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Amtrak NEC CAT and signal problems.

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Amtrak NEC CAT and signal problems.
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 19, 2013 5:04 PM

With the oppressive heat on the NEC ( BOS - WASH ) + Harrisburgh & Spriingfield Amtrak is havingf  to limit trains to 80 MPH when rail interior temp + 120 degrees.or higher.   MARC has announced speed restrictions several days this week WASH - BAL.   It probably is just as well as the PRR type CAT  ( NYP - WASH )  will sag so much that any high speed trains would probably snag the CAT.   CAT NH - BOS is probably imune.   Although Amtarak has not installed heat sensors POU -  ALB  I imagine they are limiting at least to 80 MPH and maybe less since it was previously CSX ?   CSX lines for VRE & MARC are limited to 20 MPH below allowed track speed.

Hopefully this heat will abate by the end of this weekend ? 

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=AM_Alert_C&pagename=am/AM_Alert_C/Alerts_Popup&cid=1251624249463

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, July 21, 2013 9:12 AM

Amtrak had a NEC regional BOS -  NEW PORT NEWS stall south of Baltimore with 404 passengers on board.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/commuting/bs-md-amtrak-train-stalled-20130719,0,3691995.story

Some pure speculation.  ---    Amtrak has had many loco fasilures from Perryville - WASH in the last few months.   There are not enough failures to reliably  say that this section is having a significant # of failures but someone needs to look at this.   The NH - BOS section does not seem to have even 1/4 the failures that are occurring here.

What could be the causes.

!.  Low voltage   or wide swings in voltage ?

2.  The use of 25 Hz instead of 60 Hz ?

3.   CAT sags causing interruptions to the locos  ?

4.  Present heat ?

5.   Many of the above were near BAL.  % of north bound Vs Southbound failures.   These failures have occurred to both BOS & NYP originators.  MARC  has also had a lot of motor failures as they are HHP-8s   Would be interesting to find out % rate of failures of HHP-8s AEM-7ACs, AEM-7DCs based on Also mileage in revenue service before failure.   Non powered time in layovers. .

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:38 AM

This post is late but NJT admits that wire & other problems is causing many heat delays on NJT.  It is time to speed up the rebuilding of the CAT all the way from NYP -  PHL.  I recognize that those sections where the tracks will be moved for HrSR may wait but isn't it time to get things moving ?

http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2013/07/after_delays_on_northeast_corridor_nj_transit_director_says_heat_is_a_real_challenge.html

 

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Posted by John WR on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 4:16 PM

Amtrak owns the Northeast Corridor Line in New Jersey.  Amtrak has been planning for a long time to replace the catenary here.  Both high and low temperatures have caused it to break on occasion.  I suspect Amtrak has wasted a fair amount of money on repairs that, had the replacement been made, would not be needed.  But given the current mood of the Congress, especially the House, Amtrak's budget may not allow this essential work to be done.  

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 25, 2013 8:22 PM

blue streak 1

Some pure speculation.  ---    Amtrak has had many loco fasilures from Perryville - WASH in the last few months.   There are not enough failures to reliably  say that this section is having a significant # of failures but someone needs to look at this.   The NH - BOS section does not seem to have even 1/4 the failures that are occurring here.

What could be the causes.

!.  Low voltage   or wide swings in voltage ?

2.  The use of 25 Hz instead of 60 Hz ?

3.   CAT sags causing interruptions to the locos  ?

4.  Present heat ?

I would tend to say part of it is related to (5.) the very substantial percentage of fixed electrification components that are aging.  Much of that stuff is considerably older than we are...  That may not explain the problems with heat impeding the cooling of main transformers or other components, though.  It would help to have some sort of tabulation of the causes of the various locomotive failures...

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 26, 2013 11:56 PM

Overmod

[I would tend to say part of it is related to (5.) the very substantial percentage of fixed electrification components that are aging.  Much of that stuff is considerably older than we are...  That may not explain the problems with heat impeding the cooling of main transformers or other components, though.  It would help to have some sort of tabulation of the causes of the various locomotive failures...

