Updated Acela Replacement news and pics

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Updated Acela Replacement news and pics
Posted by longhorn1969 on Saturday, October 07, 2017 11:43 PM

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2017/10/06/amtrak-new-trains/

 

The next gen trains will still be called Acela.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, October 08, 2017 10:23 AM

Not too bad!  Glad the lines flow with the train's length and aren't splotches and diagonals...

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 08, 2017 11:22 AM

Just wish it didn’t look so much like a demon Donald Duck with 5 o’clock shadow.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, October 08, 2017 1:01 PM

Heh heh...good one Overmod. You are right!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, October 08, 2017 4:48 PM

New Acela's already?  Why can't they make 'em last as long as a GG1?

Something's wrong here, especially with all we know now.

And you know something, it DOES look like a demon Donald Duck with a five o'clock shadow!

Where's Capitaine Raymond Lowey now that we need him?

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, October 09, 2017 8:59 AM

Overmod

Just wish it didn’t look so much like a demon Donald Duck with 5 o’clock shadow.

 

Thanks for that!  Sad  Now I can't unsee it!

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, October 09, 2017 9:01 AM

Firelock76
New Acela's already?  Why can't they make 'em last as long as a GG1?

New ones are lighter weight and higher capacity and paid for with net revenue from existing Acela service.  

The shame is that the existing Acela coaches can't be downgrade and kept for regional service.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 09, 2017 1:49 PM

oltmannd
  

The shame is that the existing Acela coaches can't be downgrade and kept for regional service.

 
Oltmannd:  That has been this poster's thoughts as well.  Can  imagine an Acela-1 running from Harrisburg <> Springfield, Ma if the Springfield section is electrified by the time all the A-2s are in service.  Keystone service just Harrisburg - NYP would certainly be welcomed by the state of PA .  Wonder if all station stops for the A-1s coud get high level platforms ?
 
Certainly the A-1s should be kept as standby for a couple years in case of any major problem shows up with the A-2s.  Another thought is maybe A-1s could be used for lower traffic times in the day.  Overnight ?  The Thanksgiving, Christmas rush, and other holidays as well.  Then there may be the additional trains NYP <> BOS if the 39 daily train limit is raised ?   
   
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Posted by JPS1 on Monday, October 09, 2017 8:42 PM

oltmannd
 New ones are lighter weight and higher capacity and paid for with net revenue from existing Acela service. 

Amtrak says the new Acela train sets, which are scheduled to enter service in 2021, will have 1/3rd more seats than the existing equipment, will offer better amenities, and will be capable of speeds of 160 mph where the infastructure will allow it.

Amtrak says that the new fleet will be funded with a $2 billion loan from the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program.  The debt will be service by NEC operating profits; Amtrak did not say that it would be covered solely by Acela operating profits. 

In 2016 Acela operations accounted for 60.1 percent of NEC operating profits.  Presumably some if not all of the operating profits generated by the regional trains will go to service the debt associated with the new Acela train sets. 

Amtrak is currently the second largest RRIF debitor.  Anticipated borrowing to cover the new Acela equipment, as well as other NEC infrastructure improvements, will boost its total borrowings to more than $3 billion, making it the largest beneficiary of the program.  The program is a low cost government funding program supported by the taxpayers. 

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:45 AM

JPS1
Amtrak did not say that it would be covered solely by Acela operating profits. 

Okay.  Thanks.  

Acela generates half of the NEC revenue and over half of NEC profit.  

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Friday, October 13, 2017 12:56 PM

blue streak 1

 

From what I have read, the present Acelas are mx intensive.

 

 
oltmannd
  

The shame is that the existing Acela coaches can't be downgrade and kept for regional service.

 

 

 
Oltmannd:  That has been this poster's thoughts as well.  Can  imagine an Acela-1 running from Harrisburg <> Springfield, Ma if the Springfield section is electrified by the time all the A-2s are in service.  Keystone service just Harrisburg - NYP would certainly be welcomed by the state of PA .  Wonder if all station stops for the A-1s coud get high level platforms ?
 
Certainly the A-1s should be kept as standby for a couple years in case of any major problem shows up with the A-2s.  Another thought is maybe A-1s could be used for lower traffic times in the day.  Overnight ?  The Thanksgiving, Christmas rush, and other holidays as well.  Then there may be the additional trains NYP <> BOS if the 39 daily train limit is raised ?   
   
 

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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, October 13, 2017 5:06 PM

Reliability could be the reason why they're not staying around.  But, if they have solid, stainless carbodies, I would think a rebuilding would be in order and cheaper than new coaches.  Strip out a lot of systems they really don't have to have.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by ANDREW C SELDEN on Monday, October 16, 2017 10:01 AM

NEC or Acela "operating profits" are a myth. 

