's experience with 3-axle HT-C trucks on the SDP40F?

Do I actually understand that someone is considering a HTC Flexicoil truck to be a "high-speed design"?  Or have I fallen down some kind of rabbit hole of revisionist engineering?

Of course this relates to a recent set of discussions following Ross Rowland's claim that during the 614T testing, the steam locomotive was kinder to the track in many load and speed ranges than 'contemporary diesels'.  With particular reference to pre-dash-2 Flexicoils, this would not be a difficult claim to believe, without ever having to go into just how bad a large steam locomotive can be to well-aligned track...

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 17, 2018 4:03 PM

D.Carleton
VOLKER LANDWEHR
My personal opinion? I think as rebuilding offer we'll see a high-speed diesel engine replacement to address the load restriction of the P42's monocoque.

 

Interesting postulation. Unfortunately all the railroad-ready high-speed diesels: Cummins, Cat, MTU, are already spoken for.

Why would Cummins not sell QSKs to Amtrak, either as prime movers or via some company as 'sleds', for repowering the monocoque locomotives?  Would Cummins (with the jury apparently still being out on the locomotive-1919 repower) have been so dumb as to let Siemens have an exclusive license on QSKs in passenger locomotives?

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Friday, August 17, 2018 4:39 PM

Look at the CAT C280 already certifed for Tier4 emissions it is their primary Very Large Mine truck engine so they know it is reliable.  RPM is 1000 so low Speed no issues with needing a reduction gear for the Alternator.  15 feet long just over 11 feet tall and under 7 feet wide.  It should fit into a Full width carbody.

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, August 17, 2018 7:16 PM

SD70Dude
As used under all the E-units, the Blomberg A1A truck has a excellent track record at speeds of up to 120 mph.

Though it does have a lot of unsprung weight, which Amtrak tried to get away from by using the not entirely trouble-free truck under the Genesis family.

It would be interesting to see what a low unsprung weight six axle truck would look like.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 17, 2018 8:17 PM

NorthWest
It would be interesting to see what a low unsprung weight six axle truck would look like.

Yes, that would be impressive.

For the far less impressive example of a three-axle truck, I believe some of the German electric locomotives had good examples.  There are 'fast' versions of trucks like the FlexiFloat, too.  If I'm not mistaken, a three-axle steerable truck dynamically guides better than a two-axle passive-steering truck, up to the point the geometrical advantages of two-wheel trucks become significant.

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