 I like your # 5 very much as it can explain  #1 .  It has been a long time since I have noted the composition of the transformers and other support equipment but electric transmission companies would probably cringe if they examined Amtrak's electric supply closely.  It seems that Amtrak has had to replace more components PHL - NYP for various reasons so that segment is probably more robust.   Also the old transformers north of WASH are much less efficient  than present day transformers.  That efficiency loss translates directly to higher heat build up in transformers and indirectly support equipment
Also if a modern 25 / 60 Hz transformer operates  at 25 Hz it will build up more heat than operating at 60 Hz.
 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, August 19, 2013 12:15 PM

Changed the title slightly to reflect both problems.since heat is many time the cause of CAT failures.

 There was another problem with the PRR CAT this time involving NJT.   There are certainly more problems with the PRR CAT than thre NH - BOS line.  However the number of track miles vs route miles (  ~~  6 times as much for the PRR  ??   )   are much more than the BOS line.  Anyone have the exact distances ?

From NJT:
Travel Alerts
Aug 19, 2013  11:06:09 AM
Northeast Corridor line trains are now subject to 20-30 minute delays in both directions due to overhead wire problems near Hamilton and Princeton Junction.
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, September 13, 2013 10:11 PM

9 - 11  Cat down again between BAL and PHL.  Did not get details.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:29 PM

Now we have 20 miles of variable tension CAT down from Trenton south.

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=AM_Alert_C&pagename=am/AM_Alert_C/Alerts_Popup&cid=1251625357243

This section is not slated for the replacement that will occur north of Trenton. it will not be replaced until the track is straightened for higher speed travel.

Details are not available yet but some speculation may be that the  extreme cold stretched the wires too  tight  causing separations ?

Amtrak bulletin

January 7, 2014 2:00 PM ET

Amtrak Engineering crews working in bitterly cold conditions since early this morning have made significant progress in repairing a 20-mile section of overhead wires between Trenton, NJ and Holmesburg, PA, with three of the four available tracks are now open.
Passengers should however, be prepared for congestion-related delays through the affected area, for most of the day.
Amtrak continues to operate a modified schedule today because of the extreme cold, with additional changes being made in real-time as conditions continue to change.

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 8:28 PM

Reports CAT failure near Newark

Thanks to Henry in the next post

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Posted by henry6 on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 8:35 PM

An NJT train had a wire drop onto it while on track 4 just east of the Newark NJ station about 5:45.  Screwed up Corridor, NJCoast Line and Raritan Valley services.  Train could not move for almost 2 hours while "engineers" decided if there was a danger.  

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Posted by nyc#25 on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 8:45 AM

The catenary along with several bridges (see Feb. "TRAINS") needs to be replaced.  That

would take government funding.  Unfortunately, in  the America of the 2000s, that would

evoke the dirty word "socialism".

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Posted by henry6 on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:02 AM

That work is being done. Mile by mile at about as slow a pace as fast as Congress allows the money for it.  But problems have also fallen by the new cat, too.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 03, 2014 2:17 PM

Well April 3rd has a major failure on the od PRR  CAT south of BAL near Bowie.   Is this wire system past its service life?  Seems like a failure WASH - BAL - Perry every month ?  Wonder if sudden rise of outside air temperature has anything to do with causing this failure ? 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 03, 2014 4:12 PM

blue streak 1

Well April 3rd has a major failure on the od PRR  CAT south of BAL near Bowie.   Is this wire system past its service life?  Seems like a failure WASH - BAL - Perry every month ?  Wonder if sudden rise of outside air temperature has anything to do with causing this failure ? 

Now Amtrak is restoring with temporary repairs to overhead.  Evidently a major failure .  Any one know what  happened ? 

Amtrak Resumes Limited Service Between Washington & Baltimore

Congestion-Related Delays Expected As Repairs Continue

April 3, 2014

3:10 p.m. EDT
Amtrak Acela Express and Northeast Regional service has resumed in a limited capacity between Washington and Baltimore following temporary repairs to the overhead wire system in the area of Bowie, Md.

Congestion-related delays are to be expected throughout the evening rush hour as we work toward full restoration of service.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:47 AM

As of 1230 not known if this is a CAT failure but it does sound like one ? 

 

http://nypost.com/2014/04/24/morning-commute-delays-for-lirr-amtrak-and-nj-transit-riders/

 

 

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Posted by henry6 on Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:51 AM

Trains were back in regular service soon after 8AM....