The proof of this came last year when NEC train service revenues early- to mid-year were falling well short of budget, and management was forced to defer $473 million in budgeted NEC maintenance (and purchasing) in order to keep cash outlays within the limits of cash revenue plus subsidy. (Even Amtrak has a hard time spending cash it doesn't have.) 

If the NEC had an "operating profit," a shortfall in budgeted revenue would simply reduce the margin, not force deferred maintenance. This has gone on for decades, by the way. The so-called cost to restore the NEC to a "state of good repair" is simply the sum of the annual upkeep that Amtrak has not done in order to keep the NEC trains running.

All this is visible in the monthly and Annual reports accessible on the website.

The RRIF loans can be repaid in the future only from future subsidy payments.

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Monday, October 16, 2017 10:11 AM

oltmannd

Reliability could be the reason why they're not staying around.  But, if they have solid, stainless carbodies, I would think a rebuilding would be in order and cheaper than new coaches.  Strip out a lot of systems they really don't have to have.

 

 

Why? Amtrak is no doubt trying to standardize their equipment for lower maintenance costs. Why keep Acela coaches when there are newer and less mx coaches availible? Which will be easier.......no, cheape getting parts for, a 20 year old out of production Acela or a Siemens coach thats been sold around the world and is still in production?

The Acela may look cool and be neat, but operationally their time has come and its about to go.

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:04 PM

longhorn1969

 

 
oltmannd

Reliability could be the reason why they're not staying around.  But, if they have solid, stainless carbodies, I would think a rebuilding would be in order and cheaper than new coaches.  Strip out a lot of systems they really don't have to have.

 

 

 

 

Why? Amtrak is no doubt trying to standardize their equipment for lower maintenance costs. Why keep Acela coaches when there are newer and less mx coaches availible? Which will be easier.......no, cheape getting parts for, a 20 year old out of production Acela or a Siemens coach thats been sold around the world and is still in production?

The Acela may look cool and be neat, but operationally their time has come and its about to go.

 

 

I just hate seeing perfectly good carbodies going to scrap.  I can see that they might be a bit too complex to be good rebuild candidates and few in number might make them orphans.  That's a shame.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:12 PM

ANDREW C SELDEN

NEC or Acela "operating profits" are a myth. 

The proof of this came last year when NEC train service revenues early- to mid-year were falling well short of budget, and management was forced to defer $473 million in budgeted NEC maintenance (and purchasing) in order to keep cash outlays within the limits of cash revenue plus subsidy. (Even Amtrak has a hard time spending cash it doesn't have.) 

If the NEC had an "operating profit," a shortfall in budgeted revenue would simply reduce the margin, not force deferred maintenance. This has gone on for decades, by the way. The so-called cost to restore the NEC to a "state of good repair" is simply the sum of the annual upkeep that Amtrak has not done in order to keep the NEC trains running.

All this is visible in the monthly and Annual reports accessible on the website.

The RRIF loans can be repaid in the future only from future subsidy payments.

 

This is a moot point.  Whether you are factually right or wrong, it has become clear what Antrak's path forward will look like.  Investment in the NEC is the focus.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by D.Carleton on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:40 PM

oltmannd
 
ANDREW C SELDEN

NEC or Acela "operating profits" are a myth. 

The proof of this came last year when NEC train service revenues early- to mid-year were falling well short of budget, and management was forced to defer $473 million in budgeted NEC maintenance (and purchasing) in order to keep cash outlays within the limits of cash revenue plus subsidy. (Even Amtrak has a hard time spending cash it doesn't have.) 

If the NEC had an "operating profit," a shortfall in budgeted revenue would simply reduce the margin, not force deferred maintenance. This has gone on for decades, by the way. The so-called cost to restore the NEC to a "state of good repair" is simply the sum of the annual upkeep that Amtrak has not done in order to keep the NEC trains running.

All this is visible in the monthly and Annual reports accessible on the website.

The RRIF loans can be repaid in the future only from future subsidy payments.

This is a moot point.  Whether you are factually right or wrong, it has become clear what Antrak's path forward will look like.  Investment in the NEC is the focus.

NEC=Nothing Else Counts.

As for "operating profit" as Comrade Lenin said, "A lie repeated often enough becomes truth."

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, October 22, 2017 1:52 PM

oltmannd

This is a moot point.  Whether you are factually right or wrong, it has become clear what Antrak's path forward will look like.  Investment in the NEC is the focus.

I would not go that far.   The fact is they could not have arranged the same financing if it was a Long Distance train route they were improving vs a high speed corridor.    Additionally the NEC is the most viable corridor to place in hock for new equipment due to the projection of improving finances.    Lets not forget that Amtrak is charging more for local commiuter trains to use it's track, Amtrak has a higher state contribution now on the 403 trains, last but not least Amtrak is enhancing the real estate development in and around major NEC stations which will mean increased returns vs increased expenses at those locations (NY & DC).

I think we are still going to see State Corridor expansion and we will see Long Distance Train expansion where Amtrak can obtain the funds.    Amtrak has not put in a proposal to replace the Superliner Fleet yet because it is still reliable via rebuild (so Amtrak feels it can defer that request).........once that is no longer so, you'll see a proposal to replace the LD fleet with newer cars and Amtrak will point to late trains and mounting LD equipment failures as the reason.     New LD service is going to require the purchase of new cars which will inhibit new LD train route offerings for the forseeable future.......just starting that production line again would be huge in costs.

If they ever extend the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City to Kansas City that in effect will be a new LD train.   It's too long in mileage from Dallas to KC to be considered a corridor and I think it likely they will choose the one train option vs two short train option (which would meet in OKC).    We'll see how that turns out.

Currently, I do not see any other serious proposal on the Amtrak map to startup a new LD train or provide financing for one by any state, except perhaps the New Orleans to Florida proposed service restoration.      I don't see Amtrak wanting to take on the risk itself of a new Long Distance train without any state partnering interest as the costs to do so are huge and the risk of substantially adding to the operating deficit is also high.    If Amtrak added a new LD train on it's own at this point in time and it substantially added tens of millions of dollars in loss to it's operating performance..........Congress would rip into Amtrak management for the decision and rightfully so.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, October 22, 2017 2:07 PM

What would be really cool here is if the Northern Plains states formed their own HSR consortium as well as the Southern Plains states in a third HSR consortium and pooled their resources like the Midwest has done.     They could then define LD trains as a train that covers the distance of two HSR consortiums and fund each LD train with pooled money vs just one or two states.    You could pool TX, LA, MS, AK, OK, NM, CO to form the Southern Plain States.     Possibly ND,SD,NE,KS,MT,WY to form the Northern Plain States.     Jointly each state could contribute to a fund to develop some fairly decent Plain State LD routes in the heart of the country where there are holes in the Amtrak map currently.    Using Kansas City, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Omaha, as hubs?

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Sunday, October 22, 2017 6:40 PM

CMStPnP

 Jointly each state could contribute to a fund to develop some fairly decent Plain State LD routes in the heart of the country where there are holes in the Amtrak map currently.  

Why do you suppose there are currenlty holes in Amtrack coverage there?

Dave

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, October 22, 2017 8:18 PM

Phoebe Vet
Why do you suppose there are currenlty holes in Amtrack coverage there?

States generally do not want to pay for a passenger train that crosses the border unless the cross border state is also pitching in.    Also when Amtrak chose the national system they picked what they thought back in 1970 what would be the most viable trains to preserve a national system.

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Monday, October 23, 2017 4:48 AM

CMStPnP

 

 
Phoebe Vet
Why do you suppose there are currenlty holes in Amtrack coverage there?

 

States generally do not want to pay for a passenger train that crosses the border unless the cross border state is also pitching in.    Also when Amtrak chose the national system they picked what they thought back in 1970 what would be the most viable trains to preserve a national system.

You don;t believe the sea of red ink is a factor at all?

Dave

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, October 23, 2017 11:10 AM

D.Carleton

 

 
oltmannd
 
ANDREW C SELDEN

NEC or Acela "operating profits" are a myth. 

The proof of this came last year when NEC train service revenues early- to mid-year were falling well short of budget, and management was forced to defer $473 million in budgeted NEC maintenance (and purchasing) in order to keep cash outlays within the limits of cash revenue plus subsidy. (Even Amtrak has a hard time spending cash it doesn't have.) 

If the NEC had an "operating profit," a shortfall in budgeted revenue would simply reduce the margin, not force deferred maintenance. This has gone on for decades, by the way. The so-called cost to restore the NEC to a "state of good repair" is simply the sum of the annual upkeep that Amtrak has not done in order to keep the NEC trains running.

All this is visible in the monthly and Annual reports accessible on the website.

The RRIF loans can be repaid in the future only from future subsidy payments.

This is a moot point.  Whether you are factually right or wrong, it has become clear what Antrak's path forward will look like.  Investment in the NEC is the focus.

 

 

NEC=Nothing Else Counts.

 

As for "operating profit" as Comrade Lenin said, "A lie repeated often enough becomes truth."

 

Not Lenin.  More likely an actual statement by William James (1842-1910) "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it." 

And then these:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” -Joseph Goebbels
“The principle— which is quite true in itself — that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily.” -Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 23, 2017 12:36 PM

CMStPnP

States generally do not want to pay for a passenger train that crosses the border unless the cross border state is also pitching in.   