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:28 PM

henry6

Trains were back in regular service soon after 8AM....

 
Report said Acela 2190 pulled down the wires ?
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Posted by henry6 on Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:21 PM

Only report I saw this morning said wire was pulled down and there was an outage on 12 tracks.  See what the evening reports are in a little while.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:30 AM

CAT problems near Perryville this morning had MARC backed up as well. 

No link available. 

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:58 AM

Amtrak NEC CAT heat & cold problems

This makes a very negative comment on our antiquated infrastructure and/or ability to design and maintain a functioning catenary.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, May 01, 2014 6:47 PM

Once again MARC service disrupted due to trees in the wires  Guess more soft ground problems.  This is what Amtrak gets trying to work around the nimbys desire to leave all trees on the ROW ?

 

 

 

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, May 02, 2014 9:50 AM

Went south on NE corridor April 30.  Trees may have washed out under the same rain load that collapsed CSX retaining wall in Baltimore.  Some tracks in Corridor had water to the tie tops.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, May 23, 2014 9:32 AM

Baltimore to Washington disrupted due to storm damage to ancient CAT.  This section of track seems to have more than its share of CAT problems. 

MARC bulletin

All Penn Line service is stopped at this time due to severe weather which has resulted in problems with the overhead electric wires.  All trains--Amtrak and MARC--between Washington and Perryville will hold in their current location until further notice.  Updates will be provided as information is available.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, June 16, 2014 8:45 AM

Another failure BAL - WASH today

MARC Service Alert   Train 523 the 8:10 am Perryville departure is experiencing delay just north of Martin Airport due to catenary wire issues. Expecting possible 20 to 25 minute delay. Updates to follow. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 6:51 PM
Once again heat restrictions probably due to both rail and CAT temperatures.   Unknown why the B&P restrictions ?
LINK:

MARC Service Alert   Due to speed restrictions in the B & P Tunnel, please expect 20-25 minute delays on all PENN Line services in both directions this in addition to the Amtrak heat orders set in place earlier this afternoon

 Today at 7:04 PM
Due to speed restrictions in the B & P Tunnel, please expect 20-25 minute delays on all PENN Line services in both directions this in addition to the Amtrak heat orders set in place earlier this afternoon.  We apologize for any inconvenience and Thank You for choosing MARC.
 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 7:39 PM

Slightly off topic Amtrak is having to do emergency repairs to the B & P tunnel at Baltimore.   Any one with information ?

MARC Service Alert   MARC 537 (3:20pm dept BALT) is operating 30 minutes late en route to Washington, due to emergency track work in the B & P Tunnel as well as following a delayed Amtrak train. We apologize for any incon

 
Today at 4:02 PM
MARC 537 (3:20pm dept BALT) is operating 30 minutes late en route to Washington, due to emergency track work in the B & P Tunnel as well as following a delayed Amtrak train.  We apologize for any inconvenience and Thank You for riding MARC.
 
 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, July 03, 2014 6:07 PM

 

Although not directly a CAT problem the signal lines have been knocked down slowing traffic south of Baltimore.  Does this appears as one more symptom of lack of maintenance in the PC Conrail era ?  At one time Amtrak was going to install commercial power back up for signals.  Anyone know if any progress ?

LINK:

MARC Service Alert   Penn Line delays Update: Due to the severe weather, all signal power has been lost between Odenton and Baltimore. Trains will experience 25-40 minute delays due to this outage. Updates will be provide
 
Today at 5:40 PM
 
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Posted by henry6 on Thursday, July 03, 2014 6:53 PM
Not everything has to do with the age of the property and infrastructure. There has been a lot of rain and wind over the past several days. Unlike a storm like Arthur which is expected, these problem storms have been pop ups here and there and not steady broad storms. A tree there, an overflowing creek here, wires wherever and you've got crews scurrying is all directions.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 8:54 AM

Some kind of problem between North Jersey coast line and NYP.  First report said both wire and voltage maybe Henry6 can enlighten us ? 

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/07/08/overhead-wire-problem-suspends-nj-transit-amtrak-trains/

Report service restored

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/07/08/overhead-wire-problem-suspends-nj-transit-amtrak-trains/

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