 

 
IMHO this is the reason that Amtrak should be exclusively a national run system.  No Balkanization should be allowed.  How is it waterway transport is not state specific ?  Now ports are paid for by states, local, & federal funds.  That is much like it should be for RR stations.
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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, October 23, 2017 1:05 PM

Phoebe Vet
You don;t believe the sea of red ink is a factor at all?

I think that is more an issue at the National level.   In rural areas where the air service is subsidized, electricity and phone service subsidized.    I don't think that is as big an issue compared to the transportation function.    I think thats why you see so many podunk towns willing to step forwards and push the train proposals.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, October 23, 2017 5:19 PM

CMStPnP is right.  If states individually or pooled regionally want to pay for corridor and longer train services (as several in the Midwest have for years), why not?  Amtrak won't.

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Posted by JPS1 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 4:28 PM

ANDREW C SELDEN

NEC or Acela "operating profits" are a myth. 

In 2016 the NEC had an operating profit of $492.3 million before Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEBS).  The corresponding number for 2012 was $298 million.  These results are shown in Amtrak’s annual financials, which are audited by Ernst & Young LLP.
 
Amtrak’s operating results do not include capital expenses, i.e. depreciation, interest, etc.  Amtrak does not say how these line items are allocated, but the NEC probably is responsible for most of the capital expenses.
 
If the NEC got 80 percent of the capital expenses, a hypothetical assumption, in 2016 it would have had a fully allocated loss of $225 million compared to $313.7 million in 2012.  If 70 percent is the allocation for capital expenses, the fully allocated result for the NEC would have been a loss of $137 million; if 90 percent is the allocation the result would have been a loss of $312.9 million.
 
In 2016 Amtrak’s net cash loss from total operations was $92.1 million, which was down from $409.7 million in 2015 and $605.5 million in 2012. This is a major improvement.  Amtrak is generating more revenue, as the statistics show, and therefore requires less cash for operations.  The NEC generated 47.9 percent of Amtrak’s revenues, which translate into cash for the most part.  Boardman should get a shout-out for the dramatic improvement in cash management during his tenure as Amtrak CEO.
 
Amtrak got $1,759 million in federal and state capital payments and proceeds from debt issuance in 2016.  It used $1,447 million for capital expenditures and $92.1 for operations.  Several relatively minor increases in source funds, offset by similar small uses, resulted in a net increase of cash and cash equivalents of $232.4 million.
 
Capital expenditures or deferred capital expenditures don’t impact current operating profit or loss.  They will affect future operating results as they flow through the income stream in the form of depreciation and interest expenses.   

If the deferred capital expenditures had all been made in 2016, the capital expenses - mostly depreciation expense - would have begun flowing through the income stream in 2017.  

Amtrak depreciates its equipment up to 40 years and its infrastructure up to 120 years.   Accordingly, irrespect of the percent of capital expenses allocated to the NEC, the increase in capital expenses, which would have increased fully allocated losses, would have been minimal.  The NEC still would have had a substantial operating profit.   

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, November 09, 2017 11:12 AM

Concerning  243129's post of this morning (it appeared in my email, but not in the Passenger forum): Can you,  243129, fill each line of your post completely, and not break words at the end of every other line (such as "dol" et the end of one line and "lar" at the beginning of the next? (this is the way the post appeared in my e-meil) Or, is this a problem of which you were not aware?problem of which you were not aware?  

This makes it difficult to read your thesis that the Accela is not true high-speed travel, as it appears in my email.

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, November 09, 2017 11:57 AM

Deggesty
Concerning  243129's post of this morning (it appeared in my email, but not in the Passenger forum): Can you,  243129, fill each line of your post completely, and not break words at the end of every other line (such as "dol" et the end of one line and "lar" at the beginning of the next? (this is the way the post appeared in my e-meil) Or, is this a problem of which you were not aware?problem of which you were not aware?  

This makes it difficult to read your thesis that the Accela is not true high-speed travel, as it appears in my email.

I suspect the truncating is a function of Kalmbach software in creating the e-mail.

         

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, November 09, 2017 12:01 PM

BaltACD
That's an entirely new feature, then; I have never before seen anything like it; I hope it is utterly abolished.

 

 
Deggesty
Concerning  243129's post of this morning (it appeared in my email, but not in the Passenger forum): Can you,  243129, fill each line of your post completely, and not break words at the end of every other line (such as "dol" et the end of one line and "lar" at the beginning of the next? (this is the way the post appeared in my e-meil) Or, is this a problem of which you were not aware?problem of which you were not aware?  

This makes it difficult to read your thesis that the Accela is not true high-speed travel, as it appears in my email.

 

I suspect the truncating is a function of Kalmbach software in creating the e-mail.

 

Johnny